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Great Barr Sixth Form is about more than just fulfilling your academic potential.

We aim to help our students become self-confident, self-sufficient, well–rounded and mature individuals who have a sense of purpose and direction. The wide variety of intellectual and cultural opportunities which exist in the Sixth Form will provide experiences that will make a lasting impression on our students.

Membership of the Sixth Form opens all kinds of windows to invigorating intellectual and cultural opportunities; you might participate in an organised debate, fund raising events or other whole-school charity events such as the Sierra Leone project. There will be many subject-related visits to museums, art exhibitions, theatrical performances, as well as a number of compulsory field trips and other visits.

The Sierra Leone Project has provided a profound, life-changing experience for participating students. Visiting our partner schools in Waterloo, near Freetown, students worked with children whose lives could not be more different from those of us in the West; they have taught in the schools, led activities with the students, gained medical experience in the local hospital and helped rebuild a refugee camp school.

All these intellectual and cultural enrichment activities help the students to complete a very important section of their university applications - the Personal Statement. The Personal Statement provides applicants with the opportunity to explain their passion for their chosen degree subject, as well as giving details of their interests and extra-curricular achievements. Students who have participated in a wide range of enrichment activities and who can show evidence of individual initiative are at a significant advantage; the competition for places at university is very intense.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Here at Great Barr School we are in the fortunate position where we have a large number of dedicated staff who offer their support and expertise to guide you through a highly rewarding and thoroughly satisfying award.

So why do your DofE?

Good question! Because, from the first day to the last it’s a real adventure.  Every section gives you something different - that’s the fun of it!

You’ll enjoy loads of new experiences, discover talents you never thought you had, challenge yourself and meet many new people along the way.  Plus you’ll do things you love and get a kick out of.

Above all, it’s a great laugh - the question should really be: why wouldn’t you bother?


You achieve your Gold Award by completing a personal programme of activities in five sections -Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and a Residential.

You’ll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity.

The best bit is - you get to choose what you do!
Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing, and along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

If you need any further information just ask Mr Varney or visit the DofE website.

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