Around this time of the year, I start to feel huge sympathy for the nation’s dedicated and often very aged army of bellringers. Up the church towers they troop, these unsung heroes, invariably feeling the cold, to regale us with a diversity of peels, the intricacy and coordination of which pass by most mortals’ understanding. They chime for Carol Services. They herald Christingle. They fulfill all their normal functions. And then they announce the coming of The Day itself.

And so, as our redoubtable ringers flex their muscles, take on extra rations of mince pies and prepare for a month of strenuous mental and physical activity, we know that the season of Advent is truly underway. It certainly is at Blue Coat School.

Last Sunday, the Chapel Choir were imperious as they joined the Cathedral Choristers for the annual Advent Processional Service at St Philip’s on Colmore Row. The whole event reinforced the quality of our music programme here.

Following that, we welcomed our ABRSM examiner to BCS. The children looked in prime form and were confident when I popped along to see them. Much work always goes into these exams and we are greatly indebted to the music department, the visiting music department and, not least, you – the parents – for the opportunities we provide for our musicians to shine.

The Chapel Choir rounded off this wonderful musical week with a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to share carols with patients and staff. Feedback from many was, quite simply, ‘It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas.’

Today we welcomed the Salvation Army to our Chapel Service. It was a memorable service indeed.  The range of music intermingled with the children’s voices was wonderful, and it was satisfying to present them with a cheque to help support their work during what is a busy period for them, too.

A big thank you to the whole Blue Coat community for supporting our sustainability programme (more details will follow soon) by joining our Pre-Loved Christmas Jumper Swap Shop. Rather than binning them and buying another one, we set about upcycling, and it was heart-warming to see so many embrace this new scheme.

On the topic of clothes I bowled over by the response to support St George’s School, Newtown. The blankets and coats that everybody gave will bring great cheer and warmth to so many this winter season.

Can I please encourage all families to come and get in the Christmas spirit tomorrow at the Christmas Fayre. This will be running from 12-noon to 4pm, with lots of enticing stalls. You never know, you might even pick up a few stocking fillers!

Meanwhile, have a great weekend all!