“She sells seashells…”

“She sells seashells on the seashore.”

English traditional nursery rhyme

I think that it was last week I had a discussion with a colleague in which he said that he was disappointed that there would never be another snow day at school. This once in while “treat” was something of a rite of passage, a day when things are different, and the normal rules don’t quite apply. In a new age of remote learning the snow day simply becomes a day online. We can discuss what is lost and what is gained and may never draw a firm conclusion. Certainly, the fall of snow caused the usual levels of excitement, in particular for those who had never seen it before. I took my fair share of hits on Wednesday while doing my duty on the green pitch so will be quite happy to see the back of the white stuff for another year.

One thing that a fall of snow does is that it allows a variety of different classes the opportunity to examine snowflakes in depth. The science of snow has been much in evidence this week and indeed so has the art of snow. Perhaps having a snow fall during the Junior School’s Year 6 STEM week was particularly useful as it is a timely reminder of the magnificence of the world around us and the importance of seeing it scientifically so to understand it better. If you look in this newsletter and our social media feed, you will see some magnificent examples of gear and pulley use hidden under miniature fairground rides. Wonderful stuff from our Year 6 pupils. Incidentally, as we celebrate women in science week, did you now that the quotation today is often thought to refer to Mary Anning the notable fossil collector and early palaeontologist who was the first to identify the ichthyosaur?

Slumber has also been a topic for our younger pupils today. As part as a gentle easing into the half-term holiday sleep wear in many different guises was on show today. How good to be able to be together to relax with friends and enjoy movies as a treat at the end of what has been a busy and different half-term. The pancakes also looked very good…

So, snow, science, and slumber. The less somnambulistic will have realised that in the very best traditions of Sesame Street this column is brought to you by the letter “S”. There are another two I’d like to mention before I sign off for the half-term: students and staff. This has been a half term in which we have seen challenges. All have been met with enthusiasm by our young people. From the trials of what I think were the only “real” mock exams to be taken in the entire world to learning with masks on all the time, I have been impressed with the way that our students have met everything thrown at them with customary BSP good humour. To staff a massive thank you for all you have done to keep lessons on track, spirits high, paths clear, administration smooth and learning exciting.

So, my final S of the half term is simply success. We have much to celebrate. Pupils are to be congratulated on the work that they have completed. They can reflect on all the things that they now know that previously they did not and all that they can do that previously they could not. Schools are simple places to understand when success surrounds.

See you next half-term. Stay safe.

Nicholas Hammond