The View From My Study – 16th June

If one could capture the Biltonian spirit in a single day, then last Saturday would be close to the perfect example.

Even without the glorious sunshine, the heat of competition during the morning’s Sports Day events would have warmed even the coldest veins. As it was, the sun’s rays only added to the atmosphere where individual skill and talent were complemented by teamwork, encouragement, perseverance and resilience. Although there were losers as well as winners, it was a joyous occasion, typified by the Tug o’ War event, which saw enthusiastic roars break the scale of delight. Just brilliant!

Not long after the Sports Day picnics were cleared, an Old Biltonian cricket match started. With the Faders taking on an OB XI captained by Mr Nicholson’s son, Christian, the elder statesman was there, as umpire, to ensure the spirit of friendly competition continued through the afternoon. It was lovely to welcome back OBs of all ages, on and off the pitch, who demonstrated their continuing fondness for their old school. And they won, too!

To round off proceedings, the Wild Gardens were transformed into a party paradise for the White Lights in the Woods spectacular. With bohemian-chic woodland bars, the Big Sing Choir, a live band and a DJ spinning the discs from the back of the funkiest Land Rover you’re ever likely to see, it was a truly memorable – and very fun – night.

What unites all these events, and the reason it was such a special day, is the spirit of togetherness. But, the funny thing is, I have felt it every day since, and in a much broader context too. Between Sunday and last night, Katie Gedye and I have been at Rugby School Thailand, attending the first colloquium of the Rugby School Group, where senior leaders from all four schools in the group – Rugby UK, Bilton Grange, Rugby Thailand and Rugby Japan – came together to discuss educational strategy and areas in which we can collaborate more closely, including on the academic and co-curricular front. There are some great minds in the group and the chance to share ideas, create partnerships, problem-solve and align, has been – and will be – so valuable for BG, its pupils and staff. Togetherness around the globe!

Reports from the pupils’ trips this week are full of teamwork and camaraderie too, to further extend the point. To finish this week’s piece though, it is apt to mention individual success: today is the day when the 6th Form leavers find out their CE and exam results and I took great satisfaction in telling them all (via Teams since they were still on the Isle of Wight) the news that they had each passed into their first-choice senior schools. Much whooping, hugging, hi-fiving and fist-bumping followed to round off a brilliant week.

Happy exeat weekend everyone!

Gareth Jones, Headmaster

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