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Our Learning

Curriculum Summary 

To find out more about our curriculum, please contact one of the following members of staff via our school office.

Email:; Phone: 0208 270 6582       

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Curriculum Leadership    

Teaching, Learning and Curriculum leader: Mrs Louise Legg

Language and literacy leader (writing, reading, phonics, French) : Mrs Linda Freeland

STEM leader (science, mathematics, DT, computing): Miss Rosie Albany

Humanities leader (RE, history, geography): Ms Sarah Nash

Creative and wellbeing leader (art, music, PE, PSHE, RSE, collective worship): Mr Richard Wakeford 

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Our vision:

Learning from Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to work diligently, act generously and live at peace with everyone. 

Psalm 34:14 - Seek peace and pursue it.

  Our context (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Village ward):

With Barking and Dagenham being one of the most deprived areas of the country, and the school’s foundation, as stated in 1841, being ‘to educate the local poor,’ our vision continues to provide the path not only to improve the lives of all pupils but for them to generously better the lives of others around them within the school, locality and further afield. Our transformational education provides a route out of poverty and to face current and future challenges through the raising of aspirations and encouraging our pupils to work diligently, providing a mirror into their own culture along with a window into the cultures of others in order to promote tolerance, understanding and peace – all enshrined within British and Christian values

We want our pupils to thrive and not just survive in life.

To be successful.     To be healthy.     To be happy.     To be empowered to make a difference.

To be successful:

Our intent

Our implementation

Pupils are exposed to a variety of career options so, post education, they can work diligently in a career where they can be successful and not just survive.

Empower children of all abilities, interests and backgrounds to work diligently and explore a range of future career opportunities across the curriculum through our ‘purposeful learning’ approach. This applies across the school including within our SEND specialist classrooms. Through working with the Brilliant Club, higher attaining Pupil Premium students are afforded the opportunity to work with a leading university and experience university life and studies through a PhD student led project and visits to prestigious universities including Royal Holloway, UCL and Cambridge. New additions such as our radio station, work with the Institute of Imagination and Lego also open doors to potential work in design and media, supporting employment at the new film studios opening with the locality.

All pupils have the skills that employers’ value to support their success.

In every lesson, and for every child, we will ensure we provide opportunities for pupils to work diligently through collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication as we support children in developing skills and gaining knowledge through an ambitious, well sequenced and awe-inspiring curriculum.

Pupils are exposed to an ambitious and engaging curriculum.

Our approach to the curriculum is inspired by ‘Mantle of the Expert’ (Heathcote). The sequencing of the curriculum is research informed by the spiral curriculum (Jerome Bruner) and is research led. Key concepts of each subject have been identified and repeatedly revisited throughout the curriculum but with deepening layers of complexity and application.  Our curriculum builds on, rather than repeats pupils’ prior learning.  Our aim is that pupils are able to improve, build upon and apply key skills in all subject areas allowing them to know more and remember more by ensuring lessons are sequential and that knowledge and understanding is embedded within meaningful contexts, supported by our immersive learning environments. 

All pupils achieve well in order that they have a firm baseline to be successful at secondary school.

Through application of Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, pedagogy is research-led and meets the needs of pupils, ensuring they can work diligently.  Our ‘Lighthouse’ specialist provision ensures those who need a parallel curriculum have this delivered by a qualified teacher whilst those who are at risk of not reaching the expected standard are taught, where possible, by our most senior members of staff.

To be healthy:

Our intent

Our implementation

To be physically healthy – to understand the importance of exercise and healthy eating; providing support to pupils where needed.

Recognising the lack of physical outdoor space and that the school is in the top 10% nationally for childhood obesity, our playground has been fully redeveloped to promote, sport, movement and active play. School menus have been redesigned to be healthier. Our curriculum promotes healthy lifestyles with our in-house catering team leading ‘cooking in the curriculum’ lessons to support healthy lifestyles.  We provide a range of after school clubs, promoting sport, many of which are run by our sports partners – Kick.

To be mentally healthy – to understand the importance of exercise and healthy eating; providing support to pupils where needed.

The school has invested heavily in mental health support recognising this as a prevailing need within the community. This includes coverage cross the curriculum, appointment of a learning mentor, mentoring from our sport partners, Place2Be charity two days a week and a qualified counsellor once a week. Our curriculum promotes healthy relationships, online safety, safeguarding linking to prevalent local issues such as knife crime and future healthy sexual relationships. We also provide workshops for parents around mental health and support for them too.

To be spiritually healthy – to be confident in their own beliefs but curious to find out more, including about the beliefs of others.

We encourage pupils to be confident within their own beliefs;  to be curious to find out more about their own faith and that of others. We enable the exploration and expression of opinions, beliefs, differences and attitudes through opportunities such as The Big Question, Spirituality Day, School Vision and Values days. These allow the pupils to disagree well in order to promote peace, consideration and connection with something or someone bigger than ourselves.

To be happy:

Our intent

Our implementation

To develop cultural capital, experiencing a range of places, environments and activities through our 11 engaging experiences.

From experiencing a show at the West End, to visiting France; from sliding down a waterfall in the Welsh Mountains to enjoying a meal in a restaurant, we want all of our pupils to recognise the wonder that this world offers in terms of its environment and activities so that pupils will be motivated to explore more as they grow up and enjoy lifestyles that are safe, happy and exciting. We ensure our 11 engaging activities are available to all pupils through our hardship account, funded through the community events that the school provides, the generosity of pupils who organise events and through the additional consultancy and inspectorate work of the headteacher.   

To promote the benefits of positive behaviour, ensuring sufficient intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are evident.

The school’s behaviour system is designed to recognise and reward positive behaviour. Our interactive track it lights system ensures pupils are kept aware of their conduct.  The house system ensures there are collective rewards whilst our ‘House Point Heroes’ programme provides additional individual incentives whilst supporting our enriching 11 engaging experiences.  Our weekly ‘Star of week’ award (three per class) closely links to our school vision.

To provide support where necessary with mental and behavioural support.

Recognising that some pupils experience trauma and have challenging lives, as listed above, the school has invested heavily in support for pupils with a range of short and long term issues including mental health, bereavement, safeguarding, anxiety, anger, friendships and self-esteem.   

To be empowered to make a difference:

Our intent

Our implementation

Pupils have the opportunity to contribute and impact the running of the school.

Or democratically elected pupil voice groups meet each half term, with agendas and minutes published online.  Our election process supports the teaching of democracy and ensure it is the pupils who select their representatives.  Our groups include learning council, worship council and eco/community council and ensure pupils have an impact within the running of their school.

Pupils support and develop their local community, ensuring it is a desirable place to live, work and raise a family.

Our annual community month, each June, ensures our pupils are provided with the opportunity to be generously involved in improvements within the local area. Each class undertakes a form of service ranging from litter picking at the local country park to supporting other improvement initiatives including creating the mural by Dagenham Heathy station.  Our pupils have read with residents at the local care home along with singing for them.  Pupils also support with the running of our community events that raise money for those experiencing hardship to fundraising for local charities.     

Pupils recognise their role within the national and global community.

Supporting our vision of generosity and our value of service, each year sponsors a child in Colombia who follows the year group through the school. Colombia features within our curriculum (a culture not represented within the school) and provides opportunities not only to fundraise for our friends but to learn more about them and their lives whilst educating them about the UK.

Our impact

Our approach, utilising ‘Purposeful Learning; Engaging Experiences’ results in a relevant and exciting curriculum that prepares pupils for life in 21st century.  Pupils are enthused, securing strong outcomes and receiving a positive view of education that lasts into the future. They are inspired regarding future careers and further study. This is achieved through pupils:

  • Knowing they are working for a purpose
  • Knowing others will see and benefit from the work, including their local community
  • Knowing they can bring about change
  • Feeling strongly about an issue and wanting to communicate their thoughts following a debate/discussion
  • Feeling inspired through examples from others
  • Use of learning environments to support the learning – especially some of our corridor themed areas
  • Experiencing visits, speakers and workshops

William Ford pupils have a strong understanding and commitment to British Values and the desire to enhance their communities through working diligently, generous acts of service and high levels of tolerance and understanding in order to promote peace.  They understand how to keep themselves and other safe, physically and mentally, including a knowledge of healthy living and loving relationships.