Another amazing and busy school year has come to an end and the holidays are here. So busy in fact that the Head’s Blog got forgotten about!
It has been a year of change and innovation but the central core and values that make Byron a unique school clearly continue to run through these changes and initiatives. We have striven to continually enrich the learning experience of the school day by initiating many diverse activities such as the introduction of lunch time music concerts and the founding of our school choir.
We celebrated Einstein’s birthday for the first time with a wonderful morning of activities and we held our first ever History and Geography exhibition in the Primary school.
We have participated in Model United Nations conferences, debate tournaments and the Panhellenic Forensic tournament.
We have raised money and awareness by participating in, and watching, dares and challenges supporting unaccompanied refugee minors and by welcoming these young people into our school to play football and chess with us after school.
Our pupils have volunteered in soup kitchens and continued to support and many other charities as well as volunteering within the school.
I know that there are many more initiatives that I have failed to mention and none of these would have been possible without the continued and dedicated support of our teachers.
We have also seen the introduction of new courses into the curriculum, as we promised this time last year; Philosophy for Children, The Big History Project and Debate and will be introducing two more courses next year, Global Perspectives GCE and A Level Economics, because we recognize the importance and benefit of continual development and opportunity.
I am sure every pupil and every member of staff have moments, be they in or outside the classroom, which stand out in their memories. Those ‘wow’ moments when we, as teachers, remember why we love teaching and, as pupils, we remember why we love school. One of those moments for me was having a Geography lesson with 25 exhilarated pupils sitting at the summit of a volcano in Iceland, gazing out at a vast panorama of ice and snow covered plains and volcanoes.
Another was during a Year 6 debate class while debating the pros and cons of space exploration. One pupils supporting space exploration stated that denying space exploration ‘is like living in your home and not knowing your address’; to which an instant rebut came back from the opposing side ‘but if you are okay in that home, why do you need to know your address?’ Not bad thinking for eleven year olds!
And another example was when a Year 3 pupil, while contemplating the theme of invisibility during Philosophy, told us that when he was about to fall asleep he often wondered if he really was who he thought he was or if his dreams were the real world.
Another special moment was when a joyful pupil told me that she just could not stop smiling as she sat around the table for afternoon tea. Another told his parents after the tea that he had felt as if he had been in paradise!
These examples are just a few of my own small, personal snapshots of school life in a rich album collected throughout the year but are indicative of the deep learning experiences and the fun that are part of our daily life at Byron College.
‘A large family NOT a small school” is how one pupil recently described Byron and that, I believe, is how we all feel about our school. And as a true family we grow and develop and continually strive to be the very best we can.
Our website and new Yearbook are full of photographs of the year that has passed. Our graduating pupils have their own albums in their heads of the most meaningful and memorable moments of their lives at Byron College. I know that they are going into the world with the ability to never stop learning, to adapt, to change and to grow because the ethos of Byron College is part of them.
My advice to all our pupils moving on to their tertiary education is to never stop working on the best you can be. My advice to our continuing pupils is the same. Education is a lifelong endeavour and challenge which enriches life.
Happy holidays everyone and see you in September!
Head of Primary School