Our assembly and theme for the week considered the importance of friendship and the skills we all need to be and make good friends. Navigating and nurturing friendship is an essential aspect of life and we quite rightly commit time and energy to helping our children manage and develop these skills, from the very early socialization aspects of school life through to the more complex relationships we discuss as part of our PSHE programme.

Friendships surround us every day but my inspirational focus for this week looked at several examples from life at BPS and from the world around us. Just last week we were inspired by the friendships being made between our school and the elderly residents of Signature and Belvedere House care homes and we also explored some amazing examples in nature where animals help and support each other through symbiotic relationships. We celebrated that Friendship can transcend the greatest of differences. 

Looking further afield, I am sure that many people have seen or read about the extraordinary bond between former Rugby League players Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrows. After a glittering professional domestic and international playing career, Rob announced in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease.  Following his diagnosis, his teammate and friend Kevin wanted to support Rob and help others with MND by raising funds and awareness. So begun a truly inspiring series of events which have led to Kevin raising over £8 million and culminated in the incredible scenes earlier this month from the inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, where Kevin had pushed his friend around the 26.2 mile course in a specially adapted wheelchair and then carried him over the finishing line. A remarkable bond of friendship, forged on the Sport field but going so far beyond.  

“To raise money for the MND Association and the Leeds Hospitals Charity is really important, but this is also about a celebration of friendship.” 

As I write, we continue to enjoy the wonderful photos and stories from the Yr 6 trip to Spain. With regular updates from the staff it sounds as though the children are having a wonderful time in the sunshine, relaxing and enjoying their last weeks together as a BPS year group. These friendships have grown, changed and developed over the years and we are confident that many of the children will stay in touch with each other as they embark on the next step of their educational journey, but will all look back at their time together with fondness and lots of memories. 

At BPS we believe in celebrating the wonderful differences of friendships and reminding ourselves what we need to do to be a good friend, making our school a great place to be.