Able, Gifted and Talented

The vast majority of our able students are stretched within class by differentiating activities accordingly. However, at times, it may be appropriate for each department to run specific activities designed to challenge students and encourage a culture of learning and a desire to stretch themselves. Each department has a nominated member of staff responsible for co-ordinating and promoting these activities, and also for ensuring that the register of able, gifted and talented students is up to date.

Art – Mrs K Baptist

Students are provided with a range of activities outside of usual curriculum time in order to develop their artistic ability, including pottery and sketch design; we also take our students to the Bowes Museum to visit some of their exhibits and develop critical thinking.

Biology – Mrs R Gibson

We offer a number of activities to outstanding students across all years, including the Biology Challenge to y9-10 and the Biology Olympiad to Sixth Form students. We also offer trips to the Centre for Life in Newcastle, and able students in y11 are encouraged to undertake an extended research challenge.

Chemistry – Mrs J Wilson

A number of competitions take place across the year in which able students are able to participate. These include the Chemistry Olympiad, Top of the Bench, the Schools’ Analyst competition, and Salters’ festival

Classics – Dr S Nichols

Higher ability students are encouraged to learn Greek as an activity, and higher up the school will have the opportunity to visit Greece or Italy on a biennial basis. We also encourage students to participate in the Inter-Schools Classics quiz to test their knowledge against students from other schools in the North East.

Computer Science – Miss J Brown

Able students are encouraged to enter the Animation18 competition, a national competition run by the University of Manchester to challenge students in computer animation.

Drama – Mr T S Edwards

More able students often participate in musical or drama productions throughout the year; we also offer LAMDA activities in conjunction with prep school to allow students to develop their skills.

DT – Mr A Beaty

Students regularly enter the Rotary Club Technology Tournament, which is held at Catterick and allows students to compete against other able students nationally. Within class, able students are encouraged to develop more complicated designs. Prestigious Arkwright Scholarships are available to encourage talented students to apply.

Economics – Mr G Bishop

We encourage students to participate in the Royal Economics Society essay competition; this is a national event that attracts the most able students. We also offer the opportunity for students to write an EPQ in the subject, and this is something that some of our most able students have undertaken in the past.

English – Mrs A M Gorman

We offer a wide range of activities targeted at able students, which include trips to the theatre, Lectern Club for public speaking, Debating, and Journalism Club, all of which develop both written and oral communication skills

Games – Ms R S Masterman

Students are encouraged to undertake District, County and Regional trials across all sporting areas, with outstanding success

Geography – Mr D W Dalton

We take the students to the lecture delivered by the York Branch of the Geographical Association. Fieldwork also enables us to provide additional opportunities for the AG&T pupils; we also enter Gifted students into the Young Geographer of the Year competition, run by the Royal Geographical Society.

Maths – Mr M D Robson

Upper sets enter the national Maths Challenge at both Intermediate and Senior level, success in which can lead to the Maths Olympiad.

MFL – Mr S J Tomlinson

Outstanding 6th Form students may participate in French translation competitions run by Sheffield University. We also offer the chance for students to study and additional foreign language outside curriculum time, and this is something a number of students have done. The use of modern language assistants allows us to really challenge our most able students, particularly in their spoken language.

Music – Mr R J Dawson

The Students who are Scholars and Exhibitioners at BCS achieve well through support and numerous performance experiences. It is felt that the greatest way to develop is through the experience of performing. All Music Scholars will have the opportunity to perform at least one concerto with a professional orchestra during their time at BCS. They perform throughout the local community, as well at major venues throughout the North East and in London.

In addition to their own development they have the opportunity to listen to musicians in the professional world perform concerts at the school, so that musicians at Barney can be inspired by listening and watching. We take full advantage of the local Arts centre, The Witham, where we regularly perform as well as listen to international performers. We also take advantage of being near to The Sage in Newcastle. Some of our musicians are very involved with a number of programmes The Sage runs. We also support scholarship musicians who attend conservatoires on Saturdays, by creating for them a unique programme for study at Barnard Castle School.

RS – Miss C J Snaith

We keenly identify G&T students from the onset and cater for them, and for all by having an extended research project in each of the junior years. Later, we foster debating skills, application of ethical theories and provide opportunity for creative and essay competitions. We have a range of cultural trips including a synagogue, mosque, mandir, cathedral and also university and lecture opportunities for A level students. Sporadically we have hosted Philosophy days encompassing a series of workshops.