Queues on the garage forecourts, incessant rain, temperatures dropping through the floor, a rare white deer shot down on Merseyside, The United States shooting us down in Wisconsin. What a miserable week it has been!

It’s almost enough to make you envious of the humble tortoise. With the dismal weather, and a natural loss of bodily appetite, the time has come, instinctively, for our slow-coach testudinal friend to dig himself (or herself ) into the ground and hunker down to sleep for three or four months. Yes, according to the poet Keats, autumn is the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, falling leaves and log fires. But even as Esio trots, Queen Bees, bats, ground squirrels, snakes and hedgehogs disappear for a spell, the wonderful species Bluecoaticus omnius generalissimus moves up a gear.

Sunshine, showers or snowfall, Sport and Music remain hugely popular activities here. Of course, both activities give children a chance to emerge from their shells and express themselves; to compete and to co-operate whether it be physically or harmonically. And to get together with creatures of a different strain.

Amongst other schools, Warwick School, King’s Hawford and Eversfield were visitors to BCS this week. It is wonderful to see the children enjoy using their skills on the field of play. And, considering the weather, we saw some magical hockey and rugby.

On top of sport we have 252 children having instrumental lessons or playing in ensembles. How lucky we are to be part of the great Blue Coat Family. The musicianship I have heard is just magical. Commitment is most important, but the sound of fun and laughter coming from the music rooms is just wonderful, too.

“How do the children fit in any academic work?” you may well ask. Let me tell you: these children are desperate to learn. The mantra we instil in our children is:

If you’re wrong – admit it. If you are confused, ask questions. If you make a mistake, learn from it. If you learn something, teach others.

Our children do this in abundance across Pre-Prep and Prep. They show humility and a willingness to break through any glass ceiling. This is what the visitors will see at Open Day tomorrow. Thank you to all our parents who advocate the School. Once again we have a bumper turn out, but with limited places available for the coming years.

This week, I enjoyed a number of meetings with children across the school. Pupil Voice is an important tool and on this occasion it gave us the opportunity to listen to children’s views on keeping safe at school and to learn about how they and their contemporaries are settling into their new year groups. You will be pleased to hear that it was a positive interlude, the children talking very happily and confidently about school.

I also had the pleasure of having lunch with a number of children in Prep. They were hilarious and extremely well-mannered. We discussed so much. Sorry, Sir Keir and Boris, but I would suggest that the world will be a better place when these bright minds are tomorrow’s leaders….

As part of our Outreach Programme, we welcomed Thornton Primary School. The children enjoyed a day of Bushcraft under the direction of Mrs Walker and Mr Isherwood. This program not only serves to give back to the community; it allows us at BCS to support and give back to the wider Birmingham community as our forefathers did 300 years ago.

Please keep our Year 6 children in your thoughts and prayers over the course of the next few weeks as the Birmingham exam season kicks in. Yes, it is an anxious time for our eldest scholars. But I know they will fly!

Happy weekend, one and all!

Noel Neeson