As a consequence of our first Quality Mark visit in July 2016, we can, with confidence recognise in Bishop Challoner a ‘true Beacon School’. Bishop Challoner epitomises the ethos, ambition, pedagogy and practice of the Beacon School programme.
- Ms Easmon-Johnson and SLT colleagues have led by example, supported and facilitated Ms Carrier in raising the status of Holocaust education, ensuring it is a priority curriculum area and successfully embedding it within the school’s ethos.
- With Centre support, Ms Carrier and colleagues have developed a powerful scheme of work that clearly links aims, outstanding educational resources and advanced pedagogical approaches to clearer, more meaningful understandings about pupil progress and robust forms of assessment.
- The Bishop Challoner Quality Mark review clearly demonstrates an understanding, by all stakeholders, of the value of teaching and learning about the Holocaust as part of a board and balanced curriculum and to broader educational values such as SMSC; Global Learning; active, democratic citizenship; and pupils’ development of independent and critical thinking.
- The focus on teaching and learning about the Holocaust clearly provides a lens through which generic teaching and learning improves. SLT, teachers and students were clearly able to articulate and demonstrate this.
- There is a real sense of partnership between the lead teacher, the school as a whole and the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education; as a Beacon School, Bishop Challoner serves as a dynamic hub within school networks, models how teaching and learning about the Holocaust can make a major contribution to young peoples’ education and recognises need and opportunities for ongoing CPD.
“We had found the beacon school year so valuable in so many ways – both in terms of Holocaust pedagogy, but also in stimulating excellent teaching and learning more generally, as well as forging connections with UCL and the Centre – that we were delighted and eager to seize the opportunity to extend our beacon school status through the Quality Mark. We also very much felt as though the beacon school year was the just beginning of the enthusiasm and passion surrounding Holocaust education that we wanted to extend and continue going forward; the Quality Mark recognition was a way of maintaining that feeling, and ensuring that the Centre’s support for innovative practice we wanted to pioneer could be continued.”
The detailed report that followed the visit reflects the Centre’s pride in working with Bishop Challoner’s ‘…so reflective and inspirational teachers, determined to always improve their practice and so supportive a leadership team, with a clear mission and sense of the wider and valuable contribution Holocaust education can make to their students school experience’. Over the past year Ms Carrier has fully embraced the Beacon School programme, her Beacon School cohort and own school colleagues have significantly benefitted from her passion, outstanding contribution and participation – and, with such a supportive, innovative and forward looking senior leadership team, Bishop Challoner’s learners can be assured of a quality Holocaust Education experience.
The review report found:
- Beacon School status provided the catalyst for powerful teaching and learning, the space and opportunities for pedagogic and assessment conversations among staff that can only be beneficial to the future development of assessment and achievement at Bishop Challoner.
- Students’ Holocaust assessments (identifying and addressing prevailing myths and misconceptions) were at least 1 sub level up on their other Yr9 History assessments, and in many cases significantly so.
- 7/10 of Year 9 student voice panel spoke of the teaching methods or style of lessons was ‘different from their other history lessons’. Students commented that it wasn’t textbook focused or ‘…not just another handout’, rather there was lots of discussion, questioning and individual stories. Students reported they were made think more and that they had enjoyed and engaged in the complexity; they had grappled and ‘not found it easy’, but recognised they had ‘learned a lot’ and ‘thought about things differently’. Students consistently spoke of this topic being ‘real’ and that the individual stories and images had made them realise the reality of the Holocaust and its impact. They talked of this being different from what they were used to and felt this approach to the Holocaust was ‘better’.
- Student engagement and outcomes for all were significantly increased.
- Ms Carrier and middle leaders confirmed UCL Centre for Holocaust education training support and the Beacon School status had ‘provided food for thought for staff and led to a conscious reflection and series of pedagogy conversations’. The importance of these ‘conversations’, cited repeatedly during the review, indicated Beacon School status was a powerful stimulus for school improvement discussion and change.
- Beacon School programme and its CPD opportunities had ‘shone a light on SMSC’ and served to ‘reinforce with colleagues that all teachers have SMSC obligations’, in line with teacher standards – and that this was a rich and innovative, meaningful opportunity.
- Bishop Challoner is led by truly inspirational and outstanding senior leaders and middle leaders, with a have a clear vision and dynamic drive to move the school forward from its current position and Ofsted status, but to also build upon its Beacon School status and extend provision and opportunity.
So much has been achieved in just one year!
“Whilst I was nervous to have my school and work ‘on show’, Nic’s visit to Bishop Challoner for the Quality Mark was both rigorous and reassuring. In looking at lots of different parts of our school for a whole day (by talking to a wide number of staff and students, as well as working with me), Nic was able to give a really comprehensive picture of what we had achieved as a beacon school, and this helped us hugely to work out next steps to further our work. She was able to pose questions that really helped us consider how to widen the reach and accessibility of our work. The whole day was a genuine opportunity for meaningful and comprehensive professional development, the likes of which are so rare. We were delighted with the final report – so thorough, and so many suggestions of how to further the work – and it is soon to have pride of place on our school website. It is a Quality Mark we are extremely proud of, and have found to be extremely exciting.” Jaya Carrier
Hear more from lead teacher Jaya Carrier: Blog post – Beacon School Quality Mark
Download the impressive the full report: Bishop Challoner Beacon School Quality Mark Report