Being a thoroughly modern man, I like nothing better than getting to grips with an iron. Not on the golf course, you understand; but in the Neeson household – in the domestic context. Other than soaking in the bath, there can be no better situation to develop ideas and to have new ones than when one is dashing away with a steaming smoothing appliance. Besides, listening to some soothing or inspiring music proves beyond reasonable doubt that I can multi-task.

On Wednesday, sifting through my music collection, I found something totally appropriate for the day on which the United States inaugurated their new president. On went Dvorak’s New World Symphony – a combination of the arrival of calm following a storm, and later strident tones seeming to signify new hope after a pandemic crisis. 

Which leads me in nicely to this week’s quiz question. You will find it at the bottom of this week’s Update (First answer gets an edible reward).

Back to the New World…’s hard to imagine how Joe Biden must have been feeling when he looked forward to Wednesday’s ceremony. Things were a tad hectic, there was a potential threat all around him, he had rather a mountain of food on his political plate, and there was one key figure absent from the action as he took control.

Well, it has certainly been busy here – though happily we have not required armed guards and fortifications to keep ourselves safe. And, on the subject of full plates, cookery has been on the menu. Which is always nice.

In terms of a health threat, we here are able to rely on government anti-virus guidelines, which, I am proud to say, you parents and children are following so conscientiously.

Reluctant though I am to mention Donald Trump and Helen Andrews in the same sentence, (unless we are alluding to an Air Force Base)  it is this ‘pair’ who have been notable by their absences. Our stalwart Second Master is, of course, still allowed to tweet, and she doesn’t need a pardon of any kind, from herself or anybody else! She is a true leader.

With Mrs Andrews self-isolating at home as a precaution, I thought it would be a quieter week. I was wrong. With no interruptions or distractions at home, she has kept us all on our toes; I think I have now reached a hundred Zoom meetings in a week!

As we creep towards the end of another week of online learning, there seems to be no let up in the endeavour of our young learners at School and at home.

The Heads of School asked for “Shout outs!” for staff last week and, as a thoroughly democratic organisation, we will share them with staff weekly in our assemblies. I am sure that our teachers will be buoyed and motivated by these comments. Thank you, one and all.

We look forward to welcoming all those staff and children self-isolating back to school on Tuesday of next week. Meanwhile, thank you to all the parents who completed the questionnaire on Distance Learning. The outcomes were excellent.

As a School we are always looking for ways to adapt, develop and support, and such positive feedback can only give the staff and Leadership team a huge boost.

I must congratulate our Year 6 children. Once again, but this time in a disrupted year, outstanding results have been posted. I tip my hat to them all, as well as to their parents, and to the staff. This is a proud moment to be Head of this wonderful school.

Today the School community said goodbye to Mr Johnson, our groundsman. After 22 years at the School, he moves (if you will excuse the pun) to pastures new. I would like to formally thank him for his amazing contribution to the School. He and his wife Sharron will be missed by the whole BCS family. We wish them every success and happiness in the future.

His replacement will be Mr McGrath, joining from King Edward’s School. With 17 years of experience, I am sure he will make a great contribution and build on the foundations left by his predecessor.

Finally, I look forward to seeing many of you tonight over Zoom for a fun evening of cooking with Mr Moss. As you might have surmised the mystery guest will be yours truly! I hope it will be a chance for all the family to get involved. Thank you to Mr Moss for sharing his super culinary skills, to Mr Newman for hosting and to the camera team of Messrs Nicklin and Hill. A great night awaits!

Please rest well – and stay away from the screens – this weekend. 

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster

Which well-known TV food advertisement uses the music from the second movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony? Answers by email!