Around the World Day

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent van Gogh

Around the World Day in the Junior School has to be one of the most inspiring days of the school year. Rather like the Senior School’s International Day it gives us all the chance to celebrate the diversity that exists within our one community. It also gave me the chance to gurn… (probably best not to ask). Often schools seek to flatten differences and to produce individuals who share the same ideas and perspective. At the BSP this would be impossible, even if we wanted it. We are quite simply too varied to be forced in one way. This is one of our great strengths as a community. We have a broad perspective and our pupils can only benefit from having the unique experience of interacting with others from all continents and many nations. None of this would not happen without the indefatigable support of the parent community who have quite clearly been busy assembling costumes, props, cooking delicacies and making exhibits for the last few weeks. It was a remarkable display and we will probably never really know how much it has influenced the pupils who were fortunate enough to experience all that there was to savour! An enormous thank you parents and friends for all that you did to make this day such a success.

If there is one thing that I hope our pupils understand by this, the half way point in the year, is that we all function better when we are able to co-operate and learn from one another. Support, dialogue and an appreciation of otherness allow our young people to develop as the thought shapers and leaders of the future. Our children will have the chance to change their communities for the better. We need to give them the confidence, knowledge and skills to do so. By learning about the many countries and cultures of the world they have a head start.

If ever there was a demonstration of how well equipped our pupils are to see clear solutions to difficult problems then it is provided by the contributions that they made today to Sky News on the thorny subject of Brexit. Might I suggest that the Westminster politicos take time to listen to what the next generation of Europeans, in this case British and French, are saying about the current political situation? I am firmly of the belief that most of the world’s issues could be thrashed out by a group of Year 6 pupils if they are given sufficient supplies of Haribo and a little time. It was a pleasure to welcome presenter Braydon to the School and look forward to seeing our unique take on this issue on air.

Half term beckons and so I was pleased to join with our Senior School pupils in the now traditional mid-year madness. A dazzling collection of socks were on show and our thanks go to the catering team for hot chocolate with marshmallows at break. Life may well be complicated sometimes but it is rare for anything to look too bad from the perspective of a marshmallow filled mug on the brink on half term.

Have a great half term pause. Enjoy whatever it is you are doing and I look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Monday 4th March.

Nicholas Hammond