Fast and exciting…like the Scots’ backs promise to be at Twickenham, this week has epitomized life at Blue Coat!

Last Sunday and Monday, I was stunned by our exceptional choristers during our Chapel Choir tour of York. The children were great ambassadors for the School and their singing during evensong was angelic; surely on a par with many a Cathedral Choir. Thanks go to Mrs Redfern for her precision planning and Miss Stefanowski, our excellent chaperone. Mr Nicklin led the Choir to his usual exceptional high standards. Thank you to everyone for their contribution to a memorable expedition.

Staying with the music theme, the BCS Music Festival auditions got under way this week. The pupils were on top form and I hear from Mr Nicklin that the standard at all levels was very high. I am delighted that our musicians, whether novice or advanced, are being allowed to shine and to earn points for their House. I look forward to welcoming our judge, Mrs Cousins, to next Thursday’s grand final.

This week, Year 4 revelled in their Tudor workshop. The medium of drama is an exciting and effective way for pupils to experience and learn about history. Talking to the children, it is clear that they gained much from this experience. Thank you to Miss Merrill for organising the event.

Year 6 enjoyed a wonderful Shakespearean workshop based on Hamlet, the play that our senior pupils will study over the coming weeks. It is wonderful that they are being introduced to such plays at an early age.

Prince Hamlet himself said (in different circumstances I grant you),”The play’s the thing!” and I have been thrilled to see our Early Years children enjoying their new playground. A huge amount of gratitude must go to the Estates team for their support on this project.

I have enjoyed visiting the Transition classrooms during Parents’ Evening this week. The calibre of work that the children are achieving at such a tender age is astonishing. Mrs Andrews has also informed me of the exceptional work being achieved across the Pre-Prep department as a whole. I look forward to visiting next week to have a look for myself.

Of course, this is a particularly busy time of year and across the School the staff are working extremely hard in all areas of the curriculum to provide the best for our children. I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.

I enjoyed examples of this hard work first hand on Thursday, when Anne-Laure and Hamoodi gave a persuasive presentation to the Senior Leadership Team. They argued that we should introduce a common room into all Prep year groups and that we should incorporate virtual reality hardware ‘to bring Humanities to life’. Hamoodi said it would save money on school trips – an accountant in the making, and music to a Scotsman’s ears!

On the sports front, our thoughts are with our Under 11 girls at the IAPS National Netball finals in Essex today. It is wonderful to see us back at the top table of sport. The challenge now is to stay there, and to compete with the best of the best. Was it yesterday that world number one tennis player Andy Murray said that he had things to work on?

At a somewhat more modest level, I look forward to donning my sports kit this weekend and supporting the children and staff at the Hallfield cross country event. The boys and girls have been working hard and are showing great grit and determination. Good luck to them all and many thanks to all the sports staff for their endeavour in all areas of sport.

Well, I will sign off now. Will the Saltire fly proudly on Monday, or will it be at half-mast? Let the battle commence!