A famous Russian, Leo Tolstoy, once said “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” Tolstoy, the man who wrote War and Peace, knew something about emotion. Which makes me wonder: on a quiet evening in the Kremlin, what sort of music would Vladimir Putin sit down to? Or, were Putin to be voluntarily stranded on Roy Plomley’s Desert Island (the ultimate in wishful thinking, I know) which eight pieces of music would he select? Something gentle and lyrical; something strident and jarring; something modern or traditional? It’s hard to imagine him surrendering to any sort of tune. Because to appreciate music surely requires the listener to be receptive; to have taste; to possess a soul.

Here at Blue Coat, where we are very much aware of the appalling events in Eastern Europe, music is an ever-present tonic to children – and their audiences. The Chapel Choir sang a beautiful and moving rendition this morning of ‘Prayer for Ukraine’, which gave everyone present an opportunity to reflect and to pray for peace in the region.

Playing,  dancing, competing against one another and working hard to climb the ladder of music grades, boys and girls have made these past five days very memorable indeed. Thanks to the Friends’ organisation, we had a brilliantly organised disco for our Prep children, who danced the night away and plunged whole-heartedly into the spirit of the occasion. 

Saturday afternoon had seen the start of the auditions for the BCS Young Musician of the Year competition. Thank you to Mr Nicklin and Miss Akehurst in particular for leading this. The semi final takes place on Monday with the Gala Concert that evening. Please come along and support the children. This is an opportunity to inspire and reward them.

Still on the music front, a big well done to all of our children who have been sitting their ABRSM music exams this week. Of course many an hour of practice was done in preparation, and I look forward to celebrating the outcomes in due course.

I must also congratulate the Pre-Prep children for a superb concert on Tuesday morning. The musicianship was prodigious. From Bach to Woodward, their playing was exceptional. The future of music at BCS is very bright indeed. Thank you to Mrs Creaton and the visiting music teachers for supporting the event.

Changing tack, on Saturday we had our first major event of the 300th celebrations: The Sportathon. What a special day!  Over 250 families took part. Many dressed for the occasion and everyone got into the spirit of the event. Thank you to Mrs Dredger, Mr Newman and The Sports Department for their organisation. A massive thank you to all the children, parents and staff for your support. 

Well done also to Year 6JR on a wonderful assembly on Wednesday morning. It reinforced the  importance of justice and speaking out for what you believe in. Never a truer sentiment.  The children spoke and dramatised the assembly beautifully and deserve great credit.

Blue Coat children continue to impress us with their sense of charity and looking out for others. One of our Year 5 pupils, Mei-Li, is looking to raise money for the Little Princess Trust.  This charity provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair as a result of cancer treatment or other illnesses.  Mei-Li has been growing her own hair for the past two years and she will soon be cutting this off for this worthy cause.  You are able to support Mei-Li through the following JustGiving page below.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mei-li-taylor

Aashni, also in Year 5, has been really moved by the war in Ukraine and wanted to try and help. She has been busy baking cookies to raise money for the charity Disasters Emergency Committee to support the people of Ukraine that are fleeing conflict, and has managed to raise £626 by selling them to people at her parents’ places of work and to family members.

Well done Mei-Li and Aashni, you are an inspiration to us all.

Finally, good luck to our senior girls in the National Netball Finals at Bryanston School, Dorset. I’m sure they will have a great experience and learn so much from playing in this calibre of competition. Results will be on twitter and next week’s update.

Have a restful weekend and thank you for all the support.

Noel Neeson