The UCL Beacon School residential programme, for our 2018-19 cohort of schools across England, took place this week in Central London. It was an intense, but wonderful 5 days and we’re proud and excited to be working with this inspiring group of schools over the coming year.
Professor Stuart Foster, Executive Director of the Centre for Holocaust Education said:
“It has been a privilege to engage with an exceptional group of inspirational teachers who have devoted 5 days of their precious time to attend our research-informed Beacon School Residential in London. These highly committed teachers are working with Centre staff to address the challenges and issues in effectively teaching about the Holocaust. The quality of debate and discussion has been excellent, and everyone is thoughtfully considering the practical classroom implications of UCL research. Rest assured, our students’ education is safe in the hands of these outstanding educators!”
On Friday 19th October, the 16 schools’ lead teachers and their accompanying SLT representatives met with UCL Centre colleagues at the Imperial War Museum for an Orientation event, which included a visit to their permanent Holocaust exhibition, a workshop and introduction to the programme. We were delighted to welcome a Beacon School alumni Laura Walton from Stratton Upper School who shared her story, outlined the impact of the programme on her practice and on the whole school. She went onto explain the Centre’s Quality Mark process – and we were delighted to be joined by a representative of the Department for Education and from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
After their SLT’s departure on Friday evening, Lead Teachers remained in London, working intensively with Centre colleagues over four days of workshops, exploring key research informed pedagogy, listening and engaging with guest contributors – Prof Nikolaus Wachsmann and Luke Holland – sharing best practice, and learning from the experiences of alumni Julie Haunstetter (Ursuline High School) and Tony Cole (CSS South, Essex).
Teachers have received a range of support from their constituency MPs, recognising the importance of Holocaust education, the commitment and dedication of teachers giving up their half term break for this important cause; including a visit from Alex Sobel MP learning about the Centre’s work, meeting Lead Teacher Beth Buxton Collins from Prince Henry’s Grammar School:
Centre partners, Sir Trevor Pears and Bridget McGing of Pears Foundation, also lent lead teachers their support as they embarked on this programme – sitting in on a CPD session on British Responses to the Holocaust, as well as a workshop exploring textbooks and classroom materials – whilst also taking time to meet with teachers, listen and learn more about the challenges and opportunities faced in their wide-ranging school contexts.
Reflections from the lead teachers who took part included …
“Absolutely emotionally fried but incredibly energised by the UCL residential. I feel like a bright-eyed NQT all over again!”
“Feeling inspired after a thought-provoking and challenging residential with the UCL Beacon Schools18 team. I feel very proud to be part of this programme and excited about the next steps.”
The 2018-19 UCL Beacon School cohort are:
- Al Risalah School, Wandsworth.
- Aspire Academy, Blackpool.
- Carterton Community College, Oxfordshire.
- Grey Court School, Richmond-Upon-Thames.
- Harrogate Grammar School, North Yorkshire.
- Hendon School, Barnet
- Jewellery Quarter Academy, Birmingham.
- Kirkby High School, Knowsley.
- Nishkam High School, Birmingham.
- Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Leeds.
- Rockwood Academy, Birmingham.
- St Mary’s Catholic High School, Croydon.
- St Robert of Newminster, Sunderland.
- St Clare’s Special Needs Secondary School, Derby.
- Studley High School, Warwickshire.
- Trinity Academy Halifax.
Every year, the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education look to recruit up to 20 secondary schools in England committed to enhancing teaching and learning about the Holocaust. UCL Beacon Schools in Holocaust Education will become dynamic hubs serving a network of local schools and will partner with the Centre to improve teaching standards, raise pupil achievement, and strengthen SMSC provision.
A Lead Teacher (who has completed our full day CPD programme) from each Beacon School will have the opportunity to attend an expenses-paid residential programme in central London and an expenses-paid study visit to Warsaw. They will develop a Scheme of Work specifically targeted to the needs of their pupils; the SMT will work with the lead teacher to make Holocaust education a priority and advocate to other schools for better Holocaust education.’
Find out more about becoming a UCL Beacon School here: https://www.holocausteducation.org.uk/teacher-resources/beacon-schools/ucl-beacon-school/