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, 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 Primary School, we learn Spanish in Key Stage 2 from year 3.

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 Spanish 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 Spanish 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 Spain and other countries where the target language is spoken.


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.


All maintained primary schools must provide relationships education to all pupils as per section 34 of the Children and Social work act 2017. RSE (relationships and sex education) is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and, at primary age, involves learning about relationships.

The RSE curriculum is split into 2 parts: One that is compulsory and one that is optional.


It is compulsory for pupils to learn about the following:

Year 1:

Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense

Year 2:

Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults
To understand and respect differences and similarities between people
To understand biological differences between male and female animals and their role in the life cycle
To understand biological differences between male and female children
To learn about growing from young to old and that they are growing and changing
To learn that everybody needs to be cared for and ways in which they care for others
To learn about different types of families and how their home life is special

Year 4:

To understand the way we grow and change throughout the human life cycle
To understand the physical changes associated with puberty
To learn about menstruation and wet dreams
To learn about the impact of puberty on physical hygiene and strategies for managing this
To learn how puberty affects emotions and behaviour and strategies for dealing with the changes associated with puberty
To learn strategies to deal with feelings in the context of relationships
To learn to answer each others questions about puberty with confidence, to seek support and advice when they need it

Year 5:

To describe the changes as humans develop to old age

Year 6:

To understand the changes that occur during puberty
To learn to consider different attitudes and values around gender stereotyping and sexuality and consider their origin and impact
To learn what values are important to them in relationships and to appreciate the importance of friendship in intimate relationships


The optional curriculum is only in year 6 (end of the summer term). Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from this part of the curriculum. It includes:

Year 6:

To learn about human reproduction in the context of the human lifecycle.
To learn how a baby is made and grows (conception and pregnancy).
To learn about roles and responsibilities of carers and parents.
To learn to answer each others questions about sex and relationships with confidence, to seek support and advice when they need it.
To learn that contraception can be used to stop a baby from being conceived.

The form below enables all year 6 parents/carers to chose whether they would like their child to be part of the lessons or not. Alternative work will be given to pupils who are not participating in the year 6 optional lessons.

RSE consent form

RSE letter

RSE policy


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!

The Lodge

We would like to thank the Goldman Sachs Partners who made the building of our new lodge possible through their generous donation to the school. We have an amazing new building which has transformed what we are able to achieve. Thank you so much!!!!

That the Lodge would make a big difference to us here at Pakeman was undoubted from the start, but no one here quite anticipated the amazing benefits to the whole school community and beyond, of this incredible space. The Lodge has made a profound difference to us and we are enormously grateful to the Goldman Sachs’ partners who have made realising dreams at Pakeman School happen in so many ways. Please click here to see just how the Lodge made a difference in the first year of opening.


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