INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS
Aims and Values We provide our pupils with an education of the highest quality so that they leave us with the qualifications, skills and personal qualities they need to lead a successful life. To achieve this, we will ensure:
Our commitment to the highest academic standards A caring and stimulating environment A wide range of extra curricular activities A partnership with parents, business and the local community
Working at Balcarras It is a very exciting and rewarding time to be working at Balcarras. Our latest GCSE grades were extraordinary and put us in the Top 10 comprehensive schools in the country in the Daily Telegraph tables. It is this commitment to the highest academic standards whilst at the same time being a caring and stimulating environment that makes Balcarras feel different from anywhere else.
Organisation of the school The school is organised around the conventional range of subject departments and, for pastoral and administrative purposes within Key Stages 3 and 4, into four Houses. The house system is at the heart of the schoolâ€™s work and one of the key reasons for its success. All members of staff are attached to a house or the sixth form and normally have responsibility for one of the tutor groups. The sixth form has its own identity, with 16 tutors led by a Head of Sixth Form and Heads of Year 12 and 13.
The following courses are available in the KEY STAGE 4 Options: GCSE Courses Art Business Studies Computing Design Technology Food Product Design Textiles Drama French Geography
Health and Social Care History ICT Music Physical Education Philosophy and Ethics Religious Studies Russian Spanish
Other Courses Health and Social Care (BTEC) Life Skills Physical Education (BTEC)
Sixth Form The following A-level courses are offered: Applied ICT Applied Science Art Biology Business Studies Chemistry Computing Critical Thinking Design Technology Food Product Design Textiles Drama and Theatre Economics English Literature French Further Mathematics
General Studies Geography Health and Social Care History Mathematics with Mechanics Mathematics with Statistics Music Photography (Digital) Physical Education Physics Politics Psychology Religious Studies Russian Spanish
The surrounding area Members of staff moving into the area to join Balcarras have a wide variety of locations from which to choose. There are the large urban areas of Cheltenham and Gloucester together with the many modern housing developments clustered around them, the older market towns such as Cirencester and the smaller villages and hamlets of the Cotswolds. Within a short distance of the school it is possible to find both the facilities of a thriving urban area and the tranquility of unspoiled countryside.
Balcarras occupies an attractive site at the very edge of Charlton Kings. The woods and fields of the Cotswold escarpment rise up to the east and south east, while in other directions there is housing surrounding the old village centre.
What are the staff like? There are currently 85 teachers working at Balcarras, representing a range of ages and backgrounds. Newcomers to the school frequently comment on the positive and united atmosphere existing within the staff. There are numerous opportunities to socialise with social events taking place several times a year. Currently there is a staff football, netball and cycling team to name but a few. New staff are well supported through our extensive induction scheme and by other members of staff.
Beyond the curriculum
Balcarras offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. These include numerous clubs and sporting activities, academic clubs, expeditions and environmental societies. Staff are encouraged to set up and facilitate extra-curricular activities for pupils. Some of these include; air-fix modelling club, codebreaker club, bridge club, art club, drama club, cycling club, cookery club and Mandarin club.
Staff Commendations I must like Balcarras as I have been working here for 23 years! The school has gone from strength to strength. The students are polite and I work in a fantastic department. Sarah Kelly, Languages The thing I enjoy about working here is the unwavering support from other staff. Everyone does their best to help you out if you have a problem or a query and are generally very cooperative, which makes day-to-day functioning much easier! Louise Young, Individual Learning Motivated pupils, with great facilities combined with great colleagues. It is simply a pleasure to come to work every day! Paul Greenway, Head of Graveney House
Balcarras is a friendly and forward thinking environment to work in, there is always a new challenge to aspire to meet and this means that professional development is continuous. Thatâ€™s the formal answer - I came here for 3 years - that was 12 years ago - something must be great for me to have stayed all this time and still love what I do!! Vicky Bull, Geography The school that you never want to leave! Hardworking teachers and students make it a competitive and challenging environment to work in but so much fun and very, very rewarding. Jeanette Hoskins, Health and Social Care What is great about working at Balcarras is that we do not have an "us and them" mentality. Everyone is really supportive of each other. Andrew McClelland, Assistant Head Playing football on Friday with the staff team is the best bit! Kevin Clancy, Science teacher