It’s certainly been a busy week at Blue Coat as the ISI inspectors paid a visit. Of course, whenever one is under scrutiny, there is a certain amount of pressure, even if – as is the case here – best practice is followed and all our ‘homework’ is done.

Can the same be said of the misspeaking Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, and the current state of global politics? In France, we have an inexperienced man from the centre without a party, who is on the brink of the Presidency; in the United States we have a businessman from the right as President but who teeters on the brink between fantasy and reality; and in North Korea we have a fanatical figure who seems to be determined to take us to the brink!

Especially in these difficult days of Brexit brinksmanship, bullying and baiting, we must be grateful for the solidity and certainty of our royal family. Let us give thanks for the thoroughly normal 95-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who has served for so many decades with an admirable sense of duty, with great poise, and with a roguish sense of humour. His dedication is an example to us all.

Meanwhile, life goes on at School. Sport is well under way and the House rounders and cricket have been keenly contested. Jules and I enjoyed these events immensely. Both the boys and girls are warming up nicely for the season ahead. Please come and support these wonderful fixtures during the course of the term. At this point, I must take the opportunity to congratulate the grounds staff, the playing fields look tremendous.

While we await with interest the outcomes of the inspection report, which will be shared with you very shortly, can I thank all of those who responded to our questionnaire. There were many positives for us to build on, the point of the exercise being, of course, to develop our strengths and address those areas which need to be fortified.

‘Gratitude for what we have’ was a huge focus at our school assemblies this week. Our guest speaker, Reverend Tim Hughes, gave a super service and there was splendid participation by the children through song.

This morning we learnt about the work of the Mercy Ships and the valuable contribution Miss Clarke will make as a teacher onboard the hospital ship, Africa Mercy. Miss Clarke is responding to God’s call on her talents and she is looking forward to supporting the many families who will be travelling to Africa with her.

At the Senior Schools’ Exhibition, I enjoyed meeting a number of representatives, many of whom we have strong links with, both locally and further afield. I enjoyed discussing all that is on offer at their schools, and it was gratifying to hear so many compliment us on what we do here.

We look forward to Open Morning, when we will be welcoming many new families to our School. Thank you to all the children in Prep who are giving up their time to support this important day in the calendar. A special thank you, too, to our admissions team, Mrs Jenny Dredger and Mrs Jodie Mitchell, for organising the event.

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER