Dear families,

Well, the year we will always remember! What a year it has been in so many ways. However, after going through the most draconian lockdown in Europe last school year, with children being out of the school building for 6 months, I was determined, on our return, to have, as much as possible, business as usual. I stressed to our staff, back in September, the “C” words that are far more important to us than the current pandemic one – curriculum, children, culture, character, care, compassion, creativity, curiosity, challenge. This term we have continued with outstanding teaching and learning across the school, and in addition held a wealth of extra-curricular activities and events, that are such an important part of a great school. We held science week, recycling week, kindness week. We held inter-House competitions, ran a debate club, organised sporting fixtures. We held highly successful online parent consultation afternoons and hosted numerous webinars to give parents additional information, on myriad matters from our sixth form, English as an Additional Language support, revision for exams and the transition to secondary school. We are currently rehearsing for our pantomime, we recorded our carol service, our students and staff sported colourful Christmas jumpers, and, as I write this, I can hear Year 5 practising their Christmas rendition of “Rockin' Robin” to perform, socially distanced, at pick up this afternoon! It is a source of great pride to me to see how my team’s tremendous skill, professionalism and dedication to our students has been so much in evidence this term, as well as the resilience, adaptability and all-round wonderfulness of our students.

I keep getting asked the same 3 questions by staff, parents and, indeed, students, so thought I would take this opportunity to answer them! Do I regret coming here, have I ever, as a school leader, known a time of such challenge and how long will I stay! Regret coming here? - never, not for one second. Leading BIC is a privilege and one I am relishing and giving my everything to. No, I have never gone through the challenges of the last year, but then I am quite sure that all of us can say the same. Personally and professionally it has been daunting, but with the excellent team I have around me, the support of Orbital and yourselves, and staying focused at all times on my mantra of, "children first", it is a challenge I hope I have lived up to! And as to the third question, I have no plans to go anywhere else, and all the time that there is a job to be done here, and my (by now) well-known ambition to make BIC the number one school. I am surrounded by outstanding teachers, and delightful children and young people, and have actually, in the year that we have all gone through, never felt more blessed.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement that so many of you have given to myself and my team, through your kind emails and positive feedback. I wish you and all your loved ones the best Christmas possible, and here's to us all looking and praying for a happier and healthier 2021.

Kind regards,

Alison Colwell


BIC Sa Porrassa