Thank you for visiting the Good Schools Guide

If you would like to receive our monthly newsletters with advice,
information, news and offers please fill in your email address:


The Blue Coat School

The Blue Coat School
Address
Somerset Road
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B17 0HR
Tel
01214 106800
Fax
01214 547757
Email
Web
If you are a representative of The Blue Coat School and wish to add to or amend the information we hold on the school please click here

The Blue Coat School, Birmingham is an independent school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 11.

Local authority:

Birmingham

Pupils:

562

Religion:

Church of England

Fees:

£7,365 - £11,325 pa

Open days:

January, May, October


Properties

Properties for rent:

Properties for sale:


Linked schools


Good Schools Guide Review Snapshot

Lots of children get their first experience of performance – singing, playing, public speaking – in the chapel environment, opportunities parents really value. The school reflects Birmingham’s multi-cultural population and, while maintaining its Christian identity, focuses on the shared values between all the faith groups that are represented. And it works. ‘The children simply don’t...
Read More


School Self Portrait

We are an independent preparatory day school offering an outstanding educational experience to boys and girls aged 2 to 11. Founded in 1722, the school occupies a beautiful site in Edgbaston, in 15 acres of playing fields and gardens. We are a thriving community where children achieve a great many things, with outstanding results. Read More

Good Schools Guide ReviewSpecial Education Needs + My Schools Good Schools Advice Service Properties for rent/sale
Subscribe now

Register for our Newsletter...

Go >

...and receive our FREE expert guide to Tutors!




The Good Schools Guide Review of The Blue Coat School, Birmingham, B17 0HR

Click here to read Our View on this school

Headmaster

Since 1998, Mr Alan Browning MA Cantab PGCE (50s). Married to Helen, who is very involved in school life; three sons, one a management consultant after Cambridge, the other two at Durham.

Educated Clifton, Trinity College Cambridge and Oxford. A musician, started career as a lecturer at Leicester University, then to Blue Coat as director of music in 1982, then deputy head and director of studies in 1993. ‘He has lived and breathed the school for most of his professional career,' remarks a parent, and parents love the stability that has given. Intellectual, sharp, with a bone dry, ever present, sense of humour, he’s the living example of how a school can be driven forward with vision and energy when you know it inside out.

Entrance

Usually at 2 into pre-prep or 7 into prep when number of forms expands. Waiting list for the new-build nursery. Most children signed up at or near birth. Most move up through the school. Some places (dependent on natural wastage) at all levels especially at 7. Vast majority come from Edgbaston and Harborne but many from the greater Birmingham suburbs.

Exit

Very successful in delivering what parents want – entry to the highly selective King Edward Foundation schools where the majority go. Others to Solihull, Edgbaston High, Bromsgrove, St Georges. Some scholarships, academic and musical, every year to the flagship independent schools, King Edwards’ and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Our View

The school was founded in 1722 by the Reverend William Higgs as a co-educational charity school (making it one of the earliest co-ed schools in the country). It moved to its present site in 1930, and it is hard not to fall in love with the buildings and grounds. The façade has an elegant simplicity, with surrounding lawns and playing fields that are the envy of many city senior schools, and allow for the keenly anticipated annual family outdoor events such as bonfire night and the fête. The school has continued to invest in buildings and the latest additions are a state-of-the-art nursery and a new classroom block with a library to die for. Sports facilities are excellent and parents can take out membership of the sports centre which includes use of the swimming pool. The glorious college-style chapel is one of the many encouragements for the wonderful music.

The school has its eyes firmly fixed on providing inspirational teaching and learning. Since it closed its boarding houses, there has been a determination to maximise the excitement of the learning experience within the time the children are in the school. Well known for its innovative approach to modern languages, it has currently has settled on a programme of teaching French and Spanish from year 2 onwards. Parents complain that the enthusiastic teaching sparks endless nagging from their children to take them on foreign visits. Science is taught in a proper laboratory and is excellent preparation for secondary school with lots of practical work.

Friday afternoons offer a brilliant enrichment over and above the mainstream curriculum for the juniors with cross-curricular options such as philosophy. ‘It is about breaking down the boundaries,’ says the headmaster. The children love it. ‘I don’t want the weekend to come,’ says one 10 year old aspiring philosopher. Creativity is a feature. Art includes an ongoing outdoor sculpture project that is added to each year. As well as high quality traditional music making, there is music technology at an advanced level and African drumming. IT facilities are impressive with new suites of computers. ‘Only problem is that the children’s use of IPads at school puts us under pressure to buy one at home,' complains one parent. In year 3 the children move to a separate house, which offers a wonderful, homely environment as they move from pre-prep into prep, and they now have a brand new year 3 library. In years 5 and 6 there is serious attention given to preparation for secondary school. There are specialist subject teachers and the children start moving from classroom to classroom to get ready for the hurly burly of senior school life.

‘Without a great deal of fuss being made of it, almost everyone gets extra lessons at some stage in their school life here,' says one parent. ‘None of the children make anything of it – certainly no stigma attached.' Much of this is within the normal fees. As the children get older, key subjects are streamed and extra groups created as necessary. ‘We meet the children at their point of need and move them on,’ says the headmaster, and the individual approach comes through strongly. ‘We don’t say every child excels here. How can you say that in a school with a wide ability mix? But what we do say, and deliver on, is that every child flourishes with us’. The approach to the ubiquitous ‘gifted and talented’ is refreshing. It is not ‘Are you gifted and talented?’ – but ‘How are you gifted and talented?’ says the headmaster.

Pastoral work is at the core. The house system operates not just for competitions but to give opportunities for older children to look after younger ones, and the houses are single sex so at the end of lessons when most children go to their houses, boys can be boys and girls can be girls. It does mean an extra pair of shoes though – slippers for the house.

The range of activities is very impressive. The school says it aims to offer high quality options for every type of child, and all the children we spoke to were keenly involved in more than one. There are the usual major sports (the school regularly puts out A, B and C teams) and a number of minor ones – judo, for example. One parent said, ‘The heart of the school is music, which is not surprising given the headmaster’s interest, but there is a real drive to develop sport too.’ The school has links with Aston Villa and local clubs and is forging new ones with Moseley Rugby Club and the University of Birmingham. There are more coaching sessions and specialist coaches now and the new deputy head is a former head of sport – so other schools they meet for fixtures had better look out! The music is brilliant. Most of the children sing in a choir. This, the whole chapel experience and the polished school productions get the children used to presenting to audiences, and they did strike us as unusually confident, in an open, friendly way.

The school welcomes a great many visiting speakers, who often run workshops in areas as diverse as Shakespeare and the Aztecs. There are lots of theatre and concerts visits.

The school is highly conscious of its charitable mission. There are scholarships and means tested bursaries from 7. In addition, the headmaster works hard at partnerships both in the state and independent sector. He has strong links with the schools that the children go on to and this, combined with the undoubted in-depth knowledge teachers and the head has of each child, means that you ignore the school’s advice on the best secondary for your child at your peril. There are meaningful partnerships, too, with local junior state school – teachers observing each other’s lessons – and Blue Coat is part of the King Edward VI High School for Girls Teaching School Alliance, giving endless professional development opportunities for staff.

Chapel is central to the life of the school. ‘Its messages permeate everything we do,’ says the headmaster. Parents can come along, and lots of children get their first experience of performance – singing, playing, public speaking – in the chapel environment, opportunities parents really value. The school reflects Birmingham’s multi-cultural population and, while maintaining its Christian identity, focuses on the shared values between all the faith groups that are represented. And it works. ‘The children simply don’t see the faith and racial divisions’, says one parent. ‘The school fosters harmony’. You really feel here is a school that is building bridges in what is quite a segregated city.

The Edgbaston establishment is pretty well represented in the parent body – lots of medics (the huge Queen Elizabeth Hospital is just round the corner), lawyers, accountants with a smattering of very successful business people, but it is widened by those with means-tested bursaries. They are an ambitious lot, but come to understand that the school is not just about getting into the King Edward’s schools. The quality of the music goes a long way to convincing them.


Special Education Needs Survey


SEN Statement

SEN for senior school is as per the existing GSG entry.

Pre-Prep, small group 'booster' sessions for English and Maths in years 1 and 2. Prep: 1-1 withdrawal for children with SEN/Learning Support, eg those with dyslexia.

The needs of gifted and talented children are provided for by a differentiated approach to teaching. The school's extensive programme of extra-curricular activities provides additional opportunities for the most able children. The school hosts specialist masterclasses for gifted and talented children within Blue Coat and the local community.

Sept 2010

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Aspergers Syndrome MildTicked
Aspergers Syndrome ModerateTicked
Aspergers Syndrome SevereTicked
Autism MildTicked
Autism ModerateTicked
Autism SevereTicked
Semantic Pragmatic DisorderTicked
Other AutisticTicked

Behavioural Difficulties

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Attention Deficit Disorder MildTicked
Attention Deficit Disorder ModerateTicked
Attention Deficit Disorder SevereTicked
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders MildTicked
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders ModerateTicked
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders SevereTicked
Emotional and behavioural difficulties MildTicked
Emotional and behavioural difficulties ModerateTicked
Emotional and behavioural difficulties SevereTicked
Conduct DisordersTicked
Obsessive Compulsive DisordersTicked
Oppositional Defiant DisordersTicked
Tourettes and other tic disordersTicked

Genetic and related Disorders

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Down's Syndrome MildTicked
Down's Syndrome ModerateTicked
Down's Syndrome SevereTicked
Fragile XTicked
Other geneticTicked

Learning difficulties

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Moderate learning difficultiesTicked
Profound and multiple learning difficultiesTicked
Severe learning difficultiesTicked

Specific learning difficulties

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Dyscalculia MildTicked
Dyscalculia ModerateTicked
Dyscalculia SevereTicked
Dyslexia MildTicked
Dyslexia ModerateTicked
Dyslexia SevereTicked
Dyspraxia MildTicked
Dyspraxia ModerateTicked
Dyspraxia SevereTicked
Other Specific Learning Difficulties MildTicked
Other Specific Learning Difficulties ModerateTicked
Other Specific Learning Difficulties SevereTicked
English as an additional languageTicked

Sensory Impairment

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Hearing Impairment MildTicked
Hearing Impairment ModerateTicked
Hearing Impairment SevereTicked
Multi-sensory ImpairmentTicked
Speech and Language DifficultiesTicked
Visual Impairment MildTicked
Visual Impairment ModerateTicked
Visual Impairment SevereTicked

Medical and Related Needs

Currently no provision for.Can provide for but no experience of Experience of Now provide for in school Centre of Excellence for.
Cerebral Palsy MildTicked
Cerebral Palsy ModerateTicked
Cerebral Palsy SevereTicked
"Delicate" childrenTicked
EpilepsyTicked
Eating disordersTicked
Physical Difficulties (Not indicated elsewhere.)Ticked
OtherTicked

General Questions

Are all children tested for SEN on entry to the school?
Please outline the screening programmes used by the school.
How many children with statements of need or equivalent do you have in the school?One.
Do you make special provision for exceptionally gifted children?Ticked
Please outline what is on offer for such childrenTickedSee above.
Please indicate if the school has or has available to it any of the following:
Behaviour Support Unit.
Learning Support Unit.TickedThe School has a Learning Support Department
Pupil Referral Unit.
Other withdrawal.TickedSee above.
Specialist language centre
Schemes or Initiatives such as SHARE or Playing for Success.
Please indicate if the school has any of the following characteristics:
SEN accreditation, for example by CRESTED?
Centre of excellence for SEN that is Not already outlined?
Good wheelchair access
Provides outreach support?
Receives outreach support?
Do children with SEN participate fully in sport and other extracurricular activities?Ticked
Please provide information on staffing. Does the school have:
A SENCO or equivalent?Ticked
Staff who will administer prescription medicines to a childTickedNursing sister in the Health Centre.
Qualified teaching staff with learning support or SEN commitment(please say how many, in full-time equivalent).TickedFull time SENCo covering Pre-Prep and Prep, plus 2 part-timers in Pre-Prep (total = 2fte).
Non-teaching staff with learning support or SEN commitment(please say how many, in full-time equivalent).TickedPart-time learning support assistant.
Please list specialist qualifications held by teaching staff with learning support or SEN commitment.Diploma for Teachers of Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dip.SpLD); PG Certificate in Professional Studies (SENCO).
Please list specialist qualifications held by non-teaching staff with learning support or SEN commitment.

The Blue Coat School Catchment Area Map

Comments




Be the first to comment on this school.


Please login/register to comment.


The Blue Coat School Where to pupils come from and Go to

The Blue Coat School A Level, GCSE Exam Results, Tables and Graphs

School Features


The Blue Coat School KS2, GCSE, Alevel Results and Performance

Ofsted report, English Baccalaurate, value Added

The Blue Coat School University Leavers Data

For Sale
To Rent
School

Properties shown within a 3 mile radius

Hide Zoopla markers
Property information powered by Zoopla

Understanding the road risks in your local area

As many of us do, AXA Insurance and Road Safety Analysis believe that one child casualty on Britain’s roads is too much.

The data is presented by local area in order to aid the understanding of risk – it’s not just about killed or seriously injured, but about any incident reported to the police. Although road safety issues may arise due to a myriad of different reasons including proximity to busy roads and local speed limits, schools play a pivotal role in mitigating these risks by investing time in road safety education programmes.

Read more