As I write this, the smell of chlorine beckons. Shortly, I will be wending my way to the swimming pool. There, I am going to support the Intra-School Swim. It promises to be a very competitive affair, with all the best BCS values on show. It all makes me wonder how we have got to a place where Liverpool football fans cannot be guaranteed safe passage if they have the audacity to walk to a stadium in Rome. How can a fan be left fighting for his life following a violent affray in the lead-up to the Liverpool v Roma Champions League semi-final? And that in turn brings back to mind those tragedies at Hillsborough and Heysel, where we saw the senseless loss of so much innocent life. 

For every negative, however, there is a positive. Even as a fan of those green-and-white hooped champions north of the border, I can appreciate quality. I can see sportsmanship shining through in a game that has more than its share of greed and dishonesty. Is not that Jose Mourinho rejected Mohamed Salah a wonderful advertisement for the glory game; let alone for his homeland, Egypt? The domestic soccer season heads towards its climax this weekend, with promotion and relegation issues still to be sorted out. Tensions will be running high in many a ground.

For us at The Blue Coat School, there comes a chance to take a deep Bank Holiday breath after what, for many reasons, has proved a busy week. The highlight for me came on Thursday when we celebrated St Philip’s House Charity Day. The boys put on a great assembly. They followed this up with a wonderful array of activities to raise money for The Midlands Air Ambulance. Thank you to Mrs Stockton, the staff, parents and of course the boys. A fantastic effort!

At School, we saw the boys and girls dust off their cricket and rounders bats. The children represented the School with great vigour, and showed a lot of potential. It promises to be a positive season. On another part of the site, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the children honing their athletics skills. How gratifying it is to see the children smiling and enjoying the company of one another. Watch out for the Sports Days later in the term.

This week we also welcomed a number of schools to speak to our Year 5 children at our Senior School Exhibition. It helped the Year 5 children and their parents to get a feel for the schools they may attend in September 2019. I am grateful to all the schools for supporting this event.

This week, too, I enjoyed visiting the classrooms to see the children hard at work, and I was pleased to witness first hand excellent work in all areas of the curriculum: from academic work to super Art and Design Technology. The children have so many opportunities, and they are certainly making the most of them. Thank you to all the staff for their hard work and dedication. It has also been a pleasure to talk to some of the Pre-Prep children, to hear about what they are learning and to see their faces light up. Yes, the Champions League can be electric, but the uninhibited excitement of our children is worth more than the price of a ticket to the final on 26th May! (Especially as it’s in Kiev!)

MR NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER