More than 60 years have passed since the words of Martin Luther King Jr made their indelible mark on history. His famous speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, recalled the Emancipation Proclamation and made clear how Black people were still not free in America. Such was the emotional impact of King’s words; such was the impact of his assassination; such was the horror of racial tension in the United States, that we cannot but recall his ‘dream.’

‘I have a dream,’ said King. And throwing to one side his notes, speaking from the heart, hanging onto the music of his delivery, he added, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

These words ring out loud, warm and lyrical still today, as we have begun Black History Month this October. I was privileged to focus on the importance of this topic in my Pre-Prep assembly and next week I will be giving a video address to Prep children, reinforcing the importance of this focus.

Black History Month encourages the appreciation and acknowledgement of Black history, as well as the celebration of Black people’s ongoing contributions to British society. If the symbolic gesture of ‘taking the knee’ may have lost some of its impact, it is all the more vital that we recognise people and culture. It is imperative that as a school community, we work to actively promote anti-racism not only during October, but as an ongoing effort.

At BCS, I know that we strive to ensure equality and the appreciation of all. It is so important for our diverse community that we celebrate the work of everybody, but most especially the many who had to fight for their freedom.

Class 5NB gave an excellent assembly on Black women and their contribution to Black History. Here was a poignant reminder of the suffering of Black people throughout history and the wonderful contribution to politics, sport and music that these empowered women have given us. An entirely evocative and thought-provoking assembly. Though the end of summer is nearly upon us, and although the clocks may be going back, our children continue to put their best feet forward.

This assembly was followed up today by a memorable Chapel service, led by Sarah Pitchford of Birmingham City Mission. It was appropriate that Sarah spoke, as it was she who had outlined our focus for Harvest this year.

On Thursday celebrated World Teachers’ Day. So all you readers who are teachers – thank you for all that you do. To my wonderful staff I have one thing to say…. ‘Individually Strong, Unbreakable as One.’ You are so important to our success here at The Blue Coat School. We salute you!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the children who last Saturday gave their time to Open Day. It was a wonderful success; once again the children were super ambassadors.

Over the course of today and tomorrow we keep in mind our wonderful Year 6 children, who are taking the KEHS and KES Senior School entry exams.

Happy weekend to all!

Class 5NB poses for a photo after their assembly.
Sarah Pitchford welcomes pupils into Chapel and describes her work from Birmingham City Mission.