The Head Master with Prep pupils

Head Master's Blog

Autumn Term 2017

Having been in schools for 20 years, I have become accustomed to a certain look in a parent’s eyes on the first day back after the summer break. That mixture of relief and joy, tinged with a dash of anxiety – I have been there myself so know well the challenges faced with entertaining the children for most of July and August, not to mention the staggering food bills! However you feel about the start of the new term, I do hope that you have managed to enjoy the summer break and are refreshed and ready for all that lies ahead.

Reading Reading

ReadingSince the end of term, there has been plenty still going on in school. The Prep Library has had a make-over and is now a far warmer and welcoming environment for the children to access every day, thanks in no small part to the generosity of our FoBP Committee who have kindly provided some lovely new rugs and cosy beanbags for the children to snuggle into when reading. The rather soggy start of the term has provided an opportunity for them to do just that, much to their delight. The huge job of preparing for the introduction of Accelerated Reader has been completed and Mrs Southgate has added ‘School Librarian’ to her already lengthy job description, but the end result is that we are ready and raring to go with this exciting enhancement to our educational offering.

School changing rooms do not always conjure up the greatest of visual pictures but over the holidays, ours have been transformed, much to the amazement of the children as they walked in for the first time. The new space is a huge improvement for our boys and girls, with plenty of room and modern facilities for them to fully utilise, especially through the wetter days. I am indebted to our Assistant Bursar (Estates), James Halton who worked so hard to ensure that the project was finished in time for the first day back.

Girls in the playground Boys in the playground

As well as new facilities, we also welcome two new members of staff to BPS. Miss Steel joins us in Year One and Mr Martin in Year Five, and both have really enjoyed their first week. Thank you for making them feel so welcome. Girls playingI should also mention that Miss Howlett became Mrs Morris over the summer break having married (obviously) Mr Morris. They had a beautiful wedding and I am sure that you will join me in wishing them every happiness in the future.

The term started with Pre-season hockey and rugby for Years 3 to 6 on Wednesday and then two days of school in which children got back into the swing of things, ably helped to remember the key details by Mr Howkins during our first Prep assembly. His knowledge of the particulars of the school day were challenged by Miss Roberts who took him on in a competition entitled ‘So you think you know BPS?’ and what a competition it proved to be, much to the delight of the children. We have made some changes to the timetable this year including the introduction of a daily, 30 minute Accelerated Reader period, so the timings for the afternoons are a little different, not that this fazed our pupils of course. Girls playingWe have also brought in a new Management Information System called iSAMS and this is going to provide us with a very powerful tool with which to manage and fully utilise the wealth of information that we have on the children. The staff have been very supportive of the changes and I know that they are keen to explore to full potential of this industry leading MIS.

I am always keen to share as much as I can with parents and this blog provides an opportunity to mention developments and to reflect on life at school. There is a great deal that goes on and I am acutely aware that it can be quite a challenge to keep up to speed with it all. On Friday the first iLetter of the year went out and at the start of next week the ‘Welcome’ meetings begin, so there will be a number of opportunities to hear more about what we have planned for the year ahead. In a slight change to previous years, all parents of children in Years 3 to 6 will also have the chance to visit their child’s form room and to spend time with their child’s form teacher, ensuring that lines of communication are as open as they can be. Please do join us at these meetings if you can. As well as on our school website, this fortnightly blog will also appear on Twitter and on Facebook so do feel free to like or share if you feel so inclined.

I look forward to seeing you during the weeks ahead.

Mon 11th Sept 2017, 08:57