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Barry Comprehensive School

Barry Comprehensive School (Welsh: Ysgol Gyfun y Barri) was a secondary school for boys aged 11–16, situated opposite Highlight Park in the town of Barry, in Wales. Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School was the partner girls' school that also provides a mixed sixth form for both schools.

Barry Comprehensive School
School barrycomplogo v Variation 1.jpg
Barry Comprehensive School exterior.jpg
Motto Opportunity to Succeed
Established 1966
Headteacher Mr. Gerard McNamara
Location Port Road West
Vale of Glamorgan
CF62 8ZJ
51°24′55″N 3°17′16″W / 51.41519°N 3.28780°W / 51.41519; -3.28780Coordinates: 51°24′55″N 3°17′16″W / 51.41519°N 3.28780°W / 51.41519; -3.28780
Local authority The Vale of Glamorgan
DfE URN 401799 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Boys
Girls (Sixth Form Only)
Joint co-educational 6th form with Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School
Ages 11–19
Colours Green and yellow
Website Barry Comprehensive School



The school was formed in 1900 by the merger of Romilly Secory Modern School, Barry Grammar School and Barry Middle School as the introduction of comprehensive schools for boys.[1]

In 1993, Barry Sixth Form, a joint sixth form with Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School was created.[1] In 1998, the school dropped the word 'Boys' from its name and thus adopted its current name.[1] Since 2000, the school has been consolidated on one site, following an extensive development and expansion on the original grounds.

Former Headteacher, David Swallow, received an OBE, in June 2003, from the Queen for his work in education.[2]

Barry Comprehensive suffered damage to kitchen and dining areas and some classrooms during a fire caused by an arson attack on 4 August 2006. The attack took place during the school holiday period and the school was able to re-open for pupils at the beginning of the next term. The attack was believed to be caused by students of the school.[3]

On 31 August 2018, Barry Comprehensive School will cease to exist. A new co-educational school called Whitmore High School will be formed in its place.[4]

Academic StandardsEdit

Vehicular entrance to Barry Comprehensive School

Estyn, Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, has given this school a Grade 1 overall assessment, the highest available. They described it as "a good school with a significant number of outstanding features that is going from strength to strength under the leadership of its head, David Swallow". Outstanding features of the school include the relationships between teachers and pupils and the quality of care, support and guidance students receive. Children make outstanding progress in their moral and social development in a school that is an orderly and respectful community. Standards of behaviour are very good.[5]

In spring 2006 Barry Comprehensive was named the most improved school in Wales for the third year running.[6][7][8][9]

Barry Comprehensive had the second most improved Key Stage Four results in Wales, 2002 and was also the most improved school in the South Wales region.[10]

The school was one of several chosen to pilot the Welsh Baccalaureate.[11]

The School have introduced an innovative numeracy mentoring scheme with staff from the local chemical plant Dow Corning working with Year 8 boys.[12] Barry Comprehensive has twinned with De Soysa Vidyalaya Moratuwa of Sri Lanka.[13]

In September 2012, Mr. Gerard McNamara took over as head teacher.[14]

As a filming locationEdit

The S4C television series Gwaith/Cartref uses Barry Comprehensive regularly as the location for its fictional school, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Taf. The Being Human spin-off series Becoming Human used Barry Comprehensive for various scenes, and most recently, Spanish director Isabel Coixet filmed various scenes on the school grounds for her latest feature that is due to be released in 2013. The film stars Sophie Turner (actress), Gregg Sulkin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ivana Baquero, all of which featuring in scenes filmed in the school.[15]


2004–05 was the inaugural year of a football development partnership between Barry Comprehensive School and Barry Town Football Club.[16]

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ a b c Vincent, Alan. "Comprehensive Education 1900—1998". Barry Comprehensive School. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  2. ^ Patrons, Jam-Fund
  3. ^ "School to reopen after arson attack", Western Mail, 16 August 2006
  4. ^ "Transforming Secondary Education in Barry". Vale of Glamorgan Council. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Top marks for school!", Barry and District News, 12 April 2007
  6. ^ "School is given a glowing report", Peter Collins, South Wales Echo, 12 April 2007
  7. ^ "Governors'Report 2006" Archived 17 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)", Vale of Glamorgan District Council, 27 June 2005
  9. ^ "Single-sex school is most improved", Barry and District News, 3 March 2005
  10. ^ "School has key to good results", Barry and District News, 6 March 2003
  11. ^ Donald MacLeod (17 April 2002). "Welsh schools to pilot baccalaureate". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Sharing Practice", The Basic Skills Agency
  13. ^ "HelpLanka School Twinning Project" Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Help Lanka
  14. ^ "New year, new faces. | Barry Comprehensive School". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Panda Eyes: Cast". Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Trophies presented", Barry and District News, 26 May 2005
  17. ^ Carter, Sarah (10 June 2016). "'Powerhouse' Ron Atkins celebrates 100th birthday". Lancashire Evening Post. Retrieved 13 June 2016.

External linksEdit