Aims of the School
Hall Green School aims to provide a broadly based and balanced education, relevant to the needs and capabilities of the pupils, mindful of the requirements and aspirations of society.
We aim to identify and to develop to the full the talents of every pupil – so that all individuals recognise their unique worth and are able to realise their true potential.
We aim to develop young people who are confident and competent, endowed with the qualities of self-respect and respect for others.
We aim to encourage healthy social and emotional development in pupils so that they may play a significant part in the adult world.
We aim to succeed!
The Education Programme
Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3)
Our education programme aims to be broad, balanced and relevant to the needs and capacities of our pupils, promoting their academic, spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and preparing for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of their adult life.
All our pupils follow the National Curriculum requirements:
At key stage 3 a core group of subjects – Mathematics, Science, English – and a Foundation group consisting of Design and Technology, Information Communication Technology, History, Geography, Modern Language (German or French), Music, Art, Physical Education including Games and Dance. Religious Education is a statutory requirement for all.
In the lower school, subjects are taught in banded or streamed groups.
Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4)
It is during these years that GCSE courses are followed. All pupils take the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science.
Other compulsory courses include Design and Technology, Information Communication Technology.and a Modern Language for prescribed groups. Pupils will also study History and / or Geography and Physical Education including Games. It is expected that pupils will select at least one further subject from the following: Art, Music, Business Studies, Word Processing, MFL, Media Studies, Leisure and Tourism or Vocational Courses at local colleges.
Religious Education is not a GCSE course, but continues to be a statutory requirement for all pupils. On successfully completing the course they receive and internally awarded certificate.
In addition, throughout the five years of study, all pupils will be involved in courses addressing careers, health education and other aspects of social and personal welfare.
Equalising Opportunities, Special Education Needs and Sex Education Guidance are all provided in line with statutory requirements.
Examination Results analysis sheets are kept in school and are available on request.
OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) noted our curriculum was broad, balanced and complied fully with the National Curriculum requirements and that pupils were well motivated and worked purposefully.
Our curriculum, both within and without the classroom reflected the school aims to encompass the need for care, respect and high expectations.
Assessment and Reporting
The work of our pupils is continuously monitored by appropriate forms of assessment: coursework assessment, teaching group tests and termly or end of year examinations when necessary. Year 9 will take Standard Assessment Tasks in English, Mathematics and Science and Statutory End of key Assessments In Design and Technology, a Modern Foreign Language, Information Technology, History, Geography, Art, Music and Physical Education, in the Summer Term. Year 11 pupils will take GCSEs in the Summer Term.
The pupils’ performance is relayed to parents through our Record of Achievement.
Parents receive reports twice a year and consultative evenings are arranged so that pupils’ progress may be discussed with form tutors, subject tutors and if necessary, the Head of Year of Pastoral Manager.
The Head teacher and Deputies are also available on these occasions. Careers Officers attend the meetings arranged for years 9, 10 and 11.
In addition, pupils’ work is reviewed regularly through departmental meetings, year meetings and review meetings, the latter's chaired by Heads of Year.
A tightly focused mentor system is in place for Key Stage 4 pupils.
Parents are invited to ask questions and express their views at Parents’ Evenings and on the comment sheet of the Record of Achievement.
Coursework is an integral part of many GCSE examinations. The school has coursework evenings for 10th and 11th year students every Thursday from 3.15pm to 4.45pm in the Library and Computer Rooms.
Many departments have their own facilities for extra study on other days of the week before, and after school.
We regard homework as a particularly important part of a pupil’s education. It offers opportunities for work, independent of the teacher, allowing pupils to exploit materials and sources of information which are not accessible in the classroom. It also allows pupils to complete work started in school or to practice skills learned in class. Homework gives parents the opportunity to see what their children are doing in school and helps to strengthen the liaison between the home and school.
Each pupil in Year 7 and 8 and 9 is given a homework diary in which to note the work set. There is a homework ‘club’ for them every evening.
Pupils in Year 10 and 11 receive a GCSE planner which enables students to organise their work for GCSE examinations.
The recently refurbished Library is a vibrant, busy and popular place. With its own computer suite, CD ROM reference systems and an ever-expanding stock of books, the Library is a focal point for many activities. As in many areas of the school, the pupils have open access to its facilities.
Information Communication Technology
The school continues to develop its IT facilities with the aim of equipping our students with the skills required to face the world of further education and work upon leaving Hall Green School.
Our school has five computer suites with networked hardware and software for general use. One of these suites is equipped specifically for science and technology. An additional room is networked to provide specialist software for pupils with learning difficulties. The network runs Office 2000 and has full access to the Internet across all stations.
All curriculum areas are equipped with, or have easy access to computer hardware that has software ranging from word processing though to data handling, CD Rom and specialist software for departmental use. Many departments have specialist hardware including CNC equipment, digital cameras and scanners.
All equipment is constantly reviewed and updated to provide frontline experiences for all pupils.
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Special Educational Needs – Physical Disability
Our school has won national acclaim for its pioneering and impressively successful work in the total integration of pupils with physical disabilities into all mainstream school activities – both inside and outside the classroom.
The school buildings and site have been specifically adapted to provide total access for all pupils.
There are highly experienced care staff to support the great variety of special needs of the physically disabled, and there are additional teaching staff to ensure that proper academic progress is made.
The school works very closely with the Local Education Authority – taking pupils from across the whole of Birmingham – to ensure the highest possible standard of provision.
The benefits to the educational and personal development of all pupils are considerable.
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Special Educational Needs
Compensatory Education teachers help any pupil with specific or general learning needs. First contact is made at New Parents’ Evenings and through Junior School visits.
Every pupil is assessed during the first term, both in the classroom and in formal tests when further needs are identified. Pupils are tested at the beginning of Year 8, to assess and monitor progress. Pupils who find reading or written work difficult may have an extra teacher to help them in the classroom. Reading clubs operate in Tutor time and spelling / handwriting clubs after school. Staff are encouraged to challenge particularly able pupils with extra enrichment work, evolving out of normal classroom study. The department works very closely with parents and all compensatory pupils are carefully monitored as they progress through the school.
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As the life of the school is a partnership between staff, parents and pupils, we set out to provide a calm, stimulating atmosphere in which pupils will be able to explore, learn and develop their full potential.
Our Pastoral System is led by the Pastoral Deputy Head who is directly responsible to the Head Teacher for the organisation of the care and guidance of all pupils in the school. In this vital role he is assisted by a team of Heads of Year who have overall responsibility to him for the pastoral care of all pupils in their respective year groups.
Within each year, the Head of Year leads a team of Form Tutors. The latter are key figures in our extremely successful pastoral care system since they have the greatest contact with their own pupils and can thus provide each pupil with appropriate care and counsel.
It is this concern for the individual which underlies our whole pastoral system. In the same way that staff care for the welfare of each individual pupil, the pupils too are encouraged to show a consideration for each other. ‘We Care’ is a fundamental aspect of the school ethos. OFSTED noted that relationships between staff and pupils, and between pupils themselves, are excellent.
School meals are provided by our own catering service. A variety of hot and cold meals, including sandwiches, is prepared in our kitchen and served by means of a cash cafeteria system in a very pleasant dining hall. The cafeteria is also open for snacks at morning break. Those who qualify for free meals are issued with a ticket which can be used at the cafeteria. Provision is also made for those pupils bringing their own packed lunch.
Assemblies are organised in year groups and encompass sound moral, social and spiritual values. Talks or readings on a particular theme, sometimes by a visiting speaker, are the main focus. They also provide the occasion for recognising social, academic or sporting achievement with the presentation of our extensive range of trophies, certificates and awards.
Physical education is a compulsory part of the curriculum in all year groups. In Year 11 more emphasis is placed on preparation for leisure and an introduction to the use of local sporting facilities.
The school has two gymnasia, hard tennis courts, indoor climbing wall and playing fields at Windermere Road and Pickwick Hockey Club. Sports followed include athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, hockey, netball, soccer and tennis. Other activities include camping, climbing, dance, gymnastics, personal fitness, swimming and table tennis.
School teams exist in the major sports and inter school fixtures are arranged throughout the year. In Years 7 and 8 pupils have the opportunity to gain awards from the Amateur Swimming Association and in 10th and 11th Years pupils may take part in the Junior Sports Leader Award.
Pupils who show an aptitude for sport are encouraged to develop their talents by representative performance at all levels.
A number of Hall Green pupils have taken part in county, national and international events.
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Extra Curricular Activities
All pupils have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities held at lunch time, after school and at weekends.
The Music Department arranged regular public performances and pupils play at community events. Theatrical productions involve a large number of pupils in all aspects of a performance.
Strong links have been made with local sporting clubs providing facilities and the opportunity to further develop the skills of our pupils.
In the lower school a variety of inter form competitions are arranged and involve the majority of our pupils.
Once basic skills have been obtained on our indoor climbing wall, interested pupils can then tackle more difficult and challenging climbs.
After the introduction to camping in the 7th Year, pupils are eager to improve their skills on ‘activity weekends’ followed by longer camps in the Upper School. Most of the popular outdoor pursuits are available.
At the age of 14 pupils are invited to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and gain an internationally recognised award. The group includes ex pupils who regularly meet at the school to complete their awards – to the Gold standard.
OFSTED praised the school on the wide range of clubs and teams available to the children.
School Visits and Journeys
These activities are a vital part of the education offered by Hall Green School. No less important are the educational experiences that take place further field. We place great stress on the importance of outdoor pursuits of every kind from Year 7. In addition we organise regular visits to Germany and France for our pupils, providing first hand experience of a foreign language.
Geography and History field trips are an important element of the curriculum. Before the start of each term we provide parents with a list of proposed journeys so that they can plan well in advance.
Drama is another subject which is very active outside the compulsory core curriculum. The drama club contributes regular school productions which give opportunities not only for actors, but for others who make use of their talents backstage in make-up, costumes, lighting and effects.
Regular theatre visits are made by groups of all ages and the school takes advantage of visits by Theatre in Education companies, to provide on-site workshops and performances.
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Liaison with Parents
At Hall Green we attach great importance to liaison with our parents and every opportunity is used to enable parents to become actively involved in the life of the school. They are encouraged to contact the school over any matter that may be of concern – or simply for advice and information. An appropriate senior member of staff is always available for a parental appointment to discuss any aspect of a child’s progress and development.
Music, in addition to being a compulsory subject in the first three years, is a thriving recreational activity. A wide variety of musical opportunities is available including orchestra and various ensembles including string quartets, recorder ensembles and ocarina groups. Peripatetic, vocal and instrumental teachers visit the school each week and many pupils who learn to play orchestral instruments are entered successfully for the examination of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
There are opportunities for our musicians to join local authority orchestras or bands.
Music is offered at GCSE.
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School Industry Links
The school has, for a long time, had close links with a wide network of employers, partly through the extensive Work Experience programme which is two weeks for all pupils in Year 10 and takes place in the summer term.
The school provides a range of activities designed to develop self confidence, decision making and to improving pupils skills in working together as a team. These links with employers and public services will involve pupils visiting places of employment and employers visiting school to work with groups of pupils.
The school also works through the Connexions Education Business Partnership which aims to promote closer links between schools and the wider community.
All our staff are involved with this process. The school works in close co-operation with the careers service, employers and all providers of further education and training to ensure the widest possible choices are available to students.
Guidance is related to the individual student’s particular stages of development. It is impartial, considered and balanced to enable students to make choices to meet their needs and aspirations.
Work experience is part of the vocational development process as it provides not only a period at a place of work but also offers a great deal to the personal development of each student.
Discipline – Code of Conduct
Like any other complex social organisation, a school requires generally accepted codes of conduct and rules of procedure by which the school community can best function.
The Hall Green Code of Conduct, and other necessary information, is provided to parents before their children arrive at the school. In September, Form Tutors review the School Code with pupils to ensure they clearly understand our expectations. There is a specific reason for each item of the Code, but one idea underlies them all – Consideration for Others.
The school has a detailed Behaviour Policy which stresses rewarding good behaviour. OFSTED noted that the good behaviour of pupils was a measure of the school’s success in promoting this feature.
Appropriate sanctions, including detention, will be used when necessary.
Admission and Entry
There is no catchment area for Hall Green School and pupils are admitted at age 11 without reference to ability or aptitude. The number of intended admissions each year is currently 180.
The school operates an extremely successful policy of mainstream integration for pupils with physical disabilities who are the subject of a ‘statement’ of Special Education Need. OFSTED noted that it is a credit to the whole school that pupils with physical disabilities are quite naturally welcomed and valued as full members of the school community. At Hall Green integration means full integration.
Applications from such pupils are welcomed and early contact is advisable so that special needs can be carefully discussed.
Each year in the Autumn Term, two consecutive evenings are set aside when prospective parents may visit the school, meet the staff and pupils, view the facilities and see work in progress.
We also encourage prospective parents to visit when the school is in session, so that they may experience for themselves the atmosphere of a typical school day. Please contact the Pastoral Manager for further details.
During the Summer Term, the parents of New Entrants are invited to school to complete formalities, discuss essentials of everyday life at school and to resolve any remaining queries.
Transfer from Primary Schools
To help pupils adjust happily to Hall Green, we have formed strong links with our main contributory schools.
During the term before new pupils join us, the Head of Year 7 visits all our feeder schools, meets the pupils and discusses individual needs with their teachers.
In the Summer term all new pupils visit the school for a full day during which they meet their Form Tutors, familiarise themselves with the school and its routines and experience some ‘taster’ lessons.
2Transfer from Other Secondary Schools
Sometimes when parents move from one area to another, or for other reasons, pupils have to change their secondary school. Such pupils are always welcome at Hall Green – if we have a vacancy! In the first instance, parents should contact the Pastoral Manager.
Comments from New Pupils
“I did not know many people when I arrived but it was so easy to make friends”
“The teachers are very understanding and helpful”
“I really feel I belong to the school”
“I thought the prefects were very helpful and made it easy for me to quickly settle in”
“I like Hall Green School because I have made lots of friends and I get treated in a more adult way”
“The teachers are excellent and so are the computers. You will wish the five years would never end”
“The canteen is nice, with a large variety of food”
“I am very impressed with the school”
If you require any information or are concerned about any matter, please contact the school so that either your query may be answered or an appointment will be made for you with the Senior member of staff concerned.