Impact on schools

The Centre’s Beacon School Programme, a nationally recognised and government-supported award, is significant in improving teaching standards, raising pupil achievement, and strengthening spiritual, moral, social and cultural provision.

To date, 138 schools across England have become Beacon Schools, partnering with a network of 800 local schools to improve Holocaust Education, and positively impacting on around 800,000 students each year. In previous years, the Beacon School Programme has supported the Lead Teacher to develop a Scheme of Work specifically targeted to the needs of their pupils. To enrich teachers’ knowledge and understanding, the programme has included the opportunity for the Lead Teacher to attend an expenses-paid residential programme in central London and an expenses-paid study visit to Poland.

The UCL Beacon School Quality Mark was launched in July 2016, recognising commitment to ongoing quality provision for and innovation in teaching and learning about the Holocaust. The quality mark enables us to champion best practice and continue the Centre’s and schools’ developmental partnerships beyond the Beacon School programme year.

Beacon School Lead Teachers have told us:

“The Programme has challenged me to really think about my practice in teaching – not just the Holocaust, but everything.”

“I’ve been to Poland a number of times, mostly to Krakow, and I’ve done a similar visit to Poland in that I have looked at the sites around Warsaw just for one day.  But even so, it’s the pedagogy behind it that made this visit so far superior to anything else I’ve done.
Seeing the sites is one thing, but the actual opportunity to stand and to think and to reflect, to question and discuss and to hear the views of not just the other participants but also people who are truly expert in this field, that made it an experience second to none, absolutely second to none.
And although my involvement, in Holocaust education has been a very long and varied one I’ve truly come away from this whole experience, not just the visit but especially the visit, with really sort of renewed enthusiasm, lots of new thoughts, lots of new ideas, things I want to trial, things that I want to go back and see again and consider again, and that kind of thing, so it was absolutely fantastic.”

“It is fair to say that I found the CPD programme transformative. Prior to the CPD I had delivered lessons and schemes of work on the Holocaust unquestioningly without really thinking about the images used, presentation of victims etc. The CPD really demonstrated the need to think about these things and also built my confidence in challenging aspects of work that did not present the Holocaust thoughtfully or sensitively. It also demonstrated the importance of developing very strong knowledge of this History.”

“The Beacon School Programme has improved my teaching, made me more reflective and is the best CPD I have ever received (after 15 years of teaching). The programme focuses on the whole package: subject knowledge and pedagogy – I don’t think I have ever been on a CPD programme that does both at the same time. I look forward to continuing to share your work and working with you all in the future.”

“Brilliant experience, wonderful educators and the best CPD I have ever received (and imagine I ever will). So sad to be ending the Beacon School journey but excited to move forward and engage with the links/circles made.”

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To date, 138 schools across England have become Beacon Schools

“I thought I'd get some resources out of [the Beacon School Programme] and be able to understand the subject better. The reality was that it transformed the way I appreciate, understand and teach the Holocaust.”