Reading Blue Coat is now closed to pupils and staff, apart from those who are enabling provision of care for the children of key workers. All other pupils are continuing their education from home. Reception will be manned 8am - 4pm each day
Reading Blue Coat was founded in 1646 by Richard Aldworth, a merchant of The Skinners’ Company and a Governor of Christ’s Hospital. The School was established near St Mary’s Minster Church in Reading and was known by its original historic name of Aldworth’s Hospital, providing ‘Education and bringing upp of twenty poore male children’ and for a ‘Godly and learned man to be Schoolmaster’. The original uniform was a ‘Blue Coate and Cappe’ (senior prefects wear the ancient dress of long blue coat and yellow stockings on special occasions).
Reading Blue Coat was founded in 1646 by Richard Aldworth
First school site next to Silver Street and London Street – in the building that was a former inn, The Talbot.
Purchase of Brunswick House, 42 Bath Road, as new school site.
Headmaster John Harris
Entrance exams introduced and science and art added to the curriculum and exercise drill added to the timetable.
First day boys admitted – with preference given to ‘orphans’.
Blue Coat boys
French added to the curriculum and a new carpentry workshop set up.
Old Blues’ Association set up.
To celebrate 250th anniversary, an extra dormitory added to boarding house.
Compulsory games introduced on Wednesdays.
Boys ‘grew their own’. Boys sang in hospitals to boost morale. Clogs worn to save leather.
Fees introduced to cover costs of textbooks and heating.
Scarlet fever and diphtheria outbreaks close school temporarily.
90 boys and four teachers.
First Aldworthian school magazine produced.
Blackout implemented and cellars transformed into makeshift air-raid shelter. Boys ‘did their bit’ – farm work, working at Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory.
Old Blues Cricket Team
In January, the School moved to the magnificent estate of Holme Park in the Berkshire village of Sonning-on-Thames where it remains today. 150 boys.
Opening of new Dunster Building – new teaching block.
Swimming pool opened.
School recognised officially.
New boat house opened.
14 boys joined the new Sixth Form.
Cadet Corps formed.
More day boys than boarders. Saturday lessons ended.
September: First girl pupil, Kathy Bodley Scott, admitted.
Sixth Form becomes fully co-educational.
Blue Coat’s admission to the Headmaster’s Conference.
Boarding house closed.
Richard Aldworth Building opened by then Home Secretary Theresa May MP – replacing Dunster Building. 700 pupils.
Opening of Brian Walsh Building
A history of the school, “Truth Conquers All,” by Blue Coat archivist Mr Peter van Went, was published in July 2013 and is available from the School’s Reception for £6.99.
750 pupils. New Design Technology building completed.