Information Booklet 2023-2024


At Balcarras we provide our pupils with education of the highest quality so that they leave us with the qualifications, skills and personal qualities they need to lead successful lives. To achieve this we will ensure: Commitment to the highest academic standards A caring and stimulating environment with excellent behaviour and discipline A wide range of extra-curricular activities Partnerships with parents, business and the local community School Calendar Autumn Term2023 Begins: Tuesday 5th September Half-term: Monday 30th October - Friday 3rd November Ends: Friday 22nd December Spring Term2024 Begins: Monday 8th January Half-term: Monday 12th February - Friday 16th February Ends: Thursday 21st March Summer Term2024 Begins: Monday 8th April Half-term: Monday 27th May - Friday 31st May Ends: Friday 19th July Administration Balcarras is an 11-18 Academy, part of the Balcarras Multi Academy Trust. Chairperson of the School Governors: Mr Howard Kellett c/o Balcarras School Headteacher: Mr Dominic Burke BA DeputyHeadteachers: Mr Neil Baxter MA (Cantab) Mr Gary Towers BSc Head of Sixth Form: Mr Darren Leatherbarrow BA Assistant Headteachers: Mrs Rebecca Atkin BSc Mrs Elizabeth Cullis BSc Ms Liza McCarthy B Ed Admissions Criteria forYears 7 - 11 for Balcarras School September 2024 (summary version) The number of intended admissions is 194 in Years 7 to 11. Where applications for admission in Year 7 exceed the number of places available, places will be allocated according to the following criteria, applied in order: 1. Looked after children (i) or children who were previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption (ii) child arrangement order (iii) or a special guardianship order (iv). In addition, looked after children and all previously looked after children, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. 2. Children living in the school's area of priority who have a sibling attending the school where the sibling is or has been a member of Years 7-12 and who will continue to be on the school roll when the applicant's child is admitted. This criterion does not apply if the sibling has only attended Years 12-13. 3. Children of full or part time salaried members of sta who have been employed at Balcarras for two years or more at the time of the application for admission, or of a member of sta recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage. 4. Children living in the area of priority, served by the school (see map). If there are more children in the area of priority than places available, those with the strongest geographical claim, measured in a straight line from the ordnance survey address point of the child's home address (including flats) to the ordnance survey address point of the school, using the Local Authority's computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority. 5. Children who live outside the area of priority served by the school, who have a sibling attending the school where the sibling is or has been a member of Years 7-12 and who will continue to be on the school roll when the applicant's child is admitted. This criterion does not apply if the sibling has only attended Years 1213. 6. Other children with the strongest geographical claim, measured in a straight line from the ordnance survey address point of the child's home address (including flats) to the ordnance survey address point of the school, using the Local Authority's computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority. In the event of the oversubscription of any of the criteria, where there are two or more children living the same distance from the school, then a 'names in a hat' process will be undertaken by the Admissions' Authority, with the first name drawn being successful. If the school is oversubscribed, a waiting list will be held for (at least) the first school term (ie until December). The waiting list will be prioritised according to the school's oversubscription criteria. The school operates an appeals system in the event of oversubscription. Parents will be required to complete an appeals form and will then be invited to attend a hearing held by an independent appeals panel. The school has signed up to the In-Year Fair Access Protocols held by the Local Authority. Should a vulnerable child within these Protocols require a place at the school, they will take precedence over any child on the waiting list. The school is required to admit a child with an Educational and Health Care Plan (EHCP) that names the school, where the attendance of the child would not be incompatible with the e cient education of others, or the e cient use of resources. For September 2023 entry to Balcarras, a total of 620 applications were received. Parents are entitled to appeal if their child is not allocated a place at Balcarras. Details of how to appeal are available on request. AIMSOF BALCARRAS SCHOOL 1

Transfer to Secondary School All our partner primary schools are visited by a member of Balcarras sta during the summer term, when the children may ask their questions about 'the big school'. They are given a booklet about Balcarras and are invited to spend a 'taster day' here towards the end of term. We hope that this will relieve any anxieties that the children may have. They can therefore spend the summer holiday looking forward to coming to Balcarras instead of worrying about the prospect! Ameeting for 'new' parents is held near the end of the summer term when details of uniform, tutor groups etc., are given. The School Day The school day starts at 8.55am and finishes at 3.35pm (3.10pm on a Friday), with a break in the morning and for lunch. There are four onehour lessons in the morning session and a one-hour lesson, plus a 20minute assembly/tutor period in the afternoon. Every Monday there is an extended tutor period to include Personal Development. Keeping in Touch Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time if they are worried about their children or would just like to know more about the school. In most cases the house heads will be the people to see. Years 7, 9 and 11 receive written reports. Years 8 and 10 have extra parents' meetings instead of written reports. All years have interim reports. There are regular occasions each year, such as Sports Day and Open Evening, to which all parents are invited. Parents are most welcome at other times. Those interested, for example, in attending afternoon assemblies should please make contact and we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. Health Minor medical problems can be dealt with in the school medical room. If, however, a pupil is taken more than mildly ill at school, the parents are contacted with a view to the pupil returning home as soon as possible. It must be stressed that a pupil is never sent home without our first confirming that a parent, relative or another adult is there to take responsibility. If it is necessary to send a pupil to hospital, the parents are informed as soon as possible. In order that these steps may be taken speedily, parents are asked to complete a form giving home telephone number, place of work, emergency telephone number and name of family doctor. Please inform us of any change of address and/or telephone number - this is very important. If your child has any type of physical or mental health condition, allergy or intolerance please ensure you inform us of the situation as soon as you can so that we are able to help and support your child should it be necessary during school time. You are welcome to discuss the situation directly with your child's tutor or Head of House and then please ensure that you fill in a Health Care Plan form so that we have all the up to date, accurate details. For some pupils it will be important that medication is kept in school. If you would like us to keep medication in school for your child, please ensure you have filled in all the relevant details on the Health Care Plan and please bring the prescribed medication to the main school o ce. If you would like your child to keep medication on themselves, please fill in a Health Care Plan to indicate this. It is expected that all pupils will take part in physical education unless parents provide medical instructions to the contrary. Charities Balcarras is involved in several charitable activities throughout the year, with the highlight being our annual sponsored walk. We also have a thick jumper day every January/February when we turn o the heating and wear our 'best' Christmas jumpers to school. All of the money raised on this day goes to Wateraid. Pupils arrange many fundraising activities and the school supports a number of di erent charities, including CheltenhamOpen Door, Cancer Research UK, Children with Cancer UK, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, Oxfam, Cheltenham Food Bank, Amnesty and di erent emergency disaster appeals. We've been delighted to continue supporting Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust with whom we have an ongoing partnership. This year we supported three local charities with the proceeds from the sponsored walk - Sue Ryder Leckhampton Hospice, Pinky Promise and Cyclists Fighting Cancer. This was put to the student vote and the money raised was distributed evenly between these three charities. Each house in the school also has its own charities which it supports, and these are chosen by the students in the house, and distributed throughout the year, often with guest representatives from the charity visiting house assemblies. We make regular donations to the British Heart Foundation, and have been doing their 'jump rope' challenge for over twenty years, which takes our overall donations to them in excess of £30,000! When international disasters or humanitarian crises happen, the school is quick to respond, and we want to be able to continue to do this. A huge thank you to students, parents, friends and sta for making all of this happen. Non-UniformDays These are occasional days when the pupils may attend school out of uniform. Pupils who wish to participate make a small payment for this privilege and the money raised goes to charities chosen by the pupils. Punctuality andAttendance Pupils should be on the premises at least five minutes before the morning and afternoon sessions begin. The importance of good attendance and punctuality is constantly stressed to the pupils. In recent years, students at Balcarras have averaged a rate of attendance that is the highest for any school in the region. We are convinced that high attendance is fundamental to education success. When absence (or lateness) due to illness is unavoidable, parents are asked to always contact the school before 9.00amon each day of absence. Upon return to school, a brief note of explanation from parents to the tutor should be brought into school. When illness is likely to prevent a pupil from attending school for some time, parents are asked to notify the school by telephone or by email as soon as possible. When a visit to the dentist during school time is unavoidable, the pupil is expected to show their tutor the relevant appointment card or letter and also to show it to the School Receptionist when signing out. Please try to make appointments outside school hours. 2

School Catering The school provides an excellent catering service, serving hot food three times a day in relaxed and modern dining rooms. A breakfast service operates from 8am where a full English breakfast is served for £2.40. Alternatively, a wide variety of pastries, cereals, fruit and yogurts, as well as toast and hot drinks are available. From 11.00 - 11.20 am we o er a wide range of hot food from bacon rolls to pizzas and also available are an extensive selection of rolls and sandwiches. Lunch is served at 1.20 pm in eight serving areas; these include hot snacks, grab & go, two main meals counters, a self-serve salad bar, a tuck shop, Year 11 Pavilion and a 6th form café. Balcarras has Healthy School Status and we reinforce the healthy eating message as part of the whole school approach to healthy lifestyles, for example our ingredients are sourced from local suppliers and all food is freshly prepared and cooked on the premises. The main course and dessert is available for an amazing £2.80. It is important to remember that tasty and nutritionally balanced school meals contribute significantly to general well-being and help everyone towards achieving their full potential. We are proud of the quality of the catering provision at Balcarras and of the high proportion of the pupils who choose to use our service. Why not check out the menus on the school's website? Cycles andMopeds Bicycles may be ridden to and from school on condition that they are maintained in a safe condition, are ridden safely and are pushed on the school premises. Pupils must wear a helmet when riding to and from school. Racks in a compound are available. Cycles must be secured with a high quality 'U' lock when left unattended. Cycling passes are issued by house heads following the completion of the application form. Cycles must not be left at school after 6pm. (Cycles are not covered by the school's insurance policy). When pupils are legally of age they may, with permission, ride mopeds to school following the same rules as for cycles. Permission is not automatic. The member of sta responsible is Mr D Chmielowski. Students in the sixth form are not allowed to park cars on the school premises and we encourage students to walk, cycle or use public transport. Lost Property This should be handed to, and may be claimed from, the school o ce. Items not claimed after four weeks are disposed of. It is very important that all property is clearly and indelibly marked with the pupil's name and that no valuables be brought to school as we really cannot accept responsibility for anything that may go missing. Accumulated lost property is displayed regularly (dates on the website) and then unclaimed items are disposed of. Lockers These are available to pupils for a rent of £3.50 a year. The money raised is used to make essential repairs. Each pupil who hires a locker must supply a suitable padlock, which remains the property of the pupil. Mrs Davis is in charge of the locker system for the main school and Mr Boughton for sixth form. Essential Equipment A sensible case or bag in which to carry books and equipment is essential, as are also a fountain pen, pencil case, pencils, pencil crayons, ruler, rubber, pair of compasses, protractor and calculator. Please note that 'Tippex' type liquids and bottles of ink are not allowed in school. Pupils are asked not to use ballpoint pens for neat work. Gift Aid Parents are asked to make a contribution to our Gift Aid programme, which provides additional resources for the school. This is entirely voluntary, but we do ask all parents to be involved if they can. This also attracts a contribution from the Treasury as a refund of tax paid. The money raised is spent on important school resources, including our IT provision and our minibuses. At the moment we are raising about £40,000 per year, which makes a real di erence to the equipment we are able to provide in a time of reduced government funding per pupil. Please note: we recognise that all families are di erent. We certainly don't want to pressurise anyone into feeling that they have to contribute. Whatever you decide, your children will be treated exactly the same. Each youngster coming to Balcarras is placed in a house tutor group, which is also their Year 7 teaching group for most subjects, and is gradually introduced to the ways of the school. Each pupil has a specialist tutor to whom they may turn for help at any time. The Four Houses are: Foley: Head of House - Mrs Amelia Noble Graveney: Head of House - Mrs Siobhan Winterbottom Ottewell: Head of House - Mr Phillip Amor Selvey: Head of House - Miss Adrienne Niblett The Houses are named after: MrsWinifred Foley The celebrated writer of Forest of Dean life. Mr TomGraveneyOBE One of England's greatest cricketers, who lived in Cheltenham. Mr GordonOttewell Writer of children's and nature books and one time Head of Glenfall Primary School which sends children each year to Balcarras. Mr Peter Selvey Who taught for nearly three decades at Charlton Kings Secondary School and was Head of Mathematics there from 1963 until he retired. Discipline School rules are few but are based on common sense and, properly observed, ensure the safety, comfort and good order of the school to the benefit of all. A sensible and responsible standard of behaviour is expected of all pupils, both in and out of school, based on courtesy and consideration for others at all times. The school is a no smoking area and does not allow smoking on the premises or o it, including the time going to and from school. Ecigarettes and vapes are not permitted. Parents, pupils, sta and governors all contributed to the drawing up of the school's behaviour and bullying policies and Home-School Agreement, copies of which are available from the school o ce. Parents have a major role to play in enabling children to reach their full potential and will be involved with serious cases of indiscipline. Within the behaviour policy is a Code of Conduct which gives clear expectations of the pupils' behaviour. The school reserves the right to take appropriate measures to ensure the pupils behave in a reputable way. School detention and suspension or exclusion from school are the three most serious sanctions. On the other hand, the school constantly looks to commend pupils for good work and behaviour, with parents also being informed when their THE HOUSE SYSTEM 3

child does particularly well. A system of praise and rewards operates in all years. Prefects There are two grades of prefects at Balcarras - School Prefects and House Prefects. School Prefects have higher status and a wider range of responsibilities than House Prefects, but both groups play an important part in helping to run the school and to maintain high standards. There is not a fixed number of either grade of prefect; those who we think can do the job will be given the chance. A House Prefect may be promoted to School Prefect at any time. From the ranks of School Prefects come House Captains and ViceCaptains who form a senior body of pupils consulted from time to time on matters of school policy. School Prefects are entitled to buy the special Balcarras tie, which is also available to teachers, governors and parents, at a subsidised cost of £11.00. These are not compulsory. This is designed to provide a smart and admired working outfit for school. Apart from the important considerations of pride in the school, parents should be glad not to have to face the constant question: “What shall I wear today?” School uniform has much to commend it. The range of girls' skirts and trousers currently available in so many di erent retailers has made it increasingly di cult to enforce a single uniform style, particularly with the length of skirts. Girls' and boys' trousers and girls' skirts are available fromMonkhouse only. These will be the only uniform items we insist come from our recognised stockists, so there can no longer be any dispute about their conforming to the school uniform rules. Details of the Balcarras clothing are as follows: Girls' skirts and trousers which are only available from Monkhouse. From September 2023, all girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 must wear a pleated tartan skirt (manufactured by Trutex). Skirts must be knee length. Trousers for boys only available fromMonkhouse. Black blazer with school badge in House colour White shirt School tie Black or grey 'V' neck pullover (not cardigan) Black or grey socks (girls may wear grey or black tights in cold weather) Black leather shoes The following are NOT regarded as suitable school wear: Jeans, cord trousers, denim/leather jackets, hooded tops, football scarves, non-school badges, sweatshirts, track-suit tops, boots/trainers/brown shoes, sleeveless coats. If in doubt about whether or not a particular article of clothing is suitable please ask your Head of House before buying. In the interests of safety all pupils are expected to wear sensible footwear on the school premises. High-heeled, sling-backed or studded footwear must not be worn. Trainers and boots are not permitted as normal school uniform. The most common infringement of uniform regulations is for pupils to have their winter uniform shirts untucked – please encourage your child to tuck theirs in. Extreme hair styles are not allowed. We expect hairstyles to be smart, tidy and appropriate for school. Boys' hair is expected to be reasonably short. If in doubt, please contact a Head of House prior to any change. No jewellery apart from watches should be worn. Again this is mainly in the interests of safety, for in the rough and tumble of the playground, rings, ear-rings, etc. can easily cause injury. Pupils with pierced ears may wear up to one small gold stud in each ear lobe, NOT sleepers. There is also the problem of security, as jewellery would have to be removed before participation in physical education activities. The PE sta will take in and lock away, if necessary, watches and money, but the school cannot accept responsibility for loss of articles involved. Summer Uniform The school summer uniformmay be worn from the start of each summer term. Both boys and girls are able to wear polo shirts, which have the house colours piped on the collar and sleeves and are available fromMonkhouse. Pupils will also be able to continue to wear winter uniform if they prefer to do so. If you have any queries, please contact your child's Head of House. Physical Education In order to take part in the school's physical education programme each pupil should have as part of their school uniform: Girls Plain white T-shirt (available from school) Black skort (available from school) Non-marking trainers Astro shoes (optional) White socks Black games socks Towel Red Balcarras hooded top and jogging trousers (optional – available from school) Balcarras black leggings (optional – available from school) Gum shield (optional - available from school) Shin pads (optional - available from school) Boys Plain white T-shirt (available from school) Red (reversible hoop) rugby shirt (available from school only) Plain white shorts Plain black shorts Non-marking trainers Football boots Black games socks Towel Red Balcarras hooded top (optional - available from school) Gum shield (optional - available from school) Shin pads (optional - available from school) Garments that are worn during normal lessons are not to be worn for PE. The Balcarras Badge and Tie The Balcarras tie is available for purchase, currently at £7.00. The Balcarras badge is currently available at £8.00. Both items may be purchased from the school or fromMonkhouse. A coloured strip is incorporated into the blazer badge in the colour of each house. Please ensure you purchase the correct house badge, i.e. Foley (Green); Graveney (Yellow); Ottewell (Blue); Selvey (Red). SCHOOLCLOTHING 4

The school o ers a wide range of courses under the National Curriculum leading to the General Certificate of Secondary Education. InYears 7, 8 and 9, pupils take the following: Art Computing Design & Technology Drama English French (a second foreign language, Spanish or Russian is introduced in Year 8) Geography History Mathematics Music Physical Education Religious Education Science In Year 9 students start to study GCSE Science. This gives them three years to complete the Combined Science GCSE. In Years 10 and 11, pupils follow a varied programme of courses, some of which are chosen in consultation with their parents and the school. Information about these courses is circulated during the spring term of Year 9 and a meeting is held to describe them fully to parents. Certain subjects are compulsory during these two years. These are: English Mathematics Physical Education Personal Development Science Optional courses include: Art Health & Social Care Business Studies History Computing Life Skills D&T: Food Music D&T: Product Design Physical Education (GCSE) D&T: Textiles Religion, Philosophy & Ethics Drama Russian French Spanish Geography A small group of students opt to do a study option in which their GCSE subjects are supported. Homework Homework is valuable training in independent work and is set for all pupils. Homework is set regularly and guidelines are issued to parents. Homework timetables are issued in September and homework is published on the school website. Homework is carefully thought out and included in the planning of a series of lessons, with the pupils often given a span of time greater than just one evening to complete it. Balcarras pupils are given study planners at the start of each year in which details of homework set may be entered. The planner is a crucial part of every pupil's equipment and can be both an essential aidememoir for the pupil and a valuable medium for communication between parents and tutors/teachers. If any parents find their children worrying unduly about homework or spending too much/too little time over it, they should not hesitate to contact the school. This can be done easily via the spaces for messages in the planner. Teaching Groups In their first twelve months, Year 7 pupils are placed in tutor groups which are also their teaching groups for most subjects. Pupils are set in mathematics early in the year. Most subjects are set from Year 8 onwards. One of the great benefits of our grouping arrangements is that we make seven tutor groups out of 194 pupils, so that group sizes are small in comparison to many schools. Qualifications The external qualifications for which Balcarras pupils are prepared are listed below: GCSE Art Health & Social Care Business Studies History Computer Science Mathematics Creative iMedia Music Design & Technology Physical Education Drama Religious Education English Russian English Literature Science (Biology, French Chemistry and Physics) Geography Spanish We also provide the option of Italian and Mandarin GCSEs, which are extra-curricular subjects and can only be taken to GCSE if the student is studying a language to GCSE on the curriculum. A-LEVEL Art Geography Biology History Business Mathematics Chemistry Music Computer Science Photography D&T: Product Design Physical Education D&T: Textiles Physics Drama & Theatre Studies Politics Economics Psychology English Literature Religious Studies Environmental Science Russian French Spanish Further Mathematics Vocational Qualifications: Food Science & Nutrition Health & Social Care THE CURRICULUM 5

GCSE EXAMINATIONRESULTS 2023 IN JANUARY2023 THEREWERE 194 PUPILS INYEAR 11. 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Art 7 23 18 11 6 2 0 0 0 Business Studies 10 14 27 32 18 17 3 2 1 Computer Science 0 9 7 11 7 6 5 2 0 Drama 2 5 7 12 4 6 1 0 0 D&T: Food 5 9 12 14 6 4 2 0 0 D&T: Product Design 14 13 20 24 13 10 5 1 0 English 4 20 26 63 38 20 16 4 1 English Literature 10 18 20 58 38 24 16 3 0 French 3 3 6 8 14 10 14 1 0 Geography 11 17 17 14 15 8 3 5 0 History 2 6 8 20 15 16 12 5 2 Mathematics 14 30 31 43 44 18 7 3 3 Music 2 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 Physical Education 5 8 5 5 7 3 1 1 0 Religious Studies 5 4 9 9 11 9 7 1 1 Russian 4 1 12 8 7 3 4 1 0 Spanish 0 1 7 6 6 9 4 1 0 9-9 9-8 8-8 8-7 7-7 7-6 6-6 6-5 5-5 Science Combined 20 13 14 20 19 12 24 17 14 5-4 4-4 4-3 3-3 3-2 2-2 2-1 1-1 1-0 14 8 5 4 2 1 0 0 0 A* A B C D E F G Further Maths 2 6 7 2 2 1 0 0 D*2 D2 M2 P2 D1 M1 P1 Health & Social Care 0 8 7 5 0 0 0 Creative iMedia 17 15 5 5 0 0 0 SUMMARYOF GCSE RESULTS THEREWERE 194 PUPILS INSCHOOL Percentage of grade 7+ Achieving 5+ at Grade 5 Achieving 5+ at Grade 4 EBACC (equivalent to the old or higher including or higher including grade “A”) English & Maths English & Maths Balcarras (2020-2021) 52% 79% 91% 5.96 Balcarras (2021-2022) 43% 88% 95% 5.67 Balcarras (2022-2023) 39% 78% 86% 5.34 The GCSE results at Balcarras have been consistently outstanding and in the top 5%of schools nationally. PROGRESS 8 ATTAINMENT 8 Balcarras 2021: 64.63 Balcarras 2022: 62.74 Balcarras 2023: 60.02 National average 2022: 48.77 Balcarras 2022: 0.68 National 2022: -0.03 6

SIXTH FORMEXAMINATIONRESULTS 2023 GCEA-LEVELYEAR 13 STUDENTS Number of entries A* A B C D E U Art 18 3 5 7 2 1 0 0 Biology 24 2 5 9 6 2 0 0 Business Studies 57 2 4 24 13 11 2 1 Chemistry 22 0 6 9 4 1 2 0 Computer Science 15 1 5 3 6 0 0 0 D&T: Product Design 18 4 3 5 6 0 0 0 D&T: Textiles 5 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 Drama & Theatre Studies 17 0 2 12 2 1 0 0 Economics 30 0 6 12 10 2 0 0 English Literature 31 1 6 7 12 4 1 0 Environmental Science 13 0 1 3 1 5 1 2 French 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 Further Mathematics 10 5 1 3 0 1 0 0 Geography 21 1 4 13 1 2 0 0 History 16 0 4 6 5 1 0 0 Mathematics 47 6 17 16 3 4 1 0 Music 4 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 Photography 10 4 2 4 0 0 0 0 Physical Education 8 0 2 2 1 2 1 0 Physics 22 3 6 6 3 2 2 0 Politics 24 0 6 7 5 6 0 0 Psychology 45 1 6 14 11 7 6 0 Religion, Philosophy and Ethics 21 0 5 3 9 4 0 0 Russian 7 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 Spanish 6 0 1 4 1 0 0 0 YEAR 13VOCATIONALQUALIFICATIONS SUMMARYOFA-LEVELRESULTS Achieving A*-B Achieving A*-C Achieving A*-E Balcarras (2019-2020) 74% 93% 100% Balcarras (2020-2021) 77% 92% 100% Balcarras (2021-2022) 72% 89% 99% Balcarras (2022-2023) 63% 85% 99% THEREWERE 167 PUPILS INSCHOOL Number of entries Dist* Dist Merit Pass Fail Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Health & Social Care (single) 10 5 3 2 0 0 Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition Diploma 6 0 2 4 0 0 Our outstanding performance at A-level was recognised by the Sunday Times who awarded Balcarras the title of 'Southwest State School of the Decade' in 2021. Our results are always amongst the very highest in the region. 7

Balcarras Sixth Form opened in September 1998. It is based in a superb purpose-built block on the school site. The great majority of our Year 11 students progress into the sixth form. The Head of Sixth Form is Assistant Headteacher, Mr Darren Leatherbarrow. Together with two Heads of Year, Mr Mark Constance and MrWill Rothwell and 18 tutors, this constitutes the sixth form team, responsible for the care and well-being of all students. Mrs Cheryl Crowley is the sixth form's lead administrator, Mr Alex Boughton is the sixth form's UCAS supervisor and one of three Study supervisors along with Mrs Gill Dean and Miss Clare Shields. Facilities The sixth form building provides a wonderful learning environment. The majority of sixth form lessons are based in the block. There are twelve classrooms - including two science laboratories, a three-room computer science suite, a large drama studio and three private study areas. All computers in the block are linked to the school network. Private study areas, both fully equipped with ICT, are provided for both Year 12 and Year 13. The sixth form study areas are used by students for silent work when they are not in lessons. They are designed for this purpose, with individual study carrels and comfortable library furniture. Private study is fully supervised and is recognised by both sta and students as a crucial factor in the very high levels of achievement and pastoral care. Students have a well-equipped common room (with excellent catering provision, comfortable sofas and a music system) for use at break and lunchtime. Entry Requirements andApplications Students are able to study a wide range of post-16 courses. Entry requirements vary from course to course, with consideration of the individual student's strengths and weaknesses helping to inform any decision. The minimum requirement for entry to the sixth form is two grade 6s and three grade 5s in full GCSE courses. These must include a grade 5 or above in both mathematics and English language or literature. In addition, many A-level subjects will require a specific grade in that particular subject at GCSE. Students from other schools are welcomed into Balcarras Sixth Form. The Curriculum Twenty-five A-levels are available and two vocational qualifications (details on page 5). All Year 12 students will be entered to complete the EPQ. The 'Futures' Personal Development course is delivered to all Year 12 and Year 13 students by their sixth form tutors. The course has modules on study skills, team building, problem solving, living on a budget, life at university, career opportunities and UCAS applications. Once a fortnight all Year 12 students gather to listen to a guest speaker. All students take part in Games and Enrichment on Wednesday afternoons. There are a number of activities on o er each term. We aim to provide enough variety so that all are happy to take part. Activities include football, netball, basketball, badminton, aerobics, and table tennis, along with access to the school's fitness suite, as well as competition sports. Other enrichment opportunities are available also including table-top gaming. Students wishing to arrange their own activity in the spring term are supported (some choose to cycle, play golf or squash for example). The Uniform Sixth form students helped governors and teachers to devise a uniform that di erentiates them from the rest of the school. There is a choice of three polo shirts (red, blue or ash grey). Each has the sixth form logo. Students can wear black or grey trousers or skirts and black or brown shoes and a black or grey jumper. Students may wear make-up and jewellery but are encouraged to be subtle and discreet. Uniform should be smart and formal. Representation The students are represented by the Year Councils and the sixth form Student Leadership Team. These meet regularly to discuss any issues the students want to bring forward and to organise social events for sixth form students. Student Voice groups are also consulted regularly with regard to PSHE. Contributing to the Life of the School Students are encouraged to take part in the wider life of the school. A large number act as learning support assistants or as paired readers to help younger pupils with their school work. Sport, drama, music, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and lively social events are all recognised as important aspects of the sixth form experience. The contribution of sixth formers to the House Music competition and the annual school production and Midsummer Music concert is particularly strong. A wide range of post-16 extra-curricular opportunities are also facilitated, including Young Enterprise, the Bar Mock Trial and the STEMAmbassador programme. The Sixth Form's Boost society runs each academic year and is crucial in supporting our students plan and prepare for their post-18 destinations. BALCARRAS SIXTH FORM PUPILDESTINATIONS - YEAR 2023 LEAVERS 41%of all students gaining University places went to a Russell Group institution (2023) which included 5 that placed at Oxbridge or medicine courses. YEAR 11 (194 PUPILS) YEAR 13 (167 PUPILS) Extended Project Qualification Students achieved outstanding results in their extended project qualifications this year. The independent research topics chosen by our students were highly varied and demonstrated a high level of academic research. They ranged from artefact submissions such as, “To design and create a replacement, in model form, for Pittville lake boathouse, informed by the cubist art movement,” to “How does a business successfully rebrand, specifically through their logo design?” Essay route projects exemplars ranged from, “Antibiotic Resistance: How will it impact our Future Society?” to, “Who is more evil, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth, and how might a Jacobean audience member answer this?” These results proved invaluable to the students in securing places at some of the top universities in the country. 8 Further Education Employment Employment Other Further Gap Year Higher Employment/ Balcarras Other with training Education or before Higher Education Apprenticeships Art Foundation Education (University) % 70% 27% 3% 0% 0% 7% 9% 82% 2%

EXTRA-CURRICULARACTIVITIES A wide variety of lunchtime and after-school activities takes place, including: Archery Cookery Drama Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Eco-Schools club Kung-fu Science Skiing The PE department o ers an extensive programme of sporting activities including: Athletics Hockey Badminton Netball Basketball Rounders Cricket Rugby Cross-country Tag Rugby CV Fitness Tennis Football Volleyball Handball Yoga Music has a high profile at Balcarras. A wide range of instruments are taught: Brass Piano Drum kit Singing Guitar Strings Keyboard Woodwind There is an orchestra, a choir and various ensembles. School concerts take place at various points in the year. In addition, a considerable range of opportunities is provided for educational visits and residential trips in Britain, Europe and beyond. CurriculumPolicies Many school policies are to be found on our website. Please contact the school if you are unable to find specific information. Under the terms of the Education ReformAct 1988, the school has established arrangements to consider parents' complaints about the school's curriculum and related matters. A copy of the full procedure for this is available for viewing on the school website. The physical education course throughout all years puts great emphasis on relating sport to health and fitness. Team games are an important feature of the Balcarras programme. The religious education course follows a syllabus which has a strong emphasis on Christianity. Students also develop an understanding of other faiths as part of our multi-cultural approach. Parents who wish to withdraw their children from religious education or religious worship should please notify the headteacher in writing. Our Personal Development programme is given considerable status and includes aspects of personal relationships, sex education, economic awareness, religion and health and safety. Sex education is provided for all pupils. We fully support the importance of families in providing knowledge of sexual matters, yet are mindful that some parents prefer this part of their children's development to be dealt with at school. The subject is handled carefully and with understanding and parents need have no fears about the quality of the programme. Details are available on request. Facilities The spirit of Balcarras is complemented by the physical environment and facilities found at the school: 942 computers 7 computer rooms 11 science labs 4 art studios SEND centre Design and technology centre Music suite 2 drama studios A well-equipped hall contributes to the superb facilities. We are also proud of our library. Sta ed by a professional librarian, the centre embodies all that we are trying to achieve; pupils are helped to develop both traditional and new skills by using a mix of conventional resources and the latest technology. Our sports facilities are no less impressive: 4 court sports hall with fitness suite Gymnasium Playing fields Netball courts Tennis courts Cricket nets Artificial cricket wicket Rugby and football pitches Pavilion and a (floodlit) astro turf pitch Multi use games area The music facilities are wonderful and ensures music is a highly valued part of the school's life. Pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Balcarras welcomes pupils with a wide range of abilities and learning needs. Pupils with SEND are admitted on the same basis as all other children. It is an aim of the school to encourage all children to take part in the full range of activities, educational and social, on o er at the school. Physically disabled pupils have easy access to all ground floor areas. All upper floors are accessible by lift, with the exception of the top floor of the English block. We also do our best to ensure appropriate help is given to children whose learning and progress are a cause for concern. Close liaison with our primary feeder schools enables us to identify and respond to SEND at an early stage. All subject areas make provision for children with additional learning needs and are responsible for its development within the department. All teaching sta are provided with a profile of each child's particular needs and appropriate support strategies. The SENDCo and Heads of House work together to provide academic and pastoral support. Further tailored support is provided by the Individual Learning Department which comprises a SENDCo, an Assistant SENDCo and a large team of teaching assistants. GENERAL INFORMATION 9

Library With great emphasis now placed on individual study and coursework, the library plays a vital role in support of the curriculum. Housing books, newspapers, magazines and a wide range of non-book materials, the library is sta ed by a qualified librarian. The library also has a suite of computers and a set of auxiliary laptops give pupils access to the school's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), the internet and the library catalogue which is networked throughout the school. Careers Hub Career's education and guidance is a vital part of the educational experience at Balcarras. The school aims to deliver careers guidance that is impartial, confidential, and based on the needs of individual pupils. Careers and work-related education is delivered through the personal development programme and tutor led sessions; as well as being an integral part of the wider curriculum that we o er within school. Our policy is to support, encourage and enable pupils to make informed choices and transitions related to their personal, educational and career development at all stages of their educational journey. The school has a stable and comprehensive programme of careers for all students and operates an open-door policy for pupils of all year groups who are welcome to drop in for advice and personal guidance. Careers information and advice is o ered through the annual careers fair and careers week, work place visits, mentoring, morrisby profiling, work experience, practise interviews, engaging with local businesses and support from professionals, apprenticeship providers, employment agencies, educational institutions, and national employer organisations. Students and parents also have access to a wide range of additional resources via the school's VLE. Sixth Form students are also o ered a comprehensive futures programme, UCAS support and regular speaker sessions to support their Post 18 intentions. The careers programme is underpinned by the GATSBY benchmarks and guidance from the Department for Education. The Gatsby Benchmarks: A stable career programme Learning from career and labour market information Addressing the needs of each pupil Linking curriculum learning to careers Encounters with employers and employees Experiences of workplaces Encounters with further and higher education Personal guidance PTFA Parents automatically become members of the Parents, Teachers and Friends Association when their children become pupils at the school and new parents are warmly welcomed onto the committee. The association makes a significant contribution to the life of the school, organising a number of social and fundraising events where all members of the school community can come together. Safeguarding Balcarras is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all pupils at the school. 10

Balcarras is an 11-18 Academy Balcarras School East End Road Charlton Kings Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 8QF Telephone 01242 515881