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|Blue Coat Church of England School|
|Motto||Christian education with care|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Church of England|
|Local authority||Coventry City Council|
|Department for Education URN||137272 Tables|
|Head teacher||Mrs Victoria Shelley|
|Age||11 to 18|
Blue Coat Church of England School is a specialist Music, Maths and Science college. The original Blue Coat school was founded in 1714 as a school for girls and was located close to Holy Trinity church in the city centre of Coventry. The original school site is also close to the ruins of St Mary's Priory and Cathedral, which can be seen in the photo of the old site.
A new school was opened on the present site in 1964 under headmaster William J Grimes, who ran the school until his retirement in 1980, replaced by Rev R Lewie as Head until 1986. From 1994 to 1999, Dr. R. Lewin was headteacher, preceding Stephen Timbrell, who was the headteacher from 1999 until 12 May 2008. Dr J.Roberts became headteacher in September 2009 but left the school in 2015, when Mr F. Peacock became interim headteacher. In 2016 Mrs Shelley became the new headteacher of Blue Coat. Mr F. Peacock still works at Blue Coat school as a history teacher.
Current enrollment is around 1460 pupils, and the school gained an outstanding SIAMS grading in July 2015. It is one of very few specialist Music Colleges in the country. The school has ties with Coventry Cathedral, and holds several services there every year.
Year and school councils
At the start of the school year, each form elects several representatives to serve on the year council. Two or three of these year council representatives are elected to serve on the school council. The year councils discuss issues regarding school life and pass their findings to the school council, who consider them. The school council has a budget to facilitate resolution of these issues as long as they support the Christian ethos of the school.
The school has an eight-part choir, typically performing choral works ranging from the early works of Thomas Tallis through Joseph Haydn's Insanae et Vanae Curae to the recent works of composers such as John Tavener. The choir visits cathedrals around the country annually, where it sings services for the week whilst the resident choir is away. These have included Chester, York, Blackburn, Salisbury, and Liverpool. The choir has sung mass in St Mark's Basilica, Venice. In the summer of 2007 the choir visited Wells Cathedral.
Other choir activities have included:
- 2010: During the summer the choir sang services in Wells Cathedral. Whilst they were there a CD was recorded, which is still available to purchase from the school's Music Department.
- 2011: The choir sang services at York Minster during the summer. The boys section were selected to appear film, 'Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger." Part of the storyline involved having David Tennant as conductor. Venues for the filming were Warwick Castle, Bablake School, and the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.
- 2012: As part of Coventry Cathedral's Golden Jubilee celebrations, a group of senior members performed in front of a congregation of 2000, which included the Princess Royal and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The choir sang services at Salisbury Cathedral during the summer.
- 2014: The choir performed in front of 2000 at Stoneleigh Park, for a farming event. They also sang many times at Coventry Cathedral, which they do many times a year.
The choir has been entering the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition for the last three years, and has come close to winning several times, with the Choir winning the competition in the 2008 finals. The choir is a regular on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Daily Service.
The school has at least three annual dramatic productions. There is an annual musical open to all students, recent productions include 'We Will Rock You', 'The Wiz' and 'Hairspray'. There is a production for students in key stages 4 and 5 such as 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Lord of the Flies', ' The Lady Killers' and 'The Good Person of Schezuan'. Also, an annual production for students in key stage 3, recently 'The Comedy of Errors', 'Ignite' and 'The Canterbury Tales'. The school took a production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, 'One Good Soul'. There are also bespoke community drama projects in partnership with a range of organisations and student directed productions.
The current Blue Coat School uniform for Years 7-11 consists of: School blazer, white shirt, black trousers or regulation skirt, House tie, black, grey or white socks, black shoes.
Financial crisis 2015
It was announced in a letter home to parents on 5 March 2015 the whole governing body of the school was to step down to make way for an interim governing body as the school was facing "serious financial issues". The school has put a small number of support posts at risk.
On BBC CWR's radio Breakfast show on 5 March 2015 there were calls from parents for Head Dr Julie Roberts to stand down. The BBC later reported that there was a £1.4 million shortfall in funding. In May 2015 after being put on special leave Dr Julie Roberts resigned.
As of the end of 2018, the school is £668,000 in debt to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Under Victoria Shelley, the school has implemented a new house system. The houses are named Cavell, Dorsey, Lewis, Parks and Wilberforce. These were chosen to reflect the schools six values: Care, Hard work, Respect, Integrity, Servanthood and Togetherness, an acronym for CHRIST. Tutorials are based on house systems, and contain students from a variety of years to promote inter-year coherence. It also affects the tie a student wear - each house is designated a colour, and each tie has different coloured stripes.
Much like other schools with house systems, there are heads of each house, and prefects (student support members) under each head.
Previously, from the era when the school was lead by Mr. Grimes, the school was divided into three traditional houses named after Bishops of Coventry: Neville Gorton, Mervyn Haig, and Cuthbert Bardsley. The houses were identified by the colours red, green, and blue respectively. Each house had two classes numbered by the year and lettered by the first or last name of the respective bishop. For example, as student might enter in Form 1C in their first year, progress to 2C for the second, 3C for the third etc. Students did not change classes each year and so spent five years with the same group of children. The homerooms of each class were localized to the three separate main buildings of the school, but tuition took place across the whole facility based on subject. The houses were further subdivided into a "lower school," comprising years 1, 2, and 3, and an "upper school," comprising years 4 and 5. The house system was not used in the sixth form, which was a single unit with a "lower sixth" and "upper sixth" for organizational purposes.
- Sukhbir Singh Phull (GCSE, 2018), convicted for the murder of Aston Villa footballer Ramani Morgan
- Pray Maphosa (GCSEs, 2018), convicted with the shooting of an 18-year-old.
- "Blue Coat Church of England School & Music College". Coventry Blue Coat School. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Blue Coat Church of England School & Music College". Coventry Blue Coat School. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Coventry's Blue Coat School 'has £1.4m shortfall'". BBC News. BBC. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- Lynch, Lucy (25 May 2015). "Head of Coventry Blue Coat School steps down". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Accounts 2017-2018" (PDF). 31 August 2018.
- "House Introduction – Blue Coat School & Music College". Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- "Teenager who stabbed Ramani Morgan in the heart jailed for life".
- "Teenager denies attempted murder after Coventry shooting".
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