“And now we welcome the new year…”

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

It is true that the school year has a particular rhythm, it moves along at a pace that is to be expected. There is the excitement of the start of the new term in September, the busy joyfulness of the end of the autumn term and the predictably slightly flat start of the spring term in January. Whilst this may well be the case for most schools and many school years, that hasn’t been the case this year. My thinking has been modified over the last few days because we’ve been busy, we’ve welcomed new pupils, enjoyed having visitors and are looking ahead to what is in store for the rest of the term. It has been anything but flat as a start of term. We’ve started the year at a sprint.

First and foremost, welcome to our new families. The BSP is a warm community, and we are all looking forward to getting to know you. One of the unique features of life at the BSP is that no-one stays “new” for very long, in our dynamic environment we are well used to making joiners feel welcome very quickly and ensuring that they feel at home as soon as possible. Where questions arise then please ask – an answer is usually easy to give. We are delighted to have so many new families joining us at what is for some the start of the academic year and for others is a mid-year transfer.

Spare a thought for our hardworking Year 11 and Year 13 pupils who have had the New Year treat of exams over the past week. These exams are important wayposts on the journey to academic success and fantastic results in the summer. Arguably they are a greater challenge than the real thing as preparation is short, not every course had covered all of the material and skills have yet to be honed in readiness for the summer. Results now will be used carefully and give teachers the opportunity to tailor provision to the needs of students; whilst a good result is satisfying, spotting where more work is required is perhaps an equal achievement at this point in the year.

It has been a week of visits as well as a time for settling back into school life. We were delighted to welcome Mme Alexandra Dublanche, her Choose Paris Region team and our Croissy Mayor, M. Davin so they could see the school and be able to make our offer more widely known. I know that all left school with no doubt that ours is a unique and vibrant environment, and who would not when treated to an impromptu performance of Pitter Patter Raindrops by Reception, a chance encounter with a class of Victorian children and their rather terrifying teachers (Year 2) and a high-level discussion about the habits and lifestyles of penguins (Nursery)? We also had the chance to show our school to Mr. Greg Mulheirn our new British Embassy representative on the Governing Board. Mr. Mulheirn is well versed in school governance having served in this capacity at the British School of Tokyo. He comes with a wealth of experience and will work with us alongside his day job as liaison representative for the Rugby World Cup and 2024 Olympics.

While the weather may well be miserable, the BSP is warming up. It is going to be a great year and this weekly newsletter will chronicle our achievements.

Nicholas Hammond