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Welcome to Barr's Hill School and Community College

Barr’s Hill a school of 750 pupils, is not your average secondary comprehensive. We are the only Engineering Specialist School in the West Midlands, providing a range of exciting Engineering experiences such as Sound Engineering and Product Design. We are also a Full Service Extended School which means that a wide range of activities take place at school each day. Long after school closes you will find students at Barr’s Hill taking part in music activities, sports clubs and community events. All these activities allow our students to develop the kinds of qualities employers and higher education institutions are looking for, such as confidenceresponsibility and excellent team working. We are a Trust School which gives us close links with our partners such City College, Warwick University, Coventry University and local employers; our students and staff benefit from the broad experience gained while working with these organisations. 

Barr’s Hill plays a key role in the West Federation of Schools; we have extended links with other secondary schools, two special schools and City College – through this collaboration we are able to offer a broad curriculum to all our students which endeavours to meet most  student choices.

Through our growing Give Back programme, our older students are able to make a real difference in Coventry and beyond through charity events and community work.  Barr’s Hill is a vibrant school community. Why not pay us a visit and find out for yourself – we would love to meet you!


Barr’s Hill School is in an excellent location, close to Coventry City centre. It is easy to access by public transport. The school is situated in pleasant grounds. Our buildings have  a full range of specialist facilities.  

Facilities include:

  • Specialist Science laboratories, well-equipped for teaching all levels of Science
  • A Business Suite, including specialist facilities for office practice
  • Fully equipped art and ceramics rooms
  • A Drama Studio with lighting rigs and sound systems
  • A Sound Engineering Suite, including our own recording studio and Apple Macs
  • Purpose built facilities for Design Technology
  • A photographic darkroom
  • Excellent PE facilities including a large sports hall, gymnasium, hardcore surfaces and extensive grassed playing areas
  • A Student Support Centre
  • Speech and Language Specialist provision
  • Learning Resource Centre




We are happy to meet with parents and prospective students at any time of the school year. Pupils new to the school follow a carefully planned induction programme. If you would like to discuss the possibility of your child joining Barr’s Hill, or to arrange a visit, please do not hesitate to get in touch with school on 024 76234600.

School Organisation

Pupils are placed in mixed-ability form groups. The excellent pastoral system ensures that through tutors there are always people available to support your child. Year Managers are responsible for the welfare, discipline and educational progress of the pupils in each year group; they are always ready to help parents and pupils. The school works in partnership with other agencies such are the Children and Families First Team to provide high levels of support for pupils and their families. Other members of staff available to meet parents by appointment include the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteachers, Careers Officers, SENCO and Head of Sixth Form.

Teaching Groups:

At Key Stage 5 pupils are taught in setted groups for English and Maths retakes. We monitor the progress of pupils throughout the year and where appropriate individuals can move up or down a group to ensure their needs are met. All other option subjects are taught in mixed ability groups. 


Both home and school have a crucial role to play to ensure that all pupils achieve their best. Throughout the year, teachers complete Progress Checks on each pupil; these are shared with parents and pupils at our Parents' Evenings and Progress Review Days. Parents also receive a full written report once a year. The progress of pupils is carefully tracked; should there be concerns we would get in touch – should there be cause to celebrate, we share the good news too! We also know that Parents’ Evenings are vital to help encourage and support pupils; we expect our parents to attend.

 Sixth Form Centre:

We have a thriving Sixth Form which is well established. Pupils follow a range of courses; for example many of our pupils are doing A levels which lead to University entrance. In the Sixth Form students are given greater responsibilities and the opportunities to further develop their leadership skills through volunteering for the Give Back Programme or for the Student Leadership Team. With individualised timetables, each student is offered a variety of skills development sessions to compliment their course of study.

For further information about Sixth Form opportunities, please refer to the 16-19 section of this website.


About us

At  Barr's Hill we offer Engineering courses at KS4:

  • Barr's Hill has Specialist School status for Engineering and Construction.
  • An inclusive Sixth Form with scope for involvement in many aspects of the school
  • There are 60+ languages spoken in the school 
  • BTEC Level 2 first certificate in Engineering, a vocational course equivalent to 2 GCSEs A*-C.
  • Diploma in Engineering Level 3. We are also offering both Maths and Physics at GCE A level, both of which are requirements for the majority of Engineering courses at University.

    What makes the education different at Barr's Hill? The school population consists of approximately 44% EAL, Dual Heritage, African Caribbean and students new to the UK. In real terms the school makes an important contribution to the educational experience of a wide range and considerable number of students with this background. The school ethos supports students and parents to study accordingly.

    Barr's Hill has a good relationship with both Coventry University and Warwick University. The Universities will consider any student the school feels to be an able candidate and will look on their application more favourably. This close relationship has proved to be beneficial to many of our KS5 students.


Facilities available

The school is situated in mature and pleasant grounds close to the City Centre with easy access from all parts of the city.  The current buildings are modern with the full range of specialist facilities.  The Sixth Form centre is made up of a large common room with pool table and a functional Study and ICT resource room. This space containes information and resources for each Sixth Form course offered. There are also a suite of laptops for students to use throughout the day.

The school library acts as a learning resource centre, giving pupils the opportunity to enhance their learning experience.  New books and materials are regularly added to the established stock.  It is also available at all times for private study.

Additional support

The school hosts open events for general school admission and Sixth Form admission each year. In addition, we are happy to meet with parents at any convenient time during the rest of the year when queries can be answered, concerns discussed, and celebrations of achievement shared. Liaison between our primary schools and ourselves is very important and Barr’s Hill staff work closely with our primary school colleagues and students. At the other end, we work closely with Coventry and Warwick Universities, local colleges and training organisations and Apprenticeship providers to ensure that out students' next steps are well-planned.
School Organisation – Pupils are placed in tutor groups. Tutors are available for pupils to turn to for help and advice. In addition, there are certain members of staff with overall responsibility for the welfare, discipline and educational progress of the children in each year group. These Year Managers are always ready to help if parents have any particular cause for concern that the Form Tutor cannot resolve. Other members of staff available to meet parents by appointment include the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteachers, Careers Officers, SENCO and Head of Sixth Form.
Teaching Groups – At Key Stage 5, students are taught their option subjects in mixed ability groups. However, for English and Maths GCSE retakes, students are taught in ability based groups as much as possible.  Each pupil’s progress is monitored and movement between groups may take place during the year. Sixth Form class teachers and tutors use specific data to track their students' progress and this is overseen by the Head of Sixth Form. 
6th Form Centre – Our 6th Form is well established  with more than 150 students across Years 12 and 13, and offers a broad range of academic, vocational and applied courses including AS/A Levels and BTECs. Sixth Formers have scope to develop wider social skills and vocational interests. They provide leadership and are encouraged to be involved in the local area.  Charity committees, Literacy Ambassadors and School Council representatives reflect just three of the roles 6th Formers fulfil to benefit the whole school community as part of the Give Back Programme. Increasingly, success depends on staying on into Post-16 courses and then moving from secondary to further and higher education.
The Library – Barr’s Hill Study Centre is widely used for its attractive collection of books, video tapes and audio tapes and computer facilities, all of which play an important part in modern learning. The Study Centre is open all day and after school when a number of pupils use it as a quiet spot for homework – provided parents agree!  A Learning Mentor is available at the homework club to support students if required.
Assessments and Reports – Reports and Parents’ Evenings are valuable in monitoring progress. Teachers also:
  • Record pupils’ marks and progress.
  • Set tests and assessments.
  • Encourage pupils to practise self-assessment. We regularly ask pupils to think about what they have learnt, to sum up their successes and to work out the areas they think they need to improve on.  These activities help students assess their own learning & identify the ways in which they learn best.
Learning Support – Barr’s Hill School offers a broad balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum, which aims to meet the needs of pupil's learning to maximise their potential.
Pupils requiring additional support are identified by annual testing or by parent or teacher referral. Once identified they are provided with support to meet their needs. The school addresses this within the Special Needs Code of Practice, which is constantly under review.
Level 2
  • English GCSE
  • Maths GCSE
  • Science GCSE or BTEC
  • Creative Digital Media Production BTEC
  • Retail Business 
  • Health & Social Care BTEC
  • Sport GCSE or BTEC
  • Extended Project/Higher Project
Level 3
  • Art (AS/A Level)
  • Biology (AS/A Level)
  • Business (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
  • Chemistry (AS/A Level)
  • Creative Media Production (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
  • Design Technology - Product Design 3-D (AS/A Level)
  • Engineering (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
  • English Language & Literature (AS/A Level)
  • Film Studies (AS/A Level)
  • Geography (AS/A Level)
  • History (AS/A Level)
  • ICT Applied (AS/A Level)
  • Mathematics (AS/A Level) & Further Mathematics (AS/A Level)
  • Performing Arts - Acting (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
  • Photography (AS/A Level)
  • Physics (AS/A Level)
  • Psychology (AS/A Level)
  • Religious Studies: Philosophy & Ethics (AS/A Level)
  • Science - Applied (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
  • Sociology (AS/A Level)
  • Sound Engineering: Music Production (Rock School Subsidiary Diploma)
  • Sport (BTEC Subsidiary Diploma)
Work Experience

All students are expected to take part in a valuable work experience placement. Following individual careers interviews, all Level 2 students take part in a week of work experience in January of their first year. These placements are tailored to students’ interest, therefore it is important that students think carefully about where they would like to spend this important week.

All Level 3 students take part in an Insight Programme lasting either a few hours each week  for a whole year, a term or just a few weeks. Taster days and special lectures are planned in June to match further work or study interests.

Our enrichment programme offers students the opportunity to show leadership, develop skills and to make a real difference in our community and further afield. 

Higher Education 

When our students leave us, we want to ensure that they make their next step armed with all the information they need to make the right choices. All of our students who applied to higher education in 2014 received a place, and we are proud of our programme of support that facilitates this very important transition. We encourage and facilitate visits to universities up and down the country, including Cambridge, and have very close relationship with the University of Warwick and Coventry University.

We will always support our students in their ambitions, but we will be honest about the suitability of the choices they make. All students will receive personal support from their tutor as well as guidance from the Head of Sixth Form and our Careers service. Outside speakers visit throughout the year, covering topics such as, ‘Applying to Top Universities’ and ‘Student Finance’. 

As the deadline approaches, personal statement workshops guide students through the final part of the application process. Following this, we attach a personal reference and finally, a fine attention to detail ensures that each application is sent off without error.


We aim to ensure that our Sixth Formers are equipped with the necessary skills for the wider world. Barr’s Hill Careers offers individual and small group support throughout the week. We have extensive links with universities, training providers and employers coupled with in-house expertise. Our Careers advisors will help students move onto a variety of destinations. As well as successful progression to higher education, other students successfully progress to apprenticeships, employment and vocational training. We are very proud of this comprehensive and impartial advice and guidance service which is beneficial to our students as they make the right choices for their future.

Pastoral Support

The success of Barr’s Hill Sixth Form is built on an excellent care and guidance system with a supportive atmosphere that enables students to cope successfully with the challenge of Sixth Form life.  Students are assigned to a tutor group with an experienced tutor who provides individual support and guidance throughout their two years. Our tutorial system ensures that new students joining the Sixth Form make a smooth transition and quickly settle in.

Weekly form periods inform students of key issues and facilitate academic mentoring sessions where students’ individual progress is monitored closely. Citizenship lessons facilitate learning skills development such as First Aid, Money Skills, Presentation Skills and Social Responsibility. 

Learner success

For details of our attainment rates and other information such as absences, click on the ‘DCSF’ link at the right hand side of this page. This opens a new pop-up window to the DCSF website.



How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Barr's Hill School and Community College directly.

Last updated date: 04 August 2016
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