Plantsbrook School, (formerly Riland Bedford High School), is a secondary school with academy status located in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England. The school has continued to consistently receive an "Outstanding" status with every Ofsted inspection. The school was a Technology College and a Music College before the Specialist Schools initiative was made defunct.
The school is currently undergoing a £20 million refurbishment with the gradual demolition of the current existing 1940's building.
Built on the land where Holland House in Upper Holland Road once stood, the original Riland Bedford building was constructed in 1939 with later building work being undertaken by American soldiers who were using the school as a base during World War II at the temporary named Holland Road Barracks. After the war, building works on the school were completed and Riland Bedford School was opened in 1946.
When the school first opened, male and female students were kept on different sides of the building. One half was named Riland Bedford High School for Boys and the other, Riland Bedford High School for Girls. The original building's symmetry provided exactly the same facilities and space for both schools.
The school's first incarnation, was so called as a result of the union of the prominent Riland and Bedford families of Sutton Coldfield. The school officially changed its name in 1986, choosing to rename itself Plantsbrook School, from Plants Brook which is a stream that flows through Sutton Coldfield and passes the school.
The school officially adopted academy status on 1 August 2011. Thereby ceasing to be a state comprehensive.
The school begins holding open days in the September, the year before students would be starting to attend. The new intake of students begins in early September, with the academic year finishing July of the following year.
The school goes from years 7-11, with the opportunity of joining the school's own sixth form college. Each year is broken down into P,L,A,N,T,S,B,R, with the entire year group split in half into with P,L,A,N or T,S,B,R resulting in different subject scheduling for each half. Students remain in their form groups for the entire 5 years, with only the year changing e.g. 7S will later become 8S and so on. Whole years are under the leadership of an Achievement Co-ordinater and an Assistant Achievement Co-ordinater who deal with both support and discipline within their year, they too remain with the year's intake for the 5 years, often forming close professional bonds. Weekly assemblies and other year events/inter-form competitions involve all 8 form groups.
Subject classes are broken up mainly into ability based subjects such as English, Maths and Science. All other school subjects are taken as a form group, until GCSE's in Year 10-11 when individual subject options are chosen and the eight year groups are then mixed up to find matching timetable patterns.
The school regularly achieves a 100% pass rate at A Level. The school continues to increase the pass rate and each year the results are the highest it has ever achieved. Point scores also increase on the previous year's figures.
The school hosts a yearly school musical which is the high point of the year for most students and involves the entire Creative Arts faculty.
The school was also one of the first to possess its own student-run radio station, named PB Radio which broadcasts internally and on the internet from its studio on the site. This station is currently inactive due to the school rebuild.
The school and the surrounding grounds are being completely rebuilt as part of the Priority Schools Building Programme. The school was one of only a few select schools to win the highly sought after government grant to completely rebuild the school and its grounds. It was awarded £20 million with the first phase of building work commencing in Summer 2015. At present, the entire former West wing of the school has been demolished, with the area now being used to construct the new main building of the school. The new school building is due to be completed and opened after Easter 2017. With the grounds and Sports Hall being completed by February 2018.
On Saturday 11 July 2015, the school held an open day where students and teachers past and present of Riland Bedford and Plantsbrook had the opportunity to have one last look at the existing building before the demolition began in the summer. Classrooms were opened and activities were organised allowing visitors to tour the building they once worked in.