Niamh, new girl on the block!

I joined Reading Blue Coat in September 2021, having been in an all-girls educational environment since joining nursery school when I was 2 years old and, though I was thoroughly enjoying being at Queen Anne’s in Caversham, I felt it was time for me to invite a new challenge into my life. Therefore, I eagerly accepted an offer to join the RBC Sixth Form to study Geography, Psychology and Philosophy at A Level, as it would give me the opportunity of being educated in a much larger, co-educational setting.

Currently, I am loving all my subjects, and the level of teaching is excellent, with the classes keeping me engaged and everyone being so supportive. At the moment, my favourite subject is Philosophy, as the course combines all three sections (ethics, religion, and philosophy) together, allowing me to explore a broad range of new, interesting ideas. The classroom debates are brilliant, with everyone joining in, and I love being able to hear other people’s views on each topic, and expressing my own opinion, in such an encouraging environment.

But my subjects aren’t the only thing that I am enjoying about Blue Coat School, I love the energy of the school and the people I am sharing my Sixth Form experience with. There is a fantastic camaraderie and, after quite an isolating time during a succession of lockdowns, I am valuing these friendships more than ever. The boys have also been really welcoming to the new girl cohort and the banter between us all makes Sixth Form so much more enjoyable.

There is genuine vitality about RBCS and a sense of “the more you throw yourself into things, the more you will get out!” That is why I am embracing new experiences like the Combined Cadet Force, something which I previously never envisaged! Putting on my fatigues on a Thursday morning is still a bit surreal but I’m finding CCF good fun, and it also gives me a chance to meet students from my own year and other year groups that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.

After a five-year absence, I’ve had the opportunity to take up hockey again and I was thrilled to make the first team. I thoroughly enjoyed my lacrosse days at Queen Anne’s but it’s great to get back into a sport I love, which I will hopefully continue at university.

Another aspect of Reading Blue Coat School is their passion for the Arts, and, over the years, this has included putting on some very ambitious performances. This year is no exception, as the Drama Department is staging Billy Elliot and, as a previous Drama scholar and dancer, I am planning on trying out for a role in the ensemble as I feel it will be a fantastic experience to be part of the production.

Once I leave Reading Blue Coat School, I am hoping to study Law at university. I am considering applying for Oxford, however, I am also interested in some of the big northern universities (like Leeds and Manchester). Currently, I am attending Oxbridge Club every Thursday after school and it has already prepared me for some of the upcoming challenges to be admitted to an Oxbridge university, and what is needed for a successful application.

I know I have only been at the school for half a term, but in the course of writing this piece, I have had the chance to consider all the opportunities the school gives its students and how much I have personally already got out of being part of the RBCS community and I’m looking forward to the rest of my time at Reading Blue Coat School.

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