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Barnard Castle School - Senior School
Barnard Castle, DL12 8UN, UK Durham
Tel. 01833 690222

'We were recommended Barnard Castle School by friends and have certainly not been disappointed. Our daughter has been given the opportunity to excel in her favourite sport and is now playing at county level'. Debbie and Clinton Langston"


The senior school curriculum offers the range of subjects which parents would expect in a traditional but forward looking school. Literacy and Numeracy form a solid core for all pupils, enhanced by the provision of learning support for those gifted students (indigenous and foreign) who can benefit from bespoke programmes to actualise their potential.




The school has flourishing science and modern languages departments, and retains specialist teaching staff in sharp contrast to disappointing national trends. The classical ideal of 'sana mens in corpore sano' is observed  by rigour and specialism in all the mainstream sports, and excellent facilities including sports hall and floodlit astroturf. As your child progresses through the school the central core of subjects keeps its shape, and choice increases in terms of options without compromising breadth.


Finally a programme of personal and social education is offered to broaden pupils’ views on contemporary issues, and to engender tolerance and respect for the opinions of others.

Boarding At BCS

The recent inspection of boarding at Barnard Castle School recognised boarding to be one its strengths. We have three boarding houses in the senior school: York House for boys aged 11-14, Northumberland House for boys aged 14-18 and Longfield House for girls aged 11-18. Each boarding house is run by a Houseparent assisted by a team of Tutors and Matrons. The senior pupils take an active role in guiding and mentoring the younger ones. The Medical Centre is staffed by two qualified nurses, and all our pupils are registered with the School Doctor who holds regular surgeries. The school also provides a counselling and listening service where it will be of benefit to pupils.


In the past three years we have invested over £500,000 in the boarding facilities. We know how important it is for children to feel happy in their living space, and equally how important it is for them to look forward to the three square meals they receive every day.



In recent years we have seen more and more pupils opting to board. Increasingly parents recognise the benefits this can bring to their son and daughter, not only in developing their independence, but also in helping them to learn to live with other people.




A wonderfully safe environment

Our boarders are able to enjoy the extra opportunities afforded by living on site, both in terms of using the facilities on offer, and in taking part in the weekend trips organised by the staff. Last term alone saw trips to premiership rugby and football matches, ice skating, Wet n’ Wild, ten pin bowling, cinemas and shopping excursions to the Metro Centre and other places. Each term there are two exeat weekends, and those pupils who have to stay over are taken by staff to visit places like Scarborough and York.

Gifted and Talented

At Barnard Castle School we aim to “promote achievement within a caring community”. Every pupil is supported and encouraged to aim for their own targets, both academic and non-academic, and to strive to reach their individual potential.

At any one time, Barnard Castle School will have a number of extremely able, gifted or talented pupils. We recognise that these pupils have specific learning needs that must be addressed. Following identification, opportunities for extension, enhancement and enrichment are provided to allow our gifted and talented pupils to flourish and achieve their potential. We believe that by addressing the learning needs of the gifted and talented cohort, teaching and learning throughout the School will be enhanced.


At Barnard Castle School, the terms gifted and talented (G&T) are commonly used:

• a “gifted” pupil is defined as one who achieves, or has the ability to achieve, at a level significantly in advance of the peer group in one or more subjects in the school curriculum, other than art & design, music, sport and the performing arts.

• a “talented” pupil is defined as one who achieves, or has the ability to achieve, at a level significantly in advance of the peer group in one or more of the following subjects: art & design, music, sport and the performing arts.


At Barnard Castle School, we aim to achieve the following:

• identify G&T pupils as early as possible
• meet G&T pupils needs by providing an appropriate education
• provide opportunities for G&T pupils to develop specific skills and talents
• provide opportunities for G&T pupils to work at higher cognitive levels
• address the social, physical and intellectual needs of G&T pupils
• improve motivation and enhance the performance of able underachievers


A pupil who is identified as being gifted, talented or both is placed on the Barnard Castle School G&T register. This register is regularly reviewed and updated. Eligible pupils are then also enrolled in the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth.


We believe that provision for G&T pupils is generally most effective when it is made within lessons, through a stimulating and differentiated curriculum. Additional provision comes in three forms:

• Subject-specific opportunities organised by the school. Departments organise and provide opportunities designed to motivate and support gifted and talented pupils. These include participation in national competitions, trips to places of importance, after-school tutorials and advanced subject-specific libraries. In some subjects, the opportunity of accelerated learning is offered to more able pupils.

• Extra provision run by external agencies. Gifted and talented pupils are encouraged to engage in activities organised by external bodies. In the past, these have included outreach events (between a day and a week long), summer schools, master classes and high-level subject-specific competitions.

• Extra-curricular activities organised by the school. Barnard Castle School provides a wide variety of after-school activities to inspire, encourage and support extra-curricular interests in all pupils. In particular, the “Challenge” activity is available for those pupils enrolled on the School’s G&T register.

primary schools in Durham, secondary schools in Durham, schools in Durham

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