Hear or read the word ‘Caribbean’ and what do you picture?  Palm trees, white sands, legendary cricketers, exotic music and happy-go-lucky men and women.

This image could not be more different than the current situation, where we see islands devastated by a hurricane and a people desolate beyond belief.

It is all too easy for us to complain about unseasonal September weather but this latest human tragedy – in addition to the devastation in Florida – must help us to keep things in perspective and count our blessings.
Happily, this week, in the tranquility of Edgbaston, we got back into our stride as if we had never had a break. Lessons are in full swing and many of our Year 6 children have already sat their 11+ exams.

And so, because we now have a few minutes in which to draw breath, it’s time for your Headmaster to divert you all with a random piece of information – in the form of a question.

What do legendary sleuth authoress Agatha Christie, explorer par excellence Marco Polo and Knight Commander of the Victorian Order Prince Harry have in common?

And while you are thinking about that one, I must tell you what a joy it has been this week, visiting the classrooms and observing the children at work. How particularly gratifying it has been to see the  new staff already much part of the Blue Coat community, their enthusiasm shining out in the classroom.  For me, and for all staff, there is never anything so fulfilling as to see excitement and eagerness writ large on young ones’ faces.

And there is never anything more refreshing – even in the early stages of a new academic year – than to interrupt routine with a visit or a trip out of school. Today, Year 3 enjoyed a visit from a Roman soldier and a Roman citizen. Engrossed in their active learning, they really embraced the workshop and clearly learned a great deal.

On Thursday, four of our Year 4 children headed off to Fairfield School in Loughborough for the Junior Language Challenge Semi Final. The reigning champion, Ritisha (current Year 6) unfortunately could not defend her title due to the commitments with Senior School exams at present. In her absence our young linguists, Narayan, Lemuel, Henry and Caitlin tackled the challenges of Japanese as they competed against the other semi-finalists.

This was a fantastic achievement for our young students, a big well done to you all for representing the School.

Sports-wise the children are also gearing up! The girls are preparing for the hockey season and the boys focusing on rugby and football. I am delighted that we are linking up with Moseley Rugby Club, Bournville and Edgbaston Kestrel Hockey Club to name a few. This will develop the children’s skills, both sporting and social.

This morning we had an inspiring Chapel Service, which was led by Archdeacon Hayward Osborne. It was also the second outing for the Chapel Choir, who are shaping up in promising fashion. This really is a lovely way to complete the school week; coming together as a school community. Thank you to the many parents for their support.

Next week, our school officers head to Kingham Hill School for a training day. This is a special day that supports the children in their various roles. Watch out for their report next week.

We also have a number house matches so do, please, come along and support.

Can I please remind our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils to sign up if they are able to help on Open Morning, it is always lovely for our visitors to see the children’s activities and to have the opportunity to hear first hand from the children about life at School.

Oh, and the answer to that question posed earlier? The one about Agatha, Marco and Harry. They didn’t all have ginger hair (at least as far as I know).

No, they were all born on the same day. Today. September 15th!

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER