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Beacon Hill: Lighting the way for SEND

Beacon Hill are an outstanding special academy and an Artsmark platinum school. Awarded in March 2017, their level shows how fully integrated the arts are into their SEND offer, and how they use this to work with other schools.

We asked Beacon Hill for more information about their journey and involvement with the Thurrock Trailblazer programme.

“[Artsmark] has made us more aware of what we offer regarding arts and culture both in school and to our wider communities such as local schools, schools we are working with nationally, teaching communities, Post 19 and social care providers. It has highlighted to us the expertise we hold when it comes to engaging students with special needs in and through the arts. It became clear that our next step was to share this expertise.

We saw lots of developments as part of our Artsmark journey and one that sticks out was…a fantastic project with a local mainstream secondary school. Part of this involved educating mainstream communities around ways to interact with students with profound special needs. The project was such a success that we hope to recreate it again this year with our now upskilled staff. Our KS3 students were empowered to work with students [from another school] and together they developed their own dance piece. This piece was then performed live on stage …It also involved a panel discussion on inclusive dance with members from all sides contributing to the panel.”

Beacon Hill are also widening their reach. “We also rolled out this model of educating mainstream communities through link projects on a smaller scale…Students visited each other’s’ schools on a weekly basis and developed their own living piece of art work.”

Congratulations to Beacon Hill for leading change and achieving so much through the arts!