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King Edward VI Five Ways School
Scotland Lane, Birmingham,B32 4BT
0121-475 3535

from the HEADMASTER ...

King Edward VI Five Ways School has a distinguished history in Birmingham and beyond going back to its establishment as a King Edward Foundation Grammar School in 1883 at Five Ways in the City Centre.

It has always been at the leading edge of educational progress yet conscious of its historic roots and traditions.

Today we are the largest co-educational state grammar school in the West Midlands offering able girls and boys from a wide catchment area (in and outside Birmingham) the opportunity to develop and fulfil their potential in an attractive environment, with outstanding facilities. We are in the top five co-ed grammar schools nationally and we pride ourselves on the young adults who leave us prepared academically, but more importantly, possessing the skills and confidence to take their place as adults in the 21st century.

Our Humanities Specialist status (the first Humanities school in the West Midlands) will bring even more benefits and opportunities in the coming years to our school.

We hope that you will be interested in finding out more about our school.


   D J Wheeldon BA, MSc, FRSA

The School ...

King Edward VI Five Ways School is a Voluntary Aided selective secondary school on the south west tip of the City and one of the seven "Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham". The Foundation dates from 1551, although its origins can be traced back two centuries earlier. As a voluntary aided school, all running expenses are met from state funds and so parents pay no fees. In addition, the King Edward Foundation contributes generous sums to help maintain the buildings and make improvements. The school was Grant Maintained from April 1993 until August 1999 when that system was abolished. In September 2004 we became a Specialist Humanities School, an exciting new phase in the history of the school.

The school was established as part of the Foundation in 1883 at Five Ways, just south of the City centre. It moved in 1958 to a particularly attractive 30-acre site, seven miles to the south-west of the City centre, bordering Bartley Reservoir and looking out to Frankley Beeches.

In September 2003, the School completed the move towards full co-educational making it the only mixed non-fee paying Grammar School in the West Midlands. There is an intake at the age of 11 of 150 pupils per year (irrespective of gender) on the basis of performance in the entrance examination set by the King Edward Foundation. The School has 1100 pupils on roll. In recent years, the entry has been many times oversubscribed and the school draws pupils from a wide geographical area. Whereas in the past entry was limited to boys living within the Birmingham City boundary, this restriction no longer applies and applications are welcomed from any boys or girls living within a reasonable traveling distance of the School. Boys and girls are also admitted at 16 into the growing Sixth Form, which currently has 325 pupils. All sixth-formers take a range of AS and A2 level subjects of their own choice together with A2 level General Studies and Key Skills. Each year the vast majority of our students proceed to degree courses on leaving the school.

Admission to the School at 11+ is managed by the King Edward Foundation. At the time that parents are required to register their child's name for entry examinations, open days are held at the school (dates available from the School office). Special arrangements for visits to the school at other times can be made on request. There are occasional vacancies for boys and girls in Years 8 to 10. Applications are also welcomed for entry to the sixth form.


The heart of the buildings remain those erected 50 years ago when the School moved from Five Ways but the last few years have seen substantial developments in the facilities. The Eyles Centre originally our sixth form centre is now the heart of our humanities status and is to be fully equipped with a 50 station ' internet cafe' for school and community use (it already houses a lecture room and video conferencing suite). A Music Suite was completed in 1992 together with extensive renovation of the old rifle range to provide classrooms for MFL. Over the following few years, all of the existing classrooms and toilet facilities were then renovated . However, the biggest changes have occurred during the last few years during which there has been a major building programme , costing nearly £4 million, in preparation for the expansion of the school as it became fully co-educational . There is a classroom block with specialist rooms for Modern Expressive Art , English , art , photography , and food technology . There is a new sports hall , pavilion and changing rooms , forming a sports complex with the existing gym and swimming pool. There is a new Dining Room and kitchens . Within the existing buildings , alterations have resulted in four new laboratories , a suite of three computer rooms and a large extension to the library . The Assembly Hall has also been extended so that it will accommodate the whole school . Further extension to the teaching accommodation was completed in May 2004. During 2006 - 2007 a new Sixth Form Centre will be constructed to house our expanding Sixth Form. This new centre has been made possible by a successful appeal to parents, Governors and Old Edwardians, together with a generous grant from the King Edward Foundation.

Humanities Specialist Status

From September 2004 the school becomes the first Humanities Specialist School in Birmingham and one of the first such in the country. The status is Geography led and supported by History and Citizenship. We could have chosen any specialism but we were convinced that the Humanities route was the correct direction. All pupils, whatever their ultimate choice at 'A' level, will have a thorough grounding in those areas which deal with people and their place in society. Our growing international links in Africa, India, France, China, New Zealand and USA will be further enhanced by our new status and our place in our local community will also be strengthened.

We will work closely with our secondary and primary partners and we will become a centre of excellence involving The Royal Geographical Society, The Geography Association and The Ordnance Survey. The real benefit of our new status will be felt by all pupils who pass through Five Ways in the coming years.

The Curriculum

The School curriculum is broad and balanced recognising national guide-lines, and fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Considering the selective nature of the School there is an emphasis on academic excellence scholarship and the need for each pupil to secure the best achievable qualifications. It is our firm intention to lay secure foundations for progression into Further and Higher Education and we consider preparation for Sixth Form Advanced Level Study to be a key feature of out 11-16 education.

The School believes in encouraging pupils to "take ownership" of their own studies by following active and varied learning approaches.

Attention is given to the needs of the individual pupils. Consequently, our school curriculum encompasses the demands of the National Curriculum, but with enrichment appropriate to the needs of our selective intake.


... in Key Stage 3 pupils follow a broad and balanced foundation course in unstreamed forms. Pupils entering the school all take a modern foreign language and from the second year (Year 8) all study Latin or another modern language (currently on offer French, German, or Spanish). A Combined Science course is taken in the first two years, after which Physics, Chemistry and Biology are studied separately. Other courses taken are in English, Drama, Mathematics, History, Geography, R.E., Music, Art (including Photography), Design Technology (including Food Technology), P.E., Information Technology and Learning Skills.

AT THE END OF YEAR 9 pupils move into Key Stage 4 they select their GCSE courses, both full and short courses. The GCSE subjects are taken at the end of year 11 and include a core of English, Mathematics, Science, a humanity, a language, RE, IT and a creative or practical subject. Students achieve 10 or more full GCSE qualifications in total. (Currently 20 subjects are offered) Carefully guided choice ensures that the courses taken are balanced, leaving open maximum options for the Sixth Form and careers. The vast majority of the intake normally moves on into the Sixth Form. All pupils in Yr 10 pursue a two week work placement and throughout the school a full programme of work related learning and guidance is directly supported by the Connexions Service.


...a comprehensive range of subjects is offered at AS level in the Lower Sixth and A2 level in the Upper Sixth. Currently 30 subjects are offered). In addition to the subjects studied at GCSE, pupils may also choose from Economics, Business Studies, Geology, Classical Civilisation, Government & Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, Further Mathematics Media Studies and Theatre Studies. A flexible options scheme allows students to study science subjects, arts subjects or a wide range of combinations. In the Lower Sixth year four AS subjects are studied, with most students choosing to follow three A2 subjects in the Upper Sixth. In addition all Sixth Formers undertake non-specialist courses and additional studies within a General Studies framework. This leads to A2 level General Studies in the Upper Sixth. An increasing number of Sixth Formers also take Critical Thinking and Advanced Extension Awards.

The majority of the Sixth Form proceed to degree courses in universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. Sixth formers are encouraged to develop individual responsibility for their own learning, a skill crucial for those moving on to higher education and the world of work.


Exchange visits and study courses are regularly organised. Residential visits and outdoor pursuits are made available at some time to all pupils at KS3 and KS4.


Information Technology

The School is a trial site and Centre of Excellence for Research Machines and has a national reputation for the use of computers ICT across the curriculum. There is an extensive computer network, which can be accessed by pupils, teachers of all subjects and parents.

This open access computer service also allows pupils to make use of the large amount of reference material available on the network and via the Internet.

Private Study

Private study plays an important part in encouraging and training students to work independently, and we ask parents to see that priority is given to the completion of prescribed work.

A planner/personal organiser (paid for by School Club) is supplied to each pupil, which includes spaces for a homework timetable and a weekly diary section in which private study work is to be included when set. Parents are asked to initial the entries at least once a week. Planners are checked regularly by Form Tutors and by senior staff. It is hoped that pupils will use these planners sensibly to help themselves to organise their studies in an efficient way. We also hope that parents will use these planners for communications with the School.

Personal & Social Education (PSE)

Five Ways is committed to, and fulfils its legal responsibility in promoting the personal and social development of each individual pupil. Provision is made for regular lessons. PSE and Citizenship is delivered by a combination of subject specialists and form tutors.

There is really no part of the school day or curriculum which does not have the potential to influence the personal and social development of the pupils and arguably it is the spirit and ethos of the school, its pupils and staff which has the greatest effect. There is a well equipped careers base which is available to all pupils Careers guidance forms part of the PSE programme for all years and there is opportunity for personal consultations both with our careers staff and the City Connexions Service.


Statutory Regulations etc.

Statutory regulations and Policies, Ofsted reports and schemes of work are available at the School.


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