Founded in 1656 as a charity school for orphans and deprived children in the borough, Blue Coat Academy has a long and rich history of providing an excellent Christian education for its students. Although in the modern world, the lives of our students are very different, the desire for a good education, within a caring family, lives on. As a Church of England school, our ethos and values are based on Christian traditions but our students come from many different backgrounds and faiths, and we use the richness that this diversity brings to enhance learning opportunities.
We constantly strive to learn from past experience to build a better future, which is the basis of our motto, ‘Respice Prospice’, meaning ‘Look backward. Look forward’.
We set high aspirations for all students and encourage pupils to make the most of their talents, while also enjoying the challenge of mastering new skills. We have high expectations of everyone at Blue Coat and we strive to continually enhance the Academy as a learning community. We are constantly striving to improve, looking for ways to embrace new technology and adapt to the demands of the modern world.
Blue Coat students make good progress as a result of high quality teaching and learning in a positive learning environment. ”Blue Coat is a ‘welcoming school’. Pupils enjoy school. Staff are proud of the school. They believe that there is a culture that encourages calm and orderly conduct and is aspirational for all pupils.” Ofsted (2018):
At Blue Coat, we understand that the journey through secondary education can be a challenging one. We are committed to balancing the demands of nurturing individuals to fulfil their academic potential whilst also ensuring that children feel happy and safe in school. Alongside their academic achievements, we are dedicated to ensuring that students develop as caring, responsible and active citizens within the wider community.
We are proud of the way in which we cater to the needs of all students, with provision tailored to meet the needs of the most able and those with additional learning needs. Blue Coat students make good progress and as a school, we are committed to maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum which allows each individual to find a pathway which suits their interests and talents.
Blue Coat is a truly international community, with almost fifty languages spoken across the student population. Many of our students are bilingual or multilingual and we are committed to celebrating this cultural diversity and to supporting those whose first language is not English, or who have only recently arrived in the UK. Our specialist EAL teachers work with those who are new to the country and need additional support to access the curriculum. Students work in small groups, where they feel safe, happy and confident. The focus of work is on developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as learning new vocabulary linked to all mainstream subjects. Literacy skills are embedded across our curriculum at all Key Stages, to ensure that all students are able to develop effective communication skills which will equip them for life beyond school.
We are exceptionally proud of the achievements of our students. They develop into well rounded individuals with a balance of academic qualifications, strong character and transferable life skills. As a consequence, students enjoy the challenge of the transition into training, further or higher education, where they flourish. This is a result of the grounding provided by the unique focus on all aspects of a young person’s life, supported by the school’s Christian ethos.
We have well established rewards trips and events to encourage high levels of attendance, excellent punctuality and good behaviour. At the last Ofsted Inspection (January 2018) Blue Coat was again rated as Good. The report noted “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You have created an inclusive and purposeful environment.”
The Christian values upon which our school is founded underpin all aspects of our work and form the basis of our academic and behavioural expectations. As a school community, we thrive on developing positive relationships, founded on mutual respect and co-operation. Throughout the academic year, we celebrate key events in the Christian calendar, including Lent, during which we raise funds for charity, encouraging students to show care and support to those in need. We are very proud of our links with St Matthew’s Church and are fortunate to be able to hold a weekly assembly there, where the whole Academy gathers together for reflection and celebration.
The Academy benefits greatly from the support of The Rector of St Matthew’s, Rev. Jim Trood, and the wider church family. We are also fortunate to have a youth worker who works both in school and across the parish.
Our Sixth Form is fully inclusive and caters for the needs of students of all abilities. Students benefit from excellent pastoral care, dedicated support with UCAS applications, access to an independent careers adviser and opportunities to engage in volunteering through a range of community activities. In recent years we have expanded our curriculum offer to include a level one pathway, in association with a local college, to support the transition into further education, catering for those with the lower GCSE grades. A Sports Academy also runs in association with the Martin O’Connor Education and Football Academy. The level two and level three pathways offer a combination of vocational and academic courses, which are designed to support students to access their chosen routes into further and higher education. We have an exceptionally good success rate with students leaving Blue Coat to pursue their first choice course at university.
Blue Coat Church of England Academy Birmingham Street, Walsall West Midlands WS1 2ND