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Great Barr School
Aldridge Road, Birmingham,B44 8NU
0121-366 6611

The School:

The largest school in the UK and oversubscribed year on year, Great Barr School is a Group 8 11-19 comprehensive school situated some five miles north of Birmingham city centre. It is a co-educational Foundation School based on a single site on Aldridge Road with one large main building, gymnasia, a Sports Hall, Sixth Form Centre (incorporating an Open Learning Centre), Technology Centre and its own playing fields alongside the recreation ground which is also used by the School. The School is continually upgrading its facilities and has recently built a Science & Maths Learning Centre and a state of the art Music Block with purpose-built practice rooms.

In 2005, we were successful in our bid to become a Specialist Science College. We aim to be the most forward thinking and progressive Science College in the country. Indeed, we strive for excellence in all we do and have achieved recognition with a School Achievement Award and an Eco-School’s award.

Our extensive school community includes more than 2,400 pupils and post-16 students, and around 300 staff which includes 160 teaching staff. Our annual intake exceeds 400 pupils, each of whom is assigned to a tutor group in one of our four Houses. The School is led by the Headteacher, Mrs Catherine Abbott, and a Leadership Team which includes four Deputy Heads and six Assistant Heads. The School is supported by a wide range of non-teaching staff with specialist skills in Learning Support, Finance, Human Resource Management, ICT, Catering and Facilities Management.

Many of our pupils choose to remain at the School, transferring to the Sixth Form on completion of their GCSE’s. The fact that we have a large number of staff who were also pupils at the School is a testament to the School’s success in positively shaping the lives of our young people.

We Aim To:

  • Create a community of mature learners where the dominant and common experience will be of young people who want to make progress and be successful.

  • Motivate pupils to learn from their teacher and others, giving them the skills and confidence to extend their learning through research, investigation, practice and persistence, and to help them understand that learning never ends.

  • Create an environment in which pupils understand that teachers and other adults are helping them to be successful.

  • Give pupils regular feedback so they understand the progress they are making and can identify their future learning goals and assessment targets.

  • Focus on achievement, progress and rewards to accentuate the positive while dealing firmly with the disruptive.

  • Provide a diverse curriculum which is flexible enough to meet the differing needs of individual pupils.

  • Maintain a well-ordered community and reinforce responsible, mature conduct, an intolerance of bullying, and an appreciation of the needs of other developing learners.

  • Continually review and develop the School’s activities in line with developments in education and ICT, exploiting technology to provide our staff and pupils with the very best teaching and learning resources.

A Message from the Head Teacher

At Great Barr School, we strive for excellence in all we do and we have a clear, commonly held vision of what we are here to achieve.

Our children are well cared for and every effort is made to promote their educational development and achievement. Hard work and progress are top of the agenda for everyone. We want every child to be successful, to aim for success from the very first day they join us and throughout their school career so that when they leave us, they do so with the best results they can achieve, fully prepared to continue their development in Higher Education or employment.

We recognise the importance of our role in helping to shape the character and attitudes of every child. We work with parents to instil good manners and respect for others so that Great Barr pupils can make a positive impact on their local communities.

Of course, success can only be achieved in an atmosphere of purposeful work. When you visit the School, you will soon see how committed we are to maintaining an ordered and disciplined environment in which pupils can focus on successful learning. Our most recent OFSTED inspection in February 2006 noted that “good relationships and teachers’ expertise in their subjects ensure that pupils make steady progress” and that “at Key Stage 4, the school’s results have been rising at a good rate since 2001.”

The needs of individual pupils are paramount and the School recognises that teaching must be tailored to address those individual needs. OFSTED commented that “the School supports its vulnerable pupils particularly well; those with learning difficulties and disabilities are fully integrated in all the School’s activities.” Our expanding curriculum is providing pupils with an increasing range of choices at Key Stage 4.

Great Barr is undoubtedly a large school, but ‘large’ certainly doesn’t mean ‘impersonal’. Our pastoral system, arranged into four Houses, was acknowledged by OFSTED to be a “particular strength, ensuring that all pupils in this very large school feel safe and say they have adults who know them well.”

It is the commitment, expertise and professionalism of our highly-qualified teaching staff that make Great Barr School what it is. The School is committed to continuing its investment in the recruitment, retention and development of the best teachers and support staff as it is only through them that we can deliver the best results for our pupils, their parents and the wider community.

We aim to foster effective working relationships between the School and parents who support the School’s high expectations of behaviour, attendance, hard work and commitment to achievement. We are also working hard to build sustained and mutually beneficial links between the School, community groups, local industry and the city’s Higher Education institutions.

Whether you are considering applying for your child to join the School or you are applying to join our large team of dedicated staff, I look forward to receiving your application and to the opportunity in working with you to further the success of our School and our pupils.

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