The school has excellent facilities for supporting high quality teaching and pupil involvement. Our classrooms have been upgraded to offer interactive technology which allows pupils access to a wealth of 21st century resources. Our classrooms have interactive whiteboards (IWB) which all connect to a computer and projector. The projector shows the computer’s screen on the board’s surface where users can control the computer using their finger, pen or stylus, enabling teachers to share information in an effective, clear and interactive manner.

In addition to classrooms, we have seven science laboratories, a sports hall, gym and astro turf pitch, a purpose-built drama hall, Computing suites and a Learning Resource Centre. 


We have interactive whitebaords in classrooms, each faculty has their own computing suite with additional computers in the Learning Centre and cabinets of laptops. 

We issue our students with guidelines regarding computer usage. Posters are displayed in Computing areas that state:

  • You are the responsible user
  • Keep your password safe and secure
  • Always lock the computer when leaving the workstation
  • The Internet is for educational use only
  • Report anything suspicious or of concern immediately to your teacher or the group leader
  • Mobile phones / digital media devices are banned from school
  • Taking photographs with any digital media device is forbidden

Excellent Provision for Science

We have excellent provision for Science with modern laboratories and equipment.

Learning Resource Centre

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is situated on the first floor of the school. It is spacious and well-lit so is perfect for research, study or quiet reading. It is a whole-school resource that aims to support both pupils and staff and is used for lessons, mentoring sessions, reading groups, workshops, events and meetings.

 Our aim is to:

  • Provide resources for lessons, research, homework and study
  • Encourage and develop the reading habit and help raise literacy levels

The LRC maintains close links with all faculties so that we can provide books for loan and research that are relevant to the topics taught in school. We work closely with the English Faculty to produce reading lists for all year groups and to promote reading for pleasure by holding a reading week during the Spring Term.

 Pupils use the LRC to:

  • Borrow books
  • Use computers
  • Find information
  • Do their homework
  • Research a topic
  • Read a book
  • Buy stationery
  • Access careers information
  • Read a daily newspaper
  • Join a reading group
  • Play chess

We have 16 computers that can be used by pupils before, during and after school.  All the computers have Internet access and printing facilities.

Accelerated Reader Programme

The English Faculty launched the Accelerated Reader Programme which involves all Year 7 and a group of Year 9 students have a reading lesson in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) every week. They are encouraged to read books of their choice and then take an online quiz to check they have understood what they have read.

The Accelerated Reader computer programme keeps track of the students’ reading habits, including the titles of the books, readability levels and their quiz scores. The software gives immediate feedback on each quiz to the children, teachers and librarians. This feedback helps the teachers guide students to books that provide the right level of challenge and motivates the children to continue reading.

There are quizzes on most of the books children are likely to want to read, from the most popular books, including the Harry Potter series, to classics such as Pride and Prejudice. The quiz results are displayed on a special star chart in the LRC.

School History

Dedicated to St Ambrose Barlow, a local Martyr and Saint, the school was established in 1985 as a result of an amalgamation of the Hollies RC High School for Girls and St Marks RC High School for Boys.

In April 2010, The Barlow began a programme of building work at an estimated investment of £11.2 million. The renovation work was part of the Building Schools for the Future programme; the Government’s investment in rebuilding and refurbishing secondary schools in England.

The first phase of the building work was completed over the summer holidays of 2011 and in September 2011, our brand new, high-specification science block opened its doors for the first time. At the heart of the school’s science specialism, the new building houses three specialist labs, two multi-use labs, two science studios, an ICT learning area and two prep rooms.

These facilities came in addition to a new drama and dance studio, sports hall, ICT suites, astro turf pitch and reception area. The renovation concluded in August 2012 with remodelled English, Maths, Design & Technology and Art departments; offering an environment that is both purposeful and inspiring.