Recent news reports have drawn attention to West Rise Junior, a primary school in Eastbourne, East Sussex which has the children spending time outdoors using knives, saws, open fires and even air-rifles.

Ofsted and the Health & Safety Executive approve, and achievement in English and Maths at the school have dramatically improved. Headteacher Mike Fairclough believes the children are challenging themselves and finding solutions together, developing resilience and confidence in the process. We see similarities with the Erasmus+ funded Diploma for 14-19 olds which Crossfields Institute is developing, which aims to develop creative thinking skills in a transdisciplinary curriculum. We believe that education is all about lighting fires, rather than filling empty pails!

Headteacher Mike Fairclough thinks schools – and parents – are failing children by over-protecting them instead of teaching them how to handle danger. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian