Blue Coat students are the leaders of the future, striving for excellence in all they do. They inspire us to be ambitious at a time when School budgets do not always allow us to realise all of our goals and ambitions. Our students have created a bold and ambitious vision for a new Learning Resource Centre, and with your help, we can help make their vision a reality.
We believe our outstanding students deserve an outstanding learning environment
Over the past few years we have delivered an ambitious redevelopment programme of the School estate, improving facilities for students throughout the School. The East Wing has been renovated to provide an inspirational environment for our Sixth Form students, as well as new classrooms being created for the art, design technology and religious studies departments. Shirley Hall is also undergoing a much-needed refurbishment.
The School library is physically at the heart of the School, beneath Shirley Hall on the lower ground floor. The library should be an intellectually stimulating environment that inspires our students and ignites their creativity and passion for learning. However, in its current state it falls far short of this promise and we believe our students deserve more.
The library is outdated and uninspiring, with bad acoustics making quiet study or reading for pleasure almost impossible. The space does not allow for flexible ways of working, with no dedicated areas for quiet study or group work. ICT is basic, with a small number of fixed machines and no WIFI access or mobile devices available for student use. Resources are limited, with less than a third of the recommended book stock for a school the size of Blue Coat, with only 18% of current students taking out books for study or pleasure.
What our ‘bright minds’ told us
We challenged our students and staff to be bold in their vision of how the existing library could be transformed to create a new state-of-the-art Learning Resource Centre. This is what they told us they want:
- A space to collaborate: Blue Coat students are the leaders of the future and they need a space to collaborate, to inspire creative and entrepreneurial thinking, and to develop their leadership skills.
- A space to breathe: Our students want a space to relax, to breathe, to just ‘be’. The new LRC will provide an oasis of calm at the heart of the School, helping our students to be mindful and supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
- A resource hub: The ground floor of the new space will centre around a Resource Hub, providing more books and online resources to stretch our high ability students, equipping them with the resources needed to further their studies, preparing our Sixth Form students for higher education and life beyond Blue Coat. There will also be dedicated resources to support students’ personal development and careers guidance, as we;ll as a wider selection of literature to encourage reading for pleasure.
- Improved ICT and access to WIFI: The new LRC will provide our students with the equipment and technology that they need to succeed. Mobile devices with WIFI access will be a key feature to enable flexible working, as well as providing access to a wide range of online resources.
It’s not just about Blue Coat students
Our new LRC will enable us to create a step-change in our social mobility programme, providing the space and resource to engage with more local children from disadvantaged backgrounds, striving to ensure that all high ability children in the local area have the information, opportunity and encouragement to apply to Blue Coat, regardless of their financial circumstance.
Who are our Bright Minds Bright Futures Ambassadors?
We are hugely grateful to our friends in the School community who are supporting the campaign in an ambassadorial role. Special thanks go to:
- Mr Zia Chaudhry MBE, Old Blue, Class of 1987
- Mr Carl Cross, Old Blue, Class of 1989
- Mr Davide de Maestri, Old Blue, Class of 1983
- Mr Stuart Ford, Old Blue, Class of 1988
- Mr Haichao Joseph Lee, Old Blue, Class of 1993
- Mrs Carol Mason, Parent of Old Blue
- Mr Sam Myers, Old Blue, Class of 2000
- Mrs Andrea Nixon MBE, Year 11 Parent
- Mr Kevin Nolan, Old Blue, Class of 2004
- Mr Rashid Qureshi, Old Blue, Class of 1992
- Mrs Gillian Stone, Year 8 Parent and Old Blue, Class of 1991
“School libraries played a major part in my upbringing. I am the son of a school librarian and I spent most of my school holidays hanging out in school libraries. I can still remember perfectly the distinctive smell of their books and the particles of dust caught by streaming sunlight through windows, in that way which only happens in libraries. These places let my mind wander and they gave me intellectual and emotional freedom to develop cultural curiosity, to try reading books in Spanish and French. School libraries let my imagination travel thousands of miles. They were ‘judgement free’ zones in which to learn and research, based on my interests and imagination. Developing a world class Learning Resource Centre is of fundamental importance to the School now. It will result in better students, better minds and better citizens, whether the focus is on academic or other interests. I hope in true Hollywood fashion I can help you believe in the Bright Minds Bright Futures campaign and ask you to consider supporting this wonderful cause.”
Mr Stuart Ford, Old Blue, Class of 1988 and Bright Minds Bright Futures Ambassador
How much do we need to raise?
We are working to a target of raising £1.2 million to enable the project to happen.
How much have we raised so far?
Thanks to the generosity of Old Blues, parents, friends and charitable trusts, we’ve already raised almost £200,000.
How will we raise the funds?
The new facility will be completely funded through voluntary contributions. We will raise the funds needed through major philanthropic gifts from individuals, trusts and foundations and corporate organisations. In addition we hope our parents, Old Blues and the wider school community will support the appeal in whatever way they can to collectively make a big impact on the campaign.
What are our timescales?
This is our first large-scale fundraising campaign and we have set an ambitious target, but we hope to raise the funds within the next two years so that our current students can benefit from the new facility as soon as possible
Can we claim Gift Aid on your donation?
If you are a UK tax payer we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you donate from HMRC, i.e. if you donate £100 we can claim £25 making your gift worth £125, at no extra cost to you. You simply need to have paid or will pay an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax that is at least equal to the tax that The Blue Coat School and other charities you donate to will reclaim on your donations in a tax year.
If you are eligible for Gift Aid please ensure that you tick the Gift Aid box on our online donation form or sign the Gift Aid declaration on our postal donation form.
How to make a donation
Find out more
If you would like to speak to a member of the Development Team to find out more about Bright Minds Bright Futures please call us on 0151 733 1407 ext 207 or email us at email@example.com
You can view our Bright Minds Bright Futures campaign brochure by clicking on the image below.