Head Student Team 2024/25

We are both extremely excited for the upcoming year as we plan to work closely together to turn our visions into reality and put forward our ideas that will strive to most effectively aid the students. We are also excited to combine our alternative perspectives and believe that we will complement each other, granting us the ability to access a wide range of insights and perspectives so we may attempt to address all students’ wellbeing creating a more inclusive and dynamic environment.

We are eager to begin this journey and begin accepting our new responsibilities as we attempt to bring something new to the roles and make our individual impact. Our commitment to the school and its students remains our paramount responsibility and passion as we vow to do everything in our power to support the entire school community.

Tobias and Kyreece

As Deputy Head Students we are thrilled to embark on a new adventure with the Head Students and believe that, across this next academic year, we will be able to provide a supportive outlet for concern and promote student voice. This will enable us to achieve our aim of being a close-knit team that prioritises the voice of students and takes advantage of first-hand experiences to provide a personal note on events and celebrations. We also promise to offer more exhilarating openings that students can use as examples when they are demonstrating leadership skills, helping them with their future careers and moulding them into young people fuelled with success and determination. We strive to embody the Beacon Values in an environment where diversity is celebrated, kindness and compassion are the norm and excellence is the standard, whilst always remaining ‘Proud to Succeed’ so that we can inspire others to do the same.

Aum and Zahira

I am incredibly honoured to have received the title of Head Student, yet this is not just a title to me but rather a commitment to serve, represent and uplift our student body and foster my vision to create a supportive, accepting and forward-thinking environment within school. I aim to promote further opportunities for students to embrace on their journey to reach their greatest ambitions.

The experiences and opportunities that have been presented to me at Barr Beacon School have shaped me in ways I could never have predicted, and it is because of these that, as I step into the role of Head Student, I can assure you that I will endeavour to give back to the school community and continue to foster an environment where people feel encouraged to achieve their aspirations, just as I have. As I reflect on the experiences I have been granted and remember those who inspired me, I feel a profound sense of responsibility to become the role model for younger students as they begin their journey and set their sights on reaching their full potential.

My passion for this role and my unwavering desire to help people drives my initiatives and dedication to make a meaningful impact that hopefully, after I pass on the badge next year, will be a lasting legacy added to a long list of accomplishments of the Head Students before me.

T.Hunt (Head Student)

Since the beginning of my journey at Barr Beacon School I have always had uncertainties about where I want to find myself in the future.  However, I have always known the person who I want to be and the impact that I want to have on others. I was given an environment in which I could not only excel academically but as an individual too, allowing me to learn the great significance of leadership, empathy and success. With the ability to act as a liaison between faculty and students, I will pride myself in displaying an approachable and considerate attitude towards my peers and the school.

I have always been driven to demonstrate commitment, enthusiasm and integrity both academically and in extracurricular activities. By representing Barr Beacon School as a musician at Awards Evening, as a prefect at Open Evening and as a sportsman at tournaments, I have learnt to enhance such spirit throughout all aspects of school creating comfortable environments which place great emphasis on the achievements and success of the student body.

Having been granted such a prestigious role, I will dedicate myself to enhancing our school environment by promoting diversity and inclusivity whilst also soliciting feedback to better understand the desires of Barr Beacon students. With a genuine ambition for student achievement, I intend on bringing a different yet determined personality to this role.

K.Bynoe (Head Student)

From the moment I appealed to gain my place in Barr Beacon School in 2018 to making my way on to the Head Student Team in 2024, I have always been proud to say that this school has helped me to gain so much. From achieving a range of outstanding GCSEs to attaining skills in public speaking, team leadership and critical thinking, I have been encouraged to embrace these opportunities, allowing me to develop my confidence and grow, shaping me into the person that I am today.

Throughout the years, this school has also provided me with many opportunities: work experience days, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, the Diana Award, subject workshops and career fairs, all contributing to my progression from a boy who was anxious about his future, to a young adult who is now striving towards a career in architecture.

These experiences have made me an advocate for embracing new things and encouraging others to take every opportunity that passes their way, embodying the Beacon Value to ‘Own What You Do’! That one opportunity could be the one that sparks an interest in something that may never have crossed your mind previously.

J.A.Rajput (Deputy Head Student)

I am proud to have been entrusted with the role of Deputy Head Student, a position that will enable me to continue to represent the school I have come to love and that has provided me with ample opportunities all of which have helped to curate the character I am today.

During my time at Barr Beacon School, I been given the opportunity to travel, immersing myself in new cultures alongside my peers. I was also tasked with the position of prefect. These experiences have instilled skills in me such as independence, perseverance, and collaboration that I now intend to use as I progress through the next few important chapters of my life. I believe that in seizing all the opportunities I have been presented with, I have become someone who will thrive in all future endeavours.  It is for this reason that as Deputy Head Student, it will be an objective of mine to ensure that others have the strength to do the same whilst allowing them to communicate any adversities or apprehensions they encounter along the way.

I eagerly anticipate the responsibilities that this role entails and hope that my desire to serve those within the school community will contribute to the extensive list of attributes found in prior members of the Head Student Team.

Z.Copeland (Deputy Head Student)



J Coley, J Donoghue, K Owen, I Caley – Head Student Team

With a world population of nearly eight billion people, we are all unique and from varying cultures. It is these differing cultures and traditions that we are all proud to celebrate.  

Diversity is defined as the range of human differences, including, but by no means limited to: race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation. In recognising and embracing different backgrounds, communication amongst individuals is greatly valued which in turn leads to successful innovations. With Barr Beacon School openly encouraging the sharing and representation of our diversity, we have created a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all pupils, students and staff.

Our Beacon Values consist of ‘Be Yourself’, ‘Equal to Everyone’ and ‘Never Discriminate’ all of which openly recognise our diversity and promote an open discussion of our own personal cultures and traditions. With assemblies focusing on key events through the year such as celebrating LGBTQ+ and Black History Month, we focus on diversity and its historical importance. There have been a range of themed lunch menus in the Bistro, providing the opportunity to get a taste of foods from different cultures: Chinese New Year, Black History Month, St. George’s Day and Diwali have all been promoted through food.

Our interest in diversity is not limited to exploring these cultures in school but also providing opportunities where we are able to experience them first hand. The Matrix ‘Far from Home’ Turing scheme 2023/24 aims to promote an international outlook for our pupils by exploring countries such as Sweden, Italy and Peru. Last academic year, some of our Sixth Form students were fortunate to visit Japan and experience the Japanese way of living. These life-changing experiences allow us to have a more open perspective and an appreciation for these cultures.

Most recently, we have been celebrating diversity through our Culture Day, organised by Sixth Formers, to explore varying cultures within our school community. Diversity was not just limited to wearing national dress but also by tasting food and engaging in culturally related activities, such as hair braiding, a penalty shoot-out, playing the dohl and rolling rotis. Over 80 students were involved in the planning of this day, narrowing down the best parts of our traditions and heritage. 21 different nations were exhibited. We raised a staggering £593.63 through the sampling of food and drink from around the world. This money will be added to our charity pot and donated to Humanity First and Birmingham Children’s Hospital – the two charities Barr Beacon School is supporting this year.  You can read more about our Culture Day by following this link: https://barrbeaconschool.co.uk/culture-day-exhibition/

You can also access more information about diversity through the links provided below:




The Power of Diversity Awareness | Wiley Edge


CCF Updates and Opportunities

K Owen – Deputy Head Student

Cadets is an amazing extra-curricular activity that supports the growth of all those taking part, offering a wide variety of opportunities such as shooting, flying, first aid, overnight camps, formal dinner events and various competitions.

Over the last term, the younger Cadets have settled into their roles and have been learning the basics in preparation for their first set of badge work, completing lessons in first aid, air recognition and the history of the RAF. Their abilities have shone through in these areas as they completed weekly quizzes, competing against each other as well as other squadrons. The younger Cadets have shown incredible determination as they prepare for the upcoming Matrix-Mini-RAST competition, giving them the opportunity to speak to other Cadets from across the Matrix Academy Trust and to show their skills.

They also experienced their first overnight camp, taking part in some ice breakers, learning how use the Trangia’s and taking part in a blindfolded night walk through the woods. This pushed the Cadets out of their comfort zone as they worked cohesively as a team to find their way guided by ropes. Throughout the evening, the Cadets made new friendships, understanding the importance of teamwork, all whilst having lots of fun.

The older Cadets have also been working on their badge work, alongside all of the preparation that went into the Reginal Air Squadron Trophy competition, that took place at RAF Cosford on Sunday 19th November 2023. This tested Cadets in a first aid scenario, shooting, drill, general knowledge and aircraft recognition. As a school we did incredibly well, coming 6th place out of 15 other schools.

Presenting the best of Barr Beacon Cadets; they were a credit to the CCF and did the unit proud.

A Matrix Christmas Dinner night was also held, where Cadets from across the Trust came together to celebrate all of our achievements – it was a wonderfully successful evening! It gave everyone a chance to talk and meet up with new Cadets, allowing networking, along with the exchanging of everyone’s experiences from the past term. We hope to run more experiences like this one in the future.

On the 2nd and 3rd of March, a fieldcraft weekend was hosted at Barr Beacon with Cadets from Etone and Bloxwich joining us. We did a mixture of different activities, including complex first aid scenarios, reconnaissance missions on an enemy base and patrolling scenarios, amid an array of other things. The weekend provided an amazing opportunity for Cadets to bolster their knowledge and work in the field, but it was also another fun weekend.

The last few terms have been incredibly busy for the Cadet Force (with even more opportunities and events being scheduled for the near future) and I would like to say a massive well done to everyone. It has been incredible to watch the growth of the contingent and I cannot wait to see the applications coming through from those students wanting to join us within the upcoming year, and the promotions to those proving their leadership qualities.

Combined Cadet Force | Homepage

RAFAC Bader | Welcome (mod.uk)

RAF Recruitment | Find Your Role | Royal Air Force (mod.uk)

HMD 2020

The Holocaust Memorial

J Coley and J Donoghue – Head Students

27th January marks the day that Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp, was liberated in 1945. On this day, annually, we as a community come together to learn about those who fell victim to the Nazi persecution and take action to create a safer future, preventing mass genocide.

Why is it important?

Remembering, discussing and learning about the Holocaust is important to raise awareness about contemporary forms of antisemitism, xenophobia and hatred. It mirrors the danger of prejudice and extremist movements, whilst helping to promote human rights. Being able to tackle this can help to build societies more resilient to varying forms of extremism.

What happened during the holocaust?

Many of us know the history of the Holocaust, where approximately 6 million Jews and at least 5 million prisoners of war, Romany, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexuals and many other victims were persecuted. However, to deepen our understanding it is important to look at stories of individuals who survived this genocide.

David Bayer was Born on September 7th, 1922, in Kozienice Poland. David was part of the Manes family, who owned a successful shoe factory in Poland. On September 9th the Nazis captured Poland, but David and his family hid in forests, where they successfully avoided them. When the family returned, they found their possessions were destroyed, including their Passover dishes (which is a Jewish festival that celebrates the liberation of slaves in Egypt). Furthermore, when the Nazis seized Polish Jewish businesses, David was forced into the Kozienice ghetto, where he worked as a houseboy and a translator for gestapo policy in 1942.  After this he was then sent to the Treblinka Killing Centre, where the rest of his family were killed – however David was smuggled back to Kozienice to clean up the rest of Ghetto. He was then sent to one of the largest concentration camps (with a death toll of an estimated 1.1 million), Auschwitz Birkenau, to work in the highly dangerous Jaworzno Coal mines. In January 1945, he escaped into a forest near the sub camp of Blechhammer, and was found by Soviet Soldiers, weighing just 70lbs at the age of 23.

This is one of few examples of people who survived during the Holocaust and emphasises the extreme persecutions that these groups were subjected to. To find out more information regarding the Holocaust Memorial Day, click the links below:





Work Experience

I Caley Deputy Head Student

It is coming to the point when Year 12 should start looking for work experience, in preparation for work experience week in July (as it is best to get in earlier rather than later!).  You can use this time to try out new environments to see what type of degree, apprenticeship or workplace you wish to pursue.  It is also a good opportunity to gain super-curricular information and transferrable skills to place on your personal statement or for CV.

A good place to start for work experience is online, such as websites with a large range of opportunities like Springpod, Forage and Speakers for Schools, as well as other super-curricular ideas such a MOOC courses. You can also find very specific online work experiences, such as the ObserveGP program which was set up by the RCGP. The best part about virtual work experience is that this can be done during the school term, such as on the weekends, and most do not have a deadline so you can complete it in your own time.

For in person work experience, the best way to get them is to ask, either face-to-face or through an email or phone call; the worst thing they can say is no! Another way is through people you know such as going through parents or siblings, and going into work with them.

You should also keep an eye on places where you specifically want to do a placement, to see when they open for applications, such as local hospitals, pharmacies and local primary schools. This is because a lot of placements are very over-subscribed and so getting in early may increase the chances of getting a place you want.

Another area that tends to be combination of both information around a course of your interest and an insight into the world of work are Master Classes, which are typically run by Universities. A local one is run by The University of Birmingham, which has a wide variety of schemes, from engineering to politics.

It is crucial to keep a log of what happened during your work experience every day, and how you reflected on it. This can make it a lot easier when writing your personal statement or CVs as it saves you struggling to remember the details and trying to explain what you learnt from it when you are outside of that environment. Keeping a detailed log of all key experiences (such as Master Classes and other online webinars) makes writing a CV and applications for UCAS (both personal statements and the section for experiences) a lot easier.

When looking for work experience push yourself to go outside your comfort zone and experiment with different interests. It is completely normal to not be certain on a particular career path at this moment in time, but exploring different options now will help you become certain of a profession in the future. For example, you may see the interactions between the defence and prosecution in court and realise you need to understand this more by watching videos or by having a more in person approach by visiting different courts.

Here are some useful links:

Springpod – https://www.springpod.com/

Forage – https://www.theforage.com/

MOOC courses – https://www.mooc.org/ 

Speakers for School –  https://www.speakersforschools.org/


Senior Four

Head Student Team 2023 – 2024  

Congratulations to our new Head Student Team on their successful appointments.  We are looking forward to working with them as they bring their ideas to the role.  

A message from our Senior Four  

We are honoured to represent Barr Beacon as the Head Students. We see these significant roles as a great opportunity and privilege to act on behalf of our school. 

We look back at our predecessors and recognise the high standards that they have set, their accomplishments and the manner in which they have upheld the Beacon Values.  We realise that we are following in their stead and that we have a chance to continue their work.  We will be collaborating with both staff and students to generate ideas and then drive them forward towards successful implementation.  

With this in mind, we intend to create a safe community within the boundaries of our school, ensuring that everyone is granted the same opportunities, allowing them to develop and grow.  

We will encourage and support students, across all year groups, to take full advantage of all the opportunities on offer, so that we can take our school to even greater heights of success.  

Head Students: Jada and James  

Taking on the role of Deputy Head Students is something that we will carry out with the upmost respect, as we work alongside the Head Students.  

Our aim is to support fellow Sixth Form students, younger pupils and staff, to make continuous improvements to our school.  We are looking forward to motivating and supporting others to be the best versions of themselves.  With each of us bringing our individual ideas to the role, we hope that, as a group, these ideas will flourish and grow to create our legacy.  

At Barr Beacon School, we pride ourselves on being ‘proud to succeed’ and as Deputy Head Students, we will take on all new challenges head-on and listen to every voice. We are honoured to not only support others on their journey, but also to finish our final leg at Barr Beacon, by being able to give back to the school that has given us so much.   

Deputy Head Students: Isobel and Katie  

Meet the team

Jada C – Head Student  

In 2017 I joined Barr Beacon School with little idea of just how much I would flourish and excel under the vast array of opportunities that the school would provide.  Resilience, conviction and independence are attributes I have gained as a result of my experiences, shaping me into the person that I am today.  I feel indebted to not only give something back but also to leave a legacy that will withstand changes to come in the future and in turn, better the school community that I have grown to cherish.  

As Head Student, I will promote diversity and establish a community that will work concordantly to consistently be a voice for the students at Barr Beacon. I want to ensure a continuity of the opportunities I have received throughout my years at school, as well as to encourage change, improving the experiences of others. Lastly, I hope to ensure that everyone is treated with the upmost respect and dignity in their learning and development.  

I have grown a lot over the past 6 years under the roles of Prefect, Peer Mentor and School Council Representative and with this growth I have encountered many challenges. I truly recognise the nature of the role and cannot envisage a more rewarding and worthwhile challenge to embark upon, during my final year at Barr Beacon School.  

James D – Head Student  

Since joining the school in 2017, Barr Beacon has provided me with an amazing range of opportunities to develop my personal qualities and enhance my skills and interests.    

Highlights of my time at the school include being selected, in Year 12, to participate in a trip of a lifetime to Japan (as part of the Turing Scheme).  Prior to this, I embraced the opportunity of the Erasmus Project, hosting a student from an Italian school for a week.  

I have represented the school both academically and through sport in a number of ways and have found them all fulfilling.  Academically, this has included competing in the UK Maths Challenge on several occasions and the ‘Race to the Target’ event with the University of Birmingham.  In sport, the school supported my proposal to enter a team into the England Schools Golf Championship. I was also successful in securing the prestigious role of Prefect during my time in Year 11.   

From all the opportunities the school has presented me with, my confidence has grown to a level which I would not have imagined when I first stepped through the school gates in Year 7.  Post Barr Beacon, the positive characteristics I have developed will fuel and help me to further success.

Isobel C – Deputy Head Student  

From the first day I started at Barr Beacon, the school has been supportive, nurturing and given me opportunities to excel. I am proud to have been an ambassador for the Mayor of Walsall to reduce the stigma around mental health.  More recently, I had the pleasure to facilitate and lead a presentation at Imperial College London, presenting to a large group of people, including college professors and doctors.  

These two examples, together with many other activities I have been a part of, have taught me the importance of leadership, working as a team, listening to and learning from others and always being passionate, aiming to be the best in everything I do.  

 I am honoured to be a part of this year’s Senior Team and I promise that every day I will endeavour to help make a positive difference to each of you.  I will lead by example and always be driving the school’s motto of being ‘proud to succeed’.  

Katie O – Deputy Head Student  

Looking back to when I first joined Year 7, I had no idea how much Barr Beacon School would assist me in cultivating my skills, by providing me with an abundance of opportunities and experiences that have helped me into becoming the resilient, determined and hard-working individual I am today. Whilst working hard I centred my efforts around the quote “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise”, because nothing is more powerful than being able to say how hard you worked to achieve your dreams.   

Barr Beacon School has not only guided me but has also pushed me outside of my comfort zone, allowing me to understand that sometimes you need to step outside of the box to reach your full potential. Challenging myself is now something I aspire to do on a regular basis, and it is something I encourage others to try.   

I have taken on many different responsibilities throughout my time at Barr Beacon School, from being a librarian, to becoming a Beacon Values Ambassador and a Prefect, as well as being given the position of Flight Sergeant within the Combined Cadet Force. I have a massive passion for helping others and giving back to those in the welcoming community at Barr Beacon School.   

As Deputy Head Student, I cannot wait to continue and add to the legacy set forth by the previous senior teams, and to work alongside the incredible staff and amazing pupils who help make Barr Beacon a remarkable place to learn.   

revision tips

Preparing for Exams – Revision Tips and Self-Care

Written by Head Student Makara M.

As Years 11 and 13 approach the final few weeks ahead of the examination season, we can expect to start feeling stressed and anxious about what lies ahead.  Whilst many students may already feel prepared for their exams and are comfortable revising, some may still feel uncertain about how to begin revising or even how to revise. At this stage, it is vital to be able to cope with exam stress in order to prepare for exams and the future after leaving school.  However, it is only possible to effectively cope if you are comfortable revising, and able to understand how best you can deal with your own stress.

It is often the case that people are unable to start revising as they don’t understand how to go about it. Here are some of the most common revision techniques to get started:

  • Using flashcards to self-quiz on information
  • Creating mind-maps or knowledge organisers from memory, then adding any forgotten information in a different colour
  • Completing past exam papers
  • Consolidating knowledge by re-writing summarised lesson notes
  • Familiarising yourself with mark schemes and question structures in order to effectively answer questions

Revision techniques cannot simply be taught, though, as they are individualistic.  What works for some may not work for others. The most effective way to revise is to work out how best you learn information, whether it is by repeatedly self-quizzing or by applying your knowledge, and then to focus on the areas you struggle most with.

As well as knowing how to revise, it is important to understand how to cope with exam stress and worries. It may be tempting to develop unhealthy routines, such as staying up late to revise the night before an exam, but it is vital to look after your physical and mental health in order to not only feel less anxious, but to actually retain the information you have learned! Here are some important tips to help minimise exam stress:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule, so that you are able to focus and retain information
  • Eat balanced meals to keep energy and focus (especially on the day of an exam)
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and to prevent feeling unwell (headaches are commonly linked to exam stress)
  • Keep your revision notes and resources organised so that you can easily find what you need and minimise any unnecessary worries
  • Prioritise downtime as well as revision in order to maintain a balance for your mental health. Activities like regular exercise or seeing friends and family may be most effective for minimising stress and giving yourself a mental break.

If you are feeling overly worried or anxious about exams, make sure to speak about it with someone you trust, such as friends/family/Form Tutor/teachers and remember that it is perfectly fine to feel stressed at this point in the year.

To everyone who is sitting exams in the next few months, good luck! Make sure to keep a balance of working hard but also looking after your mental and physical health.

Below are some helpful links for any advice or support:

Tips on preparing for exams – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Preparing for exams (bath.ac.uk)

Exam Stress | How To Deal with Exam Stress | YoungMinds

Coping with exam pressure – a guide for students – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Information for 11-18 year olds – Exam stress – Mind


Holocaust Memorial Day

Written by Deputy Head Students Dilraaj K and Mazin E

Ordinary people

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ordinary people. Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust. For example, ordinary people were victims, witnesses, bystanders, and rescuers. Ordinary people have choices for their actions. Think about how ordinary people like us can play a more significant part in challenging prejudice and discrimination today. By speaking out against discrimination and antisemitism, we are staying true to our Barr Beacon values- ‘Never discriminate’ and have ‘Consideration for others and the environment.’

What was the Holocaust?

The Holocaust was the systematic murder of black people, homosexuals, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma & Sinti Gypsies by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War.

The Nazi’s programme of anti-Jewish persecution began as soon as Hitler came into power in 1933.  This programme of targeted mass murder was a central part of the Nazis’ ideology to try and create a supreme ‘Aryan race’ and to destroy any ‘inferior races’.

At first, they used anti-Semitic laws to make life difficult for Jews to continue with their everyday lives. They outlawed marriage and sexual relations between Jews and Germans and removed all civil and political rights of the Jews. Furthermore, restrictions alongside brutal propaganda encouraged a culture of segregation and hostility. This process of victimisation was intended to isolate Jewish people from the wider population.

Why and how we remember?

On 27th January 2023, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Death Camp in 1945,  we remembered the 11 million victims of the Holocaust.

A group of year 13 students were privileged to bear witness to the testimony of Holocaust survivor, Ruth Posner BEM, and took part in a webchat organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.  Ruth Posner was a child at the time of the Holocaust and shared her experiences of how her family were evicted from their home in Warsaw, Poland, after the Germans had invaded and were moved to live in a Ghetto in Warsaw.  She eventually escaped the Ghetto with her aunt and assumed a false identity and was hidden by a Catholic family.  She was eventually arrested, not for being Jewish but for being a Polish-Catholic and, towards the end of the war, she was put on a train by the Germans with her aunt and transported to Essen in Germany where she hid on a farm until the end of the war.

Ruth’s message was one of hope that, even through the darkest of times, people can overcome adversity and it is the responsibility of ordinary people to speak out against prejudice and discrimination.

 “Change isn’t happening fast enough for man. You must make it happen faster. When you see injustice happening, stand up!” Walter Kasel (survivor)

Links for further reading:




Self-Care and Mental Health

Written by Deputy Head Students Hannah N and Mazin E.

Self-care is vital in maintaining positive mental well-being. It is the process of caring for your individual needs and allowing your body to relax by doing things you enjoy. As discussed within school during Mental Health Week, a healthy mental state is vital as it impacts on all aspects of our social and intellectual lives.

With the holidays near approaching, whether you are celebrating during the Christmas period or not, having a break from school can be a positive way to spend time with friends and family, catch up on work, mentally recover from the demands of school and prepare for the new year.

With lockdown measures no longer in place, we can venture out more than we have done over the last two Christmas periods.  It is also important to make sure that whilst out, meeting up with friends, we stay safe.

Mental and physical health is important to be cared for holistically. Positive physical health, such as through exercise, can also have positive impacts on mental health as endorphins and dopamine are released giving us that ‘feel good’ factor. 

Here are some ideas that you may find helpful to try in promoting more positive mental health:

  • Going on walks
  • Trying a new hobby
  • Watching shows or films that you enjoy
  • Setting revision boundaries and allocating time to rest
  • Getting involved in sports or clubs

Our mental well-being is a core principle of our daily lives. It impacts on how we function in a plethora of activities and therefore, we must sustain a good work-life balance and avoid the harmful effects of neglecting this.

Sometimes we can feel anxious and display behaviours due to the circumstances surrounding us.  We can combat these ‘down’ feelings by having a routine, whereby you can, for instance, work for a few hours a day with regularly timed breaks and then reward yourself when you have finished by partaking in a fun activity such as going out with friends to the cinema.

Sustaining your mental health in this way increases the overall efficiency of your work so you get the best of both worlds. Additionally, there are many activities after school that you can take part in such as puzzle club, sports and many more.

We hope you may have found interest in the points that we have raised to outline the importance of mental health and caring for your self-care.  Perhaps this blog has allowed you to spark more interest in you being able to discover something you can do to help improve your overall mental health.

Links for support: 





Links for further reading : 




Adapting to Change

Written by Head Students Daniel P, Makara M and Dilraaj K.

Her Majesty the Queen served our country for 70 years. She has left a legacy as the longest serving British monarch and the longest reigning female monarch in world history. Queen Elizabeth became an international icon who worked alongside 15 British Prime Ministers. She was not only a mother, grandmother and great grandmother to her family, but she was akin to a grandmother to our generation.

From being a mechanic during the Second World War to becoming Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen was nothing short of outstanding. She endured many hardships during her reign, yet continued to portray devotion and selflessness to the Commonwealth. On 8th September 2022, Her Majesty’s death touched the hearts of many people around the world.  During the period of mourning thousands of people, from home and overseas, paid their respects to Her Majesty and reflected on the remarkable work that she carried out during her reign.

Now, as we start a new era under the reign of King Charles III, we will all experience some level of change.  We will have new coins and notes, postage stamps will look different, the words to our national anthem will be amended slightly and, with the line of succession to the throne shifting, many of us will never know another queen in our lifetime.

As well as the country changing, many of us have been going through our own individual changes: Year 7 have made the transition from primary to secondary school; Year 11 have transitioned into Sixth Form; we have all moved on to the next stage of our journey at Barr Beacon School and there are new faces amongst the staff.

Change is a part of life which we all experience and embrace, making the most of new opportunities that will help us grow as a person and help us to adjust to new circumstances.  Some of us will take longer than others to adjust to change. Our advice to you all would be to look back at the past with fondness and to look forward to the future with excitement, as there are many great things to come. Although it is perfectly natural to feel anxious, it is always good to talk about your feelings and to seek advice from those you trust.

“It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.” – Queen Elizabeth II.





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