Long gone are the ‘Hard Times’ days of Thomas Gradgrind, when children sat passively in serried rows of desks, being fed a dull diet of chalk and talk; learning by rote; having their imaginations suppressed. The emphasis today is on developing what are known as ‘soft skills’; children preparing for the world outside by presenting themselves and their knowledge in a confident manner. Speech and Drama, a relatively new addition to our curriculum, plays a significant part in developing such skills. But across the spectrum, our boys and girls are provided with plentiful opportunities to express themselves; to demonstrate their knowledge.

By way of illustration, this week we celebrated our annual Science Fair, welcoming judges from KEHS, Solihull School, Five Ways School, Newman University and the Vice Principal of The National Mathematics and Science College.  The judges professed themselves mightily impressed with the students’ excellent displays but, more importantly, their wonderful knowledge of their chosen experiments and the confidence with which they presented them. Well done to Mrs Simmons and Mrs Kavanagh Finch for organising this wonderful celebration of Science at BCS. The overall winner was Rayan, with a project on generating electricity from stored water. It was an absolutely magnificent piece of work!

Not to be outshone, our Year 5 Mathematicians headed off to KES for a Prep School Maths Challenge. The well primed team conducted itself in the usual BCS style: with confidence and purpose. In a challenging competition, Blue Coat came out in first place, for the second year in a row. Another brilliant academic achievement here at BCS.

Year 4 had a bonanza week. First, as a part of their Humanities studies, they headed to Cadbury World to learn about the origin of cocoa beans and the start of the Quaker town of Bournville. As a parent of a Year 4 child, I can report that my son came back enthused and ready to apply his learning in class. Of course, the free chocolate might have helped keep the children on side, but this was a formative trip that focused the children’s minds and needed no sweeteners.

The Year 4 children enthralled us with a brilliant ‘Heroes’ night. Having done considerable research, they dressed up as their ‘chosen one’ and shared the outcome with the school community – including parents. Subjects ranged from David Attenborough to Billie Jean King to Oprah Winfrey and Banksy. It was magnificent to see this collection of celebrities. And to hear all about them, as the children spoke so eloquently.

It was a further joy to welcome future parents to the school for our Nursery cohort on Tuesday. Waiting to see if you have a place at BCS is quite an ordeal, I was informed. Now that you have one of the coveted places, sit back and let the adventure begin. 

Finally, I must congratulate the Year 6 boys who reached the national cricket final by beating RGS at Shrewsbury School on Monday. They now head to Stuart Broad’s old school, Oakham, for the final on the 7th July. We send them with our best wishes.

On the same subject, tonight,  Friday, we hold the Headmaster’s cricket match. Please come along and join in the fun.There will be a pay bar, a burger stall and sweets for the children. It promises to be a fun evening.

Happy weekend to all.