University School is 'top' of its class

DSC_3553The pioneering University of Birmingham School, which opens to its first pupils in September, was officially ‘topped out’ on Friday (17 April) as it reached the highest point in its construction.

Principal Michael Roden and Registrar and Secretary at the University of Birmingham, Lee Sanders, jointly laid the final brick in the front of the building along with colleagues from contractors Willmott Dixon to mark the point at which the building reached its highest point.

The University of Birmingham School opens in September 2015 with intakes of 150 into Year 7 and 200 into the Lower Sixth at its purpose-built home on the University’s Selly Oak site.

The School will be the first 11-18 University Training School in the country and will be a centre for initial and on-going teacher education and training and research into improving educational practice. The curriculum will be informed by the latest research via links with the academic departments, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and the School of Education at the University of Birmingham.

Its key aim is to transform lives by creating a learning community equipped to maximise the personal and academic achievement of all its pupils. It is setting out to bring together pupils from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, with differing prior academic attainment, to create an environment that reflects the diversity of Birmingham and providing opportunities for everyone to excel.

Pupils will be drawn from across Birmingham with Year 7 places allocated according to the applicant’s distance from one of four admissions nodes across the city – Selly Oak, Small Heath, Jewellery Quarter and Hall Green. There are no entrance requirements for Year 7 pupils.

Michael Roden, Principal of the University of Birmingham School, said: “In just a few short months, our first pupils will walk through the doors. It is a hugely exciting time, and this milestone is an important point at which to take stock, celebrate how much progress we have made and to look forward to the University of Birmingham School being a reality.

“We want our School to offer a best in class education and this outstanding building, together with the well qualified, talented and inspirational teachers we have recruited utilising access to the University of Birmingham and its facilities will play a pivotal role in ensuring we really can help to transform the lives of those who attend.”

Peter Owen, managing director at Willmott Dixon, said: “The University of Birmingham School is a prestigious project and we are delighted to have reached this significant milestone today.

“Supporting young people to help them reach their full potential is very important to Willmott Dixon, and this school will provide just such an environment to encourage academic excellence. We are very proud to be involved in building this new school, which will equip thousands of students with top class skills needed for success in today's workplace.”

Notes to editors

Photo caption 1: Lee Sanders, Registrar and Secretary of the University of Birmingham, and Michael Roden, Principal of the University of Birmingham School, lay the final brick in the front of the school.

Photo caption 2: Michael Roden, Principal of the University of Birmingham School, laying the final brick in the front of the school.

In September 2015 the University of Birmingham School will open to form an exciting new addition to education in Birmingham.

The main characteristics of the School are:

  • A traditional academic curriculum, leading towards GCSEs and A-Levels.
  • A focus on character education to support the development of happy, fulfilled young adults.
  • A brand new, purpose-built school building.
  • Strong links with the University of Birmingham (University of the Year 2013-14).
  • Regular use of the University’s world-class facilities.
  • Extended school day allowing the provision of a wide range of enrichment activities for all pupils.
  • Well qualified and outstanding teachers, supported by talented trainees, in the UK’s first secondary University Training School.
  • Strong pastoral care and support for pupils of all abilities.
  • A college (house) system which develops community and provides opportunities for friendly competition, teamwork and leadership.
  • Initial entry into Years 7 and 12, with 1,150 students by 2020.
  • Diverse, comprehensive 11-16 School, with pupils drawn from four ‘nodes’ across the city to address the needs of a rapidly growing population and a shortage of secondary school places.
  • An academically-selective Sixth Form, to prepare students for University entry.

The University of Birmingham School is sponsored by the University of Birmingham and managed by an Academy Trust. The Trust and School will benefit from the expertise and professional services of the University.

For more information, including interview requests, please contact Kara Griffiths on +44 (0)7812 671 797.