‘What is this life,’ asked W H Davies, ‘if we have no time to stand and stare?’ This week, we made time. And I was reminded of another poem that I came across back a while, which has some great images and a Zen quality. Allow me to quote Norman McCaig in full.

I took my mind a walk
Or my mind took me a walk –
Whichever was the truth of it.
The light glittered on the water
Or the water glittered in the light.
Cormorants stood on a tidal rock
With their wings spread out,
Stopping no traffic. Various ducks
Shilly-shallied here and there
On the shilly-shallying water.
An occasional gull yelped. Small flowers
Were doing their level best
To bring to their kerbs bees like
Ariel charabancs. Long weeds in the clear
Water did Eastern dances, unregarded
By shoals of darning needles. A cow
Started a moo but thought
Better of it – And my feet took me home
And my mind observed to me,
Or I to it, how ordinary
Extraordinary things are or
How extraordinary ordinary
Things are, like the nature of the mind
And the process of observing.

This poem not only celebrates the simple beauty of the natural world – cormorants, reeds in the water – it also stresses the importance of the “process of observing.”

Well, this week I enjoyed a learning walk of a no less extraordinary kind in Pre-Prep with Mrs Andrews and in Prep with Mrs Palmeri and Mrs Finch. We were observing the wonderful learning environments that our children enjoy, watching them – with all their individual quirks, idiosyncrasies and characteristics – and looking at best practice across the school. We considered ways to further enhance the teaching environment to help the children develop their learning. I must thank the staff for their openness and their adaptability. They share my vision that we provide all children with a rich, stimulating and motivational environment to learn in.

On Wednesday, Mrs Neeson and I enjoyed watching Year 6KS in their wonderful class assembly. They were excellent and really got us thinking of the story of Jonah and the whale. The deeper message was really for us to consider our emotions. Thank you to all the children and Mrs Simmons for their hard work. We then dashed to the School Hall, for the first Prelude Concert of the year. Yes, I know that I often commend the children for their musicianship, but this was a whole different level. Thank you to all the children, VMTs and parents for their hard work. The children were outstanding.

I must congratulate all the boys and girls who represented the School in sport this week, whether that was in cross country, hockey or rugby. All teams really demonstrated a desire to give their best. Well done all.

On Thursday the second of our BCS Experience Days took place and we welcomed 30 Year 5 pupils from Quinton Church Primary School to explore our Forest School and enjoy a day of activities. It was yet another example of BCS teamwork at its best, and it was a delight to open our Forest School to pupils from the wider community. Thank you to Mr Isherwood and Mrs Walker for their tireless work in creating such a wonderful day for the children.

Next week we celebrate Harvest in Prep and Prep-Prep. Please come along and join in this wonderful School event. Please check the calendar for timings and remember to bring along your contributions for Operation Christmas Shoe Box as these are being collected next week.

This weekend we also wish all the girls sitting the EHS entrance exam the best of luck. For many, that ends the exam season, while for others there are one or two more to go after half term. Good luck to you all.

Have a great weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster