“BUILDING BRIGHTER FUTURES”
We transform the life chances and aspirations of our diverse group of students by working relentlessly to raise standards of education. We are morally driven to collaborate, to develop staff expertise and to create exceptional learning experiences for students and our community.
Students First – all staff, governors & parents totally focused upon the education of all our students.
It’s about Learning – students, all staff, governors & parents totally focused upon developing and improving the learning of students underpinned by harmonious and trusting relationships.
No Barriers – no excuses, only support, to ensure students, all staff, governors & parents maximise the academic achievement of students whilst enabling them to develop and flourish as well-rounded individuals.
All students develop PRIDE through their seven year journey, enabling them to flourish as academic students and human individuals, building brighter futures for themselves and their communities, both now and later in life.
PRIDE articulates the values and beliefs that shape learning, behaviour and experiences within our school community –
Proactive, Responsible, Inquisitive, Determined and Engaged.
Students are proactive leaders of their own learning and share a deep understanding of how and why they learn. Pupils are aspirational and possess a clear vision for their future, along with the knowledge, experiences and courage to make that vision a reality.
When things go wrong, our students act responsibly, reflecting on their actions and demonstrating resilience to put things right. Empathy and compassion help them build flourishing relationships.
Their inquisitive nature means they demonstrate curiosity in every situation and confidently challenge inequality and stereotypical thinking. They communicate formally and maturely engage with complex concepts and issues through exploratory talk to broaden their understanding of the world. Our students write with academic expertise enabling success in their subjects. They are numerate, technically fluent and able to solve problems, and they choose to read regularly with purpose and for pleasure.
Students are determined and confident, refusing to allow barriers to stop them from achieving their goals.
Engaged in wider school life, they fully embrace and seek enrichment experiences in sport, performance, service and academia. They celebrate their successes and reflect on their experiences to continually progress and develop their character and play an integral role in a flourishing society.
Our Curriculum Offer
At Barr’s Hill, we believe the transition experience is a critical moment in a young person’s learning journey. The Barr’s Hill experience begins well before Year 7. Students first experience of Barr’s Hill is during the Year 5 Programme, following this, the ‘Bridge to the Future’ programme provides a range of learning opportunities throughout Year 6 including a summer school to ensure that students feel ready to start their seven year journey at Barr’s Hill.
The impact of the curriculum across the 7-year journey is clear. Students at KS4 make progress significantly above the national average (P8 +0.74 in 2022 and projected to be similar in 2023) and the highest of all non-selective schools in Coventry. In KS5 in 2023, 98% of our pupils progress to University with 40% of students securing places on courses ranked in the top 15 nationally in their chosen subject areas. Their destinations include Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Warwick University plus many more.
Please click the tabs below to learn more about how our curriculum develops throughout the seven year journey. Should you wish to obtain additional information about our curriculum, please do let us know via our contact us page.
Students join Barr’s Hill school in The Bridge. The Bridge is a self-contained Hub dedicated to Year 7 students, based in its own building with its own specialist staff, social space and classrooms. A senior primary specialist is employed to target intervention for students who are not at age related expectation and to ensure a clear focus on literacy across The Bridge curriculum. The Bridge aims to lay the foundations for the crucial communication skills that will help students access the curriculum and excel in it, whilst also enhancing students’ ability to communicate with confidence in all contexts and situations. This includes: developing high-quality formal and exploratory talk; embedding explicit reading strategies and habits so that students can confidently read a range of texts across their curriculum; promoting a culture of reading so that students choose to read books appropriate to their reading age; and the explicit teaching of writing for different forms, purposes and audiences. The curriculum is carefully crafted to flow from Year 5/6 study and is highly aspirational for all. Learning is planned & delivered to ensure all students make progress & provides an inclusive classroom for all. All staff meet SEND students’ needs through ‘live’ one-page profiles. Students study high level concepts such as the foundations of communication & the art of rhetoric, algebraic manipulation, chemical reactions, Latin, classical Roman mythology, the origins of British civilisation, climate change and religious leadership. All students study MfL in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9, and they also have the highly rewarding opportunity to study Latin as part of their Classics project. A very small number of students that are not at age related expectation may study additional literacy and numeracy instead of MFL to ensure they can access the curriculum. With the expectation they will transition into MFL as their literacy and numeracy develop. Additional proven interventions can include Fresh Start, Lexonik, Reading Inference, Thinking Reading, Catch up Numeracy and Nessy Dyslexia support.
The Year 8 and Year 9 curricula is carefully planned to build upon what students have learnt in Year 7. Students study Shakespeare, a range of critical theories and ideas around the Russian revolution, communism and totalitarianism; Pythagoras & trigonometry; the reactivity of elements and displacement reactions; environmental issues which link to ocean circulation, coral acidification, water density and salinity; democracy and power; and Hispanic environmental issues and La Comida. Whilst engaging with this ambitious curriculum, they are also developing their formal talk. Any students not yet at ARE in English and Maths receive additional intervention.
The three-year KS3 curriculum is designed to be both broad and balanced. Barr’s Hill School believes that the Ebacc lies at the heart of a strong academic curriculum. Almost all students studying a Modern Foreign Language in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. All students are given the opportunity to study for the EBacc in KS4 with the numbers of GCSE MFL increasing in 2023-24. We expect to see a rise in our EBacc numbers over the coming years with the introduction of Latin GCSE in 2024. The curriculum structure for all year groups can be seen below.
English, Maths, Science and MFL groups are set based on ability. Sets are regularly reviewed and are fluid. The ability of students must be assessed accurately before being placed in sets; behaviour and language barriers are not a factor in deciding sets. Heads of department have flexibility to choose sets. All other subjects are taught in mixed ability to ensure belonging for the students.
RSHE is weaved into the curriculum throughout KS3 and we make good use of timetable crashes to bring in external experts in specific RSHE topics to work with groups of students. A clear and coherent plan, which allows flexibility to react to the needs of the cohort, is primarily delivered through tutor time, Science, RE and English. Our RSHE curriculum is built around the idea of ‘flourishing’ including in relationships, financially and in wider society. The strands covered aim to equip students with the information and skills they will need to enjoy a flourishing future.
There is a strong focus throughout KS3 on destinations. We aim to send all of our students, especially SEND, to aspirational destinations. A carefully crafted careers programme ensures that all students understand the career pathways available to them that align with their interests and the experiences and grades that will help them get there. They are given opportunities throughout the curriculum and seven year journey to partake in a range of opportunities to enthuse them.
At the end of Year 9, there is a rigorous options process that helps students choose the right subjects for them. All students at Key Stage 4 are offered a broad and balanced curriculum with 11 course choices – these include: Spanish, Triple Science, Computer Science, Classics, Food, Music, Art, Drama, Business, RE, Sociology, Sport and Health & Social care. All students study English, Maths, Science, PE and History or Geography. A very small number of students are offered a bespoke curriculum which can include alternative provision or additional English and Maths support. These tend to be brand new arrivals to the UK who speak no English.
Below is the curriculum structure for year 7 – year 11.
Throughout KS4 RSHE is weaved into the curriculum. In addition, good use is made of timetable crashes to bring in external experts in specific RSHE topics to work with groups of students. A clear and coherent plan, which allows flexibility to react to the needs of the cohort, is primarily delivered through tutor time, Science, RE and English. Our RSHE curriculum is built around the idea of ‘flourishing’ including in relationships, financially and in wider society. The strands covered aim to equip students with the information and skills they will need to enjoy a flourishing future.
There is a strong focus throughout KS4 on destinations. We aim to send all of our students, especially SEND, to aspirational destinations. A carefully crafted careers programme ensures that all students understand the career pathways available to them that align with their interests and the experiences and grades that will help them get there. They are given opportunities throughout the curriculum and 7-year journey to partake in a range of opportunities to enthuse them.
At the end of KS4, the school aims to send a large majority of its students to P16 select. P16 Select is a joint venture with President Kennedy School and Stoke Park School, which are part of The Futures Trust. Academic, vocational and blended pathways are offered. The following subjects can be taken in P16 select: English Lit, English Lit and Lang, Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, History, Politics, Geography, Philosophy & Ethics, Business, Sport, Art, Photography, IT, Music, Drama, Design + Technology, Health studies and Spanish. The subjects delivered at Barr’s Hill are: English Lit and Lang, Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, History, Politics, Geography, Business, Sport and Spanish. All post 16 students have a wide ranging personal development and enrichment offer including PE and RE/Debating and the opportunity to engage with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The wider Post-16 Experience prepares students for academia, life and work, with all students joining a pathway relating to either University, Apprenticeships or Employment. Each pathway will benefit from a comprehensive experience including: professional development, skills for independence, cultural development, and leadership and service.
Key Documents That Underpin Our Curriculum
The Barr’s Hill teaching and learning principles set out what we think constitutes outstanding teaching and learning. These principles are grounded in subject integrity and subjects have complete ownership on how best to apply the principles in their subject.
We treat our students with the belief that everyone can get better… we believe that every child can flourish and that it is our responsibility to enable their potential, and ensure that they do. The document below outlines the approach to working with young people.
PRIDE at Barr’s Hill lies at the heart of all we do. It articulates our values and that shape the learning, behaviour and experiences of our students. PRIDE helps students develop the ability to self-regulate and do ‘the right thing at the right time in the right way’. Created in collaboration with students, parents and staff, each PRIDE statement is designed to encourage the development of character, leadership skills, fundamental British values and behaviours for learning that help our students thrive throughout their 7 Year Journey and as members of a global society once they leave us. PRIDE is pervasive throughout the school in everything we do and we invest significant time in ensuring that students have metacognition of what it means at their stage of the 7 Year Journey
Students are taught how to live PRIDE, inside and outside of the classroom and are praised and rewarded for demonstrating each value. Our PRIDE as a learner statements, encourage all students to approach learning with self-discipline and commitment so that they can reach the highest standards of which they are capable. Through explicit reference and teaching of ‘responsible behaviours’, our students are encouraged to develop good character and to think, act and feel with moral virtue, holding themselves and others to account.
The ‘7 Year Journey’ helps prepare students for the responsibilities of adulthood and is designed to secure in our learners the character traits and skills needed for life, work and leadership. The 7 Year Journey focuses on six key aspects: Communication skills, careers guidance, student leadership, character development, enrichment experiences & opportunities and reflection & celebration. Each year group has a unique focus forming their tutor curriculum and curriculum outside of the classroom which revolves around these six aspects – each a step along their journey.
We consistently promote the personal development of our pupils through our Personal Development programme that provided all pupils with access to a wide, rich set of experiences throughout their ‘7 year journey’. Opportunities provided are done so in a coherently planned way, both in the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities, ensuring students develop their talents, interests and character both inside and outside of the classroom setting. An overview of our Personal Development programme can be seen below: