Liverpool Blue Coat School
|Motto||Non Sibi Sed Omnibus
(Not for Oneself but for All)
|Headteacher||Mrs Debbie Silcock|
|Founders||Bryan Blundell and Rev. Robert Styth|
|DfE URN||137916 Tables|
|Gender||Coeducational (since 2002)|
|Former pupils||Old Blues|
|School Song||Praise to the Lord, the Almighty|
|Website||Liverpool Blue Coat School|
The Liverpool Blue Coat School is a grammar school with academy status located in Wavertree, Liverpool, England. It is the only grammar school in the city. The school was for many years a boys' school but as of September 2002 it reverted to its original coeducational remit.
The Blue Coat School holds a long-standing academic tradition; examination results consistently place the school top of the local, and national GCSE and A-level league tables, with the school being ranked as the 7th best school in the country, based on GCSE results in 2013.
In 2004 the school received a government grant of almost £8 million, together with more than £1 million from the school's foundation governors, facilitating a major expansion and redevelopment of the school site.
- 1 History
- 2 21st century redevelopment
- 3 Tricentenary appeal
- 4 Clubs & societies
- 5 Uniform
- 6 The East Wing
- 7 House system
- 8 Prefect system
- 9 Music Society
- 10 Liverpool Blue Coat Brotherly Society
- 11 Headmasters and headteachers
- 12 Heads of Subjects and Senior Management
- 13 Notable former pupils
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The school was founded in 1708 by Mr Bryan Blundell and the Rev Robert Styth as "a school for teaching poor children to read, write and cast accounts". The original Blue Coat School expanded rapidly and a new building, the present Bluecoat Arts Centre, opened in 1718. By the time of Blundell’s death in 1756 there were 70 boys and 30 girls at the school, many apprenticed to local trades, especially maritime ones connected to the port. Some Old Blues became mates or masters of their ships, many emigrating to the colonies. After Blundell’s death his sons further expanded the building to accommodate 200 pupils, with a new workroom, sick room, chapel and refectory. A reminder of the building’s school days is some graffiti dating from the 18th century, carved into cornerstones in a secluded part of the front courtyard.
At the start of the 20th century it was decided that the school needed to move from the polluted town centre to somewhere quieter, and the village of Wavertree was the site chosen. The architects chosen for the design of the new building were Briggs, Wolstenholme & Thornely, most notable for the design of the Port of Liverpool Building. In 1906 the school took possession of the building and was later designated a Grade II* listed building. Later additions include a clock tower and the Fenwick Memorial Chapel: used for assemblies by the school.
At 7.00pm on 25 August 1958 a fire broke out at the school, on the roof of the North Front. Although 170 boarding pupils were in the building at the time, nobody was hurt during the fire, though the building sustained some water and smoke damage.
21st century redevelopment
In 2004, work commenced on a substantial redevelopment of the Wavertree site. The original buildings remained intact, but the southern wing of the school was converted into private accommodation and sold to part-fund the development. The school chapel, clock tower, board room, and former music room, together with administrative rooms and the formal entrance to the original building, were transferred to a new school foundation and made available to hire for weddings and other private functions.
A number of buildings that had been added to the northern side of the site during the second half of the 20th century - including the swimming pool, sixth form centre, sports hall and squash courts - were demolished to make way for new facilities. The North Wing of the original school was renovated, and a new building extended the wing into the area previously known as the North Yard. New facilities within this redevelopment included modern laboratories, a new school entrance and administration block, music rooms, a recording studio and dance studio, plus dining and sports halls.
The remainder of the former North Yard was upgraded to provide improved outdoor sports facilities.
The old dining hall, beneath Shirley Hall in the centre of the original building, was converted into a new library, with a mezzanine ICT suite. The previous library space, itself a former dormitory, was refurbished as a sixth form facility.
The school celebrated its 300th birthday in 2008, making it the longest educating school in Liverpool. A number of celebrations took place, and to mark the occasion the school undertook to raise £1,000,000 to fund two new developments: to provide an all-weather playing surface on the present playing fields; and to convert part of the East Wing of the original building into a Year 13 study area.
The school organised a range of fund-raising activities, including annual summer fairs. As of September 2007 the total raised stood at £416,886.
Clubs & societies
- Art Club - Mr. Cain
- Badminton Club - Mr. Caulkin
- Chess Club - Ms. Lunney
- Community Service - Mrs. MacKenzie
- Computer Club - Mr. Keating
- Craft Club - Mr. Ainsworth
- Creative Writing Club - Mrs. Ludlow
- Dance Club - Amy Perrin
- Debating Society - Shashwat Singh and Rishi Banerjee
- Dramatics Society - Imogen Cooper
- Sixth Form Drama - Ellie Macdonald
- Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme - Mrs. Maskell
- Engineering Society -
- Faith Explored - Mr. Pearson
- Football Team - Mr. Phelan
- Friendship Club
- Gym Club - Mr. Phelan
- Hockey Club - Ms. Adlington
- Junior Debating Society - Joe Small and Sophia Lawrence
- Law Society - Ellie MacDonald
- Maths Games Club - Ellie Lewis
- Maths Club - James Day, Stas Zhydkov
- Medical Ethics - Sandor Bako, Jonathan Chu, Rubab Abdi, Amy Pinkney and Marianne Quinn
- Music Society: Orchestra, Jazz Band, Concert Band and Choir - Mr. Emery and Miss Horton
- Philosophy Club - Ms. Murphy
- Physics Society - Phoebe Hunter
- Social Services Committee - Gavin Spruin
The school is also known for organising trips to Kenya every two years, where charitable sixth form pupils fundraise to help some of the poorest Kenyans in a month-long scheme during the summer holidays.
The school is known for its unique and highly recognised uniform, which consists of a white shirt/blouse, a grey pullover/cardigan, and a navy blue blazer with the school coat of arms over the breast pocket. Depending on which part of the school a pupil is in, they also wear the following:
For Years 7-11:
- Grey trousers/grey skirt;
- Grey socks/tights and black shoes;
- A royal blue tie with the school coat of arms embroidered on it; and
- Blue braiding around the lapels, and one blue band around each cuff, of their blazer.
For Years 12 and 13:
- Boys: grey/black trousers, grey/black socks and black shoes;
- Girls: blue skirt; blue socks/tights, and black shoes;
- Usually a royal blue tie; and
- Gold braiding around the lapels, and one gold band around each cuff, of their blazer.
If a member of Year 12 or Year 13 is a prefect, they may have one additional gold band around each cuff, as well as a prefect badge.
The school is also known for its wide variety of school ties, the most common of which is the royal blue tie with an embroidered school coat of arms (fig. 1). Sixth Form Prefects may wear a navy blue tie with alternating blue and gold stripes (fig. 2), and those who are in the first XI may wear the school sports tie, a navy blue tie with gold school coats of arms criss-crossing it (fig. 3). The Old Blues tie, a navy blue tie with alternating squirrels (the school's crest) and blue stripes, is worn by those pupils whose father was once a student at the school (and therefore members of the Old Blues Society)(Fig. 4). Other ties occasionally seen include a navy blue with two gold stripes (Fig. 5), and a navy blue tie with stripes in the four school form colours (awarded for being in the first XI for 3 separate sports teams)(Fig. 6).
The East Wing
The East Wing of the school comprises the clock tower, chapel, the former administration block and the former music rooms, plus a residential apartment. Thanks to a large investment by the school's charitable foundation the whole of the East Wing was fully refurbished as part of the school redevelopment. Notable improvements include:
- All four clock faces on the clock tower being replaced, and the clock mechanism repaired
- Extensive repairs to the roof and masonry work
- Redecoration and restoration of the chapel and its organ
- Restoration of the historic board room
- Installation of catering facilities for private functions
- The mothballing of the former headmaster's study and office areas for use as a future Year 13 study centre.
The facilities of the Foundation, including chapel, board room, reception areas and the Shirley Hall are all available for hire, including for weddings and religious services, as of July 2006.
The school currently has four houses, soon to be expanded to five in September of 2015. Upon entrance in Year 7, pupils are allocated a form which they will be a member of throughout their time at The Blue Coat School. As well as the students, teachers at the school are often members of a house. There are approximately thirty students in a form and approximately 250 students per house. The houses are governed by a House Council which are composed of a small number of sixth form students and a member of staff. There are regular inter-house competitions, ranging from the inter-house hockey competition to inter-house debating competitions, in which the houses can gain house points which are then added to a running total and published in league tables, culminating in the annual inter-house league table. The current school houses are as follows:
A new house will be founded at the start of the 2015/2016 academic year, the name of which is yet to be officially revealed.
There are also a number of boarding houses that were discontinued when the school ceased to be a boarding school in the late 20th century. These included:
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
There are usually between 40-55 prefects appointed from the sixth form, representing about one sixth of the sixth form as a whole. Pupils in Years 12 and 13 are eligible to become prefects.
Prefects are charged with maintaining order in the corridors during break and lunchtimes, alongside members of the teaching staff. The prefects also play a significant role in other events, including the school entrance examination, prize giving ceremony, and Founders' Day service, and also assist with after-school Parents' Association events, such as discos, fairs and quizzes.
There are four ranks of prefect, appointed by staff nomination and interview:
- Senior Prefect
- Deputy Head of School
- Head of School
There are also prefects with responsibility for specific facilities, such as Library and IT provision, nominated by senior teaching staff from each specialism.
Since the readmittance of girls to the school in September 2002, a Head Boy and Head Girl have been appointed, sharing the title of Head of School. The Heads of School are supported two Deputy Head Boys and two Deputy Head Girls, and a team of Senior Prefects, and are members ex officio of the Sixth Form Council . The Heads of School also attend school Leadership Group meetings and Parents' Association meetings. They have their own office facilities, and play an active role in all parts of school organisation, including parents' evenings and other after-school events.
The Heads of School and their deputies also play a part in deciding school policy, especially with regard to the sixth form. Providing a formal communications channel between the teaching staff and the sixth form, they meet regularly with the headteacher and the head of sixth form to discuss issues important to their peers.
The school has an active Music Society, including an orchestra, concert band, choir and jazz band, participating in concerts held throughout the school year. The orchestra takes part in the annual Liverpool Music Festival, and occasions such as prize giving and Founders' Day. The school choir and concert band, which incorporates players of all musical abilities, plays in all school concerts. The choir has toured internationally, including to Venice in 2003, Prague and Vienna in 2005, Northern Spain in 2007 and Leipzig in 2009. As part of the school's 300th birthday celebrations, the music department organised two major concerts, one in St George's Hall and the other at the Philharmonic Hall.
Liverpool Blue Coat Brotherly Society
The Brotherly Society, founded in 1838 is the Blue Coat's Old Blues' Society. The group, made up of Old Blues, was set up to provide help, advice and in some cases financial assistance to students for at least two years after leaving the school. Since the Second World War there has been less need for such assistance so the Society has turned its efforts towards objects that would benefit the School in general.
The generosity of the Society can be found throughout the Blue Coat School’s history. In 1938, to celebrate the Society’s centenary, the Society provided the oak pews in the chapel. In 1963 the Society provided the stained glass south window of the Chapel to celebrate it’s 125th anniversary, and in 1952 the Old Blues’ Memorial Library was presented in remembrance of the Old Blues who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
The current president of the Brotherly Society is Mr. Keith Caulkin.
Headmasters and headteachers
|Headteacher||Start year||End year|
|Rev Robert Stythe, MA||1708||1713|
|Mr William Trenton||1717||1723|
|Mr Theophilus Price||1723||1725|
|Rev John Shakleton||1776||1779|
|Mr John Smith (Old Blue)||1779||1799|
|Mr Robert Parkes||1800|
|Mr George Chambers||1801||1811|
|Mr John Fallows||1812||1816|
|Mr R.W. Bamford||1817||1819|
|Mr William Forster||1820||1848|
|Mr Thomas Wood, BA||1849||1862|
|Mr Thomas Haughton||1863||1867|
|Mr George Tinker||1868||1869|
|Mr Thomas Haughton||1870||1888|
|Mr Arthur Mercer||1889||1920|
|Mr Harry C. Hughes||1920||1926|
|Rev R. Bruce Wilson, BA||1927||1944|
|Rev T.C. Heritage, MA||1944||1945|
|Mr G.G. Watcyn, BA||1945||1968|
|Mr H. Peter Arnold-Craft JP, MA (Oxon)||1968||1989|
|Mr John C. Speller BA, MA (Ed), FRSA||1989||1997|
|Mr Michael R. Bell BA (Hons) FIMgt||1997||2001|
|Mr Michael George 'Sandy' Tittershill CertEd. NPQH||2001||2008|
|Mrs Debbie Silcock BSc PGCE NPQH||2008||2015|
Heads of Subjects and Senior Management
Heads of Subjects
- Art - Mrs S. Watson
- Biology - Mr Kenny
- Business Studies and Economics - Mr Watkins
- Chemistry - Mrs J. Beggs
- Citizenship - Mrs M. Roberts
- Design Technology - Mr L. Ainsworth
- English - Mr T. Kershaw
- Modern Foreign Languages - Mrs C. Jackson
- Geography - Mr J. Lamb
- History - Mr M. Pearson
- Information Technology and Computing - Mr P. Keating
- Latin - Dr D. Lawell
- Librarian - Mr. Newton
- Mandarin Chinese - Dr L. Zhang
- Maths - Miss K. Wilson
- Music - Mr S. Emery
- Philosophy - Miss Moss
- Physical Education - Mr J. Dowling
- Physics - Dr P. Wilde
- Politics - Mr S. Cox
- Psychology - Miss A. Murphy
- Religious Studies - Mrs H. McDonnell
- General Studies - Mr J. Lamb
- Mr S. Shipgood - Head of Key Stage 3
- Mr N. Barends - Head of Key Stage 4
- Ms L.A. Holland - Deputy Head of Sixth Form
- Mrs C. Mackenzie - Head of Sixth Form
- Mrs A Hughes - Director of Resources
- Mr S. Cox - Deputy Head and Head of Pastoral Care
- Mr N. Roberts - Deputy Head and Head of Teaching & Development
- Mrs D.A. Silcock - Head Teacher
Notable former pupils
- Richard Ansdell, noted oil painter and engraver
- Mitch Benn, musician and comedian
- Stephen Broadbent, sculptor
- Daniel Brown, Designer of the Year 2004
- Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco between 2011-2014
- Craig Curran, Footballer currently playing for Ross County F.C.
- Stuart Ford founder and CEO of IM Global
- Professor Tom Greggs, professor of systematic theology and the youngest recipient of a professorship in the UK
- Jonathan Harvey, playwright
- The Rt. Hon. Evan Harris, former Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon between 1997-2010
- Alfred Lennon, father of Beatle John Lennon, musician
- Kevin Nolan, footballer (Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham)
- Stephen Parry, Olympic swimmer
- Lord Rennard, former Liberal Democrat chief executive
- Thomas Ripley, founder of Ripley Hospital School, itself modelled on Blue Coat
- Paul Roderick, head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders professional soccer team.
- Neil Sang (Licensed Football Agent, Radio pundit and former professional footballer)
- James Serafinowicz, writer and director- starred in Look Around You wearing the uniform of the Blue Coat School
- Colin Vearncombe, musician (aka Black)
Notable people associated with the school
- W. H. Jude, composer and organist. Jude was the school's organist in the late 19th century.
- The Rt. Hon. Norman Pannell finance manager, politician and conservative MP. Pannell was a governor of the school.
- "Welcome to the Liverpool Blue Coat School". Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- Salmon, Tony (2007). "Save the Liverpool Blue Coat School". www.savethebluecoat.webeden.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- "A brief history of the school". The Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- "Bluecoat Heritage" (PDF). Bluecoat Chambers. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
- Pollard, Pevsner, Joseph, Richard, Nikolaus, Sharples (2006). Lancashire: Liverpool and the southwest. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "The Port of Liverpool Building". www.liverpoolworldheritage.com. Retrieved 2009-06-29.[dead link]
- "The Liverpool Blue Coat School General information". Schools Net. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- School magagazine article, 1985
- "Clubs & Societies". The Liverpool Blue Coat School. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Official school website
- BBC Education League Tables listing
- Ofsted inspection report (June 2004)
- Extract from Discovering Historic Wavertree
- Blue Coat Arts Centre
- South Wing Apartments Development
- Leavers Ball 2006 Pictures
- Historic England. "School (213906 )". Images of England.
- Historic England. "Chapel (213907 )". Images of England.