Reading Blue Coat School
瑞丁博鲁科特中学（瑞丁博鲁科特学校）, Holme Park, Sonning, Berkshire RG4
Tel: 0118 944 1005 Fax: 0118 944 2690
• BOYS, MIXED SIXTH, Boys 11–18, Girls 16–18, Day
• Pupils 650, Upper sixth 91
• Termly fees £3085 (Day)
• HMC, SHMIS
• Enquiries/application to the Headmaster
What it’s like
Founded in 1646 by Richard Aldworth, a merchant of London and Reading. In 1947
it moved to its present premises at Holme Park, in the village of Sonning-on-Thames.
The main buildings comprise a magnificent brick-and-flint mansion in the Tudor
collegiate style of architecture. It lies in a beautiful
46-acre wooded estate with a most agreeable frontage along the River Thames at
Sonning Lock. The school is well appointed and comfortable and there are good
modern facilities, including a science centre, drama studio, ICT centre and
library suite. Close links with the Church of England are maintained and pupils
are educated in an atmosphere where Christian values and standards are
recognised and established within the community. A broad, sound and general
education is provided and examination results are good. Music is very strong and
there is a variety of orchestral and choral groups. Art and drama have a high
profile in the school. Facilities for games and sports are very good; a new
sports hall has a fitness suite, climbing wall and courts for badminton,
basketball and hockey. The CCF is a large voluntary unit with Army, Navy and Air
Force sections. A wide range of clubs and societies caters for most needs.
Activities include kayaking, film club and community work. Considerable
enterprise is shown in organising expeditions, excursions and tours overseas
either with World Challenge, language departments or sports.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11–18, 650 pupils (600 boys, 50 girls).
Entrance: Main entry ages 11 and 16. Own entrance exam used; for
sixth-form entry, interview and 6 good GCSEs (grade B in sixth-form subjects).
State school entry, 50% main intakes plus 25% to sixth form.
Scholarships & bursaries Approx 6 pa scholarships (including music
and art). Also bursaries (no fixed number).
Head & staff
Headmaster: S J W McArthur, in post since 1997. Educated at Coleraine and
at universities of Ulster (geography) and Sussex (education management).
Previously Headmaster of Langley School and of Arnold Lodge, Deputy Headmaster
at St Bede’s and Housemaster and Head of Geography at Denstone. Former Chairman
of SHMIS; Member National ISIS Committee, ISCO Council and ISJC Training Board
Teaching staff: 60 full time, 7 part time. Annual turnover 7%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 92 pupils in fifth: all gained at least grade C in 5+
subjects (average in 9.7 subjects). Average GCSE score 62 (60 over 5 years).
A-levels: 91 in upper sixth: 97% passed in 3+ subjects. Average final
point score achieved by upper sixth formers 377.
University & college entrance 88% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (15% after a gap year). 40% took courses in science &
engineering, 45% in humanities & social sciences, 10% in art & design, 4% in
music. Others typically go directly to careers or art or drama colleges.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels: 21 GCSE subjects, 23 AS/A-level.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (1
complementary), 3 at A-level. 48% took science A-levels, 35% arts/humanities;
17% both. Key skills integrated into sixth-form courses. All upper sixth take a
contemporary studies programme; ‘sixth form specials’ for all sixth form.
Vocational: Work experience in fourth year.
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE and A-level.
Regular exchanges to France and Germany.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum (eg CAD
in design and technology, specialist language programmes). 80 computers for
pupil use (7 hours a day), all networked and with email and internet access.
Music: 25% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can
be taken. Some 12 musical groups including orchestra, wind band, jazz band,
choir. Some pupils in regional youth orchestra.
Drama: A-level performing arts offered. Pupils are involved in school and
house/other productions; some with parts in recent TV productions and films.
Art & design: On average 25 take GCSE, 12 A-level. Regular exhibitions.
Sport & activities
Sport: All play rugby (autumn), soccer (spring), cricket and athletics
(summer). Additional options for seniors: hockey, rowing, squash, tennis etc. AS
and A-level sports and PE offered. Representatives in national rowing teams;
county and national representatives in rugby; county representatives in hockey,
cricket, swimming, orienteering.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. CCF and community service both optional from age 13. Clubs include
archery, film-makers club, drama, electronics, kayaking, sailing, climbing.
Internationally successful public speaking and debating (enter eg Observer Mace,
World Debating & Public Speaking Competition). World Challenge expeditions to
Vietnam, Bolivia, Morocco.
Uniform: School uniform worn except in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy/girl, head of
house and house prefects – appointed by Headmaster on the recommendation of
staff and sixth form. School Council.
Religion: Attendance at religious worship compulsory.
Social: Conferences (sixth form) and lectures jointly with other local
schools. Annual excursion for skiing; trips to France or Germany. Pupils allowed
to bring own car/bike/motorbike to school. Lunch cafeteria-style (in dining hall
or sixth form café. No tobacco or alcohol allowed.
Discipline Depends on close co-operation between tutor, pupil and