There has been much in the media recently about the challenge presented by dyslexia. We have had a week dedicated to the subject. Vast strides have been taken in understanding its nature, and finding ways to circumvent the difficulties that it causes. Of course, the early identification of signs of dyslexia in the education environment is beneficial for both the student and the teacher. And happily, we all appreciate that children with dyslexia have special talents that compensate for the difficulty that they encounter when confronted by text. How often, for example, do we see that dyslexic children have extraordinary skills when it comes to problem solving? They find a way… It is dreadful to think that within living memory, children have been ritually humiliated in classrooms, being required to stand up in front of their peers and read a long passage of narrative.

Here at Blue Coat, I am so impressed by the way that every child is appreciated for himself or herself; treated as an individual and not merely as somebody who has to be prepared for exams. As adults in loco parentis, we have a duty to guide – like parents – to help our children to learn from their mistakes, to support them and help them to develop further in these formative years.

Across the School I witness exactly this effort from the staff, who are constantly working hard to meet the particular needs of the children in their care. Part of that attention-paying has to do with having fun together; enjoying an outing or an event as a community or a body. This is where Drama is such a vibrant and valuable experience. This week Year 6 went to the Hippodrome to watch War Horse. They thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the staff. What images will have formed in the minds of our pupils. And what a love of drama it will have fostered.

Talking of communal activity, I was delighted to hear that a number of parents participated in our copper poppy bashing project. Unsurprisingly, this unique project is getting considerable interest. Please come along and join the project  and raise worthwhile funds for a worthy cause.

We celebrated the end of this half of term with our Harvest assemblies. It was wonderful to be present at the Transition Harvest assembly on Tuesday, followed by Pre-Prep on Wednesday afternoon. Both reinforced the wonderful singing and drama that our youngest pupils are capable of. Prep celebrated Harvest with the  now traditional giving of shoe boxes for children less fortunate than themselves. Mrs Becky Drake gave a wonderful and stimulating talk. I would like to commend Chaplain for her hard work in preparing for these services.

After half term we look forward to The Friends’ Fireworks Extravaganza. It is always such an exciting community event. Tickets are still available to purchase here.

As I sign off, I would like to thank Miss McMulkin for her hard work in the Health Centre and we all wish her the very best for the future as she makes her next career move. We are delighted to welcome Mrs Carroll, who will be our School Matron from after half term. Thank you to you all for your continued support to the children and staff. I am extremely excited about the run up to Christmas. Did I say Christmas? Surely not!

Rest well ready for a another busy and hopefully successful half of term.

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster