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  • Balcarras School
    East End Road
    Charlton Kings
    Cheltenham
    Gloucestershire
    GL53 8QF
  • Head: Mr Dominic Burke
  • T 01242 515881
  • F 01242 250620
  • E [email protected]
  • W www.balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Gloucestershire
  • Pupils: 1,391; boys 694, girls 697; sixth formers: 376; boys 162, girls 214
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Open days: First week in October
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 21st May 2014
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 25th February 2009
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Although it sounds like a Scottish estate or a villain from Poldark, Balcarras takes its name from the tiny lane which borders it. Voted the best comprehensive in the south west, out-performing all but two of the Gloucestershire grammar schools.  Fountain pens are required and ‘pupils are asked not to use ballpoint pens for neat work’: a stricture not often heard in the 21st century ...

 

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What the school says...

We are proud of the enjoyment and excitement pupils feel about their learning and their life in school. The sixth form continues to be supremely successful.

What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Additional Science at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Business Studies: Single at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Girls taking Home Economics: Food at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headteacher

Since 2016, Dominic Burke MA PGCE (40s). Born in Wakefield and educated entirely in Yorkshire at the universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds, he moved south to Evesham to take up his first teaching post, thence to Balcarras in 2007, climbing steadily through the ranks to be appointed head. ‘At least there were no horrible surprises when I was appointed!’ he said wryly. Teaching is in the family; both his parents taught children with special needs, but he did look fleetingly at publishing and journalism before opting for a successful career teaching history. The students we spoke to gave him the thumbs up as a teacher, and indeed as a head: ‘He knows everyone and is seen around’ they told us. One parent felt he has yet to make major waves, but all are...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Balcarras welcomes students with a wide range of abilities and learning needs. Pupils with SEND are admitted on the same basis as all other children and are encouraged to take part in the full range of activities on offer. We do our best to ensure support is given to children whose learning and progress might be a cause for concern. Physically disabled pupils have easy access around school. Close liaison with our feeder schools enables us to respond to SEND right from the start. The Individual Learning Department (ILD) co-ordinates provision, maintaining a register of pupils who have learning/physical/emotional/sensory/medical needs that impact on learning. Subject staff are provided with a ‘Pupil Passport’ with each child’s particular needs and recommended support strategies. There is a rigorous process for exam access arrangements. The department is housed in a smart building which provides flexible accommodation and excellent resources. Pupils may be withdrawn from some lessons for work in small groups. Individual tailored support is provided by the ILD which comprises two specialist teachers, three HLTAs and a large team of TAs. There is a strong focus on inclusive practice through collaboration with the pastoral team and external agencies. Young people and their parents/carers are involved in decisions about their support and, with high aspirations, prepare effectively for continuing education and a successful adult life.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty Y
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability Y
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability Y
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment Y

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Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

regularly
most years
quite often
infrequently
sometimes, but not in this year


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