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UKMT Junior Mathematics Challenge

Following on from the successes of the UKMT Intermediate Mathematics Challenge, some of our Year 7’s and 8’s participated in the Junior Mathematics Challenge with incredible success.

This began with M. Ishaq, M. Taylor, M. Zaman, B. Taylor, and A. Gogna each scoring high enough to achieve Gold awards and qualify for the Junior Kangaroo challenge on Tuesday 15th June 2021.

Additionally, J. Johnson, G. Sehra, and S. Tanwar achieved Silver awards. Whilst E. Gabitas, A. Griffiths, N. Lyndon, E. Harris, R. Pickford, E. Hillier, M. Neal, H. Patel, and C. Zeng all received Bronze awards. All in year 7!

From the Year 8 participants there were silver awards for J. Hegney, E. Ghuman, I. Greaves, K. Marwaha, L. Sedawi, G. Kaur, H. Taylor, A. Basra, K. Tobias, J. Lyndon, A. Swaine, and R. Hegney R. Balu, E. Riley, S. Compton, J. Stokes, and B. Lee all earned Bronze awards.

Well done to all from a very proud Mathematics Department!

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Senior Team 2021

We are pleased to introduce our Senior Six Team for 2021-2022.

We are looking forward to working with them over the next academic year.


Six years ago, I had the privilege of joining this amazing school and I still believe now what I knew then: that this is the school for me.

Barr Beacon has given me countless opportunities throughout my time here, from participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme to flying aeroplanes in the school’s Cadet Force. This school truly has it all. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today, which is something that I will always remember and be grateful for, for the rest of my life. 

Barr Beacon School has given me the confidence and knowledge to try new things, to step outside my comfort zone and to be the best version of myself. Now in 2021, I have achieved a major goal of mine that I set myself Year 7 – becoming Head Boy. I knew this role would be hard to achieve and I knew I had to put in the work to achieve this, but that’s the nature of seeking success. Success isn’t “lucky”; it’s sheer hard work and dedication.  

I am honoured be Head Boy at such an amazing school. I am here to listen, support and encourage all ideas from all pupils. Every idea, however small, is important me. So, let us achieve greatness together. 

Jack Tranter – Head Boy


From my first day in Year 7 to joining Sixth Form, Barr Beacon has always supported and provided me with ways to flourish both personally and academically. From Duke of Edinburgh and musicals to university residentials and trips, there has been a constant flow of support, allowing me to engage with more opportunities than I ever thought possible. I have always held the title of a Barr Beacon pupil with pride and now feel privileged to be Head Girl. I am truly grateful for my time at Barr Beacon School: a school that shapes pupils into esteemed individuals with passions and character that will carry them into their future. 

Abbie Bromwich – Head Girl


Since joining in 2015, this school has been nothing short of fantastic. Barr Beacon School ensured my years of adolescence were ones of progression with additional support and determination to succeed. Barr Beacon has provided me a platform of not just academic learning but one of developing character attributes too. Highlights such as my phenomenal trip to New Hampshire (USA), being a Prefect, work experience and being given the chance of representing the West Midlands County Football across the country ensured I gained independence, openmindedness, courage and integrity. This school has enabled me to throw myself into opportunities that I never would have imagined when walking in on my very first day. My cherished experiences coinciding with the learning pathway I have chosen have set me up to be proud to succeed.

Charlie Birch – Deputy Head Boy


Barr Beacon School values the individuality and achievements of all its pupils. Since starting a new journey at this school in 2015, I was offered uncountable opportunities to push myself further and develop the essential skills required, not just for school, but for my life after Sixth Form. Becoming a Prefect allowed me to strive to reach my maximum potential, gaining confidence and teamwork skills. Completing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards has also taught me the importance of trust and determination.

‘Proud to succeed’ is our motto and I am very proud to be your Deputy Head Girl, representing our outstanding students and working together with the excellent teachers. I am extremely grateful to those who have encouraged and supported me to become the young adult I am today, as without you I would be a very different person, telling a very different story.

Boran Fang – Deputy Head Girl


When I first started at Barr Beacon School in 2015 it was such a daunting experience being the only pupil from my primary school. Since the very beginning Barr beacon supported, encouraged and moulded me into the confident young man I am today. 

Barr Beacon challenged me to be better whilst still retaining my individuality. This culture guided me to lead the school’s Cadet Force as their sergeant and I proudly represented Barr Beacon in shooting competitions.

I have made amazing friendships and memories at the school which will allow me to share and encourage future generations. We strive to do better and Barr Beacon supports me not only academically but also to grow as an individual. I am proud to succeed.

William Mellor  – Deputy Head Boy 


Since an early age when a close family friend attended, Barr Beacon School has been a choice I made – I especially liked the idea of there being a swimming pool. Then, my first memory of Barr Beacon School, almost a decade later, presented itself as seeing the headteacher and listening to her deliver a speech about the expectations, pointing out her Prefects around the school hall to demonstrate them. This is when I knew I wanted to represent this prestigious school like the Prefects were doing at that moment. Throughout my years at Barr Beacon School, the staff and older students demonstrated that this is more than a school – it is a tightly-knit community, constantly helping one another and taking pride in the achievements of others, not only themselves. With this, Barr Beacon School helped me to achieve my dream through the abundance of opportunities on offer. By being able to take part in the Bronze, Silver and currently Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, I have developed my teamwork, confidence and leadership skills, preparing me for the world of work.

Being Deputy Head Prefect in Year 11, I was able to showcase all of those skills and embark on new ones such as organisation and seeing what it is like behind the scenes of school life. I have always been someone who has a love of learning and Barr Beacon School has only encouraged me further. Since joining Barr Beacon Sixth Form, I have enjoyed completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and attending many university lectures and work experience opportunities that have been provided for us by the Sixth Form Team. All of these experiences will support my application to universities. As Deputy Head Girl, I aspire to fuel everyone with determination to succeed and ensure every Barr Beacon pupil is as prepared for their future as Barr Beacon School has made me.

Maisie Amos – Deputy Head Girl

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Good Luck Year 13

Congratulations to our Year 13 students who completed their Barr Beacon journey today.

It has been a pleasure watching them grow into confident young people and we look forward to seeing them flourish further as they take their next steps.

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The world’s largest peaceful protest on TV

Dhanvir speaks about the world’s largest peaceful protest on TV.

Dhanvir in Year 11 has appeared on The Sikh Channel, a UK-based Sikhi-focused television channel, talking about his presentation which was shown across the whole school.

He wanted to bring to a wider audience a story which received only limited coverage in the British mainstream media. Here is how the BBC reported the world’s largest peaceful protest back in February:

“Farmers and their families have been protesting in India for months, camped out in Delhi demonstrating over the government’s new farm laws which they think will ruin their livelihoods. Young Brits of Indian descent may be almost five thousand miles away, but it’s affecting many of them and their families.”

You can read more of the BBC’s coverage here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-55937894

Dhanvir said: “It was important to me. My grandad was a farmer. But you don’t have to be involved in or have family in the farming industry to know that what’s going on is wrong.”

Dhanvir met with his Head of House to come up with a plan to bring the story to a wider audience. He created a special presentation which was shown across the whole school. He wants to continue raising awareness of social issues and making sure the current and future generations stay up to date about what is going on in India.


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Students preserve memories for future generations

Our Head Girl and Head Boy have buried a time capsule to be opened in 2039, providing future generations with an insight into what life was like in this unusual period.

 When Barr Beacon celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, we uncovered a time capsule from 1996. This gave us the idea of planting our own time capsule for future Barr Beacon pupils to enjoy. This new time capsule will be opened for Beacon’s 80th anniversary in 2039. The previous capsule did not have anything to identify its location and we had to work out where it was buried using just old photographs. We are making sure this one does not get lost by placing a plaque right above it.

The time capsule will give students of the future an idea of what this most remarkable period in history was like to live through. The exact contents of the capsule are to remain secret but they include items from special school events, first-hand accounts from current students, newspapers reporting on health and environmental concerns, several items from popular culture (including internet memes) and even a list of popular slang terms collated by pupils themselves.

Head Girl Hena Kumar-Mehay said: “2020 was a rather strange year, to say the least. But we are grateful for the sense of normality that school brings us and, as students, we are eternally grateful and hold the utmost pride to be part of Barr Beacon School. Through all of the chaos, there is always light. As students, we are eternally thankful for the light school has brought for us.”

The project was begun by previous Head Girl and Head Boy Bethany Jones and Harjodh Mann but was delayed due to Covid. We’ll report back in 2039!

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Pursue Your Passions: Two Sixth Formers share their careers journeys

Following National Careers Week, two Sixth Form students have shared their careers journeys through Barr Beacon School and how, by taking on and seeking out opportunities to explore their career aspirations, they have become more confident about their futures, even in the middle of a pandemic.  

The Summit 

By H Kumar-Mehay, Year 13 

“If my career journey has taught me anything, it would be to make the most out of everything you have and to use it as your own catalyst for more opportunities.” 

I guess I have always had an inkling of what career I wanted to pursue: dentistry. 

That’s right another student wanting a career dedicated to solely ‘helping people’ because of the sheer gratification it brings and the fact that I’ve always had a ‘passion’ for science. Those may sound like cliches for an application form but they are all true for me. I have always liked giving a helping hand to those who need it, even in times where people are completely content, and I’ve spent hours studying science textbooks, whether the articles were strictly relevant or not: from glucoregulation of the pancreas to the counter-current flow systems in fish (it’s more interesting than it sounds).  

Now, although I have been rather dedicated to preparing myself to be a perfect applicant to apply for dental school, I haven’t always had this mind-set. It’s one thing to know what you want right? Do you want to be famous? Rich? Even the next Gemma Collins? To each their own, I guess.  But the point is these are all dreams or aspirations. How many people actually achieve these things? The most important step is actively doing something to make those ‘dreams’ a reality.  

For me, that motivation didn’t always come from within. The catalyst for my motivation wasn’t an epiphany as I was sat in a dental chair or brushing my teeth. It was our school. From Careers Fairs to exam countdowns, it was evident that to get to where I needed to be, it wasn’t going to be handed to me. I would have to work for it and work hard. Every time I asked a university behind their booth in the sports hall ‘What are the requirements for your dentistry course?’ they would throw AAA in my face every time (even if I did cross my fingers they would specify grades that were at least a few grades lower), getting a high score on aptitude tests and what seemed like doing every extracurricular activity under the sun. Being swamped in prospectuses and flicking through their health sciences courses it was pretty evident the work that I was going to put in would be colossal, right?  

At the time, it seemed like I had a mountain to climb with not trekking poles or walking boots softening my journey – and the summit often felt like it wasn’t something I was going to reach. But the more I actively did and said ‘Yes’ to any opportunity that was given to me, big or small, it had a multiplier effect on the next thing I was going to do to help build my application. And the more I did this, the more I saw the support networks I had the whole time. I wasn’t alone hiking after all. These opportunities and the people offering them to me were the people who were lifting my feet. Luckily for you and me, these support networks are at our school. All of the opportunities I have had to help mould me into someone confident in applying to their dream course have been offered by Barr Beacon. Whether it was in Year 8 filming a BBC Schools news report to build my confidence and collaborative skills, or in Year 11 going on an exchange project to Italy to improve my communication and independence… all of these occasions have amalgamated and prepared me to be ready and confident to embark on the rest of my career pathway.  

These opportunities don’t have to be anything crazy. What’s important is that you have truly done something actively to fulfil your dream. If my career journey has taught me anything, it would be to make the most out of everything you have and to use it as your own catalyst for more opportunities.  

It’s not always clear what we want. Unlike me, you might not have a clue on the career you want to have. But my advice: take a small aspiration and run with it. You don’t have to be swamped in university prospectuses to know what you want but if you take all the chances given to you to help you live that dream, I know that our school can do it and will always be there to lift our feet to help us reach the summit of our career journeys. 

Sharks and the pandemic 

By E Lorton-Mulcare, Year 12 

“I think the most important thing the pandemic has taught me is to allow change into your future plans.” 

  • What do you want to do when you grow up?  
  • Who do you want to be? 
  • Who will you work for? 
  • What will you do? 

We’ve all been asked these questions since beginning of school, and back then it seemed like we had centuries to plan, to change our minds, and change our minds again. Many of us have gone from saying we wanted to be astronauts to doctors, from princesses to authors, from footballers to lawyers. And then there’s people like me who when first asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ answered the same as we would now. For me, that’s to be a marine biologist. 

From the ages of between 4-6, my fascination for the ocean and the creatures it hides beneath its depths began: this started from watching the infamous film Jaws with my brother (admittedly at an age that was way too young) where I became mesmerised by sharks. Ever since then I would constantly be watching shark documentaries and laughing at ridiculous shark films. But when I found out I could work with them as a marine biologist, that’s what I promised I would grow up to do. And I still say that now. 

The pandemic has given and taken away opportunities that would help me to achieve my dream job, but we will focus on the positives. I began to reach out to different researchers across the world asking them for advice on how to work with sharks and the path I should take. I got a surprisingly large amount of responses, all wishing me well on my future plans and giving me interesting stories on how they came to also be marine biologists. I hope to use their stories and advice in the future when I come to look for jobs in the marine biology field and aid my knowledge about the different types of work I could do. 

Secondly, I have been able to complete many online courses about the ocean, learning about the secrets it holds in its depths, from the effect of climate change to overfishing. These courses will not only aid my applications to university but will also help me to find a job in the future. Having this knowledge means I’ll be able to hold key conversations with future employers and colleagues that may help me to get a job or discover different opportunities. It also means that I’m able to conduct my own research. By being exposed to different articles I now know how research is prepared and analysed as well as how it’s presented.  

I have also been able to look at different types of courses I would like to do at university and find their requirements. I now know the exact university I want to go to and the course I want to do as well as the extra activities they offer that interest me. 

However, I think the most important thing the pandemic has taught me is to let change into your future plans. As someone who plans everything meticulously, the pandemic a lot of what I had planned, as it did for everyone, from the small to the big. But now I know that change can’t be avoided and, more often than not, it will be out of our control. We shouldn’t let this change what we want to do though. If you have a passion for something, pursue it no matter the situation! There will always be a way to achieve it if you are determined and prepared to work hard.

Like I’m sure we’ve all been told thousands of times: do something that makes you happy. For me that’s studying sharks, for you that might be helping people or exploring literature or history.  

Are you prepared to work hard through the difficult times of the pandemic and become the person that you want to be? 

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World Book Day

World Book Day (4th March 2021) is an important day for us at Barr Beacon School because we can share with our pupils a love of reading. Reading is a great way to relax, and it has many benefits including: improved memory, better vocabulary and increased focus. We’ll be celebrating through a series of virtual challenges and discussions about what we like to read. At the beginning of the week, pupils will be guessing which Barr Beacon celebrity is reading to them in The Masked Reader, and on Thursday pupils will be taking part in a Book Jacket Design Competition. Check out our Twitter to see our #ShareYourShelfie images and have a look at some staff bookshelves.

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School Buses Update

National Express has confirmed that they will continue to provide our regular school bus services from September. This will include:

  • Two 705 buses operating between Gility Village and Barr Beacon School.
  • Two 881 buses operating between Palfrey and Barr Beacon School.
  • One 788 bus operating between Walsall town centre and Barr Beacon School.

Pupils are advised to follow the latest Covid-19 government advice when travelling on buses, which can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.

The departure of buses leaving Barr Beacon School at the end of the school day is staggered in order to complement our staggered dismissal of pupils.

Timetables for all the school buses can be found HERE on our contact page.

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Mental health – keep the conversation going

By H. Kumar-Mehay, Head Girl

Mental health – keep the conversation goingBy H. Kumar-Mehay, Head Girl
Last week was Children’s Mental Health Week, and it was all about raising awareness and what can be done to help those who are suffering from poor mental health. The week may now be over but the conversation mustn’t stop.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. However, it can be harder to maintain mental health and to break the taboo associated with it. Mental health is something everyone has. But for some, it can often be hard to put your feelings into words and to talk to others, and more often than not the easier option is to stay silent, keeping your feelings to yourself. The current lack of physical contact from anyone outside your support bubble can make things even harder. But there are ways to make things better.

Reach out to others

Barr Beacon School has an extensive support system, and your teachers are here to help. If you ever have a really bad day, if something is worrying you, or if you want to share some good news, your teachers will be there to listen! It is as easy as dropping them and email or a message via TEAMS and they’ll respond, offering advice and support. So why not give it a shot? If you’re up to it, email at least one of your teachers after reading this and ask them how they are. I promise you they’ll appreciate it! If you don’t want to reach out to your teachers, phone a friend or a family member to talk to, or you can set up a group facetime to have a catchup. It will be a great way to ease stress and relieve loneliness.

Keep a healthy routine 

During lockdown it is easy to slip out of a routine: playing on consoles, scrolling through TikTok… the hours fly by. The next thing you know it’s 1 am and you’re still awake. Sleeping less than 8 hours a night deprives the brain of valuable time to repair itself and rest for the day ahead. It is vital to try to sleep a minimum of 8 hours to wake up feeling fresh and happy, ensure you wake up at least 40 minutes before the beginning of form to get freshened up and eat breakfast. You also need to get that beauty sleep in! Sleeping and waking at regular times, eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise will leave your body and mind feeling stronger and better. Take time out of your day for some self-care, in whatever way you would like: you can read a book, have a spa day at home, buy yourself some new clothes (online at the moment!) or go for a run. Just take a step back and enjoy the little things in life.

Dealing with Online School

  • It can be very appealing to set an alarm 5 minutes before the beginning of form time and log into form whilst still in bed. However, this will not allow you enough time to get fresh and eat breakfast before the start of the school day, which will make you feel groggy and unfocused during your lessons. Waking up earlier gives you time to set up your desk and get ready for the day. 
  • Make sure you are still using your planner to stay organised and ensure you are completing your homework/TEAMS assignments in plenty of time. Avoid rushing to do it last minute as it will make you feel stressed.
  • Your working environment can have a huge effect on your mood. Whilst working from your bed is a very comfy and warm option, it is best to sit at your desk/table with your books and equipment to best emulate the school environment. This will make you feel more focused. 
  • Sitting in front of a screen for hours can be quite draining, and so it’s ok to stand up and take a stretch during your lessons. Similarly, use your breaks wisely, go outside and get some fresh air as a substitute for using TikTok.

Find ways to replace the activities you miss.

Whilst it’s not possible to go to the cinema or to the gym, why not try something new? Maybe it’s time to fix that bike that’s rusting in your garden or learn a new language, write a blog or kickstart your YouTube channel… the possibilities are endless. Embarking on something new will give you focus and something to aim for, as well as relieving stress.

If the way you feel is affecting your ability to function day-to-day, or becomes overwhelming, please reach out to someone and talk. Things will always get better. And, even at times when you feel alone, there are always people there for you, rooting for you.

The NHS have a website for tips on improving and dealing with Mental Health – https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

Samaritans offer free and confidential support; you can contact them by phone 24/7 at 116 123 

For a list of more support options, please click the following link – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Hopefully, we can all be back in school sooner rather than later. But, for now, please look after yourselves and follow the current government guidelines.

Contact Info

Barr Beacon School
Old Hall Lane
Aldridge, Walsall
West Midlands
WS9 0RF

T: 0121 366 6600
postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

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

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