Beacon Academy

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About Beacon Academy

Name Beacon Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Keith Slattery
Address North Beeches Road, Crowborough, TN6 2AS
Phone Number 01892603000
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1592
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils succeed in living up to this school's high ambitions for them.

They become motivated, articulate, resilient and knowledgeable, as the school intends. Disadvantaged pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are no exception to this. Last year's GCSE examination outcomes reflect the strength of pupils' exceptional achievement.

Pupils enjoy varied and enriching opportunities. For example, as well as the extensive clubs programme, pupils who want to follow particular interests are supported to form their own groups.

Students in the sixth form enjoy the independence of their own campus.

They serve as leaders... and role models within the school. For example, sixth-form students mentor pupils in key stage 4 to help them through their examinations. Strong achievement across a range of courses enables Year 13 leavers to go on to an array of exciting destinations.

Pupils are polite and respectful towards each other and with staff. Their behaviour contributes to the culture of learning in classes. Pupils know that the student support team are there to support them if they need.

The 'Beyond Beacon' programme helps pupils to value and celebrate difference. As a result, the school is a welcoming environment for new arrivals, including those joining from overseas.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils' success is rooted in the curriculum, which challenges them to excel.

Teachers sequence learning carefully, so that each step is achievable for pupils. They model and demonstrate key words, so pupils develop their subject vocabulary extensively. Revisiting important concepts over time helps pupils to develop a deep understanding.

In geography, for instance, pupils analyse and create maps of increasing sophistication over the course of key stage 3. Teachers select tasks and pose questions that prompt pupils to think in detail. By the time they reach the sixth form, this enables students to debate and evaluate complex ideas.

For example, in languages, students discuss the features and merits of different architectural styles. Sixth form published outcomes represent high standards of achievement across the fully inclusive student cohort.

The school's use of assessment gives real clarity about what pupils know and can do.

This helps teachers to select what to emphasise in subsequent lessons. As a result, gaps in pupils' learning are closed systematically. Teachers understand how to help pupils with SEND to achieve their best.

This enables staff to adapt explanations or questions in class, and to provide additional targeted input when needed. The school provides highly effective support for weaker readers. This includes pupils who speak English as an additional language.

These pupils benefit from specialist teaching that builds their fluency and confidence. This ensures that literacy is not a barrier to their learning.

Attendance is at the forefront of the school's priorities.

As with schools nationally, pupil absence remains higher than before the pandemic. Leaders here have a firm grasp of this issue. They understand the semi-rural context of their pupils and families.

The school is taking a strategic approach to new ways of supporting attendance. They also make thoughtful use of alternative provision both within the school, and externally where appropriate. These approaches are proving to be effective in reducing absence.

In lessons, pupils are highly engaged. They are proud of their achievements, and resilient in the face of challenges.

The school makes sure that pupils of all ages learn about mental health and similar important issues.

The 'religion and world views' curriculum enables pupils to explore a breadth of perspectives and philosophies. Careers guidance is detailed and informative. Sixth-form students welcome the chance to learn about personal finance, in readiness for the next stage in life.

Pupils of all ages develop confidence and interpersonal skills through leadership opportunities. They are proud to take on roles as sports leaders, librarians or student ambassadors.

Leaders make every effort to make sure that staff workload is manageable.

The school's feedback policy, for example, ensures that pupils receive helpful guidance without being burdensome for teachers. Staff benefit from extensive professional learning. This enables the school to develop 'expert teachers' in each subject.

Consequently, all pupils benefit from the school's consistent and rigorous approach to teaching.

The school plays a central role within the local community. Leaders are determined that every pupil can succeed here, regardless of what challenges they face.

Governors and trustees share this commitment, and help to shape the school's strategy accordingly. As a result, pupils' best interests are at the heart of every decision at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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