- The Core Curriculum
- Core Electives
- Extended Electives
- Pastoral Systems
"The curriculum provides uncompromising academic challenge alongside a rich cultural experience", Alice Hudson, Executive Headteacher.
Our overall approach to the curriculum is described in the Twyford Trust's Curriculum Policy.Back to the top
The Core Curriculum
William Perkin CofE High School places a high premium on academic success and takes an intelligent approach to achievement. Core, English Baccalaureate subjects (English, Maths, Science, Languages, History, Geography and RE) are all taught formally as separate subject specialisms. These subjects require high levels of concentration, therefore they are taught in the morning to achieve the best learning discipline. These lessons are 50 minutes long.
Students are taught in sets for these subjects according to their ability and to the progress they make. Students who do particularly well in languages will have a chance to take a second language from Year 8. Languages is the school’s second specialism and, together with Science, will encourage students to cultivate the ‘intelligent engagement with the wider world’ which is a key focus for the school. In the upper school, we offer a GCSE syllabus for all subjects.
In order to ensure we achieve consistency of approach we have identified 8 Intellectual Disciplines which run across all Core Subjects in addition to the Assessment Objectives and content of the subject itself. The William Perkin intellectual disciplines are to:
- Read critically
- Write cogently
- Explore analytically
- Discern logical patterns
- Form coherent arguments
- Apply systems
- Memorise accurately
- Listen intently
To find out more about each subject area please click here.Back to the top
The Creativity & Curiosity Curriculum
William Perkin operates an afternoon enrichment curriculum that allows students to develop their creative skills and follow their particular aptitudes in five different areas. These are Music, Art, Sport, Computing and Applied Science. We have named this The Creativity and Curiosity Curriculum.
This curriculum is designed to:
- Ensure the curriculum is broad and balanced
- Develop wider thinking skills and creative applications (also embedded in the core curriculum)
- Develop intellectual confidence, investigation and risk taking
- Provide students with the opportunity to develop work based, applied learning skills.
The Creativity and Curiosity Curriculum runs during the 'Core Elective', 100-minute, afternoon lessons. These longer sessions allow students to fully immerse themselves in practical subjects.Back to the top
An Extended Elective Programme takes place after school from 4.00pm to 5.30pm every day and includes a range of activities and clubs linked to the academic core subjects and the five Core Elective areas.
To view an example Extended Elective timetable, please click here.Back to the top
A Community which Cares
The pastoral system at William Perkin CofE High School places students in form groups which is their home community. Each tutor group has a form tutor who will stay with them all the way through the school. They also have a Head of Year and a Head of Key Stage who guide the year group through the new challenges of each school year and whose job it is to ensure that every student does well. Our pastoral teams pride themselves on knowing their students well as individuals and caring for their progress. Students are also strongly encouraged to take responsibility for each other.
Responsible behaviour within the school community also shapes our relationship with the wider community. William Perkin was a Christian who used the wealth which he built up to fund philanthropic projects locally. Our understanding of our relationship with the wider community is informed by the parable of the ‘sheep and the goats’ within its message of social responsibility. William Perkin High School is committed to being a community school and we hope to form links with local community groups with whom we can have a regular relationship.
The William Perkin ethic is to be enterprising. We give students the opportunity, within class and through extra-curricular programmes, to take the initiative just as the school namesake did in setting up his own dye-works in North Greenford and later in sponsoring community projects. The story which we utilise to exemplify our attitude to enterprise is the Parable of the Stewards. A spirit of enterprise will become very important to our students as they move into upper school and think about their own future pathways. Programmes of speakers from industry and Higher Education encourage students to think about the direction they would like to take and the initiatives they may want to develop to ensure they are well positioned for future success. All students will undertake work experience in Year 10 and will be expected to consider work placements after GCSE.
Engagement & Celebration
The Twyford Trust ethic is one of high engagement. Our Trust motto is ‘I have come that you should have life and life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). Our school day is a very full one and also includes after-school clubs as part of the extended elective programme. Successful students learn to make very productive use of their time and seize every opportunity to develop themselves fully. From Year 7, students learn that to be fully engaged is how to get more out of life. Heads of Year take the lead in ensuring that all students engage with the wider life of the school as well as making very good progress academically. Each half-term ends with a celebration assembly – but achievements are also given a high profile through weekly Head of Year Assemblies. Termly Celebration of Learning events are also organised for parents to engage with student successes.Back to the top
Students at William Perkin CofE High School all belong to a House in order to foster a sense of wider belonging within the school and ensures that students work together to build a community which cares.
The William Perkin House System focuses on our Science Specialism where each house is named after a famous scientist:
Students are encouraged through conduct points and inter-house competitions to serve their immediate community: their house. A clear system of positive and negative conduct points helps staff reinforce expectations for good conduct. There is a series of house competitions in sport, music and curriculum areas to develop a positive sense of competitive collaboration. Points gained by individuals are also points gained for the house.
Each house undertakes fundraising for its own named charity through 'enterprise days' where students are expected to work together in a business-like way on projects to promote the work of its charity and to fundraise. The house charities are:
- Watt - UK Youth
- Pascal - Separated Child
- Einstein - Medicins San Frontiers
- Rutherford - Mind
- Kelvin - Water Aid
- Isambard - Anaphylaxis Campaign UK
- Newton - Macmillan
Independent learning will be critical to the success of your child at GCSE and A-Level. It is our philosophy to develop the required skills within each subject as soon as students join the school. From day 1 of Year 7 there is a 15-minute lesson preparation task set in each lesson – that means 5 'lesson preps' are set per day.
Longer pieces of assessed homework in the form of essays, projects, assessments and presentations are also set fortnightly. The combination of lesson preparation tasks, to be completed each evening, and longer more developed pieces of work will ensure your child develops the independent learning habits required to succeed as they develop academically. Each core subject will outline a series of tasks to be completed independently of school. These will be called Level 4 Tasks and are designed to stretch students and encourage curiosity within each subject.
We have developed a Virtual Learning Environment called Copia, which allows students to access work electronically and support their independent learning at home. The same system also allows parents to look at their child's grades and attendance and conduct records.
Individual Knowledge of Your Child
Each child is known as an academic individual through careful diagnostic testing, which takes place as part of their induction to the school. Using this information, we set challenging targets that are effectively communicated and then evaluated at key points in the year. A well-constructed whole school assessment system allows students to take control of their learning and make personal assessments of their progress. More detailed information related to subject-specific assessments will become available for parents on Copia.
Effective Communication with Parents
Communication is integral to the success of any school. Parents will receive Termly Grade Reports that provide information on effort and achievement in all subjects and at the end of the year a full report will be produced. Parents are expected to attend all Information Evenings and Parent Consultation Evenings, including an annual formal Parents Evening.
Each week parents should review and sign their child's planner which will contain key information relating to that week. Personal communication with your child's Tutor and Head of Year will be vital in supporting your child. To support this process there will be a Target Setting Meeting in September between student, parent and tutor.
The best information will always be gained via one-to-one contact with teachers so parents are warmly encouraged to be in contact with the school more regularly if there are any concerns.Back to the top
For Key Stage 3 there are two formal exam weeks - one in December and the other in June - which assess topics to date in the core subjects (English, Maths, Science, Languages and Humanities).
For Key Stage 4, students will follow a GCSE pathway in all subject areas.Back to the top