Kirk Balk Academy, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S74 9HX
This job expired on 31 January 2022 – see similar jobs
Expected start date
1 April 2022
31 January 2022 at 12pm (midday)
1 December 2021
About Kirk Balk Academy
- School type
- Academy, ages 11 to 16
- Education phase
- View all Secondaryjobs
- School size
- 1310 pupils enrolled
- Age range
- 11 to 16
- Ofsted report
- View Ofsted report (opens in a new tab)
- School website
- Kirk Balk Academy website (opens in a new tab)
- Contact email
Residing approximately six miles south of Barnsley, Kirk Balk Academy serves the communities of Hoyland, Hoyland Common, Elsecar, Platts Common, Blacker Hill, Jump, Birdwell, Pilley and Tankersley; all of which were traditional mining villages before pit closures. These closures, along with other factors, caused community aspirations to suffer although these are now beginning to rise and we are proud of the part we are playing in regenerating the area.
The Key Stage 2 APS (Average Points Score) for every year groups in line with the national average although this is decreasing each year as the academy grows in population. That said, we are brazenly ambitious for our students and believe determinedly that they are as capable as any other students; anywhere.
We are resolute in our conviction that our curriculum is helping redress the inequality that once existed; to give the young people of Hoyland a better deal and a better chance to break the legacy circles of underachievement and low aspirations in the town to transform the life chances of every young person we serve.
Kirk Balk has good rail and road links, and is within easy reach of Sheffield, Huddersfield, Leeds, and Wakefield, located minutes from J36 of the M1 motorway. There are beautiful country areas and parks within a short distance, the Peak District and other parts of Yorkshire are easily reached. Kirk Balk is proud of our tradition of encouraging young people to succeed not only in the classroom, (where examination results have steadily improved over the last decade), but also in other spheres including Sport and the Arts.
Ten years ago, Barnsley initiated a re-organisation of its secondary stock, with some schools merging and all becoming new builds. Kirk Balk has stayed within its locality and simply moved into a new building in April 2011. The building took the staff, head teacher, local officers and architects over three years to plan, and a further 20 months to complete.
With every room and facility purpose built, Kirk Balk is a great environment in which to teach and work. Over £30 million has been invested in making a bright building that gives the local community every chance for success. The spaces in the building provide opportunities to teach in rooms that are larger than the average classroom, with Interactive Whiteboards providing scope for multi-user kinaesthetic learning at a touch.
There are several specialist areas in the building including a four-court sports hall, a super lab, ICT suites, 2 drama studios, a lecture theatre, a construction centre, an industrial engineering room, a catering kitchen and spaces to allow students to study independently.
Our intent is to make all lessons outstanding.
Teachers plan and prepare effectively and make lessons as engaging as possible using the very best practice. Our departments work collegiately with subject directors and colleagues across the trust to ensure the best ideas and practices are consistently applied in all lessons.
Our entire pedagogical approach is based upon collaborative learning as we truly believe in the power of working collaboratively to promote the inclusion and progress of all.
We have developed a wide range of well-understood ‘Collaborative Learning Structures’, underpinned by some key structures that we believe enable our lessons to be consistently effective, engaging and exciting. Students react positively to the consistency of the learning structures and embrace the collaborative approach to learning.
We believe a teachers’ time outside of the classroom should be focused on planning exciting and effective lessons. We also believe students respond best to feedback that is immediate and meaningful. Therefore, at Kirk Balk Academy, staff do not mark students’ books outside of lessons. Apart from formal assessments, all marking is live during a lesson and students’ respond immediately.
There is a strong culture of praise and celebration at Kirk Balk Academy. Students are regularly applauded for contributing to lessons and each member of the senior leadership team makes six calls home a week to praise students. Student praise is further enhanced by our 'Proud Thursday' initiative, by which students nominate work of which they are especially proud. Teachers encourage students to recognise and value their own success by using live feedback and PROUD stickers to celebrate achievement and therefore building students’ self-esteem. This work is publicly rewarded by members of SLT on a weekly basis and participating students receive certificates celebrating their effort.
We understand that personal development is important to our dedicated team. Therefore, time is dedicated to staff development on a weekly basis through L&P. A detailed calendar is shared with staff and includes topics requested by teachers and department leaders. We also understand that staff development should be personalised and reflect the career stage and experiences of staff. Therefore, different staff development packages, routes and support strategies are in place to meet the different needs of our teaching team. Time to work together as a team is also important. Therefore, time is provided for departments to work together on issues relevant to their subject area.
At Kirk Balk Academy, we believe appraisal should be developmental. Therefore, there are no numerical targets or formal lesson observations. Instead, teachers are invited to select a personal development goal and have opportunities to discuss their practice with colleagues in a supportive and reflective environment. This removes unnecessary stress and time consuming administrative tasks from teaching staff.
Northern Education Trust offers a range of staff benefits to employees. For example, the Tusker car scheme is available to all staff as is a range of health benefits such as free flu vaccinations.
Staff views are also important to us and we are keen to listen to staff opinions. For example, two extra holiday days per year was voted for by staff through disaggregating INSET. Staff also voted for where the extended holiday should take place.
We are proud of our talented staff and believe they should be given opportunities to flourish within the academy. We provide leadership opportunities through the DEEPs system every year. All staff, including NQTs and support staff, are welcome to apply for a range of leadership roles allowing staff to grow as leaders and develop projects they are passionate about.
Arranging a visit to Kirk Balk Academy
Visits to the academy are strongly recommended. Please email email@example.com to book your visit.
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