I dare say that many of my readers have experienced the tedium of long car journeys this summer – and, doubtless, many a mile of traffic jam. There are only so many games that parents can play with their children while on the road. Another distraction is the radio. Or, perhaps, the CD player. What better to captivate all ages than a boxed set of mythical tales, full of mystery; and beautifully told by one of the nation’s favourite broadcasters? I give you this: ‘Mythos’, a boxful of delights which lasts in all for over 15 hours, and is sublimely narrated by Stephen Fry. My knowledge of Greek legends is patchy, and I confess that, as yet, I have heard only a short extract from this collection. It involved Pandora opening her box (or, as Fry tells us, her ‘jar’). Marvellous, graphic, occasionally humorous stuff. And a fit for all the family.

So, you may reasonably ask, what has this to do with Blue Coat’s past week and immediate future. The answer, in one word is ‘Prometheus’. And in one phrase: ‘our fascination with fire’. It was Prometheus (of course) who Fry tells us was responsible for countermanding Zeus and offering the human race the gift of fire. Ever since, we have made use of it in thousands of different ways, constructively and otherwise. Children play games involving fire engines; they are fascinated by anything igniting, probably because it is dangerous and something that they are warned away from.

This past week, while natural disaster raged in North and South Carolina and The Philippines, we had our own disaster reenactment here, with Prep-prep, Year 2 enjoying an enrichment day based on The Great Fire of London. The children looked amazing in their costumes and really embraced the opportunity to dramatise their topic. What with Mexicolore, Viking School Visits and Professor McGinty this was a vivid, jam-packed and thoroughly international five days. Greeks, Aztec and Anglo Saxon Day enrichment days, all organised brilliantly by Mrs Barnes, went down a treat with our children and launched the Prep Humanities Curriculum. These days made the past come alive and encouraged the children to contextualise their learning.

On the subject of history, this weekend we can all have a peek at the substantial archives held by the School. Please bring your children to this event, which runs from 5pm to 7pm on Saturday in the School Hall. A big thank you to Mrs Dredger for organising this trip down memory lane. 

We had started off this week with our outstanding Visiting Music Teachers led by our Director of Music Mr Nicklin in an end of summer soirée! The musicianship was out of this world. It was lovely to witness the strength of teaching for our children at BCS. A personal thank you to Ms Akehurst for her organisation.

Kingham Hill was the destination for our Year 6 School Officers on Thursday. This day was to focus on developing their leadership skills. I am delighted with the hard work of our current crop of young leaders, who are definitely fulfilling the BCS values. 

Since then,  it has been a treat to spend my time in Pre-Prep finding out how the children are doing. The children were fully engaged in their learning and in room after room the creativity was amazing.

It seems sad that as children journey through education their creativity is stalled by 11+, GCSEs, A levels and in many cases University exams. I was in London this week and heard Marcus Orlovsky speak, I would encourage parents to listen to his TED talk, Dare to Dream. 

On Friday, I had the great pleasure of bashing the first Copper Poppy. Part of the School’s remembering 100 years since World War One, this Project will be led by Mrs Lambert Green and Mrs Lynn. Please read the letter sent home by the Art and DT Department.

Finally The Shoe Box Appeal assembly focused children’s minds on helping children in other countries less fortunate than us. I realise that many people do their own charity thing on the run up to Christmas, and would stress that the Shoe Box Appeal is optional. If, however, you feel that you would like to help, please see the information given to the children.

Have a great weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster