Please click on the links below to read more about the different subjects we are able to offer our students here at The Blue Coat School.

 

Our Aim

The Art Department is committed to educating and inspiring students through a varied and exciting curriculum. We believe that the skills gained in Art help students throughout their school life and beyond the classroom. We aim to provide students with inspiring starting points and themes, as well as the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding, to enable them to explore and develop their ideas with confidence and creativity, gradually taking responsibility for their development as they become more independent.


Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow a wide and varied course, exploring a range of themes and ideas. They learn techniques to improve their drawing and develop skills in painting, printmaking, sculpture and photo-manipulation. Students start to analyse the work of other artists and to evaluate their own and others’ work. Themes explored include Journeys, Environment, Identity, Natural Form and Pattern.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students follow a GCSE course in Fine Art. During Year 9 the emphasis is on building up skills through teacher-led workshop-style lessons, whilst exploring specific themes. As the course progresses students are encouraged to work more independently, developing their own ideas, within the framework of a theme. Two to three units of coursework are usually produced and in January of Year 11 students start work on their Externally Set Task, which consists of approximately 8 weeks exploration of a chosen topic and 10 hours to produce a final outcome.

There is an annual residential visit to a European city for Year 9, 10 and 12 students.


Sixth Form

The A Level course we offer is in Fine Art. It consists of two components, the Personal Investigation, which is the coursework part of the course, and the Externally Set Task. The course starts with a series of workshops, building up skills and confidence, followed by the Personal Investigation which requires students to explore in detail a chosen theme. Students gradually become more independent in their learning and take responsibility for developing their ideas in a personal way.

In February of Year 13 students start work on their Externally Set Task, which consists of approximately 8 weeks exploration of a chosen topic and 12 hours to produce a final outcome. We regularly visit local galleries for inspiration, and there is a residential visit to a European city.


Enrichment

Visits to art galleries are an inspirational part of the students’ education.  We often visit the local galleries in Liverpool and each year we organise a residential trip to a European city.  Over recent years we have visited Paris, London, Amsterdam and Florence.

Students often take part in competitions, such as the local Dot-art competition, in-school house competitions, the Saatchi Gallery Art Prize for Schools and the Royal Academy A Level Summer exhibition online. There are often opportunities to take part in workshops such as Architecture-based workshops with PLACED.

Every summer term we have an exhibition to celebrate the success of our GCSE and A Level students

Some of the work undertaken by our students can be viewed in the Art Gallery section of this website.

 

Our Aim

Design and Technology offers an opportunity for students to identify and solve problems by designing and making products or systems in a wide range of contexts relating to the new GCSE requirements.

As a fundamental part of their course, candidates should design and make products and develop skills that will have benefit to them beyond their years in education.

Design and Technology develops candidates’ interdisciplinary skills, all six of the key skills, and their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.


Key Stage 3

Students will have the opportunity to experience a variety of elements from Resistant Materials, Graphics, Food, Electronics, Systems and Control, CAD and Textiles within the Specification. Students will be enthused and challenged by the range of practical activities possible. Students will design and make quality products and will be encouraged to foster an awareness of the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing.


Key Stage 4

The GCSE specification is clear, realistic and straightforward. It mirrors good practice, allows students to design and make quality products and is designed to foster awareness amongst students of the need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing. Students select from a range of manufacturing skills they have gained over the course, to produce a quality product design. This controlled assessment is worth 60% of their whole GCSE. Students undertake their examination in Year 11 and controlled assessment is submitted at the end of Year 10.


Enrichment

Trips organised – linked to the curriculum.

        • Trip to Quarry Bank/Style Mill
        • Trip to Museum of Science and Industry
        • STEM Competitions

 

Our aim

  • Stimulate and maintain student interest and enjoyment in biology
  • Offer students a broad and balanced curriculum, and where possible to provide opportunities to develop skills and gain an understanding of science concepts through first hand experience
  • Make learning in biology relevant to every day life and the world of work
  • Provide opportunities for students to carry out investigations on their own and in groups to foster team work
  • To develop practical skills and techniques that can be employed in a variety of situations as well as those necessary to complete the ISA tests at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5
  • Employ teaching methods and resources which allow students equal access to biology (irrespective of their gender, ethnicity or ability)
  • Encourage students to be thoughtful citizens by offering them opportunities to reflect on how scientific and technological developments impinge on the environment, personal health and ethics
  • Contribute to the development of the specialist science status of the school.

Key Stages 3

The department follows the AQA suite of examinations. In Year 7 and Year 8 a “fast track” course has been developed to prepare our able students for GCSE Biology which they will start in Year 9.

  • Year 7

Students will explore some of the key biological themes during this course. These include cell biology, reproduction, the environment and digestion. They will also start to develop some of the key skills which underpin the study of biology at KS4 eg. How to analyse and interpret data and how scientists work.

  • Year 8

This course begins with an understanding of the main body systems. The effects of poor lifestyle choices are investigated and this is followed with a study of disease and disease prevention. Plants are not forgotten and the crucial process of photosynthesis is covered during the summer term.


Key Stage 4

We study GCSE Biology as a separate science. This means we will cover more content than the GCSE combined science courses. The new AQA GCSE Biology provides a perfect preparation for AS and A- level without duplicating or overlapping the content.

The main topics taught over the 3 year course are:

  1. Cell Biology
  2. Organisation
  3. Infection and response
  4. Bioenergetics
  5. Homeostasis and response
  6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
  7. Ecology

Practical work remains at the heart of biology and there are eight required practical’s that students have to carry out, although the department will cover many more than this.

There are two terminal examination papers. They will both assess knowledge and understanding from the seven different topics.


Sixth Form

The new AQA specification will help to nurture a passion for biology and provide the ideal foundation for further study of the biological sciences or medicine.

Preconditions for taking the course

A grade B or above in GCSE Biology and a grade B or above in Mathematics are needed or at least a grade A in core and a grade A in Additional science if you have not taken separate sciences.

Overall, at least 10% of the marks in assessments will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in biological contexts and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE mathematics.

You are strongly advised to take another science or mathematics with your AS biology course. Students who choose arts based subjects and biology alone will struggle at this level.

Students will sit all of their external examinations at the end of the A- level course at the end of Year 13.

The core content topics are:

AS Level

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

A Level

 

  1. Energy transfer in and between organisms
  2. Organisms respond to changes in the environment
  3. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  4. The control of gene expression

Enrichment

Key Stage 3

Each year the Biology Department holds a Year 7 Flanimals competition. This is based on the book series written by the comedian Ricky Gervais. Students are asked to design an animal with specific and unusual adaptations to a particular habitat. It is judged by the Department and the three most imaginative designs based on sound biology, win a copy of the first book in the series.

Key Stage 5

The department appoints a number of biology prefects each year. This is an opportunity for students who are passionate about biology to develop their leadership and communication skills. The prefects are involved in developing revision seminars for struggling students and act as ambassadors for the department at open and information evenings.

Over the years, many students have had the opportunity to attend field trips to local conservation areas and zoos. More recently, biology staff have taken students to South Africa to take part in Operation Wallacea.  As well as developing leadership and team work skills, students on this trip also learn about specific scientific techniques related to conservation and ecology.

Our aim

The Chemistry Department is dedicated to engendering in its students a sense of excitement in the face of the complex wonder of the nature of matter.

The Department seeks to give deeper understanding through scientific enquiry as exciting and absorbing as those who work in the Department sincerely believe it to be. Equally, the Department is determined that each student should achieve his or her full academic potential, not least in terms of examination success at all levels, and we aim to give personal encouragement and support unstintingly to all students.

We employ a variety of teaching methods, with the aim of stretching and challenging all students and there is a strong emphasis on practical chemistry and putting chemistry into context.


Key Stage 3

Almost all lessons in Year 7 and Year 8 involve either class practical work or teacher demonstration and seek to enthuse students whilst giving a good understanding of basic chemical concepts. There is emphasis on appropriate recording of scientific enquiry.


Key Stage 4

Students have three years in which to study the AQA GCSE Chemistry specification. This allows for solid grounding in the more difficult concepts and opportunities to study some ares more deeply or widely as dictated by student’s interests.


Sixth Form

In the sixth form, AQA AS and A2 modular courses are offered, running in parallel: (i) Physical/ Theoretical Chemistry; (ii) Organic/ Inorganic Chemistry. Practical Examinations taken at the end of the lower and upper sixth years make up 12.5% of the total marks.

These courses of study promote the acquisition of deep and detailed scientific knowledge and insight. Further, students learn an advanced degree of refinement in the practice of analytical techniques, both instrumental and experimental.


Enrichment

Students are given enthusiastic encouragement to pursue the subject beyond A2 level. The School is a regular participant in The Chemistry Olympiad, having won gold, silver and bronze medals and recently having a student reach the final group for International Olympiad selection. Year 12 students participate in the “Young Analyst of the Year” Competition and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Our Year 9-11 students regularly perform well in the National “Top of the Bench” Competition in which we have been placed first and, most recently, ninth in the country. Every year 4 Year 10 students attend Salter’s Chemistry Camps at a variety of Universities and younger students compete in local Salter’s competitions.

A variety of university lab experiences and trips to museums and industry are also offered.

Our aim

At all Key Stages we aim to foster a love of literature, writing and oracy. We seek to encourage the individual student to take responsibility for his or her work and progress.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, we offer a range of modules, each devised to promote varied language activities, and each containing tasks designed to address the requirements of the National Curriculum. Thus we are confident that all students are supported and challenged in their learning. Literature is at the heart of all Key Stages and we aim to give Year 7 and 8 students an overview of the development of literature in English including the principle achievements in poetry and prose. Two Shakespeare plays are studied during the Key Stage. We foster the students’ own creative writing and aim to help them develop their skills and style through the promotion of accurate grammar and spelling.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, (GCSE), all students are entered for both WJEC English Language and English Literature. In the final year of the course, practice in doing comprehension exercises, answering questions on the literature set texts and writing discursive, informative and short descriptive pieces are activities which are systematically undertaken. The overwhelming majority of students achieve at least grade A in both Language and Literature.


Sixth Form

At Key Stage 5, we offer two A level courses for sixth-formers, following AQA English Literature Syllabus B and AQA English Language and Literature. In English Literature, texts under the umbrella theme of tragedy are studied such as “Othello”, the poetry of John Keats and Arthur Miller’s play “The Death of a Salesman”.

A level English Language and Literature involves the study of an Anthology of thematically linked spoken and written texts which offer candidates the opportunity to consider the three major literary genres and a range of non-literary texts. It also involves a study of set texts such as “Frankenstein” and the poetry of Robert Browning. The syllabus has a strong creative writing element which asks students to re-cast aspects of the set texts in different forms. The ways in which meaning is conveyed in spoken language and how power is displayed through language are also considered.

At Key Stage 5, students are given a strong intellectual lead, and then are encouraged to become increasingly discerning, increasingly independent readers. They learn, in line with current tendencies in scholarship, to appreciate literature in the context of social and historical change, and in the process understanding, and critically evaluating, literary conventions and theories.

Each year several students who have studied an English A level at Blue Coat go on to take English at degree level. Individual tuition is offered to students who wish to apply for Oxbridge entrance.


Enrichment

The Department promotes a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including a creative writing club and close involvement with the annual school show. Theatre visits and other educational trips are also organised for the benefit and enjoyment of students. Students are encouraged to write in both creative and journalistic modes for a range of local publications and competitions (such as the School Magazine “The Squirrel”, various poetry anthologies and an annual young journalism competition).

A book club meets monthly to discuss students’ book choices and includes members from across the Key Stages.

The department is an official partner of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres allowing access to a range of theatre workshops, theatre tours and technical assistance with shows. The department is also taking part in “Work Bard Play Bard”, a project run by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in association with Shakespeare’s Globe, London.

 

Our aim

Geography at The Blue Coat School encourages students to find out about the world around them and look at how natural and human environments act together. We have a passion for our subject and how it affects all our everyday lives. We take great pride in developing the very best resources and fieldwork to enable students to thoroughly enjoy lessons and want to follow the subject right through to GCSE and A Level.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, Schemes of Work are designed to deliver the requisite knowledge in a clear and systematic fashion. The Department provides an enquiry-based approach to geographical themes and concepts. Students will develop the skills of recognising and describing patterns of the inter-relatedness of factors which affect the local, national, and global environment.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 (GCSE), students study AQA Syllabus B, covering topics relating the UK, the EU, and some wider, global issues. Students will develop an awareness of Physical, Human and Environmental forces which operate in the world today, and begin to develop a mature understanding of how they may be dealt with by the people of our age. They will also receive a grounding in the techniques and skills which are needed to perform serious and scientific geographical enquiries.


Sixth Form

Geography is a popular choice at A-Level. Topics in physical geography include: volcanoes, earthquakes and tropical storms. There is a separate unit on glaciation as well as a new topic on the importance of water and carbon to the planet system. In human geography we shall explore the economic, political and social changes associated with globalisation. We examine in detail a local place in the Liverpool area and another contrasting place. We also look at the emergence of megacities and the opportunities and problems that may arise. There are six days of new fieldwork to be arranged.


Enrichment

Geography deals practically all of the major issues in the world today. These are included in lessons and ‘Geography in the News’ discussions and displays.

Our aim

As a department we seek to enthuse students about the past so that they can begin to evaluate and critically examine the different ideas, events and individuals that have shaped our society to this point. At each key stage we encourage students to be articulate, empathetic and creative in developing interpretations of the past that breed greater understanding and broader conceptual awareness.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 we start by looking at the foundations of Medieval England from the Norman invasion through to the Battle of Bosworth. This is followed by a study of the Henrician Reformation, Elizabethan England and the causes of the English Civil War.

In Year 8 our focus is on the Industrial Revolution and how it led to Great Britain assuming a wider role in global affairs. We study the age of Empire and consider why the trade in enslaved Africans was eventually abolished. Into the Twentieth Century we study the Suffragette Movement, the First World War, the rise of the dictators and we seek to explain why Britain again went to war in 1939.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we focus on Germany from 1890 to 1945, which involves a complex study of a dynamic society in peace and war. We consider why the Weimar Republic’s experiment in democracy failed at the end of the 1920s and how it gave way to totalitarianism under the Nazis. We also look at the broader international context in the same period and ask questions about the failure of collective security and the weaknesses of appeasement in the run up to the Second World War.

In Year 10 we study the effects of migration in British society and consider how our collective experience of culture, language and democracy has been informed by our contact with the wider world from the Vikings right up to Britain’s entry into the European Union. This module serves to give students historical breadth to complement the Twentieth Century depth study in Year 9. Our final module looks at the reign of King Edward I, whose brand of medieval monarchy was matchless in its power and ruthlessness.


Sixth Form

At Key Stage 5 students study the emergence of Tudor England out of the chaos of the Wars of the Roses. They reflect upon the social, economic, commercial, religious and political development of a dynasty that did much to reshape England’s identity in the early modern period.

Students also study the USA in the latter half of the Twentieth Century and they are encouraged to reflect upon the notion of an ‘American dream’ and whether it accords with the reality of post-war society or whether it was merely an illusion. Inevitably this module focuses on the struggle of African-Americans in their pursuit of equality, the ideological conflict with the USSR that lay at the heart of the Cold War and how the liberal consensus that emerged under Kennedy and Johnson came under attack from a Republican resurgence led by Richard Nixon.

Finally, we also look at the absolute monarchy of Louis XIV in France in the Seventeenth Century and students are asked to evaluate why the Bourbon monarchy collapsed in 1789. This is a coursework module that gives students the opportunity to undertake some extensive research into the broader causes of the French Revolution.


Enrichment

The department looks to take GCSE students to Berlin on a bi-annual basis and an educational visit to the Palace at Versailles is offered to students in the Sixth Form. Each year the department takes part in the Lessons from Auschwitz programme run by the Holocaust Education Trust whereby two student ambassadors visit Auschwitz-Birkenau in order that they might share their experiences with the wider school community. The student run History society delivers weekly presentations on a variety of topics and is always well attended.

Our aim

As a department, we aim to pass on our passion for current affairs and encourage students to think critically about the world in which they live. We hope that, in studying the course, they will increasingly be able to make complex connections between current affairs and textbook theories. A large emphasis is also placed on helping students to develop key transferable skills that will help them to prosper as active citizens in their lives beyond the Blue Coat.

Our students are consistently encouraged to take on responsibility for their own learning by preparing thoroughly for lessons so that discussion and debate are the key features of classes. As students become more familiar with the subject and its modes of thought, ideas are developed to an increasingly high-level. Students are carefully guided and supported throughout the course but increasingly encouraged to develop their own ideas. We embrace a wide variety of new media and ensure that our online resources, via the school’s VLE are regularly updated. This helps to ensure that the course is fresh, relevant and challenging for even our most able students.


Pre-Conditions for the Course

The basic requirement is a grade ‘B’ in History, Geography or a Humanities subject. More crucial though is a genuine interest in current affairs, pursued through TV news, quality newspapers and online. This is vital as the exams require students to demonstrate specific up-to-date examples for the top grades.


AS Level

A Level Politics has not yet been reformed (or ‘decoupled’) and so current students still have to take two AS modules in May of Year 12. Each exam is 90 minutes in length and they are equally weighted. The AS Level continued to be worth 50% of the overall A Level.

Unit 1: People, Politics and Participation (GOVP1)

In this unit, students look at what makes people take part in voting and politics, especially in the UK. We analyse various factors that make people vote and vote in different ways.

Unit 2: Governing Modern Britain (GOVP2)

This module is a study of power in Modern Britain. It looks at the strengths and weaknesses of Britain’s uncodified constitution in a rapidly changing society.


A2 Level

At A2 the course develops many of these themes, and expects students to build on knowledge acquired of AS. There are a further two modules, each with examinations that last 90 minutes.

Module 3: Ideologies (GOV 3B)

In this module students explore in depth the ideas behind politicians and political parties, looking at the various different forms of Conservatism, Socialism, Liberalism and Fascism that have developed in the last century.

Module 4: American Government (GOV 4A)

This module concentrates solely on the USA. It considers the extent to which a Constitution written over 225 years ago by the Founding Fathers can still be effective in governing a country of some 315 million citizens.


Enrichment

We run an annual ‘Curriculum Enrichment’ overnight trip to at the major A Level Politics Conference in Westminster in students have the opportunity to listen to, and question, 10 major political figures in the UK. Speakers in recent years have included William Hague, Andy Burnham, Simon Hughes, Nigel Farage, Natalie Bennett, George Galloway and the late Tony Benn. During the trip students also have an opportunity to participate in a Q &A with a local MP and enjoy a walking tour of the politically and culturally significant sites of Central London.

We also run Mock Elections to coincide with UK General Elections and US Presidential Elections in which Politics students are encouraged to participate as candidates or assist in the organisation of the events. In addition, each year the department runs ‘House Debating Competitions’ and ‘House Public Speaking Competitions’ on a wide range of topical issues for every year group across the school. Politics students, and especially Subject Prefects, are encouraged to participate in the Sixth-Form competitions themselves or by chairing competitions for lower year groups.

      Our aim

We seek to encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning, and promote sympathetic engagement with the speakers of foreign language, together with interest in, and respect for, other European cultures and historical experiences.

We seek to provide a thorough grounding in linguistic procedures and skills, such as may be developed and deployed by our students as they pursue their subsequent individual paths of study, work, and leisure.

Finally, we are aware of playing an important role in the more general intellectual development of our students, with the emphasis we place upon rigorous close-reading of texts, the demands we make upon the extraordinary power of human memory, and our continuous insistence that the students’ powers of inference and deduction should be always alert.


Key Stage 3

From Year 7 to Year 13 – on the basis of carefully chosen teaching materials, appropriate to the different stages of intellectual development of our students – we deliver an integrated programme of the cardinal activities of foreign language acquisition.

They may be summarised as: reading exercises, involving understanding, drawing inferences, eliciting information, and responding in the target language; listening exercises, involving both understanding the gist, and identifying specific details; speaking exercises, requiring ever greater fluency on a carefully graduated scale, and introducing the speaker to an ever-widening variety of contexts; writing exercises, leading from brief word or phrase responses, to the ability to write coherently, grammatically, and at length in the target language.

By the end of Key Stage 3, most students are working at Levels 6-8 in National Curriculum terms, and all the requisite aspects of vocabulary and grammar will have been mastered.

It is a feature of Modern Foreign Languages at Blue Coat School that each year of study is given its own academic profile, with the emphasis upon foundation skills in Year 7, acceleration through the content of the syllabus being the priority in Year 8, and the promotion of independent learning becoming the focus in Year 9. Thus, our students tend to be distinguished by a confidence that enables to read, understand, write in and respond to the target language in both formal and informal situations. They tend to have a certain “savoir faire!”


Key Stage 4

Our students who opt for French or Spanish (or both) at Key Stage 4 follow the AQA Specification Full Course G.C.S.E. The language work and knowledge is generated in exploring the four given themes: My World, Holiday Time and Travel, Work and Life-Style, and The Young Person in Society.

Skills adumbrated in Key Stage 3 are solidly consolidated; rapid progress is made in terms of vocabulary, grammatical structure and everyday idioms; opportunities are given for the students to manipulate the foreign language by themselves, and so appreciate its expressive potential. Our many able students become thoroughly equipped to use the language in a variety of everyday contexts.


Sixth Form

Both French and Spanish are offered in the sixth form at AS and A2 Levels, following the AQA G.C.E. Specification. At AS the three topics around which language knowledge and skills are further developed are: Young People Today, Aspects of Society, and People and Society.

Three further units form the themes of A2 studies: Contemporary Issues, The Cultural and Social Landscape, and Yesterday and Tomorrow. The courses naturally extend the knowledge and skills that students will have acquired at G.C.S.E. – not only in terms of grammar, vocabulary and spoken fluency, but also in terms of developing an appreciation of the deeper nature of the language, a consideration which goes hand in hand with the study of social, historical, literary and cultural aspects of the countries where the target language is spoken.


Enrichment

Finally, the Department for its part is deeply involved in what may be termed the wider culture of Modern Foreign Languages in secondary schools. We are Initial Teacher Training Partners with both Liverpool John Moores and Edge Hill Universities, and so are constantly in touch with the latest thinking in the teaching and learning of foreign languages.

We regularly conduct hugely popular and educationally rewarding school trips to France and Spain. We have a “fast track” group for our most gifted linguists in Year 9, and always employ one French and one Spanish Assistant to hone the conversational skills of our senior students.

Our aim

The language, culture and literature of Rome are at the heart of our own civilisation. The Latin Department’s main aims therefore are to develop an appropriate degree of linguistic and literary competence in Latin, sharpen analytical skills, and foster an interest in the Classical past. As well as embracing and aspiring to develop outstanding teaching and learning, considerable emphasis is placed upon traditional scholarship and high academic standards, an expectation to which Blue Coat Latin students respond positively and with great success.


Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3, all students begin the study of Latin with one period per fortnight. Students acquire a basic knowledge of cases, simple syntax, and vocabulary. They are introduced to translations from Latin to English, and to simple sentences from English to Latin. They also explore various aspects of Roman culture and civilisation e.g. mythology, the Colosseum and gladiators etc.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students receive a thorough grounding, which includes English to Latin translation, in more complex grammar and then progress to the study of authentic Latin literature, both prose and verse, in preparation for the GCSE exam. Latin is a very popular option, with GCSE sets containing on average between 25 and 30 students, and external examination (OCR) results are impressive.


Sixth Form

Work in the Sixth Form constitutes a natural progression from GCSE: unseen translation from Latin to English, additional English to Latin practice in order to help fully grasp the grammar, and the literature of authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Tacitus, Pliny, Livy and Cicero. External exam results (OCR) are impressive, and several students have proceeded to read Classics at Oxford in recent years.


Enrichment

The Department also offers the extra-curricular study of Classical Greek up to GCSE level. Classes are offered at lunchtime and after school. Students sit the GCSE exam after two or three years of study. A trip to Rome is usually organised every October. An introduction to Italian is also offered to those keen to explore this language. Oxbridge preparation is given to students wishing to read Classics at university level. There is one member of staff who has published several critical editions of medieval Latin texts.

 

Our aim

All students are encouraged to achieve their full potential at all levels. This occurs through the teaching students receive, the support offered by the department and the wide range of enrichment activities on offer.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 there is a strong emphasis on problem-solving and developing mathematical fluency and mastery. This is achieved through a variety of activities including group work, rich tasks and challenge questions. All Year 7 students are entered for the Junior Maths Challenge along with a significant number of Year 8 students. Success rates are high in this National Competition with students achieving 33 Gold, 54 Silver and 48 Bronze Certificates last year. Additionally, 13 students qualified for the follow-on rounds.

In addition to extending their knowledge and understanding of number, algebra and shape in particular, students are taught topics such as Pythagoras’ Theorem, trigonometry, simultaneous equations, quadratic equations and algebraic proof.

Students are taught in forms throughout Year 7 before being set by ability in Year 8. Classwork, homework and test scores are all used when determining setting, as well as staff knowledge of individual students. Sets are constantly reviewed to ensure that students are taught at a pace to ensure best progress and changes are made if necessary.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 the emphasis on problem-solving and developing mathematical fluency and mastery continues. Many students are entered for the Intermediate Maths Challenge and success rates are again high with students achieving 44 Gold, 49 Silver and 46 Bronze Certificates last year. Additionally, 36 students qualified for the follow-on rounds.

Students’ exposure to number, algebra and shape in particular is considerably extended in Year 9 and several new topics are introduced in Year 10 and Year 11. These include: Venn diagrams, quadratic sequences, proportion, geometrical proof, vectors and functions.

Setting continues in Year 9 with a full review at the end of the year. The sets in Year 10 and Year 11 are usually quite stable, although changes are made if necessary. Students are entered for the Edexcel Higher Tier GCSE where results are exceptionally high with approximately 95% of all students gaining a grade A* or A.


Sixth Form

Mathematics is a very popular option in the Sixth Form with 5 Maths classes and 2 Further Maths classes in each of Years 12 and 13. Edexcel AS and A Level modules are offered and students studying A Level Maths will take Core 1, Core 2 and Statistics 1 in Year 12 and Core 3, Core 4 and Mechanics 1 in Year 13. Further Maths students will complete all of the above modules in Year 12 and then take Further Pure 1-3, Statistics 2, Mechanics 2 and Decision 1 in Year 13. Approximately 60% of students gain a grades A*/A and about 80% gain grades A*-B in A Level Mathematics.

The emphasis on problem-solving continues in the Sixth Form with a problem-solving league run across the sets and students are encouraged to enter the Senior Maths Challenge.  Success rates are high in this National Competition with students achieving 14 Gold, 40 Silver and 46 Bronze Certificates last year. Additionally, 9 students qualified for the follow-on rounds.


Enrichment

In addition to the Mathematics Challenges run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, the department also enters teams for both the Junior and Senior levels of the UKMT Team Challenges, with both age-groups qualifying for the National Finals in London in recent years. Additionally, at a regional level, teams are entered in the Year 10 Maths Feast run by the Further Maths Support Programme and the Sixth Form Pop Maths Quiz run by Liverpool Maths Society, where teams have had incredible success over recent years. Students are also encouraged to submit an entry for the Mathematical Education on Merseyside Challenges which run over February half-term; Blue Coat students have had significant success in these challenges over the years.

The Maths Leaders Award is a successful venture offered to Year 10 students. They spend time developing skills in leadership and have opportunities to deliver activities to Year 7 or Year 8 Maths classes. The Award culminates with each group delivering a Fun Maths Roadshow event to local primary school pupils in the summer term and delivering an enrichment workshop to our new Year 7 students in the autumn term.

One of the highlights of the year is the Maths House Relays, which usually takes place in the Spring Term. Each house competes against the other houses in their year group to solve as many problems as they can as quickly as possible. Add in a relay element, bronze, silver and gold medals, and a cup and the scene is set. The competition is fierce and this is an extremely popular event with all of Years 7-11.
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Our Aim

Computing drives innovation in science, engineering, business and education. It touches every aspect of our lives from the cars we drive to the movies we watch and the ways in which people communicate and do business. An understanding of Computer Science is essential if you want to keep up with changing technology and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

The aims of the Computer Science Department are to facilitate the understanding of concepts and technology which underpins the field; and to develop students’ ability to analyse problems, plan and develop programmed solutions. Throughout their study students are encouraged to present their work in a range of formats, developing digital skills that are transferable to all other areas of the curriculum.


Key Stages 3

The program of study at Key Stage 3 allows students to develop their knowledge and understanding of computing concepts. Specifically, students learn how the binary system forms that basis for all digital systems as well as looking at key applications including the world wide web and operating systems.

Students develop their ability to analyse, decompose and design solutions for problems as well as cultivating their ability to program solutions in the visual Scratch language and the text based Python language.


Key Stages 4

The GCSE Computer Science course builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Key Stage 3 programme of study. The content provides a solid basis of understanding as well as getting students to think about real world application.

The OCR GCSE course encourages students to:

      • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
      • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
      • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
      • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
      • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
      • apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science

Key Stages 5

The OCR AS/A2 Level in Computer Science encourages students to be inspired, motivated and challenged through study of a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course. It provides insight into, and experience of, how computer science works, stimulating curiosity and encouraging students to engage with Computer Science. This allows them to make informed choices about further study or career choices.

The key features of the AS/A2 level in Computer Science encourages:

      • emphasis on problem solving using computers
      • emphasis on computer programming and algorithms
      • emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and algorithm comparison.

Enrichment

The Department runs a wide variety of enriching activities. Over the past 3 years we have entered teams in the PA Consulting Raspberry Pi competition and the Mersey STEM Big Bang Fair. In the past year we have been winners at both competitions picking up a £1000 prize and an ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’ award.

We believe these are valuable opportunities for students to develop themselves outside the confines of the curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to enter school wide programming competitions. During the current year we have had a visit from a Software Developer giving students the chance to find out about opportunities in the field and to ask questions.

Our aim

In its academic work, the focus is on providing a breadth of musical experiences through music-making. Investment in computer programs has ensured that every student can move easily and naturally from imagining notes in the head to testing them on the ear. Classes will listen to music of different styles and periods; they will be involved in practical music-making; they will develop both their critical and creative skills through their own compositions.


Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4

Those who opt to study Music for GCSE will compose music in a range of different styles, and gain some insight into the theory of musical composition. They will begin to assess music using formal criteria, and play music either as a soloist, or member of an ensemble.


Sixth Form

Music can be studied at both AS and A2 Levels, and those who choose to do so, rapidly develop their technical skills as composers, learn analytical skills in the study of famous pieces, and are given the opportunity to study a musical area of personal interest. Many choose to develop their performance skills even further.


Enrichment

The Department also oversees the work of peripatetic music teachers, so that any Blue Coat student who is committed to progressing with his or her instrument has the opportunity – and day-to-day encouragement – to do so.

Our aim

Personal Development lessons at The Blue Coat School aim to help equip and develop students’ knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive and responsible lives.
Personal Development encompasses the statutory requirements for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), Citizenship education and Careers IAG (information, advice and guidance). It is a planned programme to help children and young people develop fully as individuals and as members of families and social and economic communities.
Teaching will develop students’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Students will use and apply their knowledge and understanding whilst developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action. They will experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.


Key Themes

Managing Myself
Across all 3 key stages students reflect on and evaluate their achievements and strengths in all areas of their lives and recognise their own worth. They will learn about respecting the differences between people. They will learn to recognise some strong emotions and identify ways of managing these emotions positively (for example talking with a friend or teacher about their feelings on divorce or falling in love). Students will work on career plans and be prepared for the world of work and managing their personal finances.

Healthy Body and Mind
Students will learn how to stay physically and mentally healthy. They should be able to make informed choices to maintain their health and well-being, and explain reasons for these choices regarding healthy lifestyles, travel and personal safety. Students will study health disorders such as stress and depression, including the link between eating disorders and self-image and be able to identify strategies for preventing and addressing these. The dangers and laws relating to alcohol, tobacco and legal and illegal drugs will be taught whilst equipping students with the resilience skills to resist negative pressure, including from their peers. They will discuss the importance of relationships to marriage, parenthood and family life. They will learn how to assess the risks and benefits associated with lifestyle choices such as sexual activity.

Diversity
Students will learn to recognise difference and diversity (for example in culture, lifestyles, sexuality or relationships) and demonstrate understanding and empathy towards others who live their lives in different ways. They will learn to assertively challenge prejudice and discrimination (for example that relate to gender, race, disability, etc.)

Society and Politics
Students will be taught about the political system of democratic government in the United Kingdom, including the roles of citizens, Parliament and the monarchy. They will learn how voting and elections work and the role of political parties. Students will learn about laws and the justice system and take part in a mock trial. There will be the opportunity to contribute to community and school-based voluntary activities.


Key Stage 5

In Key Stage 5 students follow a comprehensive programme that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of Blue Coat students. Much of the focus is around preparing for life after Blue Coat, at University or in the world of work. Students will be given advice and guidance on the various post-18 options available, spend time working on developing their speaking and leadership skills and learn, develop interview skills for both work and university and practise these and be guided through the university application process. They will explore a range of life skill topics such as applying for loans and booking holidays. In addition to this students will learn how to stay safe in social situations and when abroad. There will be some basic first aid training and an introduction to the key skills required for living independently.

As most students reach the age when they can vote, practical advice will be given and students will be guided in how to make informed decisions. Students will revisit issues surrounding diversity, different ethnicities and the issues surrounding radicalisation and extremism.

Our Aim

The philosophy of the Physical Education Department is aptly summed up in the familiar slogan, ‘Sport for All’. We seek to promote all aspects of P.E. and active recreation, and encourage our students to develop physically, personally, socially and morally. To these ends, all teaching and learning styles are employed (including the traditional academic, as an aspect of sixth form study). Group and independent learning are central to our work.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, we set about building upon the foundation of the previous Key Stage, and further develop our pupils’ skills relating to the six areas of prescribed study: dance, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, outdoor education, and games (the last being compulsory for all). Pupils’ knowledge base is considerably extended, new skills are acquired, and insight is gained into sporting tactics and decision-making.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students begin to specialise, following their own preferences, and opting for two of the areas studied at Key Stage 3. Physical activity is clearly (and practically) related to issues of health and well-being: training, fitness, and dietary techniques are demonstrated and taught.

Skills are further developed and refined, and the mental and character-building aspects of physical striving are given due emphasis. Students are introduced to the sophisticated and rewarding arts of officiating and coaching.


Sporting success

The successes of the Blue Coat School in sporting competitions have been, over recent years, many and great. It is almost unknown for Blue Coat football and basketball teams not to figure in local and regional finals – generally in the role of outright winners!

Moreover, football and basketball teams have on several occasions returned triumphant with National trophies. The dedication and expertise of our teachers ensures that we have highly skilled and ambitious teams at all age levels in football, basketball, cricket and athletics, and are now seeing success in our hockey, netball and cross-country teams to the same standard.

Our aim

The Aim of the Physics Department is two-fold. Firstly and most importantly to develop appreciation and understanding of the physical principles which both underpin and power the physical universe, from the most minute particles to the largest things which exist. Secondly to prepare students effectively to apply this understanding to achieve exam results at the highest grades. A range of teaching methods is employed, from the traditional to the innovative, all designed to introduce the key concepts of physics, and develop a critical and rigorously analytical approach to the study of the physical world. We value highly the academic standards our students achieve and so, unusually, all of the students are taught Physics from Year 7 to Year 13 by specialist Physics teachers only.


Key Stage 3

In common with other subjects the Key Stage three program of study is completed in years Seven and Eight. Following the Activate programme of study students meet, at a relatively basic level, all of the major branches of classical physics. They develop their understanding and knowledge of heat, light, electricity and magnetism, the effect of forces, and the position of the Earth in the universe. Students are thus enabled to acquire a primary knowledge of a wide range of physical phenomena, and develop the techniques and skills necessary to investigate them systematically.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage students study the topics introduced in Key Stage 3 in greater depth, and are introduced to radioactivity, and atomic and nuclear structure and stability. These studies follow, and lead towards, the AQA Physics GCSE which is part of the ‘trilogy’ suite of science GCSEs. At this Stage, students begin to perceive the links between seemingly disparate phenomena. In practical work, they develop their ability to investigate, scientifically, a quantitative relationship between variables by completion of a range of experiments and investigations, including a series of compulsory activities set down by the examination board.


Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, in following the AQA Physics Syllabus, students study the full range of the physical processes and effects addressed by physicists and the sometimes complex theoretical constructs used to understand them.

This course is characterised by an increase in the use of mathematical methods to gain a full understanding of the topics already familiar from Key Stages 3 and 4, and in addition students are introduced to fundamental particle physics, relativity, and quantum mechanics. These last two topics form the basis of the optional section of the final module of A’level entitled ‘Turning Points in Physics’

Practical skills are developed by regular experiments which serve to underline and illuminate the theoretical side and, equally importantly, develop the investigative skills expected at this level. These skills are assessed by the teacher according to strict criteria laid down by the examination boards and in questions appearing in the final examinations.

The skills and qualities developed in successfully completing this demanding A’level course are highly valued by employers and admissions tutors in a wide range of disciplines seeming unrelated to Physical sciences. In addition our Physics Department has a proven record of stretching and developing the most able students, and has prepared a large number of them for study of physics, engineering and related disciplines at prestigious universities.


Enrichment

With such a large number of Physics and Maths students it is, perhaps, not surprising that there are thriving Physics and Engineering societies. There are also opportunities for students to attend lectures and hear visiting speakers. We also have a large number of entries into the Physics Olympiad and Physics challenges at GCSE and A’level and have had a good deal of success in these competitions. A smaller number of students are selected as subject prefects and these form an important part of the department, organising activities for open days and academic support for students who need a helping hand.


Information coming soon.

Our aim

The rationale of the Department is to develop, stimulate and maintain student curiosity and interest in – and enjoyment of – Business Studies and Economics. To that end, the Department employs a range of teaching styles, all designed to promote the students’ personal engagement.

From one point of view, the subject is utterly practical, and students are placed in the position in which business decisions would have to be made. But equally, the subject is an engrossing intellectual challenge, and older students will be called upon to consider (for example) the macro-management of a National Economy.


Key Stages 3

For the first time in September 2016, year 7 students will be able to experience Business for the first time as the department will be delivering an introductory course prior to GCSE Business Studies which is a very popular option choice in year 9.

Students will study and undertake various activities around the topics of Enterprise, Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing and Operations Management.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, we offer GCSE Business Studies following the AQA syllabus. The course is divided into a number of units which currently are:

Unit 1: Setting up a Business (Exam sat in the 3rd year of the course)

Unit 2: Growing as a Business (Exam sat in the 3rd year of the course)

Unit 3: Investigating Businesses ( Controlled assessment completed in the 2nd year)

The course predominantly focuses on the main functional areas of Business, these being Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing and Operations Management.

The nature of the course ensures that students should never leave a Business Studies lesson without seeing the relevance to everyday life. There is a link between the business world and ICT and this is in the way the course is delivered. We also try to ensure that we try to give students first-hand experience of how Businesses operate by inviting in guest speaker from local firms and educational visits to Businesses in the North-West.


Sixth Form

There are two exams at AS; each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes long and they each comprise of 20 multiple choice questions and a 50 mark data response section requiring written responses.

The AS Level course comprises two modules, each of which will be assessed in June of Year 12:

  • The Operation of Markets and Market Failure (Paper 1 – microeconomics) examines the way markets function and the way in which firms behave and compete in different market structures.
  • The National Economy in a Global Context (Paper 2 – macroeconomics) concentrates on understanding the way economies as a whole function and how national governments can reduce inflation and unemployment.

Since the changes to the specification AS exams no longer count towards the overall A2 grade and students who wish to complete an A Level in Economics will now have to sit three more exams in June of Year 13.

At A2, the exams are longer and involve more data response and essay questions.  Also at A2 Level, one of the examination questions in both units will have a European Focus.

The three papers at A2 are as follows:

  • Markets and Market failure (Paper 1 – 2 hours)

Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 mark

Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

  • National and International Economy (Paper 2 – 2 hours) same assessment as paper 1
  • Economic Principles and Issues (Paper 3 – 2 hours)

Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks

Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks


Enrichment

Key Stage 5 students have the opportunity to take part in Target 2.0, a national competition organised by the Bank of England and The Times newspaper. As well as this, Year 13 Economics prefects organise The Economics Society, which is available for all students. The prefects arrange for guest speakers from industry and lecturers from Universities to deliver talks and seminars for sixth form students.

 

Our Aim

Religious Studies at The Blue Coat School enables pupils to engage with relevant, contemporary and challenging questions that impact on all of our lives: questions about spirituality, meaning and purpose, the self and the nature of reality, right and wrong, equality and diversity, authority, global citizenship, and what it means to be human.

The Religious Studies Department comprises of a team of dedicated subject specialists. Our aim is to provide enjoyable, meaningful and thought-provoking learning experiences for every pupil. Our approach is academic, and our backgrounds ensure that all of our pupils can study religion from a wealth of different perspectives which includes, theology, ethics and philosophy.

As well as learning about religion opportunities are provided for pupils to learn from religion. Open-ended enquiry and curiosity are encouraged. Evaluation and reflection are embraced. Discussion and debate are plentiful. Their learning should lead them towards mature reasoning, independence of thought and moral awareness. It is hoped that pupils will make free and informed choices based on sound evidence as a result of a balanced presentation of the issues in class. Philosophy for Children as a mode for facilitating discussion is regularly used.

Religious Studies plays an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, helping them to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. The Religious Studies Department operates within the aims of the school to encourage personal development in its fullest sense, including the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. Religious Studies also makes an important contribution to the school’s duty to promote community cohesion, prompting pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others.

From Year 7 to Year 11 all pupils take Religious Studies. It is a popular option for GCSE and A-Level.


Key Stage 3

Pupils begin with an introduction to the study belief and the effects it can have on an individual and on a wider-scale. A study of Martin Luther-King and Gandhi as ambassadors of their respective faiths are considered in this respect. Students then complete a systematic study of the concept of God from all perspectives and complete their Year 7 year with a study of festivals.

The Year 8 course introduces students to the relevance and importance of communities and all create an individual project to help compare and contrast with the first Jewish communities. A rigorous Philosophy of Religion course is studied and then a development of knowledge of 1st century Palestine from the perspective of Jesus and his mission. The key stage culminates with a group work on creation stories and myths from around the world.


Key Stage 4

The GCSE course follows an EdExcel specification. Our students study Hinduism, Christianity and Mark’s gospel to academically assess pupil’s knowledge understanding and evaluation skills.

All pupils irrespective of their GCSE option choices follow a programme of study devised by the RS department. The course is a reflection of the Christian foundations of the country whilst considering the multi-faith diversity present in our world.


Sixth Form

The A-level course follows an EdExcel specification. Our students study Philosophy of Religion, New Testament and Hinduism. This academically challenging course will ensure that all pupils develop a holistic understanding of the social, moral, spiritual and cultural complexities of the study of religion in all its wonderful facets.


Enrichment

The school has developed strong links with the Politics, Religion and Ethics department at Lancaster University and work closely with Prof Brian Black particularly in the field of Hinduism. Students have been welcomed into the university department and have also welcomed colleagues and post-graduate students from his department into school. This works with both Key Stage 4 and 5 students.

We take advantage of competitions offered by external organisations to stretch and challenge our students including those from the University of Cambridge and RE Today. We continue to enter our Key Stage 3 students into a national Bible writing competition and hope to replicate the success of one our students who was awarded 1st place. At Key Stage 5 we encourage our students to enter essay based competitions that are received by the department.

Our aim

We aim to foster a curiosity in our students that helps them to consider the complexity of the world we live in within a classroom context and learning experience based on communication, analysis, reflection and empiricism.


Sixth Form

Thorough grounding will be given into the theory and practice of psychological procedures; they open the way to crucial areas of research and academic speculation.

The essay-based A2 course covers a wider range of behaviours. These include, relationships, anti-social behaviour, eating behaviours, sleep and dreaming and psychopathology. Students will be taught appropriate experimental techniques, and the use of statistical analysis and
replication.

Students will learn to interpret and evaluate experimental evidence and psychological theories. They will further learn how to become independent learners, to some extent designing their own courses of study, using statistical texts and carefully marshalled arguments to present their own interpretations.

Teaching methods are varied. The focus is on practical work wherever possible but other methods are used. Psychology is a fascinating and diverse subject and well worthy of serious consideration as an A level option.


Enrichment

Students have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers as well as lead discussions during regular meetings of the Psychology Society. Students also have the chance to become a Psychology prefect.

    Information coming soon.