I may have forgotten to wear odd socks at the very start of the week, but I still remember this message from my childhood: “If you can’t find something nice to say to somebody, then don’t say anything at all.”

In a week when we have concentrated on being kind to one another, this old-fashioned tenet came starkly back to me. Contrary to the well-known aphorism, words –  like sticks and stones – can really hurt. So we should realise the truth of what Canadian actress Shay Mitchell said:

”I realised that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who is insecure.” 

Well, children across the school certainly joined together this week, reinforcing the message that there is no place for bullying at Blue Coat. Of course we all know that this form of cowardice has scarred so many in the past. Yorkshire County Cricket Club is dealing with repercussions even as I write. We will all be doing our utmost to prevent it raising its ugly head here at school. The theme has been so positive. As I sorted out my socks, assemblies across the School were reinforcing this message in support of our values.

And so, a big ‘well done’ to Miss Green and Year 5 for their excellent anti-bullying assembly based on ‘One Kind Word’. It really made us all think carefully about how our actions make others feel. 1H and 2M also shared their anti-bullying assemblies in Pre-Prep and I enjoyed leading Year 1 and 2 assemblies on the same topic. Well done to the boys and girls for their excellent attention and interesting answers.

Today we celebrated Children in Need. The Heads of School, supported by Mr Hill and Miss Stanford, should be congratulated on the organisation of this, their first event. It was a real treat to dress down today and to receive a Pudsey-inspired biscuit, thus raising funds for this national charity. On behalf of our school leaders, thank you one and all for the support. 

Sandwiched between these community days, the School surpassed itself both inside and out. I was bursting with pride while listening to our music scholars performing at their concert on Tuesday evening. The musicianship was so mature. Equally, I was delighted that Senior school heads and directors of music were in the audience to witness such brilliance. Well done to Mr Nicklin, Miss Akehurst, our VMTs and all the children involved in what was a memorable and entertaining evening. This was followed by Year 4 who produced a wonderful recital on Thursday morning. From voice to piano to drums, we had it all. The children served up a treat, demonstrated as they did so, that all their hard work is paying  off.

There were great displays in all swimming disciplines this week when Years 3 and 4 children competed against Holy Trinity School and Year 5 and 6 girls against EHS.  It is so good to see swimming making such a splash again after such a long lay off. Well done to Miss Mockler, Mrs Barrowcliff and Mr Dalzell for their hard work in this area. Early morning training in the pool is certainly paying dividends.

The children have enjoyed a great week in hockey and rugby, too. Every Year 5 boy represented the School, and there were very impressive performances all round.  Well done to all the children for their commitment and competitiveness. As always, you will find full analysis in the match reports.

I’ll sign off here. I say it a lot but I’m so proud of the children. They grasp all the opportunities afforded to them and that makes me very proud.

Have a great weekend, I’m off to God’s Country for a family visit. Scotland, not Wales! Rest well and I look forward to Monday for what promises to be another special week at BCS.

Noel Neeson