Disappointment comes in many guises. It strikes at painful times. Even on Christmas Night, if Santa has a problem with his reindeer.

Acceptance of setbacks is a major clause in the grammar of education. Of course, the only way to avoid disappointment is not to harbour hopes; not to attempt to get better; not to experiment; not to practise; not to strive; not to compete against others and yourself. Yes, it is a lesson we have to learn early in our lives. As the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney said, “…childhood is, generally speaking, a preparation for disappointment.”

Sometimes, we may feel let down when arrangements have to be altered. At other times, we try our utmost and narrowly fail to realise our dreams. Both scenarios have afflicted our children during the past ten days.

This week, a large number of highly-tuned, motivated players were due to sit their ABRSM music exams. Unfortunately, an issue over getting the examiner to the School meant that the exams had to be postponed. The children have worked so hard; I am sorry that they felt let down, but sure that they will thrive in due course.

And then we had the disappointment suffered by our Year 6 girls, who had achieved the distinction of becoming the first BCS group to reach the IAPS hockey finals. Having travelled to Millfield School, they played incredibly well and could consider themselves unfortunate not to qualify for the knockout stages. Only the conceding of a goal in the last minute denied them the victory they needed. As if that were not enough, in the Plate competition they lost on penalty flicks, hockey’s answer to Russian roulette!While I can be sure that the whole experience will have made this group more experienced, more determined and more resolute, I want to say a huge thank you to Mrs Bennett and Mr Newman for coaching the girls so admirably and to the BCS parents for their unwavering support.

I trust that Year 6 children were in no way let down when they came for the traditional, end-of-exam season hot chocolate and doughnuts yesterday. The children have worked so hard over their time here, and I am sure that the right school awaits them in due course.

Our Chair of Governors saw the children in action this week. He enjoyed visiting classrooms and speaking to senior pupils about school life, not least how the staff support them with staying safe online. I must thank the Governors for supporting the school in our vision of excellence in all that we do.

Although the weather disrupted some sports fixtures at School, boys and girls alike in Years 3 and 4 enjoyed some fantastic matches. The players played their hearts out on the hockey and rugby pitches with many inspiring performances. For an update, do please read the match reports.

As part of their community service, some of our Year 5 and Year 6 children spent time at The Edgbaston Beaumont Care Home. They enjoyed getting to know the residents and talking about each other’s lives. It was a purposeful and rewarding day. Thank you to all the staff involved; Mr Hulbert, Mr Hegenbarth and Miss Moore. This was an excellent initiative; a way of giving back to the community.

Finally, I must congratulate the children and Staff in Nursery and Reception for their wonderful Nativities over the last two days. The perfect Advent tonic, they helped us get that festive feel up and running.

Thank you to all the parents for the wonderful support in respect of our changes to our Covid protocols this week. It has been greatly appreciated.

We are all disappointed that life is so abnormal. But we will come through this – and be stronger as a family for it.

Happy weekend one and all!

Noel Neeson