Think Big, Aim High

An aspect of a Bickley Park boy’s education that is exceptional is his exposure to amazing adults who have achieved something remarkable in their lives. On average, twice a term, an interesting speaker visits the school to tell the boys about, and sometimes demonstrate, something fascinating they have accomplished.

In the last four or so years the boys have been able to learn from:

  • A man who set a world record for rowing across the Atlantic single-handed
  • The world renowned stuntman who jumped out of a helicopter dressed as The Queen at the 2012 Olympics
  • Veterans who participated in the first wave of attacks at D Day
  • An actor from Downton Abbey
  • Brian Blessed
  • An ex-captain of the All Blacks rugby team
  • Athletics star Dina Asher-Smith
  • The lead detective from the Jill Dando and Damilola Taylor investigations
  • The Queen’s personal body guard
  • Adventure traveller Charlie Walker
  • Ben Fogle
  • One of the world’s leading experts on the Magna Carta
  • The personal biographer of the last four Prime Ministers, and BPS old boy, Anthony Seldon
  • World Paralympic downhill ski champion and water ski champion Sean Rose
  • Ex hostages Terry Waite and John McCarthy
  • Five old boys of the school who have chosen to pursue careers voted by Y1-8 boys as their top five job choices for the future, including Seni Majekodunmi, logistics manager for the England football team

This terrific cast list has broadened the boys’ horizons and shown them what can be achieved by those who have a dream and the perseverance, courage, talent and grit to achieve it.

Three years ago, the BPSA (school parents’ association) purchased two outdoor table football tables for the boys. In the intervening time, I have watched, with interest, the impressive acquisition of skills by boys playing in their break times. In all conditions, the boys, particularly from Year 5, are refining their skills.

When Mr Patel recently became aware that an old boy of the school, Reiss Vydelingum, had become a table tennis international, he invited him, and a fellow team member, to BPS to talk to the boys and do a masterclass. They came to the school this morning. Reiss, currently a pupil at Whitgift School, is part of a team of four who recently won 535 out of 536 games in the process of becoming national champions. He will shortly represent Great Britain as one of 24 teams competing in the world championships in Malta.

Reiss’ coach spoke to the boys before the demonstration about the qualities needed not just to become a table tennis international, but to be successful in any sphere of life: dedication, diligence perseverance, passion and the ability to listen to, and act upon, good advice.

Experiences like this will hopefully inspire Bickley Park boys to think big and aim high whilst developing the mind set to accomplish things that might one day enable them to return to their school and inspire future generations to aspire, endeavour and achieve.