ISI, May 2019
“Pupils demonstrate outstandingly positive attitudes to learning, producing work showing high levels of independence”
ISI, May 2019
“Pupils demonstrate real leadership in their learning through regular self-reflection”
ISI, May 2019
“Pupils are encouraged to take risks and strive to do their best without fear of failure”
ISI, May 2019
“Pupils of all abilities make rapid progress across all areas of learning from their starting points”
ISI, May 2019
“Pupils with EAL and SEND make equally rapid progress because of targeted individual support”
ISI, May 2019
“Pupils achieve highly in activities outside the school curriculum, both in teams or as individuals”
We aim to develop a love of learning in all our pupils. Children are taught in small classes by fully qualified, dedicated staff who are able to give every child individual attention.
Our main goal is to prepare our pupils for entry into their senior schools via the Kent Test/11+, ISEB pre-test, Common Entrance, and Scholarship routes, and to equip them with the confidence and motivation to flourish in the years ahead.
Our academic reputation is excellent and Wellesley Haddon Dene pupils gain entry to a variety of prestigious grammar schools (Year 6) and public schools (Year 8), many with scholarships.
The Kent Test
To be successful in life, children need to have acquired a range of skills and developed a strong work ethic. To flourish, children need to feel confident, happy and secure with their progress. Our small class sizes, specialist teaching and individually responsive curriculum combined with outstanding pastoral care enables us to achieve this for our children. We believe this will provide a strong foundation upon which to build Kent Test success.
This year, we are proud to celebrate an outstanding achievement – 75% of our pupils successfully passed their 11+ entrance exams. This accomplishment stands in stark contrast to the recent data published by the Kent County Council, where 45.2% of county children successfully passed the 11+.
Our commitment to excellence and a nurturing educational environment has propelled our pupils to soar beyond expectations and secure places in prestigious schools.
“Don’t give up on the opportunity for a grammar school for your child, try Wellesley Haddon Dene and watch them flourish.” – Former Parent
On average, over 75% of our children transition to grammar schools. They choose from a selection of excellent grammar destinations including:
- Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School
- Dane Court Grammar School
- Sir Roger Manwood’s Grammar School
Some children choose to continue their education at senior independent schools through the academic scholarships they have gained.
By the time our children take the test, they feel thoroughly prepared, supported and ready. They know that whatever the outcome, they have worked to their fullest potential.
The curriculum is deliberately broad and goes beyond the confines of the National Curriculum, to ensure that all aspects of the Kent Test and ISEB Common Entrance syllabus are covered.
As pupils move up the school, Latin is introduced. Tuition in other languages can be arranged.
Subjects taught include:
Our children excel in maths. The teaching is dynamic and utilises the most up-to-date techniques in mastery.
The whole school focuses on the use of bar modelling to provide pictorial representations, enabling children to master even the most abstract of concepts. A strong grasp of the four operations is secured at an early age enabling children to move on quickly, applying their understanding to reasoning and problem solving.
Our children are encouraged to take part in the national Primary Maths Challenge run by the Maths Association. Year on Year, a number of our children progress to the Bonus Round gaining medals for their efforts. To reach this level, children are operating at the top 1.5% of the population taking the test. This is an incredible accolade for our children and indeed our school.
Our children benefit from a highly specialised curriculum in English which enables them to gain a solid grasp of the spoken and written word.
They have access to the finest teaching in elocution and performing arts which means they are able to master public speaking and communicate with clarity from a very young age. From year 1 upwards, they participate in our annual Elocution Cup Competition where they recite and perform a poem of their choice.
In class, the children benefit from a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Essentially, the children start a unit of work with a ‘cold task’ which provides a baseline for personalised target setting. Through the use of exciting hooks and engaging model texts, the children develop text maps and toolkits which enables them to internalise particular styles of writing and ‘magpie’ good ideas. They finish the unit with a ‘hot task’ where they can showcase their newly acquired skills. This acts as a basis for comparison in order to measure progress. The children thrive on and enjoy the process of writing as they are given examples of best practice upon which to innovate and compose their own writing. They benefit greatly from strong teaching in spelling, grammar, punctuation and comprehension. Our Year 6 SATs results, which exceed national standards, are indicative of this.
Our children regularly enter story writing competitions with great success. Several of our children were recently shortlisted by the Young Writer’s Guild
There are numerous opportunities for our children to perform and be applauded. We have an annual school production which is performed on the stage in our prestigious Old Hall. Children also perform at Easter, Christmas and Harvest festivals which are very much enjoyed by our staff and families.
Science and ICT
Children benefit from specialist teaching in computer science. Through the Purple Mash framework, they develop a range of skills such as programming, debugging and robotics. They learn how to use operating software for a variety of purposes. Most importantly, they learn the importance of E-Safety, how to report cyberbullying and how to protect their online security. Our E-Safety ambassadors hold assemblies and run workshops to champion the importance of being safe online.
In science, we firmly believe in student-led, practical enquiry. Students are given ample opportunities to investigate their hypotheses and to assess their predictions through experimentation. We focus on outdoor learning wherever possible to achieve this. We are very lucky to host two purpose built labs at our school where children benefit from specialist equipment.
Children benefit from a weekly science club run by our STEM Ambassador and science teacher, Mrs Lear. In addition, we enjoy a range of links with Kent University and Pfizers where our children take part in science workshops and activities. Our annual science fair is enjoyed by children and parents alike. This is an incredible, confidence boosting event where children can showcase their scientific know-how in front of a live audience.
Art and Design Technology
Our children benefit from a broad approach to Art and Design where every child has the opportunity to develop their making skills and understanding of Art and Design within a broad historical and cultural context. They have access to outstanding Art and Design facilities/resources including a dedicated art studio and well equipped woodwork room. All learning is underpinned with reference to artists and designers both historical and contemporary. Children gain confidence in using a range of media and approaches to making in both two and three dimensions. We take part in many community led art competitions and maintain links with local galleries such as Turner Contemporary in Margate. Outside of timetabled lessons children are able to join a number of extra curricular art activities to develop skills and prepare portfolios for scholarship interviews. All children from Reception up benefit from specialist teaching.
Our main focus is to provide a fascination and enjoyment of the past. We look to create enjoyment through themed days, trips out and teaching about past cultures in a way that stimulates curiosity and wonder at how people have lived throughout the centuries.
At the senior end of the school, the history department has had great success in both CE and Scholarships. Some pupils achieved Top 50 places in the Townsend-Warner History Prize this year from a field of over one thousand participants.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to progressively develop children’s skills in French, taught during weekly lessons, delivered by a specialist teacher. In Little Denes, children enjoy French songs and rhymes. As they progress to KS1, they acquire a growing bank of vocabulary, leading to sentence formation in KS2. At KS3, pupils are able to write paragraphs and understand a wide range of sentences and vocabulary, as prepared for Common Entrance Level 2 and academic scholarships. We provide numerous opportunities for children to utilise and apply their language skills during trips to France and letter-writing to penpals. These approaches help to equip our children with the skills to become confident, global citizens.
We follow the Jigsaw and PSHE Association schemes of work which covers all aspects of Health Relationships. At Wellesley Haddon Dene one of our fundamental school values is respect. We actively promote this during our PSHE lessons, ensuring children understand what it means to be British. We actively encourage our children to form their own viewpoints and respect those of others. Part of our school ethos is to nurture children who grow into model citizens, ready to take on responsibility for their place in society. We want them to leave our school with a strong moral compass, understanding the clear difference between what is right and what is wrong. We want them to form healthy relationships based on mutual respect and kindness.
Our children regularly take part in voluntary and community work. For instance, once a month a class will complete a local beach clean. This generation is key to undoing the untold damage our environment has endured. We provide our children with the skills, knowledge and motivation to take action and make a difference. They also volunteer in local elderly residential homes, offering to sing and talk to residents.
Children are actively encouraged to think of fundraising ideas for local and national charities. This year we raised over £5000 for various charities.
We have an exceptional reputation for our sporting provision. Despite being a small school, our children excel across a range of regular sporting competitions including cross country, football, netball, hockey, rugby, cricket, tennis and swimming. We participate in weekly fixtures enabling children to interact with children from other schools.
In our physical education lessons, children learn to participate in a range of sports including gymnastics, badminton, athletics, volleyball, handball and tennis. Children benefit from specialist teaching and coaching, ensuring they learn the very best techniques. There is a strong focus on developing teamwork and communication skills, alongside honing the correct sporting etiquette and values. Physical education is integral to our curriculum. These lessons build confidence and resilience which can be applied to other areas of study.
Our children swim every week with specialist swim coaches. They take part in annual Swim Safe training at Margate Beach, run by Swim Safe England. Being a coastal school, we take water safety very seriously.
Our extra-curricular offering is broad, offering children the opportunity to strengthen existing skills and build new ones. Children can choose from archery, fencing, horse riding, yoga, boxing, gymnastics, golf, tennis and shooting to name a few. In Year 6, the children take part in a ski trip to France. In Year 7 and 8, the children participated in a cricket tour to South Africa.
Religion is a major part of our world. Our beliefs are core to our way of life and have a fundamental effect on our values as human beings. However, not all of us follow the same faith and in RS we look to heighten our children’s awareness and understanding of the different religions of the world, and thus of our national and local communities.
We maintain a professional and sensitive attitude in our teaching, seeking only to educate and not indoctrinate.
Music and Drama
Our children benefit from weekly lessons in music and drama, delivered by specialist teachers. Every year, we hold a Prep and Junior show.. We offer the finest teaching in Elocution leading up to our highly anticipated Elocution Cup competition where children recite poetry of their choice. We participate in many local events including the Thanet Music Festival, the Thanet Speech Festival and the Festival of Song with many of our children reaching Distinction Level. Several of our children take part in LAMDA achieving much acclaim in the local community.
In music, our children develop an appreciation of a range of genres of music and are exposed to several musical instruments. We encourage children to focus on the work of great musicians for inspiration and exploration, and to build up a repertoire of techniques and approaches that they can apply in their own compositions. Children can deepen their knowledge by taking part in the wide array of individual lessons in piano, guitar and violin. Specialist vocal coaching lessons are also available. Our choir takes part in many local events including the ‘Christmas Light Switch On’.
Children who require it receive learning support on a one-to-one basis, in pairs or in small groups. Our Learning Support department is led by a suitably qualified and experienced member of staff and supported by an English as and additional language specialist, a small team of peripatetic teachers and teaching assistants.