Enrichment & Extra Curricular
Education at Beacon Academy is about much more than academic achievement. Our excellent programme of enrichment activities and experiences is designed to complement the academic curriculum, promote employability, and help students broaden their horizons, develop independence and interpersonal skills. These skills have benefits well beyond the classroom.
Via our enrichment programme, we want to provide opportunities for our students to extend their knowledge and understanding, and to improve their skills in a range of artistic, creative and sporting activities.
We offer a wide range of activities to all students from all year groups, encouraging them to pursue and develop their interests and abilities, to gain valuable learning experiences outside of their studies and form long-lasting friendships with students from other year groups.
Students are given regular opportunities to visit some amazing places as part of our enrichment programme. From day trips to museums, galleries, exhibitions, theatres and universities, to longer residential trips both in the UK and abroad including France, Germany, Ypres, New York and The Gambia.
Our before and after-school extra-curricular provision has been adapted in line with our ongoing risk assessment and the current government guidelines.
Some subject support sessions can be reintroduced on the basis that children are kept within the same groups they are in during the day and are able to be safely distanced.
Please refer to the document below for the latest information about planned extra-curricular activities. If you have any questions, contact details for the relevant member of staff can be found in this document:
We run a full programme of extra-curricular sports and athletics at various times throughout the year. All year groups are encouraged to participate in a wide range of team and individual sports, including boys’ and girls’ football, netball, hockey, rugby, basketball, tennis, table tennis, trampolining, fitness, gymnastics, dance and the traditional Sussex game of stoolball. Indoor football and basketball clubs are on offer every day during lunch.
Our students often compete against local schools and in national tournaments. Our thriving Beacon Dance Company and Beacon Gymnastics Squad compete and achieve great success at regional and national events. Our Beacon Curling Club has grown tremendously in popularity and continues to progress from strength to strength. Beacon Curling teams compete against other school teams in the National Championships, with team members regularly selected to play for England in the Junior World Championships. In November 2019, Sixth Former, Sydney Boyd represented England Vice Skip for England’s Adult Women’s Team in the European Curling Championships in Sweden. In December 2019, Sydney also led the England Junior Women’s Team that included two fellow Beacon students, Annabelle Martin (Y12) and Anna Howey (Y13) at the World Junior B Curling Championships in Finland. The England Junior Men’s team was also made up of three former Beacon students, Joe Sugden, Felix Price and Archer Woods.
The annual Beacon Academy 10km Sponsored Walk traditionally takes place in September and is an event in which the whole school can participate. All students and staff enjoy rising to the challenge to raise funds for school resources and local, student-nominated charities.
Founded in 2013, our thriving Beacon Curling Club has grown tremendously in popularity and continues to progress from strength to strength. Curling is a Winter Olympic sport and is fantastically inclusive, promoting teamwork and allowing people of all ages and abilities to participate and excel.
Beacon Curling has mixed teams that regularly compete against each other and against other schools. Each year, Year 7 students are invited to a taster day in April and can sign up to join the team for the following season. Taking advantage of our close proximity to England’s only curling rink, team members practice weekly during the season and enjoy strong links with the England Curling Association (ECA) and the South Of England Curling Club. Our dedicated curling coach and Head of Sociology, Mr Rees, is coach for the England team, as well as a competitive player and president of the local curling club.
Beacon Curling teams compete in the English Schools Curling Championships each March and some students have represented the team at the English Mixed Curling Championships which are held in Glasgow each year.
Internationally, some members travel to Finland to play for England in the Junior World Championships. We are immensely proud that some of our former students are still curling for England.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)
Beacon Academy is proud to be part of the East Sussex STEM Network and hosts network meetings three times per year.
In March 2019, Beacon Academy STEM Club students celebrated their success as the winning team at the Mid Sussex STEM Drone Challenge Competition held at the South of England Showground at Ardingly. Working as a team, the students took on the challenge of building a business case to bring a drone to market for commercial use within a set budget of £500. The drone had to be capable of flying for a minimum of 15 minutes and transmitting video footage from a range of 500m. Each member of the team had a role to play, and the students were required to demonstrate their project management and presentation skills at a Dragon’s Den-style competition against students from Oathall Community College, St Paul’s Catholic College, Burgess Hill Academy and Downlands Community College.
This project, which is judged by a panel including business leaders and councillors, involves visits from a STEM ambassador as well as representatives from Lloyds Bank as well as a trip to visit three companies in Haywards Heath.
Following their phenomenal success in the Mid Sussex STEM Challenge, six Beacon Academy STEM Club students went on to achieve the prestigious CREST Silver Award. Aimed at students between 14 and 16 years old, CREST is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects and can enhance students’ applications for university, for an apprenticeship or for a job. It is designed to stretch and challenge students over a long term, in-depth project run by the students in collaboration with a mentor.
We were delighted to launch a new Horticultural Club in 2019-2020.
Geography students visit the coastal towns of Newhaven and Seaford in Year 8 to investigate the role of coastal management in shaping our coastline. We visit Birling Gap and Eastbourne as part of our Year 10 GCSE course and in Year 12 Geography and Geology students take a residential trip to Dorset.
In the near future we plan to run a Fossil Club or Mineral Club for those students interested in Geology.
History offers Year 9 students a day trip to Ypres to explore the trenches of World War I and to experience a reenactment of the 1914 Christmas Truce.
Students in Years 7 - 10 have the opportunity to get involved in ‘The Last Word’ – a lunch time and after school Debating Club that will teach students the art of debating and provide the opportunity to discuss a wide range of relevant and thought provoking topics. This new club is a fantastic opportunity for students of all ages, especially those who enjoy engaging in discussion.
Latin Club runs after school and is designed to enable students in Years 8, 9 and 10 to work towards a GCSE equivalent in Latin.
Modern Foreign Languages
Every September in celebration of the European Day of Languages, KS3 hold a European Bake Off, and our Year 7 students are invited to a European Breakfast hosted by Years 10, 11 and 12.
The department runs a number of regular residential trips to France and Germany, working alongside different departments to enhance the curriculum. In Year 8 students can combine their study of History, Geography and Modern Languages with residential visits to the historic town of Boppard, in the Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and to Normandy to discover Mont St. Michel, Honfleur, Bayeux and the British War Cemetary. In Years 9 and 10 students can develop their studies in Art or History with visits to Paris and Berlin.
In Year 12 students organise work experience trips to Europe with Halsbury Travel. Sixth Form students are also encouraged to apply for and are succesfully awarded with work experience and study placements to Germany organised and funded by Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, an organisation promoting international exchange and cooperation in the school sector.
Students are encouraged to use and practise their foreign language skills regularly at a variety of school time clubs and catch up sessions. KS3 Duolingo Language Club, French and German Film Club for all year groups and Year 11 catch up sessions run weekly throughout the year.
Graphics and Photography students visit Kew Gardens in Year 10. This trip informs a Graphics project on Botanical Illustration and a Photography project on Pattern.
In Year 12, A-level Art and Photography students enjoy a creative day trip to Hastings.
Year 9 students have the opportunity to join Photography Club. In 2019 the students worked to create a collaborative piece that was exhibited at Draw Me In, the annual schools exhibition at Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne. The piece was created in response to one of twelve artworks from the gallery’s collection, chosen as a starting point by a steering group of teachers and artists. The students gained inspiration and insight from artist and filmmaker, Annis Joslin during a special workshop visit to the school.
Students in Key Stage 3 now also have the opportunity to develop their skills in Design and Technology and create objects based on their own designs.
Our students are selected to participate in the prestigious Farley Arts Trust Awards, a showcase celebrating the creative achievements of young people across schools and colleges in East Sussex. In 2019, three Beacon Academy students were selected for the exhibition and were presented with awards by Britsh Pop Art icon, Sir Peter Blake.
Art and Design Technology Keep Up club is on offer for Year 11 students on Thursdays after school.
The creative talents of students from all year groups are celebrated at our spectacular Visual Arts Summer Exhibition. Students and their families, staff, trustees and guests are invited to the opening event that showcases a dazzling array of artworks produced by the students throughout the year, across a variety of disciplines.
Beacon Performing Arts
Our Creative and Performing Arts programme offers a full calendar of clubs, events and competitions throughout the year. We place great value on the creative arts as a vehicle to teach personal learning and thinking skills such as communication, confidence, teamwork, creative thinking and problem-solving whilst providing Beacon students an opportunity to stretch beyond the curriculum.
Our newly renovated stage, top of the range professional lighting rig, mirror-lined studio with barre and fully-sprung wooden floor offer the ideal setting in which the students can develop their creativity and perform. Students are encouraged to use the space, with regular Open Studio sessions for rehearsal, catch up and choreography. Dance is popular at Beacon, and there are dance clubs that run every term for all year groups. We have a dance company that compete at national level, a Youth Theatre Club, Be-Heard Vocal Group, Let’s Dance Club and a variety of other performing arts clubs and activities that take place throughout the year.
Some highlights of the year:
- Christmas Carol Concert - a wonderful festive celebration at All Saints Church with individual and group vocal and instrumental performances across a wide range of genres from our talented students, including band performances and our vocal group, Be-Heard.
- Let’s Dance – students compete in the regional heats of this high profile competition. Students create and are involved in their own production from conceptualisation through to the live performance.
- Whole school musical theatre production - in March 2019 students from across the Academy performed in an exciting whole school musical production of Disney’s Aladdin JR.
- Spring Dance Festival – Beacon creates performance opportunities for local primary schools at this popular event, showcasing work from the community, KS3 – KS5 Beacon students and Beacon Dance students.
- Creative Arts Day - throughout this event our Year 7 and 8 students experience an array of activities led by industry professionals including workshops in Dance, Drama, Music and Crafts. Students attend workshops and classes with The Brighton School of Contemporary Theatre Training (BRICTT), Stagecoach and Universal Dance to explore all aspects of performance and backstage craft.
- BeaconFest – a fantastic summer event and an opportunity for musicians to perform for their peers, families and community members in a fun, festival setting.
- Choreography Days at University of Brighton and Trinity Laban Conservatoire – GCSE and A-Level students attend technical and creative classes and careers talks promoting higher education.
- Joss Arnott – Having led master classes with a range of year groups, Joss has invited Beacon Students to open his Contemporary Dance tour in collaboration with two other outstanding schools in the county.
- Performing Arts trip to New York - this biennial residential trip give students from Years 10 - 13 the opportunity to experience specialist industry training in Dance, Drama and Music at the city’s leading Performing Arts training centres, theatres and studios.
Diversity Club meet every Thursday lunch time in En5 and celebrate difference! The club is now very well-established, with the initiative receiving the prestigious Speaker’s School Council Award in 2016. We welcome guest speakers, plan and deliver assemblies and take part in arts and crafts.
Diversity Club say, “We are an open, accepting group of people who are proud to champion diversity at Beacon. It is a relaxed, happy group which everyone is welcome to attend. All the staff and students wearing a rainbow badge at Beacon Academy are able to provide more information and support about the club.”
Our Feminist Society is open to all students. The group meet at lunch time every Thursday and aim to promote equality and female empowerment and make positive changes in the school, the community and the wider world.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Beacon Academy
Beacon Academy is now accredited as a DofE licensed organisation and is offering the Bronze Award to students in Years 9 and 10. From 2020, students in Year 12 can also begin their journey towards the Silver Award. We hope to be able to offer the programme to other year groups in the very near future alongside progressing onto offering the Silver and Gold Awards.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a life changing experience: an opportunity to discover new interests and talents, have a fun time with friends and gain essential skills and attributes for work life.
Anyone between the ages of 14 and 24 can complete a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
At Bronze and Silver level participants will: volunteer to help a person or community, become fitter, develop new skills, plan, train for and complete an expedition and, for Gold only, work with a team on a residential activity.
Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender or background. It isn’t a competition but rather about setting personal challenges and reaching personal goals.
By completing a DofE programme young people have the opportunity to make new friends, improve their confidence and self-esteem whilst enhancing their future CVs and college, university and job applications.
Click on the following link to read more about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Beacon Academy.