Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy

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Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy
Motto 'Each other...and our dreams'
Principal Mr M Lovatt
Location Birtley Lane
County Durham
Coordinates: 54°53′34″N 1°34′14″W / 54.89284°N 1.57044°W / 54.89284; -1.57044
Local authority Gateshead
DfE URN 108403 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1600
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Brookside, Fleet, Turner, Talbot, Sixth Form
Colours Blue, Yellow, Green, Red, Purple
Website [[1] www.lordlawson.org.uk/]]

Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is an Academy in the town of Birtley in the Gateshead area of Tyne and Wear, England. It was first opened to pupils in the early 1970s and was rebuilt in September 2007. The new building was constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine.

The academy has been led for the last eleven years by Principal David Grigg who retired in July 2013 to be replaced by Principal Mark Lovatt. It was most recently inspected by Ofsted in April 2013 achieving 'Good' in all areas of the framework. Inspectors were very complimentary about most aspects of the academy's performance.

Lord Lawson Academy in Context[edit]

Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy (LLOB) is a larger than average academy school with over 1600 students in KS3-KS4 and over 300 Sixth Form Students (KS5). The school is often over subscribed however endeavors to allow access to all, an extension has now been built in order to accommodate the increasing numbers of students. This extension consists of a ground floor 'Independent Learning Center' to allow the sixth form students to work in an independent and quite environment in order to achieve their true potential. All students at the academy benefit from the academies "high performing specialist school for applied learning" status with all students from Year 7 being involved in applied learning and some form of vocational education.

LLOB 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 LLOB fulfill the aspirations of the school motto, which summarises how LLOB work together as a community to help and support each other and to realise the dreams of the 1600 young people in our care.

As mentioned earlier Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy aim to develop the following student "behaviours" through our 5Rs (+1) and they are: Learning behaviours (associated with highly successful learners)

  • Resilience – Students don’t give up when the going gets tough.
  • Responsibility – Students take responsibility for our learning.
  • Resourcefulness – Students learn in different ways.
  • Reasoning – Students stop and think about how we are going to do things.
  • Reflective – Students learn from experience and use feedback to help us improve.

And (+1) Respect (this covers how teachers and the academy behave): Students and Staff Behave With Respect. "We Respect ourselves, we Respect each other, and we Respect our environment." The 5RS (+1) form the basis of the Academy rewards and behavior system and are the qualities that all Lord Lawson students aspire to demonstrate. In this way the academy fulfill the aspirations of the school motto which summaries how the academy works together as a community to help and support each other and to realise the dreams of the 1600 young people their our care.

The Academy gained its Academy status on 1 March 2012 and has been key to the drive to further improve standards.[1]

The Academy has an active social networking presence to ensure updates to the students and parents alongside integration, in some cases, with lessons and learning. Each department runs its own Twitter feed and Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy also has its own general Twitter feed, as seen on its website or @llobacademy.

Jack Lawson[edit]

The school is named after Jack Lawson, an influential British trade unionist and Labour politician, serving as Secretary of State for War during the 1940s. Consequently, the school has been associated with left-wing politics, particularly relating to its connections to the mining industry and trade unionism, as well as Lawson's refusal to join Ramsay MacDonald's National Government due to his reluctance to work alongside Conservatives. The school motto, "each other...and our dreams", is a quotation from Lawson's autobiography, A Man's Life.

Subjects and Courses[edit]

Between year 7-9 students study a range of academic subjects: English, Mathematics, Science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics), History, Geography, RE, PE, Modern Foreign Languages, Art and Design, Performing Arts, Creative and Media Studies, Drama, Media, Dance, Stage and Costume Design, Music, Information Technology and Technology (Technology is taught as a carousel of activities including Food, Textiles, Resistant Materials and Graphics).

In year ten students are given more choice in subjects by choosing from the above but continuing to study core educational subjects (e.g. English, Maths and so on). This gives the chance to shape their own future by taking vocational or academic studies depending on there future aspirations including areas such as Psychology, Photography, Social Work, Hairdressing & Mechanics. These choices are made in Year 9 and discussed with teachers, employment guidance and parents.

In Sixth Form students are given the chance to study 4 subjects (although 3 or 5 may be taken where appropriate). The students have a vast amount of potential subjects to study: A-levels in: General Studies, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Drama, Economics, English Language or Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Mathematics, Geography, German, Government and Politics, Graphics, Health and Social Care, History, PE, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Textiles, Travel and Tourism. Level 2 Courses in: ICT (ECDL), Engineering, Public Services, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing. Level 3 Courses in: Performing Arts, Public Services, Sport, ICT (Advanced ECDL), IT, Applied Science, Art & Design, Creative Media (TV and Film), Engineering, Music. All encompassing a wide spectrum of potential subjects.

School Houses[edit]

The school is broken up into four house-blocks for years 7-11. Named after prominent areas in the North East, they are all assigned a colour and community space. Each house-block is led by a Head of House and a Deputy Head of House, with students selecting their own Head Boy, Head Girl and Prefects.(During the 1980s, the Houses were named after notable people from the history of the area surrounding Lord Lawson)

The house-blocks are:

  • Brookside (formerly Hepburn, Thirlaway and Gray. Colour: Blue)
  • Fleet (formerly Collingwood and Bede. Colour: Yellow)
  • Talbot (formerly Rutherford and Grainger. Colour: Red)
  • Turner (formerly Bewick, Stephenson and Grove. Colour: Green)
  • Sixth Form (Colour: Purple)

Sixth Form[edit]

The sixth form is led by a Head of Sixth Form and a Director of Post-15 Education, Mrs Jordan and Miss Nellist (Also Assistant Principal) respectively alongside a Pastoral Assistant. Sixth form students elect a Head Boy and Head Girl.

LLOB ensures a supportive and inclusive Sixth Form which aims to promote academic achievement for all students. They aim to give students greater responsibility for their own learning and encourage students to make well informed decisions about their futures. LLOB expect Sixth Formers to represent mature and respected role models to lower school students. There is an active Sixth Form Council which organizes Charity and Social events and has a say in decision making. All Sixth Form students benefit from advice from Connexions regarding University and vocational courses. The Academies team of experienced tutors assist with UCAS applications and help prepare students for work, interviews and life after Lord Lawson. Also the Academy offer taster days at Universities, work experience opportunities and provide links with businesses offering jobs. All in all we hope to ensure the success of all students with a strong pastoral care programme.

Ofsted noted in there most recent report that “The effectiveness of the Sixth Form is good and the vast majority of students go onto higher education, training, or employment.” They also reported that “Students are well known and the courses they take are well matched to their needs.”

At the end of Year 13, a leaver's ball is usually held at Lumley Castle, which is attended by both pupils and staff. Since April 2014 the Sixth Form have had use of the Independent Learning Centre in the extension to the school.

Ethos and Values[edit]

The Ethos and Values, as listed on the Lord Lawson website,[2] are seen below.

  • High Achievement: Ensuring that every teacher has high expectations and works to ensure students achieve at the highest levels of which they are capable.
  • Mutual Respect: Where everyone's opinions are valued
  • A Purpose Built House System (See School Houses): A caring and supportive atmosphere where every student feels safe, secure and happy, and well supported within their House Block.
  • A Creative Academy: Where the visual, performing arts and sport are highly valued and the students are encouraged to express themselves creatively and achieve high standards
  • A Community Academy: An academy at the heart of its community and responsive to its needs
  • A Leading Edge Academy: An outward-facing academy, working with partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to help transform secondary education at all levels

New Academy Extension[edit]

An extension to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy was completed in April 2014 ready for the beginning of the summer term and includes an Independent Learning Center designed for the Sixth Form. The construction was carried out by Sir Robert McAlpine and Pinnacle Schools. The extension is expressed to be able to accommodate 8 further class rooms to allow for comfortable accommodation of the extra number of students.

Notable Past Students[edit]


In 1994 the famous band Take That played a gig at the school after Teacher Mr Collier won a BBC Radio 1 competition as Teacher of the year.

External links[edit]