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Curriculum

Delivering a curriculum that enables every student to pursue and develop their talents, academic interests and skills is important to us. As a result we provide a broad, challenging and relevant Great Barr Academy curriculum across all subjects to ensure every pupil can aim high and maximise their learning potential. Each department within the academy has their own aims and commitments, all of which accumulate in a high level of development and are reflected in our outstanding examination results.

All of the teachers and support staff who make up the Mathematics Department are committed to maintaining and stimulating pupil interest and enjoyment. A variety of activities and resources are used to promote thinking and problem solving enabling pupils to work independently as well as collaboratively.
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The English Department has at its heart the belief that all pupils are entitled and encouraged to maximise their potential both in and through this subject. The study of how others perceive the world and their place in it is fundamental to literature and in this way the department promotes understanding in the mechanical study of language and its variety of forms.
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Teaching art and design, theatrical design and fine art, the Art Department encourages pupils to think critically and to use their imagination and intuition when producing work. The support they are given allows the pupils to gain competence and confidence in order for them to take risks and experiment with ideas, materials, tools and techniques, and ultimately produce dynamic works of art.
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All pupils study either French or German until the end of Year 9 as part of the Great Barr Academy curriculum, whilst at the end of Key Stage 3, pupils can opt to follow the AQA course for GCSE in a language of their choice. In addition to promoting awareness, knowledge and understanding of other cultures, pursuing a modern foreign language offers a challenging and stimulating learning experience, and the department aims to maximise achievements and promote equal opportunities for all pupils.
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Music is a thriving department and a vital part of the Performing Arts Faculty. Together with the Departments of Drama and Dance, pursuing music as part of the Great Barr Academy curriculum equips pupils with both the musical skills and social skills that are relevant beyond the classroom. The department aims to deliver the National Curriculum programmes of study as well as encourage awareness, knowledge and understanding of music related issues.
See Drama for whole Performing Arts Curriculum!
With annual trips to the likes of Snowdonia, Devon, Iceland and Morocco, the Geography Department’s aim to stimulate a wonder and interest in the world, people and places is continually achieved year after year. The stimulating and varied learning experience provided allows all pupils to access the geography curriculum, gain success and confidently develop informed opinions of real world issues.
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The classrooms that make up the History Department are historical artefacts in themselves! An access to an array of annual trips, including international excursions, allows the department and its pupils to fulfil their aims of nurturing open, enquiring minds and perceiving history in the context of a wider body of knowledge – both for life long study and the pursuit of personal interest.
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With business and law courses available throughout the Great Barr Academy curriculum, the department aims to promote an awareness and understanding of business related issues as well as nurture the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs through analysis, real life data and events.
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The I.C.T. Department works across all years and Key Stages to deliver high quality education to every pupil. In addition to equipping pupils with various ICT skills via the delivery of the National Curriculum programmes of study, each pupil has the means to develop an awareness and understanding of modern technological issues.
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From gymnastics, basketball, dance, badminton and health related exercise to rugby, football, cricket, athletics, rounders and outdoor education, the P.E. Department aims to promote health and fitness for current and future lifestyles. As part of the Great Barr Academy curriculum, pupils will become more than familiar with a body of knowledge, principles and vocabulary related to P.E. as well as enjoy a broad spectrum of activities and experiences.
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A vibrant part of the academy curriculum, this department covers a diverse range of subject matter at Key Stage 3, including food technology, textiles technology and resistant materials. At KS4, the design and technology diet evolves to include construction, engineering, graphic products and catering. Whatever area is pursued, the specialist staff that the department consists of believe pupils should be allowed to be creative and expressive in their designing and making, and actively encourage skill development, research, quality and safe practice across all areas.
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Our R.S. staff follow the guidance set out in the National Curriculum and the Birmingham agreed syllabus to ensure pupils across all years embrace the interconnectedness of a variety of moral, social and philosophical issues whilst developing critical skills. As a department, it is clear to see that teachers strive to put a stimulating and engaging curriculum at the very top of the agenda to create awareness, celebration and tolerance of different cultures, beliefs and traditions.
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Drama is an expanding subject at KS4 with 200+ students currently studying GCSE Drama. In addition to holding a weekly Drama Club, which is open to pupils of all ages, the department works with a number of theatre companies to maximise opportunities and give young people an understanding of the world as it is using structured experiences and explorations as an art form.
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As a department with access to a large number of data loggers, cameras, video cameras, USB microscopes and other interactive equipment, unlocking a high quality education in science is certainly possible as part of the Great Barr Academy curriculum. Gaining an understanding of science is essential to every pupil’s schooling and future lives, and the department actively promotes vocational and enrichment opportunities for all students, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), so they can develop their learning experience and gain confidence in their own abilities.
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The Social Science Department offers students the opportunity to learn health and social care, sociology and psychology at GCSE and A level. The department also offers a BTEC sixth form pathway, which is the equivalent to studying three A levels, a course assessed purely through portfolio work and work experience.
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Further details are available for all areas of the Great Barr Academy curriculum via the downloads on this page.

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