In the early 1960’s – way before my time and even the concept of colour television – a TV programme suddenly became ‘all the rage’. It was called ‘That Was The Week That Was’. (My dad loved it and had me in stitches reminiscing about TW3 this week!) The programme was made up of a series of sketches which lampooned the political leaders of the day and generally took the mickey out of topical events. Regarded as a breakthrough in satire, TW3 featured the likes of Millicent Martin, David Frost and Bernard Levin. What fun that team would have had with the past week! We have heard calls for Marcus Rashford to take over as Prime Minister; Premiership soccer has returned with sound effects substituting for crowds; and one young woman shopper has explained how – for the whole of lockdown – she dreamt of owning a specific handbag. And how she had queued long through the night for the privilege of owning it.
Yes, people were filmed waiting outside Sports shops for hours to get hold of cut-price trainers. Happily, that woman went home with her coveted handbag. But maybe ‘Lockdown’ has drawn attention to our priorities, to what is essential in our lives: Yes, five days after non-essential shops reopened, the question needs asking: ‘What did you miss most during the 12 weeks of lockdown, and what is it about the past three months that you have you most enjoyed?’ A small edible prize is on offer to the boy or girl who gets back to me with the most interesting answer, on email, in no more than 30 words, before next Wednesday evening….
As down the road at our city University there has been a major breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19, another week is closing at BCS; one in which it has been a delight to welcome back Year 5. If the Bissell Building buzz of that cohort has been a tonic for us to hear, next week we can expect a huge psychological boost with the return to the fold of Years 2, 3, and 4.
We expect that the children are all very excited about returning, too, but none of us can afford to be complacent in any way. No, the safety of our children and staff is of paramount importance, and I have to reiterate the importance of social distancing at drop off and pick up. To familiarise yourself fully with the operating procedures of the School, do please read the re-opening document which was sent last Friday.
I must say it was a pleasure to send out numerous Headmaster’s Awards for exceptional work done during the lockdown period. Essays by girls and boys in the upper school were so mature and well-crafted. There was also some scintillating work done in Humanities and some mind-boggling mathematics.
Those children in our top year have been setting a great example: I am pleased to report that, even as I write, the 2020 Year Book – always so eagerly-awaited – is coming off the press.
While children have been persevering so admirably in difficult circumstances, I hope that the Distance Learning programme has shown you, the parent body, the lengths that staff are going to in support of our children.
The staff that I have assembled here at BCS make these extraordinary learning opportunities come alive. As we edge closer to the “new normal”, as we step back into our old learning environment, let us not forget the good that has happened during this period. BCS has delivered. I thank you all, every member of our School family, for supporting our wonderful children.
Next week, please stay alert, be vigilant and follow the guidelines. That way, we can all help keep BCS safe.
Noel Neeson | Headmaster