The musical, Oliver, was always a favourite of mine growing up and it was a great privilege for me during my early years of teaching to put on a performance of it with a large group of Year 7 students. I will always remember the haunting version of Who Will Buy where one student in particular suddenly came out of their shell with an exquisite angelic voice. However, it was the rousing rendition of Consider Yourself that will forever hold a place in my heart. For you see, we had become a big family by the point the show was put on and the words resonated with us all.
It is events like this, drama productions, music concerts, school trips and sporting events, where students and teachers work hard together, outside of the usual classroom experience, where strong bonds are made through camaraderie. We have so many opportunities like this at BGS, with over 50 co-curricular clubs per week, a myriad of performance opportunities and countless fixtures over the year. Our students relish the opportunity to try out new things, to find their passions and to work as part of a team; all essential skills for life, but more importantly, great fun!
We are at the time of year where our Year 6s are beginning to think about their transition to the Senior School and it has been a great pleasure for me to get to know them better. They have so many interests from sport to music, to baking and travelling, to drama and art, whilst many have the common BGS trait of being an animal lover! However, what was clear is that although they are obviously very excited about their move up, there is also some trepidation. This is completely normal. However, we find that students in Year 7 (and in our other year groups) usually settle very quickly, with the support of our outstanding pastoral team and through getting involved in clubs, activities and teams, which are great ways of making new friends. In particular, in Year 7 the students participate in the House Pantomime competition, with the Year 12s directing. The teamwork across both year groups cements the students’ feelings of belonging, and it is always such raucous fun.
I can’t believe that I have only been at BGS for 18 months myself; I have been so truly welcomed by the community, even more impressive considering I couldn’t meet many people in person for the first year. I love how our community nurtures one another, how we find the joy in what we do in the classroom and how we celebrate each other’s achievements. It truly is a wonderful environment for students and staff alike. And I feel sure that any students who might be joining us in the future will soon recognise the feeling epitomised in these words:
“Consider yourself at home
Consider yourself one of the family
We’ve taken to you so strong
It’s clear we’re going to get along”