Congratulations to The Hermitage Academy on becoming the Centre’s sixth Quality Mark Beacon School.
In Miss Caroline West, the Hermitage Academy have a committed Holocaust educator, an experienced and innovative, gifted teacher and aspiring senior leader, determined to develop Beacon School status and provision. She enjoys the collegiality and support of colleagues within the History department – particularly of Ms Crouch and Mr Archer – and across the school; all have embraced the Beacon School programme and adopted the scheme of work or the Centre’s pedagogy.
All this has been underpinned by the Academy’s senior leaders who have a clear vision to move the school forward, ensuring Holocaust education is a right for all its learners, that students have the enriching learning experience and outcomes they deserve. Together with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, the Hermitage has truly embarked on the ‘Beacon School journey’ to its fullest – it is an immense team effort and we are delighted to partner with you and re-designate the schools Beacon School status for a further three years.
Key strengths of the Hermitage’s hugely ambitious programme of Holocaust education include:
- The regard with which UCL Beacon School status is held is testament to the inspired leadership of a hard-working Lead Teacher and SLT who understand the significance of Holocaust education – these components, working and communicating effectively, have been fundamental to the Academy’s Beacon School success.
- Despite its successes in Holocaust education, The Hermitage Academy is not complacent. Senior and middle leaders are proud of successes and strengths to date, whilst able to identify potential weaknesses or areas for innovation and development and are increasingly outward looking, open to opportunity and innovation.
- The quality of teaching and learning about the Holocaust and range of provision and opportunity to engage with this complex past is excellent. The Holocaust is a central and distinctive feature of History and school’s wider curriculum offer.
- The ambition of the scheme of work and wider provision plan for Holocaust education at the Hermitage is to be admired.
- Excellence in Holocaust pedagogy at The Hermitage carries with it wider positive ramifications for teachers’ practice within the History Department and beyond. Questioning and use of independent and critical thinking strategies are especially strong and sophisticated and could be shared across the school.
- Hermitage students are magnificent ambassadors for the Academy and are articulate and insightful advocates of quality Holocaust education provision and its impact. They are genuinely interested in and enthused by teaching and learning about the Holocaust. They enjoy studying it, and want to know more.
- The Beacon School initiative has proven important in and of itself, but also for its contribution to whole school priorities like SMSC, Global Learning, FBV, citizenship, healthy schools and Prevent.
- Pedagogical practice in Holocaust and genocide education at the Hermitage Academy is underpinned by research-informed practice and access to quality CPD via UCL.
Given so much excellence, it is fitting the Hermitage Academy be recognised for its innovation in, provision for and commitment to quality Holocaust education with this prestigious award.
The Centre’s Nicola Wetherall MBE remarked:
‘The importance of Beacon School status and the ongoing developmental partnership between school and the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education is clearly understood by all Hermitage Academy staff. The position of the Beacon School initiative within the Hermitage is testament to the skill, dedication, and passion of the Lead Teacher, Miss West, and has been made possible thanks to the unstinting support of Senior Leaders within the school; particularly Ms Hilary Rose and Principal Smith. Both components – inspired leadership from a hard-working Lead Teacher, and advocacy from SLT who understands the significance of Holocaust education – have been fundamental to the Academy’s success. Ms Smith and Ms Rose recognise the wider contribution Holocaust education makes in terms of SMSC, whole school priorities and school improvement.’
Here is another fabulous example of UCL and schools working in partnership. The Hermitage Academy epitomises the ethos, aims and ambition of the Centre’s Beacon School programme: all involved in the school’s Quality Mark process are proud of this achievement, but open to development and refining of practice.
Read the full report: Hermitage QM Report