On Saturday last, the Princess Royal, Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, delighted ever so demurely in her team’s historic triumph over the Sassenachs. The next day, I learnt that the Duchess of Cornwall is dedicating herself to the promotion of  the reading of books to children as a key element in successful education. Since the days of Robert the Bruce, stories, myths and legends have been passed on from older to younger either by mouth or on the printed page. Fact, myth, fable and legend are part of the fabric of a nation’s culture.

I dare say that in a decade or so, the 2018 Calcutta Cup victory by Scotland over England at Murrayfield may have faded from the memory. But the stories of Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott will continue to be read and enjoyed by adults the world over. We all know that Camilla is right. There is no more important thing than reading. Not necessarily the classics. When parents read anything to their children – even into their (the children’s!) teenage years – the benefits can be immeasurable.

On Thursday we celebrated World Book Day by dressing up as our favourite book character. Thank you to all for making such a big effort. It was a memorable whole School event!

On the subject of bibliography, we welcome a much-published author to BCS next Tuesday. The second instalment of our lecture series takes place on 6 March. Historian Matthew Lewis is a specialist on the War of the Roses. He will focus on Richard III, whose ‘discovery’ in a Leicester Car Park caused such amazement in 2012. You can register for the event here.

I hope you all had a relaxing half term break, and in these arctic conditions, I must issue a very warm welcome back to school. To warm us up we had an amazing assembly from Maya, Melissa and Zara, supported by Chaplain, on the importance of leadership with a team. The keyword was ‘Respect’. In life we may not get on particularly well with certain people but we must respect them and take the moral high ground. This is an important lesson for us all.

The BCS Music Festival heats are underway. Mr Nicklin reported that we had 150 entrants, and the standard again was excellent. A big well done to all the vocalists and instrumentalists for their hard work. We are all looking forward to the final next week with our lead guest judge, Mr Philip Dukes, who is Professor of Viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Artistic Director at Marlborough College, Wiltshire. More importantly, Mr Dukes is an Old Scholar of Blue Coat. We look forward to an evening of music next Thursday in the School Hall at 6pm. Please come along and join us.

Our Under 11 swimmers represented the School at The Bromsgrove Invitational on Monday. It was another super display from the children. The  U11 Girls won both the Medley and Freestyle Relay, bringing back two impressive shields for our new trophy cabinet! U11 boys came 2nd (on the touch both times) in both the Medley and Freestyle Relay. Well done to Mr Kelly and all the children.

Next week promises to be another busy one. Please keep a close eye on the calendar for the various events. Spare a thought for our Year 6 children who this week – after a long wait – have received their Grammar School options. Whatever School you choose will be lucky to have you! 

I would like to announce that Mrs Rosie McMulkin, has been appointed as School Nurse. Mrs McMulkin is currently a District School Nurse in Tamworth. She comes with a great deal of experience to the role. We look forward to welcoming her to BCS on the 19th March. In the meantime Mrs Maloney will oversee the sick bay.

Finally, with the School closed today due to the inclement weather, I wish you all a safe and warm weekend and look forward to seeing you back at school on Monday.

MR NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER