Welcome back to what promises to be a very busy six weeks.

By the end of this term, the new President of the United States will have his/her feet firmly under the Oval Office table. But while Hillary and Donald make their last efforts to turn key states their colour, we have rolled out our own ‘red carpet’ and transformed an important area of the school.

The Prep children and staff have come back to a wonderfully refurbished school corridor; worthy of The White House itself! In enhancing the image and the working environment for all, this refurbishment will act as the benchmark for the whole School as we seek to upgrade it over the coming years.

Elsewhere in the School the Estates Team have been busy; work in St George’s has given us a larger computing area so enabling boys to access Google Classrooms and complete online prep, the removal of worn tiles and replacement with newly painted walls in St Monica’s and the painting of the Transition Dining Room has created a warmer and more welcoming environment.

A heartfelt thank you to the Estates Team for its hard work over the mid-term break.

This week kicked off with an excellent Year 3 Recital. I was only able to attend for a short while but it was enough to remind me of the high quality of musicianship within the School. The Year 2 Recital on Thursday morning again demonstrated a super array of musical talent; well done to all the musicians who took part. In reminding children and parents that the ABRSM music exams take place in week 11, can I encourage examinees to prepare fully and to act on the advice of their teachers? Good luck, everybody.

I must congratulate the Chapel Choir probationers who have now become fully fledged choristers. Well done to all for their hard work this term: we look forward to hearing them in fine voice in the run up to Christmas.

Today we welcomed back Karl Hopwood from eSafety. He has been with us all day speaking to children, staff and parents. These presentations are vitally important for all as we endeavour to keep the children safe online both at School and at home. The children, in age appropriate sessions, have been learning about how to help themselves stay safe online and on social media, learning how to spot when they are vulnerable and recognising certain dangers.

During the course of this week, I have enjoyed interviewing some of our Year 6 pupils as they prepare for their scholarship interviews at a variety of schools. The children were first rate. They have acted on advice and are proving to be great ambassadors for our School.

Tonight we look forward to the Friends’ Spectacular Fireworks evening. As in previous years, it is a complete sell out. Many thanks to The Friends for their hard work, organisation and enthusiasm. May I remind parents how important it is to supervise your children during the course of the evening and to ensure that they are safe. I am so looking forward to my first Blue Coat Fireworks Evening and to meeting as many of you as possible at the event.

Next week sees a busy week on the sports pitches. After a positive first half of term, which saw highlights such as our U11s hockey squad humble Foremarke Hall (IAPS National Hockey Champions) by 2-1, the message is clear; we are building solidly for the future. Rugby has been positive with the U11s also demonstrating a willingness to go that extra mile. These traits are commendable and give us hope for the future. Not to be outdone, the younger teams are also showing great determination and considerable potential.

Can I please encourage all parents to attend the Remembrance Chapel Service on Tuesday morning. This is a time when we encourage our children to remember soldiers killed in action during the World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

I would like to wish our Year 6 pupils a safe trip to Colomendy next week. A well earned break after their hard work and entrance examinations. They will share a 130-acre site with badgers, bats, buzzards, newts and woodpeckers and no doubt have a fun packed week with the opportunity for learning and bonding as a year group. My thanks to Mr Harrison and other staff for supporting this venture and accompanying the children.

Back home, looking forward to Open Morning on Saturday 12th November, I appreciate that weekends are busy and thank many of you for re-arranging other commitments so that your children can attend. They are so key in showcasing our School at these types of events. Their behaviour, enthusiasm and engagement are always commented on by prospective parents.

Have a super weekend!

Noel Neeson | Headmaster