Dolefully, soulfully, our week with the country saying its collective goodbye to the Queen. Chatting to the children on Tuesday, I learned that the many who watched the event were hugely impressed by its pomp and ceremony. As he takes on his new duties, I am sure that we all offer our new king sympathy and –  to coin a phrase that originated shortly after his mother came to the throne, wish him: ‘the best of British’.  

Of Presidents and leading actors there were a vast number, but I was so impressed by Westminster Abbey, the stage. With its fantastic arches, its cold stone, its flags and its fanfares, it took me back to Tudor times and beyond, even to the 13th century when building actually began. I cannot have been alone in bringing to mind huge historical happenings, and tracing the pageant of drama that courses through our history.

As the crown passed to Charles III, and he returned to the Balmoral Estate to grieve, we reflect upon what a significant role Scotland the country has played in the events of recent days. And it is somehow appropriate that, this week of all weeks, Year 5 have been investing their time in a study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The cohort relished an informative Wow Day, learning about our greatest dramatist, acting out and learning about this famous play. It was clear from talking to a number of children afterwards that the Shakespeare company had really opened their eyes.

Shakespeare wrote on the death of King Duncan ‘(He) hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been/ So clear in his great office, that his virtues/ Will plead like angels trumpet-tongued, against/ ……his taking off. And if I may be permitted to change the gender of his monarch, many lining the way from London to Windsor on Monday would have echoed those words as a fitting eulogy for the late Queen.

On a less lofty but very positive note, Mrs West was delighted with the turnout of parents of Reception Children at our maths information morning. It is important that we work together to support the children in their early numeracy skills. They clearly loved showing their parents the work that they were covering in class. Well done to Mrs West and the Reception team.  

 This week it was great to see fixtures return for the first time this academic year. The children represented the school with an excellent attitude, and there were many encouraging displays. Please read the match update for full match reports.

When Mrs West and I celebrated our first golden table of this academic year, it was a delight to meet our children who lived out the BCS values. My focus this week was on  ‘well-being’. It was great to hear not only how children feel supported in lessons but also how we can support them to be resilient and help them to make positive decisions.

On Thursday evening many parents and staff enjoyed a touch rugby event. It was great fun to see the BCS parents come to join and have a fun evening of sport. Thank you to Ms Clifford for helping to organise this event. A big thank you also must also go to the catering team for the excellent food that they served after the matches.

Today, we had a busy morning with a visit from Kate Hilpern, Senior Editor at the Good Schools Guide, who was tasked to write our School report. May I take this opportunity to thank all the children, staff and parents for supporting this process. The report will be published in the near future.

This afternoon, the Year 5 and 6 children, with a special guest, our very own BCS bear, took part in the annual Scotsman Run. Both races were hotly contested. Congratulations to all children for showing the Blue Coat Values, of Kindness (towards each other), Respect (for opponents) and perseverance (to complete this race). All children should be very proud of themselves. 

A special thank you to Mrs Gilmore, our Chair of Governors, for starting the race. Also to the sports staff for organising the event. And thank you to the many parents who came to support. The children very much appreciated your being here.

Tomorrow, on Saturday, we have our first Open Morning of the year. The turnout promises to be our biggest ever, and I am truly bowled over by the prospect. Thank you to the many parents who support the school, and make it the vibrant community that it is today.