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Walsall schools unite for annual tradition

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | Education | Published:

Three Walsall schools will join this weekend for an annual tradition which has taken place for hundreds of years.

Going for gold, Going for God': Back left, Joseph Odusanya, aged 10, Randy Asamoah, aged 17, Ismah Naseer, aged 11, front left , Meng Lin, aged 9, Olivia Kelly, aged 5, and Glory Devine Ouansah, aged 6

On Sunday at 10.45am, the three Walsall Blue Coat Schools will join together at St Matthew’s Church for the Blue Coat Sunday service.

For hundreds of years, Blue Coat Sunday has been an annual feature of the Walsall calendar.

The Blue Coat Foundation has been educating children growing up in Walsall since the late 1600s.

The service will feature dance and choral presentations by the pupils. Many Old Blues – the name given to anyone who attended Blue Coat as a child – will also be present at the service.

Over the years, a festival has developed around the service. The theme for the festival this year is ‘Going for Gold – Going for God’ with a particular focus on the 2020 Olympics and the values of determination and perseverance.

St Matthew’s Church is full of work by children from the three Blue Coat Schools as part of an exhibition. The exhibition is open to the public on Saturday from 10.30am to 2pm.

Crypt tours and the opportunity to climb up the St. Matthew’s Church tower are also available on Saturday.

Commitment

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Claire Shaw, the Diocesan Director of Education, said: "The Blue Coat Festival is a wonderful celebration of the education foundation upon which the schools were founded.

"The Blue Coat Schools continue to provide excellent opportunities for children and their families.

"The festival reflects the commitment and service of the schools and the impact they have on children’s lives, past and present."

Reverend Jim Trood, the Rector of St. Matthew’s Church, said: "Once again it is a privilege to host the Blue Coat Festival at St Matthew’s Church.  In this Olympic year the theme “Going for Gold - Going for God” resonates strongly with our Church. 

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"The Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship, as well as being so important in our schools, are strongly echoed in Christianity and many other world faiths.  In a town as diverse as Walsall, we should celebrate the values we hold in common."

Anthony Orlik, executive headteacher of the infant and junior schools, said: "The Blue Coat Education Foundation has provided a high quality education for hundreds of years from birth to 18!

"The Blue Coat Festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our past and present pupils.

"This year’s theme, Going for Gold – Going for God, reflects our high expectations and the children’s amazing achievements as they move through the schools."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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