Like me, many parents will remember a time when talk of a ‘global pandemic’ was the pastime of eccentric academics and scientists who had an appetite for the sensational and the self-indulgent.

That was in a bygone age when ‘distance learning’ implied a day trip to the sights of London, or, if you were really lucky, a couple of days to Paris and a brief hop up the Eiffel Tower.

Yet here we are, leaving our footprints on the clean beach of history: reflecting on what has been a ravaged and testing 2020, and yet looking optimistically ahead to the future.

In the face of the obvious hurdles posed by the COVID crisis, I know this: there has been a tightened sense of cohesiveness and collegiality amongst the staff, pupils and parents of BCS. 

You all know as well as I do how staff here have had to adapt like never before to serve our pupils and support our community. I also know that for the many parents involved with ‘home-schooling’ their children this term, there is a renewed respect and appreciation for the teaching profession!

That word, ‘Respect’ is on the lips of hundreds of thousands following the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd. I don’t want to go into the rights and wrongs of political and racial protest. But there is one thing we can surely agree on. When this pandemic is over – and consigned to the history books – let’s hope we will have learned what it is to respect one another, and to respect those whom previously we might have taken for granted.

I have been surprised and delighted with the way in which members of the public have maintained their social distance. And, like everybody else I have been full of admiration for those in the key services who have kept on working despite the very obvious threat to their lives.

At BCS I strive for a vision of equality. Whether that be Race, religion or nationality. We must treat each other as equals and treat others the way they wish to be treated. I always feel in life we must learn from our mistakes and try hard to live out the Blue Coat values of perseverance, truthfulness and respect. If we can live to these values, the world will be a better place.

Meanwhile, I am gratified that the children here at school are really getting back into the swing of things. To you children working at home, keep working hard – and persevere. Our assembly with my daughter Bea this week focused on optimism. Let us be optimistic that we may possibly be back together before the summer break. With social distancing!

Today, many excited Year 2 pupils were given their houses for Prep. This process has become an integral part of entering the senior part of school; it has become a rite of passage. Congratulations to one and all, and thanks to all the staff for the time and energy which goes into creating this memorable event.

At the end of next week you will be receiving a brochure outlining staff comings and goings for next academic year. Unfortunately, I have no option other than to withhold the class lists for the time being as these may be subject to change, depending on government guidance on numbers per class.

Please bear with the school as we put children’s emotions first. We do not want to build up expectations only for these to be dashed.

As always, we will keep you fully abreast of all developments. As I said last week, BCS is ready to take back all year groups. A return to School booklet will outline this approach and will be sent this evening following a whole school staff meeting.

If you have any queries, parents, do feel free to contact me. Thank you for your support. Meanwhile, children, keep up the great work and respect your Mum and Dad for the extra work they are putting in on your behalf.

Happy weekend!

Noel Neeson | Headmaster