The View From My Study – 8th September

A new academic year. A new opportunity. A new haircut. A new uniform (for some). New ambitions. New expectations. New successes. And new challenges.

This new year offers the chance to look forward with hope and determination. Yet it is also a good moment to look back and reflect, for it sometimes helps to be reminded about the journey so far.

This sentiment is very much in mind as we consider our 150th birthday as a school. This is an opportunity to celebrate our past as we embrace our future and nowhere is this more neatly captured than in the building of the new boarding house. We are taking an aspect of school life that has stood at its core since its founding, a tradition that not every school upholds, and we’re giving it a modern and life-enhancing twist which will stand-out in the future.

Last night, some colleagues and I ventured to Staffordshire to see where it all began. Reverend Walter Earle, our first Headmaster, rented Yarlet Hall from the estate of the late Henry Tunnicliffe and in 1873 started a school. Fourteen years later he found a bigger and better site in Dunchurch and so he moved with all but a few staff and pupils to Warwickshire and here we have remained ever since.

After Rev’d Earle left Yarlet, a different proprietor seized the opportunity to educate and slowly developed a new school which still continues today as a prep school of around 150 pupils. Last night’s gathering between dignitaries of each school was an effort to clink glasses and celebrate the foundation of both schools since each can claim to have provided an education throughout the last 150 years!

Historical records and testaments from former pupils and colleagues show Rev’d Earle had faith, energy, courage and vision as well as, above all, the power to inspire the community around him. By looking back, we can learn from this example and be ambitious in our plans as we look to the future.

So, happy birthday Yarlet Hall; happy birthday Bilton Grange; and thank you Rev’d Earle for starting it all. I do hope you, as parents, will join us at our launch party next Friday evening. Tickets for the event can be bought here: tickets for BG150 launch party.

Have a good weekend!

Gareth Jones, Headmaster

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