With the Christian name Noel, I regard myself as an authority on this wonderful time of the year. And take it from me: there is no more beautiful or spine-tingling  sound than that which comes from the vocal chords of a young soloist at Christmas time. “Once in Royal David’s City” come the words, and the hairs stand up on the back of the congregational neck, “ stood a lowly cattle shed,” they continue. And the tears begin to well up in many an eye.

This past week, with our hardworking children practising their carols here in ‘David’s City’, an article from last weekend’s Sunday Times came back to me. An appeal has been launched, I read, to help a school in Blackpool; a school whose pupils are grossly under-privileged. These “lowly” boys and girls, many of whom are underfed, have a poverty of experience that is almost unimaginable. Some have never seen the sea, let alone a horse, a train or the beauty of the countryside. This message was reinforced by the Salvation Army on their annual visit to Chapel today.

While feeling sympathy for them, I am pleased that the children here at BCS, so fortunate by comparison, have been making the very most of their opportunities: so hard at work in class and so busy learning lines, tunes, carols and songs for their big forthcoming events. I tip my hat to their dedication and look forward to the climax of the term.

On the same theme, it was lovely to have hot chocolate and doughnuts/donuts with the Year 6 girls and boys to thank them for all their hard work this term – not only leading up to exams but also for being role models in many cases to the younger children. I must congratulate Adam (Year 6) in joining Freya in Mensa. Another notable achievement for this wonderful year group.

As we reach the final two extra busy weeks of term, I must take this opportunity to thank all the staff. They go way beyond the call of duty.

I am looking forward to the Advent Processional at St Philip’s Cathedral this Sunday. The Chapel Choir will join the Cathedral Choristers in what promises to be a magical beginning to Advent.

Also next week we are holding an open evening in the Viney building on Thursday 5th December from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Please do take the chance to visit and see the new dining hall refurbishment, prep library and our collection of archives which date back to the School’s early history in the 1800s. There will be refreshments provided if you would like to enter the building via  the dining hall entrance.

If you have yet to purchase a ticket for The Friends’ Carols and Fizz evening next Thursday, please don’t delay any longer. I believe there are only a few remaining. I will be sad to miss this event but unfortunately Mrs N and I have a prior engagement. We do look forward to seeing you all at The Friends Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7th December.

Anyway, have a great family weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster