A  crossword clue for you, from last weekend’s paper. Five letters starting with ‘L’. ‘What is the name for an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends?’

The answer of course was “leech’. And, children, you may not know that these devilish creatures were applied to the body up until the end of the 18th century, to suck out blood and with it, so the medical men believed, the disease.

And why is the loathsome-looking leech on my mind just now?

Well, to start off this busy week here at BCS, Year 6 enjoyed a Wow Day. Picking up their metaphorical microscopes, they examined Medicine Through The Ages. It’s extraordinary how we take penicillin and antibiotics for granted these days, and feel entitled to grumble if we are unable to get an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours of feeling a tad under the weather. We find it hard to imagine a world where pain was unavoidable and death a very present threat.

Looking in at the Wow Day, I felt so grateful to have been born during an era when diagnosis is so quick and so accurate, hospital treatment so advanced and dentistry generally so painless.

Predictably, we didn’t have any visiting leeches as part of the Wow Day. That would have made it an Ow day. But we had all sorts of other far more attractive elements, and the feedback from the children was excellent. They felt that this input, the visuals, the history – and the glorious gruesomeness of it all –  had made their learning come alive.

Not to be outdone, Year 5 had an enrichment day all of their own. This was on the Anglo Saxons. They had a wonderfully graphic range of language but were not sophisticated enough to have discovered the talents of the leech, let alone the effect of a lozenge on the larynx, the alleviating qualities of a laxative, the sharpness of a scalpel on the skin, or, when all else failed, the attraction of amputation.

Thank you to Mrs Barnes for all the organisation that went into these productive days: this specially designed programme supported and developed the children’s day-to-day study.

A quiz question for everybody (First correct emailed answer wins the edible prize): Which painting by Rembrandt features an operating teacher, a common criminal and an inquisitive class of seven?

Again we have welcomed pupils from Chad Vale Primary School as part of our outreach programme for Modern Foreign Languages. Following on from last week’s success here at school it was lovely to share our expertise with the wider community. Madame Newman must take enormous credit for her hard work on this day. Bravo!

In Pre-Prep, I enjoyed visiting the classrooms on Tuesday afternoon. It never fails to amaze me how hard-working and how meticulously behaved these young children are. Well done to them all and their totally dedicated staff members.

The Prep School enjoyed 5MO’s Wednesday’s assembly, where they explored the scripture ‘Pray at all times and in all ways’. It was a cleverly put-together assembly that got its message across loud and clear. As always, a heartfelt thank you to all parents for attending. 

Well done to the children who represented the school this week, whether that be in hockey, cross country, rugby or swimming. We are all very proud of your hard work and determination.

Don’t forget to have a watch of Mrs Drake’s wonderful new ChapelTube which has been launched today. We really look forward to reminding ourselves and catching up on Chapel news, music and messages!

Finally, we wish all the Year 6 children sitting KEHS today and KES tomorrow all the luck in the world. I hope you will make yourself proud! Good luck one and all.

Happy weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster