Barr Beacon School

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About Barr Beacon School

Name Barr Beacon School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Old Hall Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0RF
Phone Number 01213666600
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1575 (51.1% boys 48.9% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.3
Academy Sponsor Matrix Academy Trust
Local Authority Walsall
Percentage Free School Meals 15.50%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.5%
Persistent Absence 11%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.3%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Achievement is outstanding.

The proportion of students gaining five A* to C grades including English and mathematics is above national average and represents outstanding progress when compared to schools nationally and similar schools. All groups of students, including disabled students and those with special educational needs and those eligible for additional government funding, make rapid and sustained progress. Teaching is consistently at least good and very frequently outstanding.

Teachers' subject knowledge, planning, use of questioning and oral feedback to students during lessons are particularly strong. While there are exa...mples of exemplary practice, not all marking is of the highest quality. The sixth form is good.

Achievement of students is at least good and improving rapidly because of outstanding teaching and well-targeted support. Strong links with universities, colleges of further education and local industries, together with excellent guidance mean that practically all students progress to career routes of their choice. The behaviour of students around school and in lessons is outstanding.

They are exceptionally polite and courteous to adults and to one another; their very positive attitudes to learning help them to make excellent progress. There is a harmonious and purposeful atmosphere throughout the school. The curriculum is well designed to meet the needs of all students.

It provides breadth and balance through a wide range of academic and vocational courses. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is exceptionally well supported through a rich curriculum and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Students appreciate the many opportunities they are given to take part in various clubs and visits, including educational trips both at home and abroad.

The leadership of the headteacher, senior team and governing body is outstanding. Their shared determination to provide the best education and care for students in the school has led to significant improvements in the quality of teaching, and the raising of students' achievement and standards of behaviour.

Information about this school

Barr Beacon School is a larger than average-sized secondary school.

It converted to an academy on 1 July 2011. When its predecessor school, Barr Beacon Language College, was last inspected by Ofsted it was judged to be good. While the majority of students are from White British backgrounds the proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is above average.

The largest group of these students is of Indian heritage. The proportion of students who speak English as an additional language is above average. The proportion of students supported by pupil premium, which in this school provides additional support for looked after children and students known to be eligible for free school meals, is below average.

About one fifth of students in Year 7 benefit from the nationally funded catch-up programme, which is for students who did not achieve the expected Level 4 in reading or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs supported through school action is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is well below average.

The school does not use any alternative off-site provision. The school provides support for Grace Academy, Darlaston, Willenhall E-ACT Academy, Walsall and Etone College, Nuneaton. The school exceeds the government's current floor standards for secondary schools, which set the minimum expectations for students' attainment and progress.