Congratulations to Tapton School on becoming the Centre’s eighth Quality Mark Beacon School.
Tapton School truly embarked upon the ‘Beacon School journey’, together with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, with passion and commitment to develop their provision for and quality experience of Holocaust education is impressive. What has been achieved since embarking on the programme, is an immense team effort and we are delighted to partner with Tapton and proud to re-designate the schools Beacon School status for a further three years.
Key strengths of the Tapton School’s programme of Holocaust education include:
- Tapton School places great store on its Beacon School status. The status of this work is testament to the skill, dedication, and passion of Tapton’s Lead Teacher, Mr Fuller, and has been made possible thanks to the unstinting support of Senior Leaders within the school; particularly Co-Head Teacher Kat Rhodes. Both of these components – inspired leadership from a hard-working Lead Teacher, and advocacy from a co-Head teacher who understands the significance of Holocaust education – have been fundamental to the school’s success.
- In Mr Fuller, Tapton School has a gifted and committed Holocaust educator and innovative classroom practitioner. He has been backed and supported by an experienced History department who have moved Holocaust education at Tapton forward in a spirit of collegiality.
- Despite its successes in Holocaust education, Tapton School is not complacent. Rather, it is school that knows itself well. Senior and middle leaders are rightly proud of successes and strengths to date, whilst able to identify potential weaknesses or areas for innovation and development. They are reflexive enough to respond to ongoing evaluation, analysis, and emerging challenges and also increasingly outward looking, open to opportunity and innovation.
- Pedagogical practice in Holocaust and genocide education at Tapton School is underpinned by research-informed CPD as is the scheme of work that the History department have developed and implemented for Year 9 students.
- Excellence in Holocaust pedagogy at Tapton School carries with it wider positive ramifications for teachers’ practice within the History Department and across the school. Use of UCL pedagogy has already had teaching and learning implications beyond the Holocaust and could well have across the school.
- Tapton School has found the Beacon School initiative to be important in and of itself, yet staff recognise opportunities to serve other whole school, educational policy agendas. These include SMSC, Global Learning, FBV, citizenship, healthy schools and Prevent. Together this work serves to enhance and enrich the students’ personalised curriculum, sense of self, personal development, well-being and safety.
- The Beacon School programme has in some way fused the History to the SMSC and the SMSC has informed or supported the History.
- The Beacon School programme has supported Tapton School’s commitment to challenge learners. Questioning is a strength of the practice evidenced during the review as is the powerful use of academic language and key terms. The UCL principles of developing critical and independent thinkers are embedded within the History department and this could well have significant wider teaching leaning benefits in terms of continued school improvement.
- Students are genuinely interested in and enthused by teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Students enjoy studying the Holocaust, and want to know more. This can only be the result of good teaching practice, which – of course – is itself dependent upon curriculum design, adequate training, and strong leadership, to name but a few prerequisites.
- Holocaust education at Tapton School is understood as a right for all. Its inclusion and integration for access to quality provision and the richest Holocaust education learning experience of the visually impaired alongside their sighted peers is outstanding. The collaboration of teacher and specialist support staff to ensure this rich and immersive opportunity is exemplary best practice. Such innovation and professionalism demonstrates just what can be possible for all learners accessing this most troubling, emotive and complex history.
- An inspirational and truly lived ethos is the foundation of Tapton School and its students’ academic success and personal development is premised upon values, caring and excellence. This is a learning environment where students thrive and flourish as whole people and Beacon School status and the work to develop Holocaust education contributes to that in meaningful and distinct ways.
- Mr Fuller and Tapton School have been committed and active participants in the programme and valued partners with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education; whether by involvement in ongoing research and impact evaluations, attending events, championing the Beacon School programme and hosting CPD – it’s a longstanding relationship that has benefitted Mr Fuller, Tapton School, its students and staff and the UCL Centre’s team.
Given so much excellence, it is fitting that Tapton School is recognised for its innovation in, provision for and commitment to quality Holocaust education with this prestigious award.
The Centre’s Nicola Wetherall MBE remarked:
“Tapton School richly deserves its Beacon School status. It is a hub of excellence, with a gifted and inspirational Lead Teacher, Mr Fuller, ably supported by departmental colleagues and championed by co-Headteacher Ms Rhodes. Tapton School has achieved much to date, and can share best practice, materials and pedagogy with others in its network and regionally, but most impressive are its values, its caring and aspirations. This fusion has truly enabled quality teaching and learning about the Holocaust to take place. Tapton School is a true Beacon for its pride in and ability to showcase to others its innovation, inclusion and engagement, but also for its open, reflective practitioners and leaders always considering how to improve and move forward. Consequently, Tapton students are assured a quality academic and enriching learning experience. The informed, articulate, thoughtful and empathetic global citizens who contributed to the student voice panel were remarkable ambassadors of a school that has so much to be proud of and with such determination and vision to push on to even greater success. It was a pleasure to visit and to see such work in action.”
Here is another fabulous example of UCL and schools working in partnership. Tapton School 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. We look forward to hearing more about how Holocaust education develops at Tapton and how colleagues hone and refine best practice in light of the report and innovate in the months ahead.Read the full reports: