It is a rather unusual week here at School as our Year 8 students spend time away in the Welsh town of Aberdovey experiencing a full range of outdoor activities in coastal and mountain environments; all designed to help them become more confident and resilient both in and out of school. Our Year 7 students, meanwhile, are enjoying two days of outdoor pursuits locally, involving both water and dry land, and three days at the Bushcraft camp in Northamptonshire which includes sleeping under canvas.
Such courses are designed to understand the needs of each individual, but at the same time to promote learning and leadership through exciting and challenging activities. I consider such trips to be hugely important and they form an integral part of our educational philosophy here at BMS. They also happen to be great fun and hugely rewarding. Students remember these opportunities fondly for many years afterwards and I am grateful to all those members of staff who make them a reality.
Closer to home, students in Years 9 to 13 are concentrating on examinations which makes for an eerie feel to the place as the corridors and classrooms remain unusually quiet. I confess that I rather miss the hustle and bustle of normal school life!
From time to time, stories emerge about one of more of our students which really make me smile. One such story is that of Year 12 student Greg May who made his on-screen debut recently as the 14 year-old Elton John’s hand double in the recently released ‘Rocketman’. Greg, I understand, had to send off a photo of his hands and a video of himself playing the extract of music needed, Mozart’s ‘Turkish March’, which was the piece Elton had to play when he auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music back in the day. What a claim to fame!
Another was the story behind the Joseph Beastall tree which can be found outside the Rutherford Building. In 2009 Joseph, then in Year 3, won a logo design competition organised by the School’s Environment Group and the tree, planted in his name, was the prize. Ten years on both the tree and its namesake have matured significantly!