The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” is attributed to various African cultures and the phrase has several literal translations as a result. This one from Kijiita, an area of northern Tanzania it sums up the ethos pretty well for my thinking:

“Omwana ni wa bhone,” meaning regardless of a child’s biological parents, its upbringing belongs to the community.

I chose this particular translation because, like so many aspects of life, I discovered a wonderful coincidence, reminding me that the world is often very small and intriguingly connected. A few days ago we welcomed families joining BPS into Nursery or Reception to a Superhero Training event and during a conversation with one family I learnt that they were from Tanzania. This is somewhere I have been lucky enough to visit and we shared stories of those experiences and travel in general. It is a remarkable coincidence that when researching this theme, that this specific region should appear as one of the cultures that embodies this philosophy, something I witnessed first-hand.

My inspiration had in fact been our BPS Fest last weekend. The sun shone on a glorious community event, full of fun and enjoyment, brilliantly led and supported by the BPSA. There were hundreds of families at school over the course of the afternoon and it was very clear how close our families are and the bonds of friendship bring a community together. The support and influence others have on how our children grow and learn is very powerful and provides excellent opportunities to develop essential skills for life. It was something we all missed during COVID and when the different teachers and staff delivering our curriculum are added to the mix, we can reinforce these skills, help children to adjust to different styles and provide variety and interest as well as subject expertise. It is a model we are very proud of as we see how enriching it is for our children.

A community approach to educating children takes many forms here at BPS and just in this last week I have seen many examples. From the interactions of our Year 6 leaders guiding younger children to class in the mornings to parents, friends, aunts, uncles and grandparents helping with drop off and collection. Also our governors visiting school this week to support our teachers and children and gathering for our termly meeting last night. I feel very thankful for the depth of support our school has.

Our community spirit has been superb this year and we are immensely grateful to the BPSA and all of our parents for their support of school events. I will write in greater detail in my end of year letter but I wanted to say a special thank you for the BPS Fest and the hard work it took to organise and run. There were so many parents helping on stalls and providing support, it was wonderful to see.