As Bickley Park reaches the end of its centenary year, I thought, for my final blog of the academic year 2018/19, it would great to recount what an amazing experience it has been.
In centenary year, we looked back to the school’s interesting past; forwards to an amazing future and outwards when we celebrated community and its importance to Bickley Park.
The Power of 99
The whole school community attempted to set a world record for the most 99 ice creams eaten at one time. All involved were filmed by drone morphing from a huge 99 to a huge 100 to mark the curtain raiser for our centenary year. Funds raised paid for a visit by four boys from Gujarat, India.
BPS travelled back in time to experience ‘old school’ education when ‘silence was golden’ and children were ‘seen but not heard’. Arriving with a genuine old penny, to pay for their lunch, the boys experienced ‘The Three Rs’ and whole school drill in the morning, followed by activities previously experienced by Bickley Park boys, including balsa wood model making and boxing.
Hundreds of old boys descended on their alma mater to recount tales of yore and meet four ex-Headmasters and the daughters of two others, collectively spanning almost the school’s entire history: the oldest of the lot, Edward Childs, has since sadly died.
Enid Blyton Day
She has sold in excess of 600 million books, is the fifth biggest selling fiction author of all time and taught at Bickley Park. Enid Blyton Day celebrated the authoress’ association with our school and the work she produced for children which has been enjoyed for almost a hundred years.
An Historic Fixture Card
Bickley Park rugby teams travelled to the home ground of European champions, Saracens, to take on two 13+ Prep Schools previously located next to BPS: Amesbury and St Hugh’s. The two competitor schools relocated at the end of World War I and beginning of World War II respectively to Surrey and Oxfordshire. BPS received the U10 and U11 trophies from Canadian international, Richard Thorpe.
Future Day transported Bickley Park forward into schooling experts suggest children might experience in the future. Technology played a key part in the day, supplemented by six skills for the future: adaptability, collaboration, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence and problem solving, with an emphasis on boys making their own choices about what they wanted to learn.
A time capsule was filled with items created by the boys, representing life at BPS in 2019 and predictions for what the future world will be like in 2069. The time capsule will be installed behind a Perspex cover in a wall of the new science labs.
BPS boys in Reception-Year 8 were asked what careers they were considering for the future. A careers event responded to the more popular choices and introduced the boys to new ones too. 40 stands, run by parents and external organisations, ran practical activities to introduce BPS boys, and children from St George’s Primary School, to the world of work. Tech owner of ‘Fanbytes’, Ambrose Cooke, delivered an inspiring talk about how he built a multi-millionaire business by the age of 20.
107 boys opted to take part in an event aimed at challenging their skills as entrepreneurs. Some set up individual, and others group, businesses using an investment of £10 provided by the school. A fantastic array of ideas led to the generation of thousands of pounds, most of which was divided between a national and international charity.
The whole school looked outwards in Community Week. Boys:
CO: Collaborated by working together on group activities during the first day.
MM: Celebrated ‘Me and My Community’ by interacting with different communities within the school and local area.
UN: Learned about their global community during United Nations Day.
IT(Y): Undertook technology based activities to mark the part tech is playing in connecting our global community.
BPSA Centenary Ball
The parents’ association delivered a memorable ball. The thousands of pounds donated through the generousity of the parent body will pay for the refurbishment of the swimming pool facilities for the benefit of both the school and local community.
Centenary Street Party
During the consultation that took place when planning the centenary year, the Pre-Prep’s number one request was to have a party, with bouncy castles. BPS delivered, with a sports hall crammed with inflatables; entertainers, stalls, party food and a huge cake built in the shape of the original school building.