As I write, the debate simmers: should schools be preparing to offer more classroom time as compensation for time lost during the COVID lockdowns? The government is reportedly set to provide £200m to secondary schools to fund summer classes for ‘pupils who need it most’. There is, of course, a delicate balance to be struck when looking at the best interests of everybody here: weighing the benefits of freshness against the possibility of burn out. For pupils and staff alike…..
Speaking for Blue Coat, I can assure parents that we are continually monitoring the progress of our children, and that we will do anything necessary to ensure that they reach their full potential. Meanwhile, we can all be so grateful that we have used such wonderful technology. How impossible it would have been in days gone by to sustain the educational process and communication without the internet, the iPad and the capacity to deliver online tuition! An example of this facility came during the past five days, when the rest of the School watched, live, in their form bubbles, a service to remember; one that was immaculately presented by the senior children, all dressed in their best blue. And the audience swelled further. With modern technology at the forefront of all we do now, parents and Governors were able to live-stream the event, too.
Yes, again, we remembered our heritage with our annual Founders’ Day service. And the children enjoyed a surprise edible treat as part of these slimmed down COVID-affected celebrations.
With those memorable celebrations complete, after six long, productive weeks we had made it to the half term break. Now, we can look back fondly on music recitals, sports events, Wow days, class assemblies and an ISI inspection, to name but a few. The term has been jam packed with opportunities across the School, never mind the excellent academic progress which is being achieved.
Led by our wonderful Chaplain, who was supported by Senior children in Year 6, we ended the term with a real commemoration of what we stand for here at BCS and with an acknowledgement of how ‘together we are stronger’.
Not just the seniors, either. This week, Year One took part in a curriculum enrichment day which focused on their humanities topic: toys. The day was designed to help the children increase their knowledge and understanding of toys in the past, recognise and name a variety of materials toys are made out of and find out about how toys move.
The children have taken part in a workshop where they had the opportunity to make a variety of simple traditional toys using cutting, shaping, joining and finishing techniques. There was also an online discussion with a specialist teacher. At lunchtime, the children enjoyed a Teddy Bears’ picnic, the perfect end to a busy half of term.
It all reminds me of a visit I made some years ago to the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury in Derbyshire. Highly recommended! And recently upgraded, I am told.
This week, as part of his termly visits to see the children, we welcomed to School our Chair of Governors. Shadowing our Head Girl, Mr Singleton accompanied Sarika to her morning studies in English and Maths. I believe that he thoroughly enjoyed the learning, and I thank the teachers involved for being so accommodating. Mr Singleton then had morning hot chocolate with the Heads of School, which rounded off a busy few hours. We are very lucky to have such committed Governors, who really go above and beyond to support our community. The children loved seeing the Chairman and looking forward to seeing him at the end of term celebrations (if these are allowed).
To finish off this half term, St Margaret’s House ran out winners of this week’s House Cup. The competition is getting tight overall; who will be victorious come July? It’s all to work and play for!
Finally, I would like to thank all the staff across the school for all their hard work and care of the children over this intensive half term. And to you the parents, your continued support is greatly appreciated by us all.
Have a lovely break, rest well with your wonderful children and I will see you on Monday week for – can you believe it? – the final half term of this academic year.
Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster