As has been pointed out in the media, it is difficult for us to comprehend the enormity of what happened on Monday night at what was supposed to be a fun event. For children, that enormity is amplified.

In our own way, however, we as a school body tried to come to terms with the loss of young life, when we met, not, as scheduled, at St Philip’s Cathedral, but in our own chapel, for our Founders’ Day Service. During a poignant service we remembered the atrocity of Manchester, as well as our history. We gave thanks for our School and the wider community. Once again the Chapel Choir, the readers and Chaplain’s thought-provoking words set the scene beautifully. We thank Bishop David Urquhart for joining us on this special day.

John Donne was not only a great metaphysical poet; he was Dean of St Paul’s. At times like this, his words can act as consolation and inspiration. The first and last two lines of one of his greatest poems always help me at times like this. He begins…

“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;”

And ends…
“One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”

Meanwhile life goes on; thankfully, we can think about other, more positive things. This week saw the Chapel Choir take part in an IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) 125th anniversary video. Henry Trevis, Benito Pagliuca and Rohan Narayan-Hull must be commended for creating the base line for the song. The video is due to be released this September and it was a privilege to be one of the seven schools chosen out of the 600+ members of IAPS. This is a great accolade and really promotes our music at a national level.

Mrs Neeson, told me of how much she enjoyed the Reception Trip to The West Midlands Safari Park. The children had a fantastic outing and their behaviour was exemplary. Well done to the Reception staff and children.

You should now all be in receipt of our Inspection Reports. I was very pleased with them and again I must congratulate the staff and children for their hard work. This is a result of a huge team effort. I am now intent on ensuring that standards continue to be maintained over the next six weeks. We must not become complacent, but must build on this report for the future. I will be writing to you after half term to inform you of your child’s teacher for the new academic year. I will also update you regarding any staffing changes for September.

Today we bid an emotional farewell to Mr Morris and Miss Clarke who have spent many years at Blue Coat and will be fondly remembered by children and staff alike. We wish Mr Morris success in his micro-brewing endeavours and wish Miss Clarke a safe passage onboard the Africa Mercy.

The Friends are already working hard in preparation for our Summer Fete on Saturday 17th June which promises to be a wonderful afternoon. I would also like to invite you to Harborne Cricket Club on Friday 9th June at 6pm to support the Headmaster’s XI match against the Dads. It should be an entertaining evening!

As I sign off, may I remind parents that, because of security risk, on no account should cars be left on the school site without the knowledge of the Headmaster. On a less serious note, would parents please not allow their children to swing on the pedestrian school gate.

Finally, please can I encourage all parents to ensure that sun cream is applied on warm days before children come to school and that they have a water bottle to keep them cool in class. Please don’t forget that the School Photograph will be taken during the week following half-term, so the break may be a good opportunity to get a haircut!

I wish you all a happy holiday.

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER