Take a look at a Picasso painting. Odd. Think David Bowie. Odd. Look at Salvador Dalí and his works of art. Very odd! And yet, there’s little doubt that they were masters at their craft. Creative geniuses with a different world view. It’s this distinctiveness that set them apart from everyone else. That’s why they were memorable. Revered. Because they were not like everyone else. They embraced being odd. They revelled in their creative freedom. And, as a result, they stood out from the crowd and carved their own individual niche.

Talking of which, it was so refreshing to watch Aston Villa star Jack Grealish plying his trade to such positive effect against Belgium and Iceland this past week. English football history is littered with the names of players – most of them midfield ones – whose maverick flair has been mistrusted by national managers. Paul Ince, Paul Gascoigne, Vinnie Jones and Stuart Pearce are four who come instantly to mind.

They were odd, in the sense that they were unpredictable –  and did not fit into a pattern. This very unpredictability, as much as their technical virtuosity, made them the players they were and such a threat to the opposition.

Here at BCS, the last thing we want is for our children to turn out like sausages. We encourage them to express themselves. And, when they do, we expect their peers to accept, and to rejoice in their difference. They should never be made to feel vulnerable. They must never be picked upon for their ‘eccentricity’ or for their individuality.

Such behaviour is corrosive of a child’s confidence. In a word, it is the behaviour of the bully, defined by the dictionary as ‘a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable’. Our choice of clothing, and how we wear it, is an obvious expression of taste, and of self. Look at Grealish. He wears his socks half way down his enormous calf muscles. Like nobody else.

Socks were on show here on Monday. Odd ones. We were supporting anti-bullying week here. Through PSHE lessons and assemblies, children and staff looked at how we look after each other and treat each other with respect and kindness. Bullying does happen, not only in Schools, but in all walks of life and we must work to eliminate it as much as we can from society. By teaching the children how they can address bullying we are laying the foundations for them for life.

Thank you to Mr Hulbert for all his hard work on making this week a success. A great whole School focus! A special mention to 3SA, 4ET, 5JM and 6RA for wonderfully thought provoking Anti Bullying assemblies based round the the bible story of  ‘The Good Samaritan’. Well done too to 1H and 2W for their fantastic assemblies about kindness. They were informative and met the needs of our children perfectly.

I must congratulate Mrs Sargeant, Our Eco leader, who led her committee of bright warriors in achieving the coveted Green Flag for the School. In a week when the government released plans to stop selling petrol and diesel cars from 2030, it was electrifying to see BCS playing their part in making the world a cleaner place for generations to come.

At my weekly School leaders meeting today, the main focus was the BCS Heads of School podcast. This innovation will celebrate school life from our children’s perspective, and it will allow us to celebrate all aspects of the School. This will be launched next week – further details to follow. A big thank you to Mr Hill for all his hard work on this project. Exciting times!

I must say a well done and thank you to the Sports department for the exciting Wow day for Nursery and Reception. Our youngest children had lots of fun while hopefully developing a love of gymnastics in a super event to end the week.

This week’s winner of the Headmaster’s House Cup is St Philip’s. Well done to all the Houses for their hard work in trying to raise their totals. The children on the Golden Table from each Prep year group bubble this half term have been very vocal and excited by the House Cup. 

Have a great weekend. And please stay safe.

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster