Barr Beacon School

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About Barr Beacon School

Name Barr Beacon School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Kate Hibbs
Address Old Hall Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0RF
Phone Number 01213666600
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1582
Local Authority Walsall
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Barr Beacon is a friendly and welcoming school.

Pupils enjoy attending, achieve very well and feel safe being themselves. Leaders have created a culture where pupils are 'proud to succeed'. Pupils take their learning seriously.

They behave impeccably in lessons, try hard, and do not give up when they find work difficult.

Pupils build trusting relationships with staff. This helps everyone feel safe.

Throughout the school day, staff take every opportunity to interact with pupils. These interactions are warm and friendly. If bullying happens, pupils know that they can rely on their teachers to sort it out quickly.

Students in the sixth form gre...atly appreciate the support from teachers who they say routinely 'go above and beyond' to help them with their work.

There is a broad range of extra-curricular activities. These are of the highest quality.

They include a Japanese club, music groups, sports activities, cadets, and many, many more. There is something for everyone. Nearly all pupils participate.

This is because leaders do not leave anything to chance. They ensure that all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) take part and benefit from the school's impressive offer.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with SEND.

They ensure that all pupils in Years 7 to 9 learn a broad range of subjects. In addition, they have taken effective action to ensure that the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is at the heart of the curriculum. In the sixth form, the wide range of courses available closely matches students' aspirations and interests.

Curriculum leaders have carefully designed their subjects to ensure that they build in a logical order. Teachers have strong subject knowledge. They are passionate about the subjects they teach and explain content clearly.

All of this helps pupils to achieve well.

Teachers make regular checks in lessons to spot pupils who may need help. Teachers in the sixth form use the information from these checks well, for example, by re-teaching content that pupils have found difficult.

However, not all teachers do this well enough. This means that sometimes teachers move on to new learning before pupils are ready to do so.

Leaders place a strong emphasis on promoting a love of reading.

They have ensured that all teachers know how to teach reading well. Adults read stories to pupils during form time and use this time to introduce new vocabulary skilfully. Pupils enjoy this.

Furthermore, leaders have deliberately chosen age-appropriate books that broaden pupils' knowledge of social, equality and cultural issues.Leaders have high expectations of pupils. Their expectations are well understood by the whole community and pupils consistently live up to them.

This helps to create an environment that is calm, purposeful and orderly. Lessons are free from disruption. Leaders go out of their way to keep a close eye on pupils.

On the rare occasion that pupils fall short of their expectations, leaders take the time to find out why. This means that pupils get the help they need to be successful, and issues are nipped in the bud.

Pupils are extremely well-motivated, polite and courteous.

Pupils look out for each other. They take pride in Barr Beacon being a 'telling school'. They know if someone is being treated unkindly, the right thing to do is to let an adult know.

The school's work to promote pupils' personal development is of the highest quality. Staff know pupils very well. The school ensures that all pupils benefit from the range of opportunities.

For example, staff identify and remove barriers that might prevent some pupils with SEND from enjoying the same experiences as their peers. Furthermore, pupils receive high-quality careers advice. Older pupils, including those in the sixth form, praised the support they receive in writing applications to universities and colleges.

All of this means that pupils are very well prepared for the next stages of their education, employment or training.

Staff and leaders work together well. Leaders take account of the main pressures on staff when designing new policies and approaches.

Staff greatly appreciate this. Morale is high and staff are proud to work at the school. Trustees are highly effective.

They are supportive of leaders and hold them to account very well. They routinely gather the views of staff, parents and pupils. This means they have a thorough understanding of the school.

They ensure that decisions they make about the curriculum are always in the best interests of pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of vigilance.

Leaders ensure that all staff are alert to the signs a pupil may need support. Staff pass on any concerns quickly.

Leaders keep detailed records of any concerns.

They use these records well to identify whole-school trends. When patterns emerge, they take effective action to support pupils. For example, following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, leaders spotted an increase in pupils with anxiety.

Leaders took swift action to ensure these pupils had access to the support they needed. Furthermore, they changed the curriculum so that pupils had further opportunities to learn about how to keep mentally healthy.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers routinely check pupils' learning in lessons.

However, not all teachers use the information from these checks to adapt their teaching. This means sometimes pupils are moved on to new learning before they are ready to do so. Leaders should ensure that all teachers are expert in responding to the information they have elicited from the checks they make in lessons and adapting their teaching accordingly.

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