“Wooooah we’re half way there…”

“Wooooah we’re half way there…”

– Jon Bon Jovi

I suppose it could have been a lot worse.  Not the flood or the snow storms of the last few weeks but the choice made by our Senior School Head Girl and Head Boy to decide to mark the midway point in our academic year with the wearing of wacky socks.  If we had followed Bon Jovi’s sartorial lead then it could have been Lycra tights and leather jackets – the traditionalist in me would never have coped.  That said we are as the song says “half way there” and odd socks remind us that today we have a foot in the old half of the year and a foot in the new half of the year.  This is perhaps a good time to consider and celebrate what has been achieved and what is still to come. 

Since September there has first and foremost been an awful lot of learning.  I have the privilege of visiting classes being taught and there are few things more satisfying to see than excellent classroom practice resulting in academic progress.  For some this is the time of year when language and learning support falls away and they work independently, for others there is a realisation that they have the capacity to do even better in the months to come.  It is a time when, with the promise of warmer weather ahead, students start to blossom.  At the upper end of the school the Year 12s start to consider what lies beyond the school gates and our Year 6 pupils view the prospect of Senior School.  For those who are experiencing school for the first time it is a time to consider the amazing progress that has been made, the independence that has been developed and the confidence that is being shown.  Tears at the door to the school are long distant and that is good to see.

So what comes next?  To say more of the same would be both glib and complacent.  Improvement is always desirable but genuine progress takes time and is not always easily gained, that said we will be looking to build on the first half in the second.   As important as getting better is going wider – now that students are confident in their year groups it is time for them to try new things, to go beyond what is required of them in set tasks, to read around, to debate, to discuss, to challenge themselves.  Opportunity abounds at the BSP and it would be quite frankly daft to miss out on an activity or new experience now that regular routines are established.  With the prospect of spring being more than a mid-winter dream I hope that all in our community will look to think more widely.

The coming months will bring expeditions, competitions, matches, exams and a wealth of experiences.  Our aim is to guide our young people wisely and to develop all that is good within them. They bring energy, enthusiasm and openness.  Together we are right to believe that the next half can be even more productive than the first.

Have a good half term break.

Nicholas Hammond


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