On the same day that the world’s greatest quarterback led his New England team to Super Bowl victory from an improbable position, one of the finest scrum halves in rugby union history, died of motor neurone disease, at the tender age of 45.

How fickle life is and how clear it is that – like Springbok Joost Van der Westhuizen did – we must make the most of the time that we have and do our very best to maximise our potential.

Appropriately, last week ended with an excellent assembly on leadership. Mr Wurr’s message was clear, and he stressed how, as our School vision states, the qualities of perseverance, consideration and kindness are key attributes of children at Blue Coat.

These characteristics have been evident this week in all aspects of School life. Year 5 pupils attended extra exam practice lessons on Monday morning. Persevering with all given tasks and determinedly seeking to improve their understanding, they deserve great credit for their hard work and dedication.

On Tuesday, we welcomed a huge number of external candidates wishing to join Blue Coat. Pupils and staff showed a great depth of kindness and consideration in making these young people’s day enjoyable. I thank them for this admirable attitude.

Year 5 continue to impress musically. Their Music Recital this week was memorable, with the children performing extremely competently. The range of music on display was impressive and the performance of the highest standard. This was backed up by a very thought provoking and exhilarating Year 5H assembly on Wednesday morning. A special thank you to Mrs Tucker for leading Prep in sign language for our final hymn.

Mr Nick Howe, Director of our new catering company, Holroyd Howe, has assured me the company will work hard to deliver the very best food provision for our children. They will take over on the first of April. Fool will not be on the dessert menu that day! I will keep you posted with further updates.

The Year 3 & 4 production of ‘Shakespeare Rocks’, takes place next week in the School Hall. I know that the children under the guidance of Mrs Roberts, Mrs Jennings and Mr Nicklin have been working extremely hard. I am sure that this will be an occasion where we can celebrate our children’s wonderful performing arts talents.

I would like to inform you of a number of forthcoming staffing changes. Mrs Boothroyd will leave us at Easter, with Mrs Lambert-Green taking over as Year 6 class tutor for the summer term. We wish Mrs Boothroyd every happiness in the future. I will be advertising for a Modern Foreign Languages Teacher before Easter. During the summer term, Mr Javay Welter, will be covering French and Spanish lessons. He is a highly skilled practitioner who will serve the children well.

In Pre-Prep, Mrs Jubb will be retiring this summer to spend time with her grandchildren. Mrs Jubb has been a stalwart of the School for many years. At the end of the summer term, we will obviously celebrate her time here. Miss Clarke will also leave us to go on the Mercy Ships. She will look after the children of doctors who, themselves, are treating the ill and injured in war-torn areas. This will be a life-changing experience for her and we wish her every success. We are sad to say goodbye to both Mrs Jubb and Miss Clarke and wish them well.

Finally, I would like to thank The Friends, and, in particular, Charlotte Chandler, for organising a super quiz night last Friday. Hosted by Mr Morris, this was a wonderful evening. I must say that The Friends are one the most innovative groups of their kind that I have worked with. I would encourage you all to support them during their summer events.

Have a super weekend. I am off to watch Wales v England at the Millennium Stadium. Who should I support?

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER