They seem to have gone out of fashion a bit now, but 30 years or so ago they were all the rage – at least in senior schools.(well mine anyway!) Do you remember the halcyon days of the Balloon Debate? “A Balloon Debate! What on earth is that?” I hear some of my younger readers ask. Sounds like a load of hot air…. Well, no. Actually, it is “ a debate in which a number of speakers, dressed as famous historical characters (more famous even than Meghan Markle or Piers Morgan) attempt to win the approval of an audience. That audience is invited to imagine that the speakers are flying in a hot-air balloon which is sinking and that someone must be thrown out if everyone is not to die. The weakest debater is ejected from the balloon first, and others are thrown out in turn, until there is one survivor left in the wicker basket. Silly. But colourful. And fun.

Anyway, I was reminded of such colourful occasions this week, when children were encouraged to dress up as Romans, Aztecs or Ancient Greeks. Speaking with Mr Newman, I discovered that it was this character imitation and dressing up that fuelled our love of history. How great it is that the concept lives on in our children here at BCS. Thank you to all the teachers for the excellent resources and planning that enriched the children’s learning of these subjects.

In the Prep School the children became totally engaged in their informative and engaging wow days. Year 3 studied The Romans, Year 4 learned about the The Aztecs, Year 5 got deeply into Rivers and Year 6 turned the clock right back to The Ancient Greeks. Children were so involved with hands-on learning, and each topic gave them ample opportunity to think outside the box. 

On much the same theme, our Heads of School showed their leadership skills by organising our Comic Relief Day, on which the children were encouraged to dress as modern day superheroes, from all walks of life. Teachers, NHS workers you name it we celebrated it! Thank you to all the children and staff who embraced this event. For me, you are all heroes! The Heads of School informed me that we raised an incredible £571. Thank you all.

Yes, the penultimate week of this strange term has provided a plethora of opportunities and experiences. I am often astonished at how much we cram in – on top of a rigorous academic programme.

Not to be out done by the senior children, Year 2 had a very positive Forest School enrichment day on Thursday. The children enjoyed small fire-lighting activities and making friendship bands. They also took part in Maths enrichment, which reinforced mathematics in the world we live in. Thank you to Mrs Isherwood for leading, with support from Mrs Wingfield and the Year 2 team. It was a really positive experience.

And to top it all off, this week we heard the wonderful news that The Birmingham Civic Society has awarded our school with a certificate of recognition of the work we achieved with our children during lockdown, both academically and pastorally.

On the subject of celebration, it would be remiss of me not to mention our exceptional music provision. The music I observed and heard was more akin to 13 to 18-year-olds. In year group bubbles, the musicians created a beautiful concert feel. I must congratulate all participants whether they reached the gala concert or not for their efforts. Just magnificent. Thank you to Miss Akehurst and our Director of Music for making this so memorable. I hope that The Young Musician of the Year will return next year, in its entirety.

This week, in their Eco Committee, Year 5 focused on Global Recycling –  such a pertinent topic. We must all do our bit to support. I am sure this will be featured in our Heads of School Podcast in the Trinity Term, and it has also been discussed in Year 3 English Classes over the course of this term. Indeed, that group wrote letters to our Bursar to ask how the Estate can become more environmentally ‘friendly’. I know that he and his team will look at this carefully and respond not only to Year 3 but the community as a whole.

 As I sign off I wish you a happy and safe weekend with your families.

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster