‘Their rites of passage include climbing Mount Kenya.’
Whist Pembroke House empowers our children to make their own decisions and instils independence from the onset, we maintain traditional values when it comes to manners and ‘doing the right thing’. We don’t hold them back in their emotional growth, but we do allow them to do this at their own natural pace rather than race them into their teenage years too soon.
There are definite benefits from being ‘bush kids’ who simply aren’t exposed to the same influences that more urban children might be. Whilst Pembroke House children confidently deal with an invasion of siafu without fuss; put them on a tube train in central London and they would probably be far less confident. Our children aren’t exposed to a barrage of constant marketing which tells them what they should be wearing or playing with, to make them happy.
Spending so much of their time outside, in the natural world, they are competent mini safari guides and conservation warriors not ‘worriers’ about if they have the right hairstyle or latest brand of footwear.
The children love to get muddy and dusty; they climb, build, explore and spend significantly less time on devices than children whose more ‘concrete’ environment doesn’t allow for this type of childhood adventure. Their rites of passage, are climbing Mt Kenya or wild swimming in the Indian Ocean.
At Pembroke House, all children have timetabled Digital Learning so they can ‘code’ with the best of them but they spend this screen time in a controlled environment. They keep in touch with their family with evening calls, but not on the latest smartphone with internet access. They still find wonder in the small things – making dams; skateboarding around our track; taking a pony ride at sunrise or simply enjoying the art of conversation with their peers.
Whilst we competently prepare our children for life beyond Pembroke, we are strong advocates of holding onto and celebrating their childhood as much as we can; from protecting them from the pressures of adulthood for as long as we can.