East Sussex, United Kingdom
About Beacon Academy
Thank you for your interest in Beacon Academy.
We are a split-site, rural, mixed 11-18 non-selective converter academy with approximately 1,380 students, including over 240 students in our Sixth Form.
We are situated centrally in Crowborough on the outskirts of the Ashdown Forest, an area of outstanding natural beauty. We are close to Tunbridge Wells and the South Coast. The vast majority of our staff travel to Beacon from a variety of destinations within the South East, including Brighton, Eastbourne, Lewes and Tunbridge Wells.
We draw students from over 10 primary schools in Crowborough and the surrounding areas, while also attracting an increasing number of students from outside this traditional catchment area, from Kent and from the independent sector. This wide catchment area generates our truly non-selective intake, both in terms of ability and socio-economic background.
Our Sixth Form provision is accommodated entirely at our Green Lane site, an 800m, five-minute walk from our main Beeches site which accommodates years 7-11. We are immensely proud that we retain a high proportion of our Sixth Form students from Beacon Academy as well as recruiting students from other local and international schools.
Vision, culture, expectations and outcomes
Our vision is to provide the best possible education for all of our students and to be ambitious for excellence in all we do. Whether a member of staff, trustee (governor) or student, we all work relentlessly to inspire and believe in one another to achieve our ambitions and succeed in life.
At Beacon Academy, there is an expectation that as staff and students, we will work hard, be ambitious, self-motivated, inquisitive, resilient and determined to succeed. Our students work incredibly hard, are polite, respectful, well behaved, well presented and ready to learn. They are expected to be caring, considerate and tolerant in lessons, social time and whilst travelling to and from school. These areas are reinforced and adopted positively by staff and students alike – there is a tangible sense of pride in being part of Beacon. Our students are meticulously supported by our experienced, loyal, highly skilled and highly effective team of staff. This includes a dedicated, non-teaching Student Support Team consisting of a Head of Year (teaching staff) and an Assistant Head of Year (non-teaching staff) for each year group who support them throughout their time at Beacon Academy.
The rigorous focus on all of our students as unique individuals is paramount. There is an unprecedented determination and commitment from everyone who works at Beacon that they will succeed. We work diligently on our unapologetically high expectations, allowing us to foster exceptional relationships in an environment that is consistently calm, safe, happy and orderly. I have no doubt that the combination of this with our broad, balanced curriculum and outstanding teaching contributes significantly to our sustained improvements across the board. Our latest A Level and GCSE results are testament to this and to the teamwork of our phenomenal students and staff.
We are immensely proud and delighted to be celebrating the best ever A Level and GCSE results in our sixty-year history, and we find ourselves once again significantly above county and national averages. These results place Beacon Academy as the top-performing school in East Sussex and one of the top-performing schools nationally.
As confirmed by the Department for Education’s national league tables, in 2019, Beacon Academy was the number one school in East Sussex for the third year running under the Government’s headline Progress 8 measure. We are also the first placed school in Sussex overall for this measure for the third year running and we are in the top 1.6% of all schools nationwide.
We are particularly proud of the aforementioned accolades as the Government’s main performance measure, Progress 8, ultimately reflects the value that schools add to their students in respect of their final GCSE grades, compared to that of their peers of similar prior ability across the country.
In 2019, our Progress 8 score was 0.97. As a non-selective, non-denominational, non-fee-paying school, we are immensely proud and delighted to have received this confirmation, once again, of our high-ranking position. We are in an esteemed group of 6% of schools nationally who are now categorised as ‘well above average’ for two years in a row.
There are approximately 25 schools nationally who have been above us for each of the last three years (0.7% of all schools). As ever, this is a reflection of our vision and our determination to consistently provide the best possible education for all of our students, and to become an exceptional school for our community, both locally and nationally.
We are incredibly proud of our Sixth Form students. Amidst significant national changes to the structure and content of A Levels, they have achieved some excellent results and 94% of those who applied to university were accepted at their first choice institution.
Our results for 2019 show an increase in all A Level and GCSE attainment measures, you can find more information on this on our website which is hyperlinked below.
National Teaching School and National Support School
Beacon Academy was one of approximately 65 schools nationwide that was selected in 2017 to become a National Teaching School and National Support School. It is a role we relish as we take a lead with other schools locally with school-to-school support, recruitment and retention and continuing professional development. I was also appointed as a National Leader of Education at that time. More recently in December 2019, as part of the Beacon Partnership, we were designated as one of 11 delivery hubs nationally for the Chartered College teacher development programme, CTeach.
At Beacon Academy, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is expected to be highly effective, enabling all of our students to make excellent progress. Our performance management systems and associated continuing professional development (CPD) are tailored to support excellence and advancement in teaching, focusing entirely on what the very best teaching looks like in each subject across each key stage.
We have a highly acclaimed NQT and ITT programme, recognised as outstanding. Furthermore, we have developed a programme to continue to support teachers in their second and third year with our Recently Qualified Teacher (RQT) programme.
Beacon Academy is on an exciting journey towards becoming an exceptional school. We are judged to be a good school with outstanding leadership. Ofsted and our results confirm this. Trustees, staff, parents and students know this. We have a rigorous, relentless and uncompromising focus on ensuring that all students leave Beacon with the best set of qualifications possible, equipping them for our rapidly changing, highly competitive but exciting world.
For further information about our school please visit our website www.beacon-academy.org