One of the most civilising and stimulating intellectual exercises of all – and this goes right back to historical times – has been the process of debate. The Greeks in their Golden Age did it. The Romans debated in their forums. The process and the cerebral battle represented a nobility of the nous; a battle of the brains. As you may know, we have a debating club here at BCS every Friday during TED. I shudder to think that any debate here could be allowed to descend into the depths that we have seen in Columbus Ohio this week. At a time when we have been amazed by the dedication and work ethic of the children across the school, pupils have been set the poorest of examples by politicians behaving like playground bullies. If only Donald Trump had worn a mask…….but let us draw our own veil over the undignified farce and commend our youngest children on their behaviour and maturity.

Yes, regardless of the race to elect what has been the most powerful office on earth, the spotlight this week falls on Nursery, Year 1 (again) and Year 4. In Nursery, the children have been learning the daily routines and enjoying lots of firsts – first PE lesson in the Gym; first assembly with Chaplain; first go on the climber. All really exciting new opportunities they are lucky to have at BCS.

The children have been encouraged to explore, using all of their senses. This week, they have made playdough and fruit faces, talking about our likes and dislikes, how the different things feel, taste and smell and what they like to see. They have explored different sounds, using our body and musical instruments, and they have played lots of listening games. 

In preparation for their Autumn WOW day next week, they have explored the grounds and spoken about Autumn, the changes they can see, the different smells, and the crunchy sound of the leaves. The children have also enjoyed Write Dance; making movements in paint, foam and water, to music, and done many fine motor activities to support their mark-making skills (Pre-writing skills) The pictures below demonstrate the excellent learning experiences our youngest children are having

Moving to Year 1, I have to mention the WOW Day, which focused on Transport. The amazing hot air balloons that the children created have their BCS Blue targets on them. It is clear that the children are very focused on reaching their aspirational targets. Overall, they revelled in a curriculum day which set their learning in context.

Year 4 have been practising addition and subtraction using the written column method and have also been checking their answers by using the inverse. Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali has been their focus in English. The book is based on the true story of a boy, Orundellico, who in the early 1800s was taken from his home in Tierra del Fuego to England to be educated in the ways of Christianity and Victorian upper-class manners. The children have been taking part in ‘Conscience Alleys’ to help them imagine how Jemmy might have felt, and then using those ideas to help us write diary entries and narratives in the role of Jemmy. 

Humanities has seen the group looking at historical sources and discussing the different ways that Henry VIII was described by people at the time.  Can you imagine anybody, Biden-like, telling Henry to “Shut up, man”!

The Year 4 Year Group Assemblies continue to be great fun, and they are enjoying celebrating birthdays with a mimed version of Happy Birthday! The certificates, medals and photographs are coming in weekly and it is lovely to celebrate successes, both in and out of school, together in Chapel.  While the rest of the nation is coming to terms with the NHS App, they are wrestling with their very own RAP! They have accepted the Slingshot Rap Challenge issued by Chaplain and are currently trying to blend the words and music! 

It has been wonderful to have musical interludes in our assemblies as well. Madalen, James and Matthias have performed for Year 4 so far – all accomplished performances. I am very proud of them. Year 4 are trying very hard to fulfil their Y4 motto this year – ‘Be kind, unless you can be fantastic. Then be fantastically kind!

Entries for the first House competition of the year were exceptional. The  bags showed only the pride the children have in their House,  but more importantly they gave an indication of our children’s personality; what they hold most dear about themselves and their House. Well done, one and all.

I thoroughly enjoyed having lunch on the Golden table with Year 4. They are such an inquisitive bunch. It was just magnificent to hear them giving me advice on School life.  These lunches really do serve a greater purpose. We put the world to rights – don’t get me onto Donald again! – and it’s an opportunity for me to understand what makes the children tick. As well, this is an opportunity to ‘develop table etiquette (a lifelong skill!) 

Today our Year 6 girls sat their KEHS entry exam and tomorrow the boys follow suit at KES. I want to congratulate them formally on their hard work.Exam season is well and truly underway and our children must be commended for their efforts both in school and at home.

Finally congratulations to St Margaret’s on winning this week’s house cup again this week – they really are on fire at present!

Have a super family weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson