Topic Based Curriculum

At Pakeman, we follow a creative and topic-based approach to the curriculum. The topics selected ensure rigorous learning but also make learning exciting, active and meaningful for children through specific knowledge and skills in every subject, personal learning and  well-being. It helps children to connect their learning to where they are living now as well as looking at the learning from the perspective of other people in other countries. Across the school, we adopt a cross-curricular approach. Meaningful links between chosen topics, foundation subjects and key skills in maths and English, are made and are constantly being developed.


The study of history at Pakeman Primary School is a rich and active experience. The children are taught a broad curriculum covering both British and World history, from ancient times to modern day. Through investigation, they develop enquiry and problem-solving skills and also learn how past events have influenced our lives today.


Through the study of geography, children can make sense of their surroundings and the wider world, developing both their environmental and social awareness. Geography is the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them, and the people who live in them. Skills and knowledge developed through geography help pupils to gain a greater understanding of the ways of life and cultures of other people and places.

Through our teaching of geography we aim to:

  •  Stimulate pupils’ enthusiasm for, and curiosity about their surroundings and the wider world.
  • Increase their knowledge and understanding of different local communities and cultures, of Britain and the world – and how these relate to each other.
  • Increase their knowledge and understanding of the changing world.
  • Encourage pupils to ask questions and propose solutions to environmental problems within Pakeman Primary School and the wider world.
  • Develop pupils’ competence in specific geographical skills (such as use of maps, aerial photographs, data logging equipment and considering evidence from a range of sources).
  • Foster a sense of responsibility and respect for our school environment, the earth, its people and its resources.

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

At Pakeman School our aim is to help our pupils to develop the basic skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute as responsible citizens of the future. Throughout school we create caring classroom situations where children learn to listen to and respect each others opinions and beliefs. We make links between matters of personal concern, such as love, growing up, friendship, bullying and fairness, and more general philosophical issues such as change, personal identity, free will, space, time and truth.

We are keen to create the conditions where a child’s questioning can flourish, developing children’s abilities to ask their own thoughtful questions. P4C helps to enhance the quality of learning, oracy and raise standards of attainment and achievement.


At Pakeman computing and technology are central to helping our pupils learn and develop. We use iPads, Chrome books, laptops, Raspberry Pi computers, video, animation, radio and exciting new computing hardware to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum. Children are encouraged to use computing to aid their learning both in school and at home. The majority of the curriculum is taught through the use of the online platform ‘Purple Mash’ – a cross-curricular website for the whole school.  It enables children to explore and enhance their knowledge in a fun and creative way.  Children are also provided with individual logins for online platforms such as Mathletics, Morodo (years 3 and 4) and Sats Companion (years 5 and 6).





At Pakeman Primary School, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to experience, achieve and enjoy the subject of music. Learning and teaching in music is not only based around the national curriculum but also forms part of our whole school cross–curricular approach to learning and teaching.

All children across the school have weekly music lessons with a specialist music teacher. Instrumental lessons are available for KS2 children and children have the opportunity to learn saxophone, piano, recorder and flute.

Singing and performing at Pakeman is very popular and children have the opportunity to sing a wide variety of songs and perform at a range of events.


At Pakeman, we offer a range of art activities right across the school and we encourage art as a means of expression, to communicate ideas and feelings.

Our children are presented with a wide variety of materials and techniques in the early years, which they continue to develop and apply as they progress throughout the school.

In KS1 and KS2, children are encouraged to be creative, using a variety of media and techniques in art. They develop skills in drawing, painting, 3D work, textiles and printing.

Much of our art is related to our focus topics but we also learn about artists and what inspired them. We use lots of different materials such as pastel, paint, fabric and clay to develop skills in art. Children also develop their ideas through self-evaluation and group discussion.


At Pakeman, we are committed to ensuring that children have high quality teaching in PE. Children receive weekly PE lessons from a specialist teacher and all pupils have two hours of PE timetabled per week to develop the core skills they need to become well-rounded sportsmen and women.


Year 3 and 4 children have one term of swimming lessons at Caledonian Road Swimming Pool each year provided by professional swimming instructors. This ensures that children have at least two terms of swimming throughout their time at primary school. We also provide ‘top up swimming’ for year 6 children who could not swim 25 metres by the end of year 4.

Children should be able to swim at least one full length and we aim for them to be confident swimmers by the end of Year 6.

Swimming data analysis for 2019

  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres:  35/41 children (85%)
  • Use a range of strokes effectively: 27/41 children (66%)
  • Perform safe self-rescue in a range of water-based situations 35/41 children (85%)

Pupils also have the opportunity to complete the National Cycling Proficiency scheme in KS2.

We provide opportunities for children to take part in a range of tournaments both within school (Intra-competitions) between year groups and with other schools (Inter-competitions).

We provide opportunities for children to take part in a range of tournaments both within school (Intra-competitions) between year groups and with other schools (Inter-competitions).

Please click here for our latest sports news.

For information about our sports grant spending in 2019/2020, please click here.

For information about our planned sports grant spending in 2020/2021, please click here.

We have been awarded an Activemark for high quality provision.


At Pakeman Primary School, we learn French in Key Stage 2 from year 3, and we support children who are fluent French speakers and writers to take a GCSE in this subject within school.

We believe that learning a foreign language is a valuable social and cultural experience for pupils and the children practise their listening, speaking, reading and writing. We focus on spoken French for communication first and then lay the foundation for their future written language learning. Children develop their linguistic competence through talk, games, singing and interactive activities and get an insight into French culture.


  • To develop the ability to speak a Modern Foreign Language.
  • To gain confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing in a foreign language.
  • To learn about the cultural aspects of France and other countries where the target language is spoken.

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Religious Education

At Pakeman we celebrate diversity. We are committed to preparing our children to thrive in a multicultural world, which is rich in faiths and beliefs and to developing citizens of the future who are tolerant of others.

Religious Education encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. They have opportunities to share the experiences and ideas of others without making judgements.

Pupils learn about the six main religions; Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism and lessons are planned using the Islington Scheme of Work.

Religious Education at Pakeman is taught alongside the IPC (International Primary Curriculum – see links to the curriculum map) and through assemblies. We use a variety of resources to support the teaching of RE for example books, artefacts, DVDs, and visits to local places of worship. Visitors are invited to share key concepts from their faith through songs, stories and discussion and children enjoy celebrating many religious festivals throughout the year, including Eid, Diwali, Christmas and Easter.

Click here for useful website links.

British Values

At Pakeman Primary School we teach pupils about British values which are defined as:

• Democracy
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
(as published in June 2014 by the department of education)

Click here for the ways these values are taught.

Design and Technology

At Pakeman we encourage and nurture the creative side of all pupils. We endeavour to give children the opportunity to apply their Design and Technology skills by linking them to other areas of the curriculum.

Our Design and Technology Aims are to:

  • Teach children the skills to design and create a product taking into account their own and others’ needs
  • Draw upon skills from relevant subjects such as mathematics, science, computing and art to enhance their design
  • Equip children with the skills to take risks and become resourceful with their tools
  • Give children the opportunities to evaluate designs and critically analyse the impact they have on the wider world

We aim to support children to:

  • Use acquired skills to create high-quality prototypes based on a set criteria to critique
  • Evaluate and test their own creations and the work of others
  • Understand the importance of nutrition and apply this to cooking

Click here for useful website links.


At Pakeman Primary School the well-being and development of all children is promoted through the PSHE curriculum, which aims to give children confidence, build their self-esteem, encourage a sense of self-worth and develop their knowledge of personal, social and health development. At Pakeman we follow Islington schools’ PSHE curriculum called You, Me PSHE. Please click here to view the scheme.

PSHE equips children and young people with the knowledge and skills to deal with a range of issues they will face as they grow up. It covers a wide spectrum, including: emotional health and well-being, sex and relationship education, nutrition and physical activity, drugs and alcohol education, personal finance and safety.

As part of this curriculum we follow the scheme of work called Cooking Matters.  Please click here to see our cooking curriculum overview.

Click here for useful website links.


In Islington, about 14% of children aged 5-16 have a mental health problem. Amongst primary age children nearly 10% of children have mental health problems. That’s around 3000 children in Islington – or 4 in every classroom. (Findings from Islington Council’s School Improvement Service: Health and Wellbeing Team 2015).

For this reason, at Pakeman we wanted to give children strategies and tools to help them deal with adversity and trauma in their lives. There is a lot of evidence showing that mindfulness activities can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well-being of young people. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, reactivity and bad behaviour, improve sleep and self-esteem, and bring about a greater sense of calm and self-awareness.

Mindfulness can contribute directly to the development of cognitive and performance skills and executive function. It can help young people pay greater attention, be more focused, think in more innovative ways, use existing knowledge more effectively, improve working memory, and enhance planning, problem solving and reasoning skills.

The children practise short calming of the mind exercises after first break and after lunch break. Please click here for the short breathing script that we use.  This helps to settle the children after play times so they are ready to focus and learn. We also use the GoNoodle website, which has lots of great videos on mindfulness, including breathing practices, yoga and learning about patience, letting go and trying your best. Please click here for the GoNoodle website. You can very easily sign up to this website and use it at home too. Why not practise alongside your child, it will encourage them and help you too!