Overview of the University School

Students studying in the libraryThe University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form (“University School”) will be a comprehensive, co-educational 11-16 School for children from across Birmingham and its surrounding communities, and an academically-selective Sixth Form. It will open in September 2015 with intakes into Years 7 and 12, growing to full capacity of 1150 in 5 years.

The University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form will be ground-breaking in many respects:

  • A state-maintained comprehensive school enriched by a close relationship with one of the world’s top 100 universities with excellent STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) provision and significant strengths in fields as diverse as music, sports, and languages;
  • An ambitious school, meeting a need for more secondary places in Birmingham, accessible without examination and without reference to religious creed, seeking to bring together children from all over Birmingham and beyond into a single learning community and to create an environment that raises aspirations and in which all have the opportunity to excel;
  • One of the UK’s first University Training Schools (UTS) which will embed teacher training and trainee teachers into every aspect of its activity and develop the next generation of outstanding teachers for the region and the nation;
  • A centre for pedagogical innovation and world-class research in teaching and school improvement, working in partnership with other schools and networks to support high-quality education across Birmingham, nationally, and internationally.

The vision of the University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form will be to transform lives by raising its students’ aspirations and maximising their potential by accessing the widest possible range of educational opportunities. 

It will do this by offering students an excellent academic curriculum and by supporting their development as well-rounded people of strong character, all benefiting from an excellent location, a diverse and comprehensive student body, and access to world-class facilities through the University.

Academic benefits:

  • An academically-oriented, comprehensive, STEM-excellent curriculum that provides a foundation for success in higher education and the world of work, as well as opening other opportunities, backed by a highly successful Russell Group university with a strong civic mission;
  • Experienced, highly motivated and qualified teachers dedicated to excellence and innovation in classroom teaching, informed by the School of Education’s research and experience in school improvement and educational effectiveness;
  • Access to world-class academic expertise through engagement with University of Birmingham academics, ranging from classroom teaching through laboratory visits to participation in research;
  • Classroom experiences enriched by the presence of trainee teachers, who will bring energy and enthusiasm and who will push classroom teachers continually to reflect on and improve their teaching practices;
  • An enhanced teacher-student ratio, made possible by the presence of teacher-trainers, trainee teachers and the involvement of University student mentors;
  • Additional one-to-one and small group opportunities facilitated by an enhanced teacher-student ratio;
  • International education enhanced by the University’s international partnerships.

Developmental benefits:

  • Character education integrated into all aspects of school life to support students to become not just carriers of knowledge but people fully equipped to cope with the challenges of life;
  • Caring and supportive pastoral care facilitated by the form tutor, who will support each form throughout their time in the 11-16 School;
  • Support for those with Special Educational Needs informed by the University of Birmingham’s noted international expertise in this area;
  • Excellent careers support and advice tailored to each student throughout their secondary school career, benefiting from the University’s links with employers and experience in supporting employability;
  • Extracurricular activities as an integral and required part of the school’s offering, challenging students in a different but equally important way as in the classroom;
  • Support and mentoring from University of Birmingham students, in academic and extracurricular activities.

Facilities and environment:

  • Access to world-class facilities at the University of Birmingham, including sports, library, and music facilities;
  • An identified school site in a pleasant, green setting, benefitting from good transport routes and playing fields, owned by and close to the University, and available for development;
  • A truly mixed and comprehensive student body drawn from across Birmingham and its surrounding communities.