“To be an actor, you have to be a child”. So said the great Paul Newman.
By that, I guess that he was saying: in order to be convincing, adults have to suppress their own experience and ‘write their characters’ on an empty page. Well we have reversed the process this week. To be a child here, it’s helped to be an actor. And not content with that: we have even welcomed the genuine article – a real, live, professional actor – into school, just to talk to us.
It surprises me not one jot that in the past few years Bugsy Malone has been one of the most popular plays mounted by junior schools. After all, who can resist the substitution of toy guns and whipped cream for machine guns and bullets. Well, we have put gloriously onto the stage this unusual spoof of the old gangster movies in which a cast made up entirely of children sings and dances its way around Prohibition-era set.
As I celebrate my birthday today, and recall the early ones with whipped-cream cakes and candles, what better way to do this than to share a wonderful Golden Table with the children to discuss living out the BCS values. As ever, the children were just so polite and such wonderful great craic. Thank you all so much for making me laugh on my big day.
To complete my happiness, having written this, I will be celebrating by watching Year 6’s performers in ‘criminal action’. Last night, the acting was truly inspirational; the dancing and enthusiasm were first rate. Doubtless the second cast will pull off a similarly bravura performance. Well done to the play’s Director, Mrs Redfern, and our Director of Music, Mr Nicklin, for leading the staff and children in producing a wonderful reincarnation of this famous movie.
To add further excitement to a brilliant production, we welcomed into Blue Coat an original cast member: Paul Murphy was the very first actor to play shy boxer Leroy Smith. The children had a question and answer session with him, before he settled down to watch them over both nights. These opportunities really take children’s experience to new heights.
Pre-Prep, meanwhile, enjoyed an informative Science Day. The great Space Dome was erected in the Pre-Prep gym and the children learned about the planets and space in general. It was a super experience. Said one starstruck Pre-Prepper, “One day I am going to be the first Blue Coat girl in space!” Aspirational attitudes. That’s what we strive for at BCS!
Over the course of the week I have really enjoyed watching the girls’ and boys’ house matches. The cricket demonstrated the children’s ability and how much they have developed over this academic year. I was so proud of all the children and the great sportsmanship shown throughout the day. The children were genuinely having fun and aspiring to be the next Ellyse Perry or Joe Root. It was a joy to behold.
Next Thursday, as West Midlands champions, we take part in the English Schools Cricket Association Under-11 Hardball Tournament at Oakham School, Stuart Broad’s alumni. Matches begin at 10 am. Parents are very welcome to attend. In our half of the draw are Whitgift School, King’s Hall from Taunton and Lochinver House from Potters Bar. At the very least, our players will return to Birmingham with certificates. At best, they will come home with a trophy. Fingers crossed!
Last but by no means least, I must take this opportunity to say well done to the Year 5 & Year 6 dads, who were imperious last Friday night. It was a great family evening that was enjoyed by all. Thank you especially to Mr Brinkman and Mr Matthews for their support in organising the event – a typically lively Blue Coat family evening.
You can read all this week’s news here – do keep an eye out next week for the photos from our brilliant Year 6 production!
Have a great weekend.