THAT you are reading this is a miracle. On Sunday my son and his school friends saved the world with just minutes to spare. Much to their chagrin, they were then beaten by the girls who saved it two minutes faster.

They were playing a game at Live Escape in Castle Street. Working together, the players (usually adults) follow clues, solve puzzles and try to make it out alive while at the same time saving the world.

What was even more fun for the boys, was that having very self satisfyingly escaped, they then sat in the control room and unbeknownst to the girls, watched them on the screen as they struggled to solve the same problems.

The game works best if everyone shares information, listens to each other, and works together.

What I found fascinating was watching how my son and his classmates tackled the problem. Some in the team rushed from puzzle to puzzle, skimming the surface, guessing at answers, not reading or thinking about the clues.

There was a cacophony as each person called out what they thought should happen next.

There were those who gave up the struggle when the clue proved too challenging. They sat down and watched. Others flitted from prop to prop, dipping into and out of clue solving as the fancy took them. One or two beavered away quietly alone, patiently working at a puzzle while the clock ticked mercilessly; the world imperilled by their inaction.

Maybe if everyone had slowed down and listened to each other they would have completed the task sooner.

Working together with people who enrich a situation with their different backgrounds, experiences, gifts and abilities is a skill that is essential in every walk of life. How to be part of a team; to rely on each other and work together so that ‘the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.’

But is it taught in our schools? Is it heck!

Our children are subjected to an increasingly restrictive national curriculum in which any semblance of creativity has been replaced by a regime of rote learning, committing facts to memory, and the disembowelment of language from which wonder, imagination and joy of discovery has been expunged.

Group work is thrown in as an added extra; an aid to learning rather than a discipline in its own right.

I am sure that there is a place for quadratic equations. But I’m much more sure that my son will need to learn how to contribute to a team, to tolerate, be respectful and sensitive to those with different abilities and perspectives on life wherever the future takes him.

Live Escape was great fun. A few more games like it and maybe my son really will be properly prepared for life!