Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is a vibrant and happy school of which staff and students are justifiably proud. The school’s most recent Ofsted report (2013) concluded that the school was securely “good” and that students “have very good relationships with staff and with each other”. The same report stated that “The percentage of students gaining five GCSE at grades A* to C is well above the national average and has been for a number of years” and that “Students’ achievement is outstanding in many vocational subjects”
We pride ourselves on putting young people at the heart of the organisation and on offering a broad and balanced curriculum with a determination to see every child flourish and reach their full potential. Many of our students are involved in top-level performance in sport, music, drama and the arts, several of them at a national or even international level.
A SAFE AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT
In addition to these many successes, our highest priority will always be to maintain a safe and secure environment for students. Students are admitted to a House Block system, which has been widely praised for the quality of its care, where younger students can be guided and helped by older students and House staff. We are strongly anti-bullying and use new technology to track students from lesson to lesson so we always know where they are.
A NEW BUILDING FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING
Our new Academy opened in September 2007, with external facilities and landscaping completed in 2008. The academy has been completely redesigned and rebuilt with specialist accommodation of the highest quality providing the best possible environment for learning in the 21st Century. This year will see the building of a £1 million extension which will house our exciting new Independent Learning Centre for Sixth form students as well as creating additional space for subject use. We will also be investing in new technology and are in the process of installing a world beating “Virtual Learning Environment” to support student learning.
A PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS AND STUDENTS
A strong partnership between home and academy is at the centre of everything we do. We will consult students and parents about all major initiatives and keep regular contact to ensure that students are happy and achieve well. All parents are able to contact their son/daughter’s teachers via email and our team of pastoral assistants and Heads of House ensure there is always someone to speak to if you have any concerns.
A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD
We believe in preparing students for the challenges of a rapidly changing world. This means not only developing and securing important subject knowledge but also the skills and attributes learners need to carry on learning long after they have left school. To thrive in an increasingly global community, students need to be Respectful, Resourceful, Responsible, Reasoning, Reflective and Resilient. Our “6 Rs” form the basis of our rewards and behaviour system and are the qualities that all Lord Lawson students aspire to demonstrate. In this way we fulfil the aspirations of the school motto, which summarises how we work together as a community to help and support each other and to realise the dreams of the 1600 young people in our care.
The following core principles are at the heart of our Academy. They are summarised below and explored in more detail in our prospectus.
This means knowing students well, establishing a safe and supportive environment for all students and being flexible enough to respond to the individual needs and aspirations of the young people who choose to attend Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy.
This means a well planned curriculum designed to develop Knowledge, Skills and Qualities and to offer students a broad range of learning experiences which will help to prepare them to become lifelong learners and independent thinkers. It also means putting the best teachers in front of students and a commitment to continuous professional development as a means for teachers to explore and share best practice.
This means having high expectations for our students, holding students and ourselves accountable for the progress they are making and reporting progress to parents at regular intervals throughout the year.
INNOVATION and COLLABORATION
The academy is committed to scanning the horizon for new and best practice in education and to working with other “outstanding” organisations in the region and across the country.
COMMUNITY and CULTURE
We are an academy at the heart of its community and responsive to its needs while also recognising that our students are increasingly part of a global community. Our culture is one of high aspiration and mutual respect and is characterised by our “5Rs+1”