Time to Reflect: A Better Blue Coat

up clip art up clip art 5Where has the year gone? With less than a handful of weeks of term left, there’s still lots to do, yet we begin to reflect on the year and how far we’ve come since September. 
Thanks to our fantastic pupils, staff, parents and wider community we have been able to chalk up another successful year where the school has improved across many areas. So, how exactly has Blue Coat got better? 

Teaching and Learning

This year was met by a new National Curriculum from which teachers would plan and teach. Our staff seized the opportunity to deliver the school’s ‘Future Ready’ vision promise by designing an exciting new curriculum aimed at ensuring our children would gain memorable experiences preparing them for their futures. Christmas pop-up shops raising over £1000 for charities; art exhibition evenings hosting parents; party planners for new Reception children were all, surely, memories that the children will cherish and have learned loads from.

Blue Coat has also continued to review how we teach. The school’s approach to Mathematics has changed, where greater emphasis is now put on children understanding concepts inside and out through practice, resources and being able to explain their thinking. 

We recognise the importance that feedback plays in learning. The school’s innovative approach to ensuring all children receive high quality feedback in maths has had significant success in making sure our learners practise what it is that they need to get better in this core subject.

Children with Special Education Needs (SEN) can be some of the most vulnerable learners in a school. Recognising this, Mrs O’Shaughnessy has worked hard to forge stronger home-school partnerships with parents of SEN pupils to improve the link between child, school and home. Children’s progress plans are now finer focussed, with parents and teachers clearly aligned through regular meetings, resulting in much better progress for this group of children.

Did we also mention that every class in the school now has daily French teaching? ‘Aurelie’ and Mrs Nelson have worked hard to bring a whole school approach to learning a new language for our pupils, with the hope of bringing the age of fluency in French down to secondary school level!

Extra-curricular Learning

As a school we promote the fact that learning doesn’t stop at 3.15pm each day! The school staff continue to offer a wide range of after-school clubs in their own time, free of charge, recognising the value it holds for our pupils.

This year we have balloted parental and pupil opinion on further extra-curricular clubs. This has resulted in a new offer of before-school Judo club, a Key Stage 2 Performing Arts club, tennis for younger pupils and plans for new clubs in the pipeline.

Mrs Johnson has worked hard to champion Design & Technology this year, securing a very popular after-school DT club, subsidised by local business, and securing grant funding for all Key Stage 1 and 2 classes to take part in Science and Engineering days with tech expert Mrs Alliston.The children had so much fun engaged in boat building and more!

This year, Miss Price has extended Performing Arts to Key Stage 2, where the school brought home top place silverware from the Cheltenham Arts Festival, accompanied by a long list of infant poetry performers who impressed judges with glowing feedback.


The sporting success of our pupils this year put us in danger of being repetitive! Not only did they achieve individual and team success at district and county cross-country races, the school also managed to secure county champion success in hockey and girls’ football too. The latter also reached National Runner-up status, narrowly missing the National Champions title in finals held at King Power stadium. 

Accompanying this success, children also won events in tennis, tag rugby and cricket, as well as securing a long string of 1st and 2nd places at both District Sports track and field events. 


With the help of PTA monies, the hard work of the Play Team and parental support securing grant monies such as Tesco Bags of Help, alongside Mrs Murray’s efforts in gaining Big Lottery Awards for All and Magnox Socioeconomic Funding, Blue Coat play has been well supported in moving forward. 
So much so, the children have stepped foot on their very own play beach this week - a facility paralleled by no other schools we know of within the south west. 
These efforts were recognised in the school’s achievement of OPAL Platinum Play status this year, as well as a National Playwork Award.

Parent Partnerships

As a key stakeholder, what parents say and think is important to us. Feedback from some parents has been that the school could improve its reporting to parents on pupil progress.

The school has a statutory duty to report to parents once annually via written report. This year, Blue Coat has offered 3 face-to-face parent consultations (most offer 2), a written interim report in January, an improved written annual report AND a class worship visit. 6 reporting opportunities in one year indicates to parents the value we place on healthy home-school partnerships.

All in all, a fantastic year and we would like to thank our parents for their continued help and support for the school.

Onwards and upwards for 2016/17!