“Variety is the soul of pleasure.” – The Rover, Aphra Behn

If variety is the spice of life, then its importance in school is vastly underrated. Variety is more than the spice, it is a crucial, a core ingredient. I would go so far as to say that if we don’t have variety in school then we go stale very quickly indeed. So, to start, a quick quiz…

Minister Franck Riester visits the BSP

What links: a government minister, a pipe cleaner buttonhole decoration, a tug of war, an assembly held in person, pupils interviewing school governors, Irish dancing, a whole school macarena and a huge cake icing competition? The answer is as I am sure you have guessed, a week at the BSP. This week in fact.

Over the last two years we have, for very good reasons, been circumspect in the offer that we have made to our pupils. We’ve stayed in bubbles, our assemblies have been by Teams or recorded, and we have had our lessons. It is the bits around the edge that have been missing, the things that don’t happen every week, but do happen from time to time. These are the things that are often most memorable. It is great to have them back. In this variety we find great enjoyment.

It isn’t every day that a pupil has the chance to ask questions of a senior politician, but this week our pupils engaged Minister Franck Riester in debate. In the Junior School the first “in person” assembly was held in two years and how good it was for the community to come together for celebration and reflection. All those involved in and all those who watched the BSP Great International Bake off will not forget the creations that were produced in a hurry. Add to that Sports Relief activities and you get the picture of what has been a varied and enjoyable week. I certainly appreciated the staff team’s mighty victory in this morning’s tug of war, and it isn’t every day I have the chance to sport a magnificent pipe cleaner creation in the buttonhole of my jacket. These things don’t happen every day, but they do stay in the memory.

We have learnt a good deal about school and about ourselves over the past two years. We’ve got on with school and we should be thankful that we have not missed many days of learning. We should also be thankful that as we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, we can return to a bit of variety in our routine. This will undoubtedly enrich our experiences in school. We need something different every now and again. Next week we will be treated to the Year 6 show and from what I’ve seen of the rehearsal it will be a barnstorming epic – Ye Ha!

Nicholas Hammond