Once upon a time, many years ago, while studying the ancient Greeks, I was instructed on the difference between the Stoics and the Epicureans.

There are varieties of the two, and I am going to simplify the difference when I write that Epicureans insisted that human beings, ever since we are infants, naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure.

The Stoics, on the other hand, point out that, actually, children will often naturally endure pain for the sake of achieving something valuable, like learning how to walk.

What does this have to do with the School having embarked on a Healthy Eating week, with talks delivered by our Caterers, Holroyd Howe last Friday? Well, any self-respecting Epicurean, given half a chance, would probably plump for a plateful of pizza and a dish of ice cream. Where the Stoic, love sugar though he might, would tuck in virtuously to a plate of salad, with maybe half an apple for dessert.

This week, our children got strongly in touch with their stoical side, and many of them kept as evidence a food diary, depicting what constitutes a balanced diet. All the children then handed in their diaries, and Mr Moss, our Catering manager chose some winners.

Thank you to all the children who took part. Of course we all like to indulge ourselves with stuff that is unhealthy, but perhaps we realise better now how important it is that we look after ourselves and fuel our bodies sensibly. 

All BCS children have been through abnormally testing times, but even the youngest have shown remarkable powers of stoicism. In Pre-Prep this week, I enjoyed attending the children’s Thanksgiving Service. This was a charming and, at times, moving affair; I confess that I laughed. And that I shed a tear. The service was a great celebration of all that has been achieved, under duress, in so many areas this academic year. Well done, one and all.

In Prep this week, Year 3, 4 and 5 enjoyed extended school activity days. These Year Groups spent the latter part of the week working in Forest School. Under the watchful eye of Mr Isherwood and Mrs Walker, the children took part in a range of bushcraft activities.

These outdoor days were planned to use the facilities on site in school; we did not want to travel, due to the pandemic. You will see from the reports the children had a wonderful time. The boys and girls had fun throughout, with the BBQ (with tomato sauce strictly rationed, of course!) being one of the highlights of the day. 

Watching our under 9 and 11 girls play their first competitive cricket match helped me to shrug off the disappointment of England’s showing down the road at Edgbaston. It was magical to see the girls enjoying the game and great to watch them translating those hours of practice into a match situation. Well done to all the girls involved. Let us hope that this was the first of many similar experiences.

We ended our parent lecture series for this year with a talk from Rebecca Jennings on Tuesday evening. The topic for discussion was How To Talk to Your Child about Changes and Growing Up. The feedback from parents in attendance was excellent. Once again Mr Newman set up a first class lecture that doubtless made us think about aspects of parenting.

Well, tonight the Auld Enemy meet at Wembley. Will the Saltire or the St George’s flag be fluttering proudly on Monday?

Whichever way that one goes, we have been reminded by the Christian Eriksen drama that, contrary to what Bill Shankly once said,  there are more important things in life than soccer.

Have a great weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster