April is the cruellest month

Right now, and with the prospect of a two week break ahead, I am sure that many BSP pupils would disagree with T.S. Eliot’s rather gloomy words.  For the vast majority of the School, the rest of April is set fair for holiday fun.  However, there are a group of people who may have mixed feelings about the coming fortnight.  So spare a thought for those who face the challenge of public exams which commence almost as soon as we return at the end of the month.  For them this is a time to structure study in the way that works best in their individual situation, to be up with the lark or burning the midnight oil, they have time to enjoy their independence before returning to the constraints of the exam preparation timetable.

This term has seen many highs and I have been constantly impressed with the achievements of the student body from the very youngest to the rather older.  From individual excellence in the classroom, to team victory on the rugby and football pitch by way of maths challenges; from theatrical performance to musical recitals of the very highest standards this has been an active and successful term.  We’ve made art and performed poetry, robots have been designed and voluntary service has been given.  Our pupils have earned their holiday.  I hope that they choose to use their time wisely, that they do take advantage of what good weather there is to go outside, perhaps to enjoy the company of their siblings and friends, to relax and regain strength for the coming summer term.  Over the course of the last thirteen or so weeks it has been encouraging to see that not all activity has been on screen and that the students have benefitted from achievements in the real as well as the virtual world.

Doing my morning duty on the side gate I have the rare privilege of seeing a significant proportion of the Senior School population first thing in the morning.  It also means have I have developed a detailed understanding of the local climatic conditions (mostly damp as you ask).  It strikes me that teenagers often get a bad press because I am struck by the cheerful greetings that most of them pass as they enter the gates; no teenage sullenness here, clearly that is left at home.  Even the ones who perhaps are not so garrulous before nine in the morning generally pass the time of day.  It is this spirit of open friendliness that is for me one of the most important features of the student body, such openness is a mark of our strength as a school.  This term has, once again, seen tragedy rather closer to our doorstep then we would have liked and our friends in Brussels are in our thoughts as we break for the vacation. If ever I wanted to be reassured as to what the future holds for our planet then I am given hope knowing that there are a group of purposeful and talented individuals who will go on to mould our world as a more positive place.  I know because I see them every day as they come through the gates.

In starting with a poem I should perhaps finish with one, but I’ve actually chosen to go with a philosopher instead. Thomas Carlyle perhaps sums up all that I am attempting to say when he writes: “Long stormy springtime, wet contentious April, winter chilling at the very lap of May; But at length the season of summer does come.” I hope you enjoy the holiday and I look forward to seeing you all at the very lap of May or failing that the 25th of April.

Nicholas Hammond


Leave a Reply