Dear Parents,

I love my mantras. One of my favourites is, “Children First”. You will by now have heard me say (many times) how education has become very over complicated. Standards are raised in schools by a focus on the basics and a commonsense approach to all things. School leadership is demanding, challenging and it is certainly not for the faint hearted, but it isn’t complicated. I find that when faced with difficult decisions or circumstances, using the philosophy, “Children First” usually brings a clear answer. Is this best for children? Is this in the interests of children? Will this make a better educational experience for our children? If the answer is yes it is generally the right one. You don’t need to read leadership books to know that.

Another of my favourite mantras: “You get what you accept”. When people ask me - and many have - what was the key to success at our school in the UK, I think it really can be distilled down into one very simple, but important element: high expectations. Expecting the absolute best from the children at all times, their effort, their presentation, their behaviour. Believing that “all children can” and that to accept less than that does them a huge disservice. Having sky high expectations of every child, every day, no excuses. Demanding the best will usually get the best.

You won't see me on the gate in the morning. At 8.45 every day I meet, on a 1-to-1 basis, with every child; I have started with Year 11. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know each student, talking to them about their lives, questioning them about their studies, hearing from them about their experience at BIC - what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. They tell it how it is and it is giving me further useful insight into the school. It is the highlight of my day and a wonderful way to start it. Just as reading the newsletter each week on a Friday and communicating with you is a great way to end it.

Kind regards,

Alison Colwell


BIC, Sa Porrassa