We are thrilled to announce our tenth Quality Mark Beacon School: Newport Girls High School
With Mrs Amanda Seys as the Lead Teacher, Newport Girls High School have truly embraced the Beacon School programme – relishing its investment in staff, welcoming FREE access to CPD and embracing of research informed practice. They recognised early the whole-school benefits of quality provision for and experience of Holocaust education and understood the academic and holistic outcomes that such a profound and rich learning experience could provide.
The passionate commitment and dynamism of History teacher Mrs Seys has led to a strong scheme of work being developed and increased cross-curricular opportunities. She has enjoyed the collegiality and support of colleagues within the History department and wider school – so it can be said Beacon School status truly resides with the school, as they have wholeheartedly embraced the programme and adopted Centre’s pedagogy. All this has been underpinned by the schools’ senior leadership, especially Miss Davies and Mr Scott, who have a clear and forward-looking vision, ensuring Holocaust education is a right for all learners, that girls have the enriching learning experience and outcomes they deserve. Together with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, Newport Girls High School has truly embarked on the ‘Beacon School journey’ to its fullest; it is an immense team effort and we are delighted to partner and re-designate the schools Beacon School status for a further three years.
Key strengths of the Newport Girls High School quality provision for and evolving specialism in Holocaust education include:
- The quality of teaching and learning, and the outcomes for learners, particularly within History, has benefitted from Beacon School status.
- Beacon School status plays a crucial part in securing excellent SMSC provision and this should be widely celebrated.
- Ambitious and reflective school and leadership.
- Senior leaders and teachers are committed to the principle that all learners have the right to access quality Holocaust education.
- The scheme of work/learning is both enhanced by a range of UCL Centre for Holocaust Education materials, and richly informed by its pedagogy and educational principles.
- The centrepiece of Newport’s strength in Holocaust education is built upon the foundation of its constant pursuit for quality teaching and learning.
- The lesson observed for the purposes of review bore key hallmarks of quality teaching, rather than just quality teaching about the Holocaust.
- A vocabulary of rights was an undercurrent, informing or framing several student contributions throughout the review process and they should consider Rights Respecting School status.
- Personal stories were a feature of the Holocaust scheme of work that the students found particularly compelling, especially the thread of Leon Greenman and family.
- Strong and supportive leadership from the Headteacher Mr Scott, through Miss Davies and Mrs Seys as Lead Teacher, has been critical to the success of the development of Holocaust education at Newport.
- The passion, commitment and expertise of Lead Teacher, Mrs Seys, is widely acknowledged as the impetus of the project.
- Newport girls are articulate, thoughtful citizens; keen to learn, respectful and are the school’s best advocates.
- Newport’s Beacon School work undoubtedly contributes to developing learners’ emotional literacy.
- It is clear the Beacon School project has been instrumental to staff and school engagement with academic and educational research.
- The literacy level of Newport girls is hugely impressive – they are articulate and thoughtful in their spoken word, creative, emotive and reflective in their written Holocaust responses.
Our Quality Mark review process confirms that Newport Girls High School’s Holocaust education is a powerful contributor to both a curriculum that informs, engages, empowers and inspires its learners and driver for school improvement. Given so much excellence, it is fitting Newport Girls High School 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 quality of Holocaust education at Newport Girls High School is excellent and forward looking. The girls are fortunate to have such passionate and engaged teachers whose concern for age-appropriate, research informed, innovative teaching and learning about the Holocaust, results in rich and varied academic and personal development outcomes. Student voice offered informed, empathetic and reflective insights as to provision and practice at the school – their articulate and perceptive remarks revealed the impact of Mrs Seys, Miss Davies and Mr Scott’s efforts. Newport girls have experienced a quality provision for and experience of Holocaust education that is unlike many of their national peers and the school community should be hugely proud of all that has been achieved to date in collaboration with the UCL Centre.’
Here is another example of the Centre’s successful and impactful partnering with schools working in partnership. Newport Girls High School epitomises the ethos, aims and ambition of the Centre’s Beacon School programme: all involved in the school’s Quality Mark process, including mentor Darius Jackson and Programme Director Paul Salmons are proud of the achievement, but with the school open to development and refining of practice we all look forward to seeing what the future of Holocaust education – and indeed impressive genocide awareness – at Newport may look like.
Read the Newport Girls High School full report: