Although Health and Safety improvements in this country have been one of the (many/myriad/several/few) benefits of our union with Europe, it is impossible to completely eliminate risk. In Paris, Notre Dame stands charred, and in New York, the scar of Ground Zero marks the site of the twin towers in all of our minds. Amazingly, it is 18 years almost to the day since the trauma of what we now all 9/11, an event that will be forever etched on the minds of those who were either there or who watched on tv.

Look around London today and you can still see how the shape of the city was changed by a proportionally cataclysmic event that took place more than 350 years ago. In some ways, of course, The Great Fire of 1666 had a devastating effect on the lives of London’s inhabitants; and yet, conversely, coming the year after a plague, it helped hygiene as well as the layout, the architecture and the long term development of the place. It is testament to the human spirit that these catastrophes often unite communities and inspire the best in people. No doubt if you go to New York these days, you will want to visit the wonderful memorial structure that marks the site of the twin towers. Similarly,  the new Notre Dame is already being planned and, once unveiled, will no doubt serve as a world class monument showcasing the best of global design.

This week, happily,  there were no clouds in sight as we saw our first WOW day of the year, with Year 2 studying the Great Fire of London. The children were fully engaged in this topic. The teachers’ hands-on approach really brings the children’s learning to life. I look forward to seeing their follow-up during the course of this half term.

After the excitement of the first three days, the good ship Blue Coat steadily set its course for what promises to be a packed term, and this week we have launched the New BCS Blue. This is our own assessment programme that celebrates all aspects of learning at the School. Not only will ‘the Blue’ further raise your child’s academic level; it will develop all aspects of learning in all subject areas. And, importantly, we will celebrate the values that your child demonstrates.

This exciting project has been explained in all parent information meetings and we look forward to sharing it with Pre-Prep parents next week also.

On behalf of The Association of Friends, I’d also like to remind parents that they are invited to a Coffee Morning hosted by The Friends in the Pavilion next week. This is on Tuesday 17 September for Buttons and Pre-Prep parents and on Thursday 19 September for Pre-Prep parents, both at 8.30am.

Watch this space – and have a happy weekend.

MR NOEL NEESON | HEADMASTER