|Tanhouse Road, Tanhouse, WN8 6BA, UK Skelmersdale|
+44 (0)1695 721066
The Beacon School is situated in Skelmersdale in the District of West Lancashire and caters for a maximum of 72 children aged between 5 and 16 years of age and who exhibit emotional and behavioural difficulties. The school was established in 1977 and moved into a purpose-built school in 1982.
The school accommodation includes the following specialist facilities; an ICT Suite with 10 PCs and an Interactive Whiteboard, Design & Technology Workshop with facilities including Computer-Aided-Design/Manufacture, Electronics and Textiles, Art & Design Suite, Sports Hall, Science Laboratory, Food Technology room, a Learning Resource Area, which comprises library facilities and 6 PCs. There is an Interactive Whiteboard and at least one PC in every classroom. All computers are networked throughout the school and are linked to the school Intranet and the Internet.
The school is divided into three separate departments, each with its own H.O.D. Primary Department – 32 children aged 5-11 years, Secondary Department – 24 children aged 11-13 years, Leavers Department – 16 students aged 14-16 years. There are 11 teachers plus Headteacher and Deputy and 10 classroom assistants. Children are taught in groups of eight.
In addition to the normal academic aims of the school, which are accorded a very high priority, the school is committed to effecting changes in the behaviour of its pupils. Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties need a highly structured environment in order to make the maximum amount of progress. This is provided through the medium of Positive Behaviour Management Techniques involving the use of a token economy system and time-out procedures. Basically, children earn tokens during 0 academically orientated lessons. Tokens may be awarded for work output and quality, general behaviour, attitude towards peers, attitude towards staff etc. Strategies may be developed to accommodate a wide variety of behavioural difficulty. The children use the tokens to ‘buy into’ an option pattern t the end of the day. Options are extensions of the National Curriculum subjects and are biased towards the more practical/physical subjects. Children not achieving the necessary targets, which enable them to choose options, must do compulsory lessons instead.
A bonus system is also in operation, where pupils can earn bonuses for exemplary work or behaviour. These may be used to ‘buy’ various articles from the bank – e.g. crisps, sweets, small toys etc. Pupils breaking school rules are fined ad these fines are deducted from totals earned in lessons. Whilst this is a negative sanction, the predominant feature of the system is the use of frequent positive reinforcement. Allied to the token system is an extremely positive approach to the pupils by the staff. Verbal reinforcements and praise is very much in evidence. It is an essential part of the school’s work for staff to develop warm, caring relationships with the pupils.
A system of “Time-Out” is operated, whereby a pupil ho is causing disruption in a lesson may be asked to leave the classroom. He/she is expected to go to a Time-Out room in order to reconsider his/her behaviour. They may return to the class when they are ready. This is considered a positive measure aimed at avoiding disruption and possible confrontation.
Counselling services are provided for certain pupils.
The school has a long record of successful practice both in terms of social and academic achievement. The school offers GCSE courses in English, English Literature, Maths, Science, Design & Technology, Art & Design and PE; CLAIT and Entry Level Certificate in ICT. The AQA Unit Award Scheme is offered in a wide range of Citizenship, Careers, Social and curriculum areas. Attendance is very good and again rates are in excess of schools of this type nationally.
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