For the early part of the week, as Vladimir Putin built up troops and then started an indiscriminate shelling of major Ukrainian cities, I was sheltering.

My minor COVID inconvenience is now at an end, but for all Ukrainians the nightmare gets worse. At present, we pray for those under the bully’s fire, and for some peaceful resolution. Looking ahead, the time must surely come when Putin is arraigned before a war crimes commission in The Hague.

My absence from school in no way reduced the impact of what was a great week here at BCS. The children might have been out of my sight, but I could hear them clearly enough, and the cheerful sound was such a welcome contrast to the telecasts from Kyiv.

Monday saw the unveiling of our 300 Years mosaic. Here is a graphic depiction of a Blue Coat boy and girl walking to St Philip’s Cathedral, the site where the School began three centuries ago.

I must thank the designer, Jackie Nash, for co-ordinating the project with Mr Hegenbarth and Miss Moore. Every child and staff member helped to produce this wonderful piece of art, which will remind us daily of how the school began and encourage us to ‘Grow in Grace.’

As part of World Book Day, we had a talking and reading session from author Serena Patel. Children in Prep enjoyed hearing from her. Such visits support and develop our children’s love of reading. Again many thanks to our Librarian, Ms Stacey, for organising this super event.

World Book Day itself was a great success. The BCS community really ‘went for it’, with children and staff embracing the idea of dressing up as their favourite book character.

Luke Moss and our catering team got totally into the spirit of the occasion, going for the Wizard of Oz theme. Not only was the food first rate; the decor in the dining room was fantastic. It all created a memorable experience for the children. Thank you, one and all. A special mention to Miss Stanford and her class for an excellent World Book Day Assembly.

Year 4 went on a Geography Field Trip to Harborne High Street. Not the most exotic of destinations, perhaps, but the children embraced the experience, which helped them better understand their local environment. The children may have been a little disappointed that they didn’t have a snack at The Plough, but they clearly enjoyed the trip.

Finally, today we had a special assembly for Bernard Singleton, our former Chair, who recently stood down after eight years in the role. Mr Singleton has been so supportive as a mentor, so invaluable as a sounding board and so selfless in all his actions. His dedication to BCS has been total.

Talking of commitment, stamina and drive, good luck to all our cross country runners who are taking part in the National Prep Schools’ Cross Country Championship at Malvern College this weekend. Believe. it, Achieve it!

Noel Neeson