Fourteen months after my appointment, my wife, Jules, and I were touched and elevated by the Commissioning Service, which was beautifully conducted by The Right Rev’d David Urquhart, Bishop Of Birmingham. Now, after this formal introduction and rite of passage, I feel very much part of the Blue Coat School family.

My thanks go to our Chaplain, Mrs Elphinston and Mr Nicklin, Director of Music for putting this memorable service together.

I would also like to thank the Governors and staff for their support, and the children for their input and wonderful singing. It was spiritually uplifting for Jules, myself and we hope, the congregation.

The U9 Rugby team kicked off the season at RGS The Grange demonstrating some skill and passion. Of course, at this stage of the season, there is room for improvement (ask Mr Mourinho), but the boys are showing a great willingness and determination.

Meanwhile squad practices are underway to help the children further develop their skills. Can I urge parents to support the staff by encouraging their children to attend? A break for 45 minutes physical exercise will help your children and their academic studies greatly.

I know from personal experience that as the leaves and the barometer start to fall, it becomes more difficult to get changed and raise the heartbeat with a jog or some other light exercise. So, it might be topical to consider the words of Franklin Pierce Adams, who said, “Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year.” And, of course, working out in a group of peers is SO much easier!

Talking of groups, this week a number of children travelled to Fairfield Prep School in Leicestershire for the annual Junior Language Challenge. All did extremely well, with Year 5 pupil Ritisha Baidyaray ensuring that Blue Coat will have representation once again in the final. We wish Ritisha luck and offer our best wishes for the final round in London in October. Whatever the outcome, she is bolstering the reputation of the School as one of the top prep schools for MFL.

The Association of Friends had their first meeting this week and welcomed parents from all year groups to their AGM. Among many great plans afoot is the Fireworks Extravaganza on 4th November. Please put this date in your diary.

I would like to put on record my thanks to The Friends for their hard work and dedication to the school. It is very much appreciated and I would encourage you all to get involved in whatever way you can in Friends’ events this year. If you would like to find out more, The Friends are holding a ‘Coffee and Conversation’ morning on Friday 14th October at 8.30am in the Boardroom. Do come along, meet the Committee and see how you could be involved.

Music at The Blue Coat School is clearly first rate across many areas, and it is good to hear the Choirs getting fully into their stride. I look forward to hearing them at Chapel and other events during this term. Please ensure that you support the choirs and instrumental groups by encouraging regular practice and attendance.

Our newly elected school officers returned from the TISCA Junior Prefects Training Day at Kingham Hill School on Wednesday on top form and are ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Good luck from us all in your new roles.

I wonder if I could also remind you of some ‘housekeeping’ points at this stage of term? May I remind you that no jewellery including earrings should be worn at school by pupils (watches are allowed). If your child should wear jewellery as part of religious observance please seek permission for this with me directly. I would reiterate that boys’ hair must be shorter than collar length and girls’ hair should be tied back away from the face if it falls below the collar. In addition, I draw your attention to the separate update article relating to our revised Safeguarding and Admissions and Attendance Policies. Certain changes have been made in accordance with the Independent Schools Inspectors’ requirements.

Finally, thank you for completing your questionnaires. There is still time to do so if you have not had the opportunity. I will be in touch before half term with an outline of priorities. Already, the management team is working hard with the staff to ensure that we develop areas of the children’s learning. I would like to thank the teachers for their hard work over the last two weeks and for embracing so effectively the structural changes that have been implemented.