Home Secretary Theresa May opens new eco-friendly extension at Blue Coat SchoolBy Julie Spencer
October 16, 2012
A new eco-friendly extension to an independent school was opened by the Home Secretary.
Sonning MP Theresa May toured Reading Blue Coat meeting pupils and staff before she unveiled a plaque marking the official opening of the Richard Aldworth Building.
Mrs May was shown around the Sonning school by headmaster Michael Windsor, headboy Oliver Dandridge and headgirl Miriam Hicklan on Friday September 28.
After her tour, all 718 pupils, official visitors and staff gathered outside for the ceremony. Marjie Thorne, marketing officer, said: “It was a wonderful occasion.
“The Home Secretary was first taken to the art department where she looked at work and then to a Year 8 English class where she had a close look at the work and a chat with some of the boys.
“She then went on to a Year 13 maths class before we all gathered in the middle school common room to hear a piece written by a Year 13 student Edward Reeve who has just been offered an organ scholarship at Queen’s College, Cambridge.”
Edward’s choral work was based on the Richard Herrick poem ‘To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time’, with its famous first line, ‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’.
After the ceremony and Mrs May’s departure, guests including the mayors of Reading and Wokingham were invited to a lunch.
The Richard Aldworth Building was named after the school’s 17th century founder and is designed to conserve energy with a sustainable ground source heat pump, an under-floor heating system and highly insulated floors, walls and roof to keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Speaking before the opening Mr Windsor said the building’s green credentials matched the school’s ethos.
He said: “As a school we are committed to teaching our pupils the importance of taking care of our planet.”
Pupils have been using the block which replaces the 1950s’ Dunster building since the beginning of term.