“To expect the unexpected…”

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.”

Oscar Wilde

This term we haven’t quite seen it all but there have been a few moments of unanticipated excitement. On a Friday a few weeks ago a digger driver on a building site in Nanterre severed our internet cable and cut off our access. It was all back by Monday, and it was good to know that the whole of Croissy was not denied access for the entire weekend. If you ever want to see a look of genuine panic on the face of teenagers just tell them that it looks like they won’t have access to the internet for a weekend – truth be told many were quick to let me know that they had already considered contingency arrangements but there was a flash of panic. At the start of the half term holiday a tree on the riverbank entered the school site (entry was unplanned) and it made a mess of the fence, once again all was put right soon enough. Some of you may have spotted the small tree stumps around the Christmas tree on Saturday at the Fair – we’ve benefitted from the tree’s misfortune! We’ve had just about every type of weather (often in the same day) throughout this half term. It is also worth remembering that this is a term that started bathed in sunshine and finishes rather soggy with rain. We’ve welcomed new pupils and bid farewell in equal measure and as we draw to the end of another eventful term, we will say good luck to pupils who depart for the next part of their educational journey.

So, whilst there are new and different challenges there is also much that remains the same. This is perhaps a mark of our school values. Events occur but the spirit that underpins the school remains the same. On Wednesday night a group of senior pupils played for the residents of a local care home, others have supported the special school in St. Germain, not for any credit or praise but because they know it is the right thing to do. Kindness in this challenging time has been evident and with another magnificent collection of Love in a Box we can be certain that this kindness extends far beyond our school gates. The BSPS took the bold decision to relocate the Christmas Fair – it was the first time outside and what a triumph it was. Out thanks to Mrs. Matthews and her excellent team who made a much-needed social event happen. Along the way they also raised a staggering amount for our partner schools in Cambodia.

Pupils are seeing the benefit of their hard work in ever rising assessment grades and our most senior pupils are being recognised with university offers from around the world as well as the UK and France. Whilst all around may have been uncertain, and we’ve faced our fair share of random unexpected challenges as a school, the pupils have carried on with their all-important task of learning.

Normality tends to be seen as being a little bit dull. This term normality has been welcome. We’ve run clubs after school and benefitted from trips. As we draw to an end of this marathon term it is good to recognise that it has been both fulfilling and enriching. Congratulations are due to the pupils for all of their efforts both in and out of the classroom. Thanks are due to colleagues for their dedication and unwavering support of those in their care, and also thanks to parents, your support of the school is greatly appreciated.

The coming weeks will give the opportunity to refresh and recharge. A New Year awaits and whilst there will be challenges, we have in all that has been achieved this term the right to feel confident that we are more than ready to meet what 2022 may bring.

Nicholas Hammond



“There is no such thing as bad weather…”

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

John Ruskin

It is lost in the midst of time as to whether it was a host of Scandinavian mums or Billy Connolly who first said that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Whoever it was, they had a point. Connolly, who hails from Glasgow, knows a thing or two about rain and he is a vocal proponent of raincoats, while Scandinavian wisdom has brought us the concept of friluftsliv or open-air living. Both are instructive exhortations to get out there and enjoy yourself whatever the local meteorology may be doing. My own mother used to remind my brothers and I that skin is waterproof, which I now understand is both biologically inaccurate and is probably a sure-fire way of getting hypothermia, but it speaks to the same spirit of resilience.

Tomorrow is the Christmas Fair and all week our maintenance team have been readying the front of the Senior School for the event; a winter wonderland has emerged from the autumnal gloom and I know that the BSPS will have a wonderful array of treats and activities to enjoy. Alongside that many involved have been anxiously checking weather apps and looking to the skies for the answer to the question what will the weather be like on Saturday? I am no meteorologist, but I am British and so the weather is an endless source of fascination, my prediction is that it may be rather chilly and there is a danger of it being a bit damp. It may well rain. So, if tomorrow you glance out of the window and think you might be put off by the weather then please put on a suitable collection of layers and remember your raincoat… as a community we need to have chances to congregate safely and there is plenty of space for all to enjoy this festive event. Please do come along and enjoy all that is on offer as it promises to be a great way to start the season of goodwill. Tom Lehrer once quipped that “bad weather always looks worse through a window”, and I agree.

Resilience is one of those buzz-words that flies around the educational firmament with great regularity. It is an important concept, and it concerns not just the ability to dress appropriately for the weather or to go outside, but to be mentally prepared to withstand all that is thrown at us. Our young people face another period of anxiety and uncertainty and having seen them cope well in the recent past I have no doubt that they will do so again. We need to do as much as we can to carry on as normal. It is a fact that young people are capable of extraordinary feats. Earlier this term I visited a nursery and pre-school that has no buildings, it takes place outdoors whatever the weather. Whilst our pupils have buildings, we are spending more time out of doors and this has to be seen as a good thing, after all we have a magnificent location and enjoy the benefit of space. They are developing reserves of resilience and I hope that they will put this spirit to good use in these last two weeks of the longest term in the school year.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, dressed for the weather and ready to demonstrate the formidable spirit of the BSP- we will enjoy ourselves! Have a most restful weekend.

Mr Hammond