In the first week of a year that surely cannot be as politically dramatic as 2016, our whole school assembly focused on ‘resolving to make resolutions’.

Towards the end of the Obama regime, we considered the development of confidence based on sensible, morally-sound choices. And as ‘post-truth politics’ threatens to rule – how strange that the President-elect seems (temporarily at least) to have shed his black cloak – we need to be as honest with ourselves as we are with others. We have to separate fantasy from reality; to be discerning about what we see, hear and read. And we have to focus on the things that make us feel better.

We know that we should stop worrying, that we should be less anxious and that we ought to adopt a positive mental attitude. We know how important it is that we set ourselves smart, realistic targets. And to take responsibility for the choices that we make.

The children enjoyed dressing up in different clothes from my wardrobe to illustrate the virtue of choosing the right attire for different occasions. We linked this costume parade to the idea that all choices have consequences.

So, as I hope that in 2017 we support children to be the best they can be, can I wish you a very Happy New Year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the kind wishes and generous gifts that I received before the Christmas break. Jules and I were humbled by the goodwill!

At the end of last term you will have received the School Aims and Priorities booklet, which outlines our plans to further enhance the School in all areas from academics to the physical development and enhancement of the site. It is a very exciting time to be part of The Blue Coat School Journey, and I am determined to ensure that I continue to further improve learning experiences.

This week has seen the children return looking chipper and ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Regarding expectations and the keeping of dates, I would encourage you to refer to the letters sent by Mr Wurr, Deputy Head (Prep) and Mrs Andrews, Deputy Head (Pre prep).

Next week sees our U10 and U11 swimmers take on EHS. I am sure that with a strong focus and with lessons learned from the Bromsgrove meet, we will perform to our best. Please come and support the children in this home gala; it promises to be a competitive match-up. Incidentally, I will be keeping you informed of our search for a new Head of Swimming.

On a personal note Ms Katie Levitt is supporting me in the role of PA until 13th January, after which date Mrs Nicky Butler will take over on a full time basis. Nicky currently works at The Royal Grammar School, Wolverhampton. She has a wealth of experience and will be a great asset not just to me, but to the School as a whole.

I look forward to seeing you over the course of the term at the many musical, sporting and drama events as well as the parent information morning and consultation evenings.

It promises to be a very busy term with much to look forward to.

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER