Historic day as classes start at pioneering School

School teachersThe very first pupils to be taught at the pioneering University of Birmingham School began classes today (Thursday) as term started for year seven and lower sixth formers.

The School, the first 11-18 university training school in the country, is housed in a purpose-built facility on the University’s Selly Oak campus and draws its pupils from across the city. It is academically non-selective for pupils aged 11-16.

On Thursday morning, 150 year seven students from Selly Oak, Hall Green, Small Heath and Ladywood entered their brand new building, alongside 200 sixth formers, to begin their secondary education.

The School’s vision is to create a diverse learning community which reflects the city of Birmingham and transform the lives of its pupils by raising aspirations. Pupils will benefit from a wide range of opportunities, including access to facilities, expertise and research at the University of Birmingham itself. The School will grow to its full capacity of 1,150 pupils by 2020.

As the first secondary University Training School in the country, the University of Birmingham School 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.

Principal Michael Roden said: “After all of the hard work behind the scenes, the day we have all been waiting for is finally here. We could not be more excited to welcome our first two year groups of University of Birmingham School pupils. These students are making history as they step through the doors, and we hope they will take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities this School will provide and go on to fulfil their individual potential, becoming people of well-rounded character, flourishing and engaged citizens as well as attaining the highest possible outcomes. We are looking forward immensely now to getting started and seeing what the future holds for our young people.”

Notes to editors

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.
• 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 07812 671797.
CGI images of the finished School and photographs are available on request.