Advances in technology have enabled us – and I mean mankind in general – to achieve remarkable things. Not only have we worked out how to put a man on the moon: we have invented forms of microsurgery that save tens of thousands of lives. We have created the atomic bomb. And we have, in very recent times, discovered the capacity to communicate with one another via the wonder of the internet. For every blessing, there is an equivalent curse. And this has never been more graphically proven than in the past week. The horrific events in New Zealand raised the spectre of evil being available live online. Calls for instant censorship are understandably loud and universal. Let us hope that we have not let the genie irretrievably out of the bottle. It is savage enough for the soul to watch, live on the television news, a tsunami in Japan. That is a natural disaster. Christchurch was the most unnatural of disasters. Seeing it on a screen not only scars a viewer; it must inure one, too.

Moving onto happier things, live television allowed rugby fans to share pleasure and pain to an extraordinary degree when Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup last weekend. It’s rare to sit drained at the end of a Six Nations match, having pulled back a 24 point halftime deficit, and feel disappointment at not having won. Wonderful sport! On the subject of wonderful sport, we have had our share in the past week. We were delighted to host the IAPS swimming qualifiers here at School. It was a tremendous event. I must commend all swimmers for their fantastic attitudes. Credit must go to Mr Kelly, Mrs Bennett and the Sports Department/Sports Centre team and Estates Team for organising a flawless event. Thank you!

Wednesday evening saw the BCS Musician of the Year grand final. The music was sublime. All the children who took part must be commended for their hard work! The overall winner was Karen Mao, who played Kabalevsky’s Piano Sonatina to such a high standard and was the worthy winner. I must thank our guest adjudicator and nationally renowned festival judge, Nadia Hinson, for giving our competitors such great feedback. It was a pleasure to welcome her here. Thanks, too, to Mr Nicklin and Miss Akehurst for organising this celebration of music at the School, and to Mr Elliott for accompanying the children. Music is definitely thriving!

This week we challenged our Mathematical thinking when we had a whole school Puzzle Days. The children enjoyed these challenges and certainly got a lot from the experience. It is important that we  encourage our children to look at real life problems and implement the skills taught into practice. And they certainly did!

Congratulations to St George’s House for an excellent Charity day today. A brilliant assembly was followed up by a great Charity fair at break and lunch time. The highlight had to be their team challenge of using two stationary bikes with pedometers to replicate the journey between the Birmingham Children’s  Hospital and the Birmingham Women’s Hospital (4 miles apart). The children cycled this route a number of times in this Team Challenge to raise funds for The Critical Call Ambulance, a very worthwhile cause. Thank you to Mr Hill, the staff and the parents of St George’s and, of course, the boys, for a top charity day.

Remember this weekend the School is hosting the Bournville BookFest, welcoming such authors as Dame Jacqueline Wilson. This is a ticketed event so tickets must be purchased in advance. Please note that there is no parking available on site for the weekend, but the free park and ride service will be operating. It promises to be a super event. Again a special mention to Mrs Dredger for organising this event and forging strong links with the wider community.

Have a great weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson