The View From My Study – 24th March

Until Tuesday evening this week, I was one of the few people in the world, it seemed, who had never seen Matilda, in any form. Not even the Danny Devito film from 1996. I read the book when I was young, but where have I been hiding since? What a great story from which we can all learn!

With a name that literally means ‘strength in battle’, Matilda the character demonstrates to us that sometimes we have to fight to change the unfairness of life. Born into an uncaring family, she realises that books and education hold the key to a better life and she learns that if something is not right, you have to look at yourself to put it right; you cannot always wait for others to do it. She also shows us that one’s size is irrelevant to success and achievement.

This production was colourful and vibrant, humorous and poignant, and it was easy to forget that the actors were all aged between 11 and 13 years. With a soundtrack of foot-tapping rhythms, enhanced by some outstanding singing and choreography as well as great costumes and clever scenery, this was a production that screamed enjoyment. My thanks to Kim Thompson who directed and everyone else who helped to stage the show. It was worth all the effort.

We said goodbye on Wednesday to Ella Powell who leaves the Pre-Prep to start a new career with the police, and Kalynn Branston today, who is heading off on maternity leave; we wish them both well. We also said goodbye today to Jo Scanlon who leaves us after nine years to become the Assistant Head Academic at Maidwell Hall School. As Head of English, Jo has instilled a love of reading and writing in many Biltonians. She has encouraged countless numbers to enter the OWL poetry competition and calmed many nerves with advice before a Carol Service reading. Jo’s kind and caring nature has been at the heart of all her schools roles, whether it be tutor, teacher, coach or mentor. She has done it all and she will be missed, of course. We wish her all the best for her next adventure.

And so… with the ‘revolting children’s’ singing from yesterday evening still ringing in my ears, complemented by this morning’s Easter service and a final Prize Giving, we reach the end of term. I wish you all a very good holiday and some cherished family time. I would like to say a big thank you to all my colleagues at Bilton Grange for all their efforts this term. As always, they have been dedicated to their tasks and sought to make the School as happy a place as it can be. Happy holidays, everyone!

Gareth Jones, Headmaster

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Headmaster’s Welcome