Beacon of Light School

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About Beacon of Light School

Name Beacon of Light School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Denise Taylor
Address Vaux Brewery Way, Stadium Park, Sunderland, SR5 1SN
Phone Number 01915634789
Phase Academy
Type Free schools alternative provision
Age Range 13-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Sunderland
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Most pupils at Beacon of Light School have previously experienced considerable interruptions to their schooling.

Many join with significant gaps in their English and mathematics knowledge. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), study a curriculum that helps them fill many of these gaps. They grow in confidence and re-engage with learning.

Pupils gain the knowledge and qualifications they need for the next stage of their education.

Pupils understand adults' high expectations for their behaviour. Pupils respect the daily routines, including those around punctuality and uniform.

They forge positive with staff. Pupils respond well to adults' firm, calm guidance. Pupils' conduct improves the longer they remain at the school.

Pupils receive high-quality pastoral support. They feel safe and are taught how to make safe choices. Pupils rarely experience bullying.

When they become anxious, or life gets tough, pupils turn to trusted staff who give them the help they need. This helps pupils to reset and return to their studies.

Pupils enjoy and learn a lot from activities, such as those in art, music, sport and land-based studies.

These activities broaden pupils' horizons and help them to develop greater self-belief.

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

Leaders and staff share a commitment to provide pupils with education that helps them 'to learn more, do more, be more'. The curriculum combines academic ambition with nurture and support for pupils with complex academic and social needs.

The curriculum is delivered well. Pupils make good progress in their time at Beacon of Light School.

Pupils join the school throughout the academic year.

Staff use well-established induction processes to welcome new pupils to the school. Adults are quick to identify each pupil's capabilities and needs, including any SEND. Equipped with this information, teachers usually shape the curriculum and how they teach it to each pupil's needs.

Teachers consistently use the school's agreed lesson structure. Pupils, including those with SEND, know what to expect in lessons. Teachers present new knowledge clearly and in small chunks.

They give pupils plenty of time to practise and learn this knowledge. Usually, teachers check with care that pupils have a secure grasp of this information before moving on to new learning. This helps pupils to fill the gaps from their previously disrupted education.

Pupils' work is typically of a good quality.

Sometimes, teachers are not thorough in checking or deepening pupils' understanding. Where this is the case, pupils do not achieve as well as they might.

Many pupils join Beacon of Light School with gaps in their knowledge of, and a lack of enthusiasm for, reading. In English lessons, pupils read a broad range of challenging texts. Teachers in most subjects place a great deal of emphasis on teaching pupils important subject-specific vocabulary.

Pupils learn to use this vocabulary with accuracy. Pupils become more assured readers and understand the value of reading. However, many do not read extensively across the curriculum.

The school is in the early stages of a revamped strategy to ensure pupils read more widely. It is too early to see the impact of this work.

A large proportion of pupils join the school needing considerable help to manage their behaviour.

At times, there are incidents of disruptive behaviour. Expert guidance from teachers and support staff helps pupils to better regulate their emotions and conduct. Pupils normally return to their studies promptly and usually learn in calm, purposeful classrooms.

Pupils benefit from the school's comprehensive careers and vocational curriculum. They become more ambitious for their futures. Pupils continue in further education, employment or training.

Staff speak highly of the training and support for their well-being that leaders provide for them. Knowledgeable governors provide leaders with well-judged support and challenge. Trustees have formed an accurate overview of the effectiveness of the school.

The school makes sure that parents are kept informed about their children's education and welfare. Parents, pupils and commissioning schools hold Beacon of Light School in high regard.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• On occasion, teachers are not thorough in checking or deepening pupils' understanding. Where this is the case, pupils do not achieve as well as they might. Leaders should make sure that teachers check pupils understand what they study before moving on to new learning.

• Some pupils do not develop a love of reading. The school is in the early stages of a renewed strategy to ensure that pupils read widely. Leaders should review the impact of their work and take further steps to ensure that pupils read widely across the curriculum.

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