Well, what a busy but extremely productive week it has been here at BCS. Apart from the excellent teaching and learning across the school the children have been provided with a plethora of opportunities.

I’ve found barely a moment to read the papers, though one headline did catch my eye. It ran as follows: BOOSTER JABS WILL SAVE CHRISTMAS. Well, thank goodness for that. We can hardly imagine being without our carols, our gifts and our turkeys. Can we? Not to mention ‘Our Loved Ones’.

Historians among my readership will recall that there was a time when celebration of this kind was not just frowned upon but actually banned. Roll back almost four centuries, to the time when King Charles 1 had lost his head to the Parliamentarians and the Puritans were in power. Then, in 1647, the observance of the Feast of the Nativity was classed as ‘Popish” and made a punishable offence.

Ever since then, pandemic restrictions permitting, we have been able to celebrate, to enjoy family time around the tree and to discuss whether or not to cut a cross into the base of our Brussels sprouts. (Apparently not!)

Children in Tudor times didn’t realise how lucky they were. Even if Mum and Dad couldn’t stretch to roast peacock, they would put venison, wild boar and goose on the table. Possibly swan – if the king allowed them to.

And it didn’t stop on the Big Day, either. The whole family gorged itself on mince pie every day from December 25 through to January 6 – until that Act of Parliament acted as a national party pooper.

When Year 4 enjoyed their Tudor Wow Day this week, we didn’t hear all that food detail. But we did learn just about everything else. So, thank you to Mrs Barnes, the Year 4 staff and the group of parent volunteers who assisted. The children absolutely loved the event and, having chatted to them, I know that this period of history has come alive for them. A special thank you to all the Mums and Dads for supporting with the costumes. Dressing up helped to make the day for our children.

Even though we are not yet in December, it does feel as though Christmas is coming. And in this context I must mention our Reception children.

They have been given the chance to bring in a toy from home, and to compare how playthings have changed over time. Reception will soon be Santa’s designers, creating a new toy for the elves to make in the workshop. And their designs will be ‘posted’ to the North Pole.

Whatever would Oliver Cromwell and his Roundhead friends have had to say about that, I wonder!

Civil War was far from the minds of our U11 boys’ rugby and the girls’ hockey players this week. But they were admirably competitive, nonetheless. The boys represented themselves and the school with great pride and turned in stellar performances at the IAPS Rugby festival at Ratcliffe College, where they were champions overall. What a great achievement! The girls have travelled to Millfield School today to play in the IAPS National finals. Unfortunately, as I write, I am still waiting to hear the outcomes. Again, they have trained well and should take great pride from their performance. Well done, all!

Year 3 to 5 enjoyed an excellent STEM day. The children’s enthusiasm for this subject is wonderful to see; the dynamic teaching of Mrs Simmons has allowed the children to delve deeply into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Running parallel with the above sporting success, we had a wonderful Recital on Thursday with Year 5 and 6. As in the Scholars’ Concert, the musicianship was extraordinary. I must congratulate Mr Nicklin, Miss Akehurst and all the visiting music staff for the wonders they have done in preparing the children to perform. It was a very memorable concert indeed.

To finish off the week, we welcomed the Salvation Army to School today. Annually, their musicians get BCS into the festive spirit, and this year was no exception. It was good for the children to hear the impact of giving; not just of receiving.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Noel Neeson