The curriculum at Barnhill supports every individual in their learning by helping them to progress at the right pace and depth.
Students follow different pathways. Those in the “Accelerated Pathway” are challenged so that they take the equivalent of the old SATs at the end of Year 8. They start GCSE and other courses in Year 9, and take many of their exams well before the end of Year 11. Results for these students have been exceptional. They then start A Level courses in Year 11, helping them to prepare for top National Universities.
Students who require more support follow the “Access Pathway” in Year 7. They are taught in a “primary” style classroom, where they have one main teacher for most of their lessons and a focus on Literacy and Numeracy skills. This makes it easier to bridge the transition from Primary to Secondary school. Unlike Primary school, they have specialist teachers in Science, Languages, PE and Technology so that they benefit from all the facilities and opportunities on offer.
Students in the “Progress Pathway” benefit from different kinds of groupings, including all boy and all girl classes. For some students, this makes a significant positive impact on their learning and prepares them well for the academic challenges later on in school life.
We offer a very wide range of courses at GCSE and in the 6th form. As a larger school we are able to offer a very broad range of academic and vocational courses at Key Stage 4 and 5 so that every student can find the combination that is right for them.
Our curriculum also features whole day learning experiences. In Year 7, every student has a themed day once a fortnight where they work in groups on a topic that combines different subject areas. This links the learning together from different areas giving a more holistic understanding of the project. It also builds skills such as teamwork, participation and leadership. As students move up through the school, they continue to have these experiences through Enterprise Days, Enrichment Week and Activities Week.
As a Sports College, there is a very full sporting programme with events before and after school and during lunchtime. We run residential trips such as our Spanish visit and the Learning on Location Year 8 Programme. We also run many day trips for all year groups. There is a full Creative Arts programme including Music, Drama and Art, most recently seen in our ‘hit’ school production “Back to the 80s”.