Turing Report – Spain

On Monday 20th June, 10 students and 2 staff set out for a week’s residential trip to Barcelona. We met the other pupils from the other schools in Matrix Academy Trust at the airport, just before checking in. For some of the pupils, it was their first-time experiencing flying, but all of the pupils fully committed themselves to the experience, a trait which was repeated throughout the week.

When we arrived at Barcelona airport, we met our bus and then went to our home for the week, the Urbany Hostel. After a quick meal at Glories, the local shopping centre, we went to bed to get an early night ready for the busy week ahead.

On the next day, we braved the Barcelona Metro for the first time, which was our main mode of transport for the week. We visited a few different sites around Montjuic, including the Olympic Museum and arena for the 1992 Olympics, and the cable car up to Castell de Montjuic for some impressive views over the city. After this, we got the Port Vell Cable car across to Barceloneta Harbour (Mr Larvan was not a fan of the ride!). We then enjoyed a lovely meal on the harbourside before heading back to recharge ourselves for another busy day.

Day 3 started with a trip to Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, where we had a tour around their trophy room, stadium and sidelines.  From there, we headed to La Rambla, where the pupils were able to soak up the culture of one of the most famous streets in Europe. That evening, we had a movie night, watching some of the latest film releases (although pupils were pleased to hear the films were in English with Spanish subtitles!). This allowed us to mix up the schools, giving the pupils chance to get to know each other more.

Day 4 was Gaudí Day, exploring two of the most famous works of one of Spain’s most famous architects. First was a tour of the impressive Sagrada Familia, which is still unfinished 140 years after construction started. We were able to see the inside and outside of the church, marvelling at the detailed sculptures on the outside and the sunlight shining through the stained-glass windows on the inside, spreading fantastic colours through the interior. We even took a bit of time to make our own artwork, inspired by the building. We left the Sagrada Familia and after a lot of escalators, steps and hills made it to Parc Guell, where pupils were given time to explore this large fantasy-inspired park, before meeting at El Drac, a larger-than-life mosaic sculpture of a lizard. As we headed home that evening, we started to see the fireworks and bonfires being set up for the evening’s festivities, which took place all over Barcelona, including right outside our hostel, until the early hours of the morning.

After a late night, Friday started with a well-earned lie-in, before a trip to see the Barcelona aquarium and an afternoon spent relaxing on the beach, followed by another delicious meal in the harbourside.

Feeling refreshed, Saturday saw us heading to see some of the wildlife in the Barcelona Zoo, including tigers, rhinos and elephants. After a wild day, we headed back towards La Rambla for a spot of retail therapy, before heading up to see the views of the city from the Palau Nacional.

Sunday was the day that some of us had been looking forward to the most, a trip to Portaventura Theme Park, which is home to over 50 exhilarating rides, including Dragon Khan and Shambhala. After a fantastic day, we returned to Barcelona before a final evening meal together and then a morning flight (and run through the airport!) to head back home.

Anastasija and Kelis (Year 9) said that “It was the educational experience of a lifetime – my favourite bit was sunbathing on the sunny beach and splashing in the sea” and “It was very inspiring – 10/10 would recommend. My favourite bit was making new friends from other schools”.

Every single one of the pupils represented themselves, the school and the Trust extremely well and we were so impressed by their manners, fantastic attitude and willingness to embrace new experiences, whether that was trying new food, travelling abroad or going on cable cars. We hope that we have instilled an interest in travelling and have opened the pupils’ minds to see more of the world.

Comments from parents:

“My son, has just returned from the Turing Tour to Spain and I just wanted to thank the school for this great opportunity. He has come home full of information about the places he has visited, the friends he has made, and it is so evident just how much he has enjoyed it. I also feel it has given him a confidence he did not have before”

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff at the Turing Scheme for giving my son an amazing experience and for looking after him so well – you are amazing”


Year 12: Colour Fun Run

To mark the end of their mock examinations, our Year 12 students took part in a Colour Fun Run on Wednesday 6th July.  The weather was much kinder to us this time and all participants had a fun packed afternoon!

Here are some comments from the students after the event:-

“A great way to end our busy first year of Sixth Form, with our friends!”

“The colour run was loads of fun and a good way to interact with the whole year group. I came out of it looking insane and got a few weird looks walking home but it was definitely worth it!”

“I’m so glad I participated. It was really good as it got the whole year group together. Would love to do it again next year!”

“The Colour Run was amazing! We had so much fun and lots of memories were made! I can’t wait to do the next one!

“I really enjoyed the Colour Run.  I think it was a great way to spend time with friends and relax after mocks!”


Inspiring the Black Country Event

Year 8 pupils with the highest number of praise points were rewarded with a visit to the Inspiring the Black Country Event. This was a large careers fair filled with interactive exhibits. The event allowed pupils to explore a multitude of careers and get a hands on insight into each. Pupils had the chance to change a tyre, meet a robot, perform a mock operation with the NHS, test their reflexes with the RAF and even pull their own pint with Marstons.  Exhibitors came from a range of industries, including Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, DPD, National Highways, Balfour Beatty and more. All the pupils had a great time engaging with the employers and discovering new and exciting careers.


Barr Beacon Pupils succeed at the University of Birmingham Commonwealth Quiz

Pupils in Year 8 enjoyed a visit to the University of Birmingham this week. Pupils took part in a quiz in the Great Hall that tested their knowledge on the Commonwealth Games. Rounds included flags and countries of the Commonwealth, a history of the games and a very tricky round on game mascots. Pupils competed against other schools and found early success by winning the poetry competition. Destiny, Yaye, Isabel and Lesi composed a wonderful poem celebrating the diversity of the Commonwealth. Later on in the day, Physiotherapy academics ran a session on how they were supporting athletes through the games. Max, Arrjun, Isabel and Tillie all volunteered to take part in strength tests, with Isabel and Tilly winning a spot prize for their efforts. Every pupil who attended had an enjoyable day and got fully involved in the spirit of the event.


Year 12: University of Birmingham Open Day

As part of their focus on future career paths, our Year 12 students attended the open day at the University of Birmingham.  They experienced taster lectures for subjects of their choice, went on a tour of the campus and viewed the Halls of Residence.  This opportunity gave them an in-sight into university life and a chance to develop their independence.


Diana Award – Anti-Bullying

This week Barr Beacon students will be participating in the Diana Award national campaign “#Don’t face it alone”. This is to remind our students of the importance of speaking up about bullying behaviours and to show our students that they are not alone and how to access help. 


Turing Scheme

Yesterday Year 8 Pupils arrived in Fulda. They had a morning learning about the history of the town. Follow us on Social Media for further updates.

The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. It supports Global Britain by providing an opportunity for UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer their students, learners and pupils life-changing experiences to study or work abroad.

On Sunday 19th June and Monday 20th June,  a group of Year 8 and Year 9 pupils will be boarding planes to Spain and Germany as part of the Turing Scheme international exchanges.  

Across Matrix Academy Trust, 100 pupils will have the chance to take part in two projects: one to Fulda, Germany and one to Barcelona, Spain. This opportunity is fully funded by the Turing Scheme, the UK’s scheme to encourage young people to travel overseas as part of their education. 

The pupils are very excited about their travels – follow our school social channels to keep up-to-date with what they’re up to. 

The itineraries for both projects are below – as you can see, both trips will be an action-packed week with the chance for pupils to fully immerse themselves in everything Germany and Spain have to offer. 

On Wednesday 1st December 10 pupils from Year 8 and a further 10 pupils from Year 9 will learn that they have been successful candidates for the Turing Scheme.Across the Matrix Academy Trust 100 pupils will have the chance to take part in two projects: one to Fulda, Germany and one to Ronda, Spain. For these lucky pupils it will be a life changing opportunity with so much to discover, learn and explore.All schools in the trust have reported exceptional uptake of this opportunity, showing just how keen Matrix pupils are to learn about the world around them!

Will you be one of 10 Year 8s selected to travel to Germany? Or 10 Year 9s selected to travel to Spain?

Click these links to take you to the letter and application forms!

Matrix Turing Scheme letter: https://bit.ly/3mZEE7J

Pupil Application Form: https://bit.ly/3ojiMn4

Send your application to eonions@barrbeaconschool.co.uk (GERMAN) or mlarvan@barrbeaconschool.co.uk (SPAIN) in person or electronically by 19th November 2021.


Birmingham City University Visit

The Year 7 University Tour continued on Tuesday with a visit to Birmingham City University. Pupils met current students and professors and enjoyed a tour of the City Centre and Arts Campuses. We visited modern and airy learning spaces, 360 degree lecture halls, the library, cafes and we got a sneak peek at an art exhibition. As well as getting a feel for the university, pupils learnt about the benefits of higher education and created their own university society. Ideas included an Industrial Building Society, Games Club, a Food Society and a Nerf Gun Society. Some of these ideas were very similar to real university societies; for example we learnt that many universities have their own Quidditch teams which compete against each other.


Year 7 Induction

Induction Evening is taking place on Tuesday 5th July 2022 starting at 6.00pm.  In advance of the Parent Induction Evening please complete the 3 Essential Information Forms available here.  Please note that the meeting is for parents only.

Induction Day will be held on Wednesday 6th July 2022.  Pupils must arrive by 8.30am and will depart at 2.30pm.  Parents will receive a letter with  further information. 


Black Country Dance Festival

In April, 14 students successfully auditioned to be a part of our Dance Performance Team.

On Wednesday 8th June, our performance team attended the Black Country Dance Festival. The event was held at Walsall Arena and focused on bringing a range of students from across the West Midlands together through Dance.

This was the first opportunity our students had to perform together in front of a live audience and many shared their nerves before taking to the stage. 

The students put on an excellent performance of ‘You Will Be Found’ from the musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen’. At the end of their performance, members of the audience approached our dance teacher to commend the high level of technique our dancers portrayed.

We are incredibly proud of their achievement and can not wait to watch them perform again in our Dance Spectacular! on Thursday 16th June. This event will take place at Barr Beacon School and students/parents are now able to purchase their tickets through WisePay.

Well Done to our dancers:

H.Venner 7B1

E. Smith 8M1

E. Gabbitas 8M1

I. Stokes 8M1

A. Griffiths 8M1

K.Mallon 8W1

K. Ord 9C1

K. O’Connor 9C1

A. Selby 9C1

A.Mahon 10W3

K.Bromwich 10M1

M.Riley 10M1

R.Woodhall 10M1

E.Sammons 10W2

Contact Info

Barr Beacon School
Old Hall Lane
Aldridge, Walsall
West Midlands

T: 0121 366 6600

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

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