SEND Children & Young People
Folkestone & Hythe
Shepway Sports Trust
Awards & Recognition
The Beacon School are the only SEND school across the county to receive the Platinum School Games Kitemark. They also achieved an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted in February 2019.
The school tries to offer activities and sports which are suitable for their pupils. This includes sensory learning, sea sports, and now they are starting to trial The Daily Mile.
Impact of Primary School Premium Funding
The funding has allowed the school to focus on training in PE for staff. They have also bought a range of equipment and invested in facilities to increase the opportunities for pupils.
The Beacon School wants to make more use of the forest school and sea sports for their pupils. They also have bikes and scooters to offer the pupils Balanceability lessons.
Active Kent & Medway visited The Beacon School in Folkestone and Hythe on Wednesday 13 March 2019 to find out about the sport and physical activity that takes place within the school.
The school are one of only eight schools, and the only special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school, to have obtained the Platinum School Games Kitemark across Kent and Medway. The school also recently underwent an Ofsted inspection in February 2019 and received ‘Outstanding’ ratings across all the criteria. This report also stated that the school’s ‘use of extra funding for sport is a strength’ and that ‘staff are well trained (in sport)’. This indicates the value sport and physical activity has within the school, and this therefore leads to greater opportunities and positive impacts for all their staff and pupils.
The Beacon School work closely with Shepway Sports Trust, who offer support in PE lessons and extra-curricular clubs. Continuous professional development (CPD) training is provided by them to members of staff, and PE lessons are attended a few times each term to observe and advise the teachers running the sessions. Members of staff completed a survey created by the school to better understand the impact of the training. The result showed that 74% of staff agreed, or strongly agreed, that the support received had ‘helped improve their effectiveness as a PE and/or Sport Practitioner’. This figure shows that the CPD training being provided is worthwhile and will increase the levels of sustainability for the future.
Shepway Sports Trust also help by setting up, or inviting them, to events and competitions with other local schools to give pupils a chance to take part in sports and activities with pupils from other schools. The Beacon School recently came first place in both the Aquasplash and Boccia events at the Winter Kent School Games Finals. Other events they have been involved in include the Physical Disability Festival and the Active Health Conference. The school also looks to provide exit routes in sport to all their pupils where possible, using local community sports clubs in order to extend their levels of activity. These clubs include, but are not limited to, Folkestone Saints Basketball, M&M Football Academy, Hythe Lawn Tennis Club, Folkestone Optimist Hockey Club and Folkestone Amateur Boxing Club.
There are a wide range of equipment and facilities around the school which have been purchased using the PE and sport premium funding. One area which is quite unique is the Key stage 1 heart space area which provides pupils with a multi-sensory zone. This is made up of equipment that pupils can use to do various sensory exercises. This demonstrates the consideration the school have put into supporting their pupils to learn and help them to develop from an early age.
Some of our pupils have additional needs which must be catered for, and sensory learning is a great way of fulfilling the wider needs of these pupils before they can access learning.
Mr Walker, Head of PE, The Beacon School
The school also has a gym consisting of rowing machines, cross trainers and exercise bikes, as well as some soft play areas located around the school which can be used to be active, for learning and as a reward for pupils who are doing well. Leading on from this, the vast majority of primary pupils attend the forest school for a block of sessions within the academic year. Many secondary pupils also access the Forest School throughout the year. This supports pupils with their personal development and social interaction with one another. There are bikes and scooters outside which were purchased using the PE and sport premium funding, and members of staff are Balanceability trained in order to support their pupils to use them.
Most of the pupils at The Beacon School take part in The Daily Mile. This is understood to have a positive impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of children and young people. The majority of pupils from Key Stage 1-4 also take part in 30 minutes of swimming per week. In addition to this, pupils’ water confidence was developed in 48 Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students who took part in activities on offer at Folkestone Sea Sports Centre this summer, including paddle boarding and kayaking, which they all thoroughly enjoyed. The school have always put a large focus on increasing the levels of sport and physical activity within the school and will look to constantly improve their sports provision where possible.