So, having trained solidly for years as a top international skater, you fall gracelessly onto the ice, twice, – in front of thousands at the Winter Olympics. And then, to add insult to injury, you get berated for giving up your adopted citizenship in order to represent your native country.

I find it hard to think of much worse. Unless, perhaps, it is suffering the humiliation of having the social media world look on as you kick a ‘beloved’ feline friend across your kitchen…
Well, that first-mentioned cold and painful double fall from grace happened this week to China’s Zhu Yi. But each time she tumbled, she got back on her blades. Yes, with the fortitude of Kurt Zouma’s cat, she soldiered on – as if to make use of her remaining seven lives.

Whilst Zhu Yi’s experience underlines the pernicious nature of online behaviour, it also reinforces the idea that life is not all about the winning, but about the taking part; about having the courage to compete; to ‘go again’.

If all that reads like Thought For The Day, here we are, appropriately, at the end of a week which started with the children being given a thought-provoking talk on resilience and mental health.

I found that Dr Hazel Harrison’s talk made the parental me consider my role as primary educator in supporting my son and daughter. At BCS, We expect a lot from our children, and we encourage them to expect a lot from themselves.

Our senior boy and girl runners are certainly well versed in the need for resilience. Only a West Ham defender would let his dog go out in the weather conditions that they had to contend with last weekend, but, undaunted, our cross country teams took it all in their stride, romping home to victory in the cross country competition at Abberley Hall School.

James…….said, “The 1.2km relay course was gruelling. Many other runners were exhausted and walking at the end, but all the Blue Coat athletes kept going and gave everything right up until their changeover. Both the boys and girls ran phenomenally, persevering through the mud and up the final steep hill.”

And yes, we do enjoy winning! More success came in the middle of the week, when a quartet of our children headed to KES for the annual Prep School Maths Challenge. They competed impeccably and exceeded all expectations by winning the event.
Said Mrs Barnes, “The children did both themselves and BCS proud. Well done to Lexi, Zimo, Syan and Zayaan. Not only did they use their mathematical knowledge to solve some tricky maths problems but they worked fantastically as a team and displayed our values of perseverance and respect tremendously. “ They scored 49/51 on the cross number. That is a remarkably high score.”
(And if you want to test your own powers by tackling three of the Maths questions, read on until the end of this Update!)

I must also say well done to the Year 3 girls who represented the school at netball for the first time at Warwick School. It was a great day with super skills on display.
On a busy Tuesday, we had welcomed a number of children to BCS for the IAPS regional swimming qualifiers. All the children swam really well, being richly rewarded for their fortitude in undertaking months of early morning training sessions.

Special congratulations must go to Miss Mockler and the Sports Team for their excellent organisation. The event was a triumph in all respects. Now comes the long wait to see if the times achieved give us our dream day at the Olympic Pool in London, for the IAPS National Finals.

This week Years 5 and 6 had their turn to display some outstanding musicianship in their recital. The musical journey here at BCS is a wonderful and colourful one, with very high expectations for all, and this cohort has already come such a long way in its musical development. The children’s poise, maturity and technical skill was most impressive.

Today, we welcomed the Solihull School Chaplain to our Friday service. It was a wonderful occasion, and Fr Andrew Hutchinson spoke engagingly about being made in God’s image. I am sure that the children and staff took much from Fr Andrew’s talk and will be able to introduce those concepts into their own lives.

Personally, I enjoyed leading my assembly with Year 1 on Jesus the Miracle Man. We re-enacted Jesus’ first miracle, changing water into wine. As Christians, we believe that when God is at work, everyday things like water can become very special. Ordinary people though we are, God thinks that we are wonderful and gives us unconditional love. We believe that if we make time for Him in our lives He will help us to change for the better, just as in the story ordinary water was changed into the best wine.

Next week we end this fantastic half term with the Year 4 production of Peter Pan. It promises to be a swashbuckling finale.

Now to those Maths problems…

– Five businessmen shake hands with each other. How many handshakes in total?
– If I have 6 different shirts and 3 different pairs of trousers, how many possible outfits can I make?
– What is the number of squares with 2cm sides that could fit into a square with 16cm sides without any overlapping.

Mr Neeson