As the World Cup started so controversially in Qatar, our children basked in the glory of England beating Iran so convincingly. I could hear in the playgrounds the children impersonating their heroes, shouting, “I’m Saka” and “I’m Bellingham”. 

What strong role models these international players can be to our children, combining self-discipline, teamwork, flair, grace and superb technique. The even younger one of that pair, the one with the strong Brummie accent, Bellingham, is not far beyond school-leaving age. The precocity of his performances gives youngsters here and throughout the country even stronger grounds for emulation.

Yes, the politics has been more than a slight deflection, but who said the World Cup has lost its sparkle? Seeming to take inspiration, our girls and boys achieved brilliantly in their hockey and rugby fixtures this week- you can view this week’s match reports below.

Talking of high aspiration, on Wednesday, our Prelude Music Concert performers gave their audience a treat. This masterclass demonstrated a wide variety of musical excellence, with stunning oboe, consummate clarinet and sublime cello playing all on display. The girls and boys produced a standard that was well beyond their years, in a wonderful event. Thank you to the parents, visiting music teacher and Mr Nicklin and his team for the support offered to the children.

This week, when I enjoyed introducing the Pre-Prep children to the season of Advent, with ‘The Count Down’,  the excitement was palpable. I reinforced the importance of patience and of remembering this year those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We discussed the Warm Coat Appeal, and underscored how helping others is an important part of giving – especially at this time of the year. Thank you, incidentally, to all the parents who have sent blankets and coats to support St George’s, Newtown. It will be one of the best gifts we have given this year.

I was delighted to welcome our Chaplain elect to School this week. Fr Andrew spent the day familiarising himself with all things BCS. He is so looking forward to starting and has already impressed staff with his focus on the children. Please keep Fr Andrew in your thoughts and prayers as he prepares to start his ministry here in January. A date for your diary is Fr Andrew’s commissioning service on Friday 13th January at 8.40. We will welcome Bishop James Longstaff to the School to carry out this important engagement, and parents are welcome at this service.

Well done to our Year 6 girls and boys for a great display at the IAPS National hockey and Regional rugby events. They clearly had a lot of fun and did themselves proud.  

Good luck now to all the children sitting papers in Bromsgrove today. In essence, this ends the local examination season.  

And finally, I wish the Chapel Choir every success this Sunday at the Advent Processional Service in St Philip’s Cathedral, where they will sing alongside the Cathedral Choir. If you are in the city, pop in and enjoy!

A happy weekend one and all.