When I was three or four years of age – in what was probably a desperate effort to get me off to sleep – my mum would sing me nursery rhymes and tell me many a traditional tale.

As a parent, even though by then I found myself in competition with sophisticated musical equipment, tape recorders and the like, my turn came round, and I told the same great stories to my children. How they loved listening.

Hans Christian Andersen was responsible for so many of these dramatic tales. Without him, we would not have films such as The Little Mermaid, nor The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Frozen, or The Little Match Girl. Stories like The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and The Pea and The Ugly Duckling would not exist. And to think: when this great Dane was born, way back in 1805, The Blue Coat School had already been in existence for 83 years.

When I allude to the history of this, our School, on its 300th birthday, I do so with humility bordering on reverence. After all, the foundations laid at the start of the Georgian era are still the beating heart of our thriving modern, award-winning institution.

A special thank you goes to our Chair of Governors, for handing out commemorative pin badges as the celebrations got underway in earnest with three Chapel services: for Pre-Prep; Years 3 and 4; and for our senior children.

Today’s thought-provoking services were led by our wonderful Chaplain, Mrs Drake. The children journeyed back in time to revisit the beginnings of Blue Coat and we completed the day with afternoon treats in the classrooms and year group bubbles. Well done, one and all, for making the launch of our tercentenary so special and memorable.

And life goes on at a tremendous pace. There were in Week 2 a number of innovative activities that will have enhanced our children’s learning.

First, on the music front, Years 2 and 3 enjoyed a Gamelan workshop. This was a drumming session which focused on rhythm. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Many thanks to Mrs Creaton for organising it.

Year 5’s studies allowed them to participate in a Taj Mahal enrichment day. The children created amazing architectural structures and were totally engrossed in their activities. Indeed, the standard of work created by this cohort is quite exceptional.

Not to be outdone children in the Early Years, were treated to a Wow day based on those nursery rhymes and traditional tales that I mentioned earlier. Treasure in store being built up for their children in time to come.

This week I enjoyed visiting early morning clubs. The dedication of the children to ‘upskill’ themselves in activities from cricket to swimming to table tennis is wonderful to see.
I must commend our staff for demonstrating such flexibility with their hybrid challenge: combining in-class teaching with online links to isolating children is difficult, but clearly nothing is too much for them.

Last, but by no means least, I want to thank all parents for their support. To date, we have vast numbers enquiring about sitting our 7+ entrance exam. We are also oversubscribed across the School, with places at a premium. Visitors clearly feel the strong support and pride that our parents have for Blue Coat. For that I am indebted to you.
To re-coin a phrase: Individually strong, unbreakable as one!

Mr Noel Neeson