How times have changed. Years ago, even in my day as an early learner, there was an emphasis on what you might term ‘static learning’. To be honest, as a practitioner, I had to work hard to come to terms with classroom scenarios that at first sight seemed to lack purpose, control or direction.

Let me give you an example. One class I heard about recently was involved in a role-play based on a visit to an airport. There were chairs in pairs down the centre of the room, and a check-in desk where the children showed their passports, which they had made complete with photo, name and address. Menus had been handwritten by the children, the flight crew were examining a world map to decide where to go, cabin crew counted the number of seats and told the check-in desk how many vacancies they had. All of this involved planning, cooperation, discussion and a shared purpose. Every child was engaged. Each wanted to have a turn at the different roles.

Children must have to have opportunities to investigate and explore their world and the way to do that is often through play. It stimulates their minds, and develops an interest, which facilitates ‘the art’ of learning. Nowhere is this more true, perhaps, than in the teaching of Maths, which might, on the face of it, seem one of the more arid subjects on the curriculum. By catching the imagination of young children, as we strive so hard to do here, the highest of standards can be attained.

Perhaps that goes some way to explaining a notable success that BCS has achieved since I last wrote. Four pupils from our Year 4 cohort emerged as victors in The King Edward’s Mathematics Challenge. And this means that we have won this prestigious event for the past  two years. A great achievement and well done to the winning team:  Richard Mahlberg-Schilling, Priyamvada Agarwal, Lemuel Adeji and Boyi Li.

On the academic front, I have enjoyed visiting the Prep and Pre-Prep classes to watch the staff and children in action. It was great to be with children and see their thirst and curiosity for learning. The staff are working incredibly hard and imaginatively. I commend them for both qualities. Year 3 have visited me in my study to discuss their work and school life in general. It is so important to give our children a voice and let them help direct our decision making.

The football and netball seasons have got off to an encouraging start. Our Under 9 footballers carried on from where they left off at the end of the rugby season with fine performances against RGS The Grange. On the netball front there were some great performances from across the year groups. It looks like a promising season once again. Meanwhile, the winter cricket nets are proving a hit with girls and boys. Watching them gear up for summer gives me great optimism. The children are so enthusiastic and they are having a lot a fun, which is the most important thing.

At Friday Chapel we welcomed The Rev Matt Thompson, Dean of St Philip’s Cathedral, as our principal speaker. It is wonderful to continue our strong links with the Cathedral. I am sure that, with the Dean being a Governor at the School, this will support future work greatly.

As I browse over the calendar, I must remind you about the following events. The Lower School entertain us with Fantastic Mister Fox on the 15th and 16th February and of course the heats for the BCS Young Musician of the Year take place later this term, with the Gala Concert on the 8th March.

This is a great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful array of musical talent at the school. The inaugural concert in 2017 was a huge success, and this year promises to be even better.  Please come and support this event. Finally on the calendar front, The Friends’ Quiz will take place next Friday in the Dining Room. It would be lovely to see you all there.

I would like to finish by thanking all the parents for allowing your children to support Open Morning tomorrow. We have over 100 families visiting, and your children will be great ambassadors for the School.

Have a great weekend!

MR NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER