A friend of mine has just returned from Buckinghamshire, where he went specifically to visit the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden. He tells me that the experience was ‘delightful’. Dahl himself would probably have invented a new word to describe the museum tour: after all, during decades of working in his shed at the bottom of the garden, he expanded our lexicon with words such as: “Scrumdiddlyumptious, Crodsquinkled, Catasterous and Uckyslush”

Anyway, this friend, a former teacher of English, tells me how his pupils always adored the humour of Dahl. They were completely engaged with the simple plots and they adored the variety of the characters. The great man himself, who was a pilot, a spy and an inventor, too, wrote down the germs of an idea in pencil on yellow paper and developed them, often using objects and places which were part of his experience. The petrol pumps in his hometown, for instance, were an important element in his Danny, The Champion of the World.

Dahl once said, “ …. watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Well, Year 1 are working on traditional tales in English this half term and with this in mind, they had a magical ‘Wow Day’ on Friday. In the morning, the children made their own fairy tale character puppets and decorated gingerbread biscuits. In the afternoon, a theatre company arrived – the children watched a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk before taking part in a workshop.

Just as looking at landscape paintings in a museum refreshes and strengthens our outlook at the natural world; so the telling classic stories will develop our own view of the world around us. This was an engaging, fun day of activities and it will undoubtedly have fired the imaginations of our children. And so, it was a significant moment when, on Tuesday, Pre-Prep celebrated the opening of their refurbished library. We were lucky enough to have author Petr Horacek doing the honours of opening this informative and inspiring room. Children and staff of Pre-Prep will enjoy using this library and get lost in the world of reading. Thank you, Ms Stacey, for organising this event.

Sport ramped up this week and again I watched some excellent hockey and rugby. Year 4 girls were first rate and were on fire against King’s Hawford. The Year 3 boys put in a fine performance at the RGS The Grange Rugby Festival. Each child involved tried his/her utmost and demonstrated great sportsmanship throughout. A big thank you is due to the sports department for all the work they have done in honing the children’s skills during this long lay off. Read the match reports for further information.

In Ryder Cup week, we have to remember that even the top players don’t succeed all the time. Michael Jordan is on record as saying, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.”

We need to persevere. Roald Dahl did. His first version of Matilda had a boy in the title role, but on reading it, he realised that it was not right. So, he rewrote the whole book, substituting a girl for the boy.

Today, it was wonderful to see the children in Year 5 and 6 enjoying their TED activities, which are now in full swing. It was exciting to see the children participating in a range of activities from cooking to bootcamp to Yoga and embroidery, to name a few. There will be challenges ahead, but I am sure that all are grateful for the variety of experience that is on offer.

Meanwhile, things move on ever more quickly. I must remind you that BCS has its Michaelmas Open Day on Saturday, 2nd October. As places continue to be at premium at the School, I would like to thank our parents for advocating the School. The staff and myself appreciate your continued support.

Mr Neeson