Joining the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) can be a wonderful way for our older pupils (those in Year 9 or above) to develop their character, confidence and leadership abilities. The CCF is a voluntary youth organisation set in schools and colleges; joining the CCF can be a wonderful way for our pupils to develop, through their exposure to challenges (fortitude, rigour, robustness, initiative and leadership). The CCF also promotes teamwork, self-discipline, determination, coordination and courage.
The CCF contingent is split into three service sections: the Royal Navy (RN), the Army and the Royal Air Force (RAF). While all of them teach new skills, develop discipline and encourage teamwork, each section does that through different activities relevant to the particular service. Cadets will be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities ranging from sailing at Dinton Pastures as part of the RN Section, live firing with the L98A2 5.56mm rifle on the range with the Army Section, to flying at RAF Benson with the RAF Section. One of the highlights of the CCF year is the Remembrance Day parade, when the whole contingent parade together to remember those of the School that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a national programme of cultural and adventurous activities, the completion of which leads to an award. The DofE Award is a Charity that has been working with young people from all backgrounds for more than half a century. The DofE is the nationally and internationally recognised Award favoured by employers and universities alike. The DofE programme is very flexible, with pupils able to choose from a variety of activities designed to help them explore new places, develop new talents, thrive both physically and mentally and give their time to help others. It can be undertaken at different levels, and we offer the opportunity for year 9 pupuls and above the option of either starting the Bronze or Silver Award and Gold from Year 11 onwards.
The DofE programme is all about self-development. It is not about being first, but focuses on helping young people to improve existing skills or gain new talents, abilities or perspectives and being the best they can. To achieve an award, young people must show persistence, commitment and personal development.The DofE programme is both challenging and rewarding for pupils, offering many enjoyable opportunities to gain new experiences, skills and friends. It is also a great addition to a pupil’s CV.
It is important that Blue Coat pupils understand their role in society and build an awareness of the importance of helping people less fortunate than themselves.
To that end, the School has strong links with the wider community and pupils have many opportunities to engage with the world beyond our gates, both in and outside of the weekly timetable.
Volunteering is a popular way to do this, particularly our programmes that enable pupils to go into local primary schools and help to teach subjects like Maths, English, Philosophy and languages, or to coach various sporting clubs.
We also have a Community Service programme, where pupils can volunteer in residential homes, assist in local charity shops, or join an environmental group undertaking projects in the local area.
The whole School is also involved in raising money for charity, and every year we host a number of fundraising events such as concerts, cake sales, sponsored events and non-uniform days. The pupils are responsible for choosing which external charities they would like to support, in addition to the regular gifts we offer to our partner school in Ghana. We usually raise an average of £15,000 each year for a wide variety of local, national and international charitable initiatives.