Forty years ago, few people in the country that is now Zimbabwe had heard of the name Robert Mugabe. Perhaps in the near future he will be resigned to the history books and the long-suffering people of what was once Rhodesia will be relieved of the burden of their nonagenarian leader.

When Mugabe first came to power, the expression ‘social media’ had not been coined, of course. Computers and mobile phones as we know them today were in their infancy. Now, it is hard to understand the pace of technological progress; impossible to assess the benefits; so important to evaluate the dangers. This week we had our annual online safety day with Karl Hopwood. It was very informative for the children, staff and parents here at BCS. We need, of course, to arm ourselves with knowledge, and to work together: protecting our children in their use of computers and all digital devices.

In the social media age, sport is one area that has received new attention and new status. I am delighted to tell you that some of our BCS youngsters have now rubbed shoulders (well, more likely, touched shoulder to hip) with one of the giants of the game of rugby – Solihull-born Martin Johnson. Last Saturday a group of 19 pupils and staff headed to Twickenham to watch England against Argentina. It was a memorable day out and the pictures below show that the children were lucky enough to meet a ‘great’ of English Rugby, Lions captain Johnson himself. It was wonderful to see so many children have the opportunity to go to such a magnificent stadium, and for them to enjoy live sport – something which really inspires them. Next year we really need to do a Scotland fixture!

Since the Martin Johnson era, sport has becomes so professional that a change of kit, which shaves off a few grams of weight, is considered hugely important. Hence England’s donning of a new outfit last weekend. Today we all enjoyed dressing up in something more simple. Pupils clearly loved coming to school in their home clothes and ‘Onesies’ to support Children in Need. A highly entertaining whole school assembly and a colourful array of clothing was an excellent way to end the week. Thank you to the Swimming Department for such a fun assembly.

It has been another busy week, featuring Year 5 reciting an excellent standard of Poetry to me in my study. Absolutely first class! The children are working hard across the board, and I have really enjoyed teaching Maths to Year 6. How good it is to be back in the classroom!

A Swimming Gala took place here at BCS against Warwick School and then away at Bromsgrove. This event showcased the excellent work of Mr Kelly and his team. Our swimmers are shaping up well, and drawing a dividend from the hours of practice and training. We have had a number of great house matches and the children are developing a really steely determination. Well done to all.

This week, I enjoyed visiting Dr Fenton, The Chief Master at KES. We shared thoughts on how our two schools can continue to work closely and further enhance our special relationship. It was gratifying to see so many Blue Coat Old Scholars thriving at King Edward’s. Recently I have also visited Mr Lloyd at Solihull School. It was interesting to hear his vision and to see this impressive Senior School in action. There seem to be endless opportunities on offer, from academics to music, sport and drama. We are fortunate indeed to have these reputable schools on our doorstep.

Here, we are gearing up for the Christmas Fayre. I look forward to seeing many of you next Saturday. Can I remind you that the ‘Jingle and Mingle’ night of carols and fizz is then at 7.00pm on Thursday 30th November. Tickets are currently on sale, so don’t miss out! Again, thank you to The Friends for organising these excellent events.

Last but not least, have a great weekend and watch out for the ‘All Blacks’ visit to the home of Rugby, Murrayfield. (May they never change the colour of their kit!) A prize if anyone guesses the final score and emails it to hmpa@thebluecoatschool.com before 3pm on Saturday!

NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER