Over de grenzen: multiculturele mix in Londen

Het initiatief

De Wingfield Primary School is een basisschool in het Zuid-Oosten van Londen. Ze telt een 300-tal leerlingen, waarvan de meerderheid niet Engels heeft als eerste taal. Bovendien zijn er ook heel wat kansarme kinderen onder de scholieren en kinderen met leermoeilijkheden. De school kende enkele jaren geleden een erg slechte reputatie met heel wat geweld en gedragsproblemen. Drie jaar geleden kwam er een nieuw management, nieuwe leerkrachten en een nieuwe visie.

De school werkt volgens het 'Backwards by Design' principe. Daar kwam ze toe door eerst enkele maanden in elke klas verschillende visies uit te proberen: elke leerkracht stelde daarna de pros en cons voor aan de rest van het lerarenteam en samen besloten ze voor Backward by design te gaan. Een visie waarbij de kinderen om de zes weken toewerken naar een eindproduct (een Grieks museum, een boot die drijft, ...) en alle vakken in het teken van deze doelstellingen staan.

Uniek aan deze school is de snelle omslag die ze heeft gemaakt van 'probleemschool' tot succesvolle, multiculturele school, waarbij elke leerling zijn eigen plaatsje heeft. Kern van het succes is vooral de schone lei waarmee het nieuwe management gestart is: alles werd opnieuw aangepakt, zodat het een school werd met een visie waar iedereen kon achterstaan. Belangrijk is ook het respect voor culturele verschillen, die niet als moeilijkheden gezien worden, maar omarmd worden en als belangrijke meerwaarde aanzien worden.

We legden directeur Mr Ross Silcock de Veranderwijs-vragen voor, hieronder lees je een uitgebreider (Engels) verhaal van de school en het vernieuwingsproces...

De vernieuwing

Wingfield Primary School is smaller than average-sized primary school.  The majority of pupils are from a range of minority ethnic groups, which is above average.  A large majority of pupils speak English as an additional language.  The proportion of pupils supported by pupil premium funding is high. The pupil premium funding is additional government funding which supports pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals and children looked after by the local authority.  The percentage of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is above average.

At Wingfield Primary School we collect evidence about what works best now and use this evidence to improve outcomes for all. Our vision is to build a school community focused on the learner: child and adult. We have progressed from deliverers of a curriculum for children to designers of learning for all. Given this, we now offer an expanding programme of learning opportunities because we're passionate advocates of learning without limits.

For schools to ensure outstanding teaching quality over time leading to improved outcomes for all then leaders need to facilitate the cumulative engagement of teachers in mode 2 professional learning: a professional learning environment characterised by inquiry, formal and informal dialogue and collaboration.  This will allow schools to build capacity in designing learning around learners’ needs or children and adults’ needs.  To achieve this, leaders need to deliver a model of leadership which engages all in action focused on learning by recognising the centrality of precise context-driven and collaborative leadership to fostering rapid and innovative change.  This vision for school improvement, the shift from the school as the deliverer of the curriculum for children to the school as a designer of learning for all, recognises the role of cognitive politics in enabling leaders to improve outcomes for all.  Schools, however organised, have been given a mandate to start collecting evidence about what works best now.  This will allow for a culture to be established where engaging all in learning allows evidence to be used as a matter of routine to improve outcomes for all.

Waarom en hoe?

To build a school community focused on the learner we needed to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which inspires all children to develop a lifelong love of learning; promotes the willingness to question, explore and take risks in their learning, and enables all children to achieve the highest possible outcomes.  Our innovative and inspiring curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum Framework and provides a wide and varied learning experience, which is enriched through creative contexts and our values based learning community.  The Wingfield curriculum is based on the principles of the ‘backwards by design’ pedagogy which ensures that all learning is tailored towards a desired goal.  This, in turn, creates highly memorable, meaningful and purposeful learning experiences for the children at our school.

The Wingfield Curriculum enables all children to become:

· successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve

· confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives

· responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

· intrinsically motivated by their learning experiences

· critical thinkers who consider a range of theories and perspectives before forming their own opinions and views

· considerate young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect


The Wingfield Curriculum is developed around a values based learning community which:

· promotes personal development

· supports equality of opportunity

· develops spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and physical growth

· celebrates the contributions of a diverse range of people, cultures and heritages

· develops an understanding of the environment as the basis of life and a source of wonder and inspiration that needs to be protected

The curriculum at Wingfield will:

· promote high standards, particularly in English, Mathematics and Computing

· provide continued entitlement from the early years to a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum

· instil in children a positive disposition to learning and a commitment to learn

· promote and pass on essential knowledge, skills and understanding valued by society to the next generation

· be relevant to children and prepare them for the here and now, for the next phase of their education, and for their future

· widen horizons and raise aspirations about the world of work and further and higher education

· make children more aware of, and engaged with, their local, national and international communities

· help children recognise that personal development is essential to wellbeing and success


A culture of learning permeates the school; a corollary of our vision is to build a school community focused on the learner.  This is evidenced in the ongoing dialogue between pupils and teachers recorded in books, pupils ability to discuss their learning and a survey report on staff attitudes to school (April 2016) indicating 100% of staff agree that the school successfully meets the needs of individual pupils.  It i further evidenced by the good to outstanding progress across all year groups, the rapidly improving attainment profile and the narrowing of progress and attainment gaps for all pupil groups.

Tips & tricks

“To lead is to be at the center of a group, rather than in front of others.”

Blase, J. and Anderson, G. (1995) The Micro-politics of Educational Leadership: From Control to Empowerment. London: Cassell


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