Spring is in the air…”well today is just that kind of day”

Spring is in the air…..

“well, today is just that kind of day”   Today Billy Collins.

The other day I was in the fortunate position of talking poetry with an expert.  Whilst I enjoy reading poetry I will freely admit I don’t know much about the practicalities, the technicalities, the mechanics of putting down words.  Therefore, it was good to have the opportunity to learn.  It is always good to have the opportunity to learn.  American poet Billy Collins wrote the words that start this piece. His poem Today just about sums up my feelings on looking out of my window at around about midday today.  The sun was warm, the grass emerald green, the water of the Seine sparking and Mr. Lowndes’ Year 9 scientists were conducting a physics experiment. Learning and laughter filled the air in equal measure.  What better classroom could be imagined? Some poets time spring’s arrival with appearance of daffodils, others wait for April, some look to the appearance of lambs gamboling (always gamboling it seems) but for the teacher spring comes when you can take a class outside, when the weather is good enough to do something slightly different. Thus, I knew that the shackles of winter were being slipped because there were pupils on the lawn enjoying their learning. It seemed today like winter was far away. Spring is the time when we should be making resolutions. January is too dark and dreary to think with positivity about what the year will bring. Now is perhaps a more appropriate time for optimistic target setting. In the coming weeks many students will be demonstrating the work of the winter, the Spring Concert will give our musicians the opportunity to delight with their talents and our sportsmen and women have tournaments and fixtures to enjoy. All can set academic targets for the rest of the year. Learning is of course possible both in and out of the classroom. The lessons taught in school are both formal and informal.  Next week the senior School will engage in a week-long festival of all things literary with book week. Whilst we have embraced the opportunities of new technology and iPads are to the fore, be reassured that we still value the book. In this we are in good company, Einstein passed on the fine advice to students that: “The only thing that you have to know, is the location of the library.”

Next week we will be reminding all students of the joys of reading. Perhaps parents will also join us in having a week-long conversation about what we are reading and what we learn from that engagement with history and the world’s most creative minds.

Not all learning is to be found in books. As well as looking to the library and learning from others we will also be learning by doing. Our focus on Comic Relief is predominantly student driven. Through such endeavours valuable lessons are learned, the skills of project management, leadership opportunities, teamwork and resilience. The benefit for the engaged student is immense, the consequence for the charity is also beneficial.  It is a mark of the character of BSP students that they are willing to give so fulsomely of their time to the support of good causes. I hope that you have a great weekend; perhaps you will find some time to open that book you have always meant to have read or perhaps revisit a well thumbed volume. Most of all I hope that you will join with me in enjoying that feeling of optimism that comes with the start of spring. There is much for us to look forward to and much also to celebrate.

Mr Nicholas Hammond