Doubtless you saw our Rio 2016 Olympians and Paralympians feted in Manchester and London this week. Well, we have a heroine of our own who came back from the capital with a smile.

I am proud to tell you that Ritisha Baidyaray won the Junior Language Challenge final in London! She came first out of 30 finalists, and that’s 30 children out of over 1000 original participants who entered the competition this year.  This is obviously an outstanding achievement. It reinforces her great self-belief and determination to succeed – Blue Coat qualities coming to the fore.

As we take a well-deserved break for half-term, I am looking forward to the school community coming together on our return for The Friends’ Fireworks. Tickets are selling fast for the event on 4th November. To avoid disappointment please buy your tickets via the School’s website as soon as possible.

Almost before the whiff of spent fireworks has diffused, we will be holding our termly Open Morning on Saturday 12th November. Enquires from prospective parents are coming in thick and fast and we have very limited spaces across the school. Our best ambassadors are always the children and with that in mind, I would be delighted if as many Prep children as possible could attend, and help us to demonstrate all that Blue Coat has to offer.  We particularly need Year 6 children to act as tour guides so if you would spare your children for the morning we would be most grateful.  (You should already have received a sign up link via ClarionCall.)

This week has seen a number of Harvest services. On Monday in the Sports Centre Gallery, the Transition children treated their parents and grandparents to a scintillating service.  There was laughter and a few tears during a memorable display from these impressive 3 and 4 year olds.

On Tuesday it was the turn of the Pre-Prep in the School Chapel. We had a lovely celebration with a handsome turnout from the parent body; this ‘family’ presence makes such occasions so memorable. The Pre-Prep children sang with enormous gusto and parental participation in Chaplain’s homily will live long in the memory!

The Prep School had its turn on Wednesday. The Chapel Choir rose once again to complement the service with a wonderful anthem. The readers were excellent, and to round off the service we collected a record breaking 443 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Thank you to one and all, and a special mention to Chaplain for her hard work over the last few weeks; it is greatly appreciated.

I was blown away by my first Prelude Concert on Tuesday morning. The range (from Mussorgsky to Handel, with some Blues flung in for good measure) and the standard of musicianship was truly remarkable. In all my years as a Headmaster, I have never witnessed such quality from children of this age. Huge credit must go to Mr Nicklin, the visiting music staff and the parents for their guidance and support to the children; well done everybody.

This week I have also enjoyed a visit from Year 2. In my study I was asked some searching questions, among them were the following:

“Why do you have a hammer in here?”

(It was actually a judge’s gavel, given to me as a gift after a speech day event.)

“Who’s who in your family?”

“Do you drink lots of tea?”

I wish!!

There has been a regular knocking at my door, with a number of pupils coming to show me their commended work. I must congratulate all the children on their excellent progress since the start of term. The staff too must be complimented for the support given in comment marking. I am encouraging all the children and staff to reflect on their teaching and learning, to ensure that we are building a culture of high expectations in all our endeavours, be they academic, musical or sporting.  

Before I sign off and wish you all a restful half-term break, I would like to thank Mrs Fraser and Mrs Wilson for working so hard to get our second hand uniform sale up and running this week. To parents and staff, thank you for your support to me and the School – onwards and upwards!