The curriculum at William Patten is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. A blocked curriculum approach has been implemented at the school to ensure coverage and progression in a number of curriculum areas. This approach enables project based learning, fostering each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic and also enabling the achievement of depth in knowledge and skills. Opportunities for child voice are planned at the beginning of each new topic and this is used to inform the learning for each topic to ensure relevance.
The curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills.
The children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest. William Patten recently became an Historic England ‘Heritage School’ in recognition of its strong and varied links, as well as engagement with the local community, to enrich children’s learning experiences.
The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced and the ‘outstanding development of the international dimension of the curriculum’ is recognised by its achievement of the British Council’s ‘International School Award’. The school also holds the Hackney ‘Premio Espanol’ award at gold level for the quality of its MFL provision, which itself is supported by a link with a Spanish speaking school in Madrid. The school makes a conscious effort to engage with drives that will enable further development and excellence in specific areas and has achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark at Silver level. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science. The school has also achieved the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) quality mark at gold level, for its recognised commitment to ensuring that all learners have access to good quality educational experiences beyond the classroom walls, and for engaging in an ongoing process to ensure frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom opportunities are integrated into the curriculum.
Music and performance have a high profile in the school and the school has a specialist music teacher, with each child receiving a weekly music lesson. The school has a steel pan band, as well as an orchestra and opportunities for ensemble and solo performances are planned for and provided both within the school and beyond it. This aspect of the school is enriched by links to professional bodies, including Matthew Bourne’s ‘New Adventures’. William Patten School also makes full use of the skills of a wide range of professionals; throughout their time at the school, children will work with specialist coaches as they learn cricket and gymnastics. The school holds the ‘Active Schools Bronze Award’ for competitive sports.
A varied timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as fencing, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make very good progress in most subjects and areas of learning. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.