Perhaps inspired by the recent School Quiz, my eye was taken last week by a tantalising crossword clue. ‘Young mind not yet affected by outside impressions and experience, as in the philosophy of John Locke (6,4).
Not being a classical scholar, and feeling sheepish about asking my friend the crossword fiend, I was bound to rely on The Internet to answer that one. ‘Tabula Rasa’ it said. From the Latin for ‘Blank Slate’. We learn something every day.
And on that particular day, the day when I heard that we are months away from having driverless cars on our roads, and when I heard of yet another university suicide, this time at Reading, I learned that a state of Tabula Rasa would be an enviable state to be in.
As I write this Update, I can hear my 5-year-old son Jasper teaching his Mum how to play the drums (his new found love, along with rugby) and singing merrily in the background is his big sister, Bea! Neither of them has a care in the world! That’s how it should be, is it not? After a hard day at school combined with the vast array of activities, the children of BCS have got it all going on.
We cannot ignore the awful statistics which tell us that youngsters of today are less happy to be alive than ever they were. We cannot simply throw our hands into the air and blame the Internet, and we have to find some middle ground between being overprotective and over demanding of our youngsters.
Amazingly, thoughts here are starting to turn towards the production of our much-loved Yearbook. In a matter of four months we will be ushering out our Year Six children, all of whom have vaunting ambitions, and, I trust, bagfuls of confidence.
Meanwhile, we can only guide our boys and girls onto the right tracks. Assemblies play their part in this process. On Wednesday, we were treated to a strong assembly by Class 5BB. They told us how it is good to forgive, not to blame. Not an easy dictum, but one that of course we all aim to follow.
This was followed up at our Chapel Service today by The Very Reverend Matt Thompson, Dean of Birmingham Cathedral and an Ex-Officio Governor here. Dean Matt followed on this theme most appositely, explaining in graphic terms how the right pathway/choice is not always the easiest. It gave the children and congregation much to ponder over.
In a week that saw a vast number of sporting fixtures, and in which I commend all for whopping displays of skill and determination, there were flashes of brilliance in netball and football. We welcomed pupils from Watermill School, Selly Oak to a joint coaching session with our co-curricular provider Positive PE. Thank you to Miss Shotton for organising this opportunity. The BCS sports juggernaut is well and truly in swing!
Of course, it would not do to get complacent. Last autumn, England’s cricketers scored a remarkable series victory in Sri Lanka, if memory serves me right. After their recent collapses in the Caribbean, what price would you get for them beating the Aussies at Edgbaston in August? If the likes of Joe Root needs to work on developing technique and self-discipline, so too does a young musician. I must congratulate the budding musicians of Year 4 for what I can only describe as an exquisite recital. These young performers showed great control and delivery. As did England’s Six Nations players last Saturday. In another busy weekend of international rugby, will it be ‘Vive les Bleus’ or will the ‘Sweet Chariot’ go rolling on? Will the Scots be able to handle a ‘wounded’ Irish side? Let’s wait and see. Whatever you are up to, as I said earlier, take a moment to appreciate and enjoy your amazing children. Before you know it, they will have flown the nest!
MR NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER