Paddock Wood Primary Academy (PWPA) is a thriving and engaging three-form entry school in the heart of West Kent. Our ethos encapsulates high standards and expectations, excellent learning and teaching, and the positive wellbeing of pupils and staff. Our current roll is 615. PWPA has a strong and committed teaching team which is widely respected and supported by our academy community.
We directly employ our own SEND department, comprising SENCo, Numbers Count and Reading Recovery teachers, specialist teaching assistants, and a highly-skilled Inclusion Officer. PWPA’s wide curriculum offer is supported by specialist teachers of music, French, PE and outdoor education. Some features that help us stand out from other schools are:
- All pupils learn French, learn other subjects in French and leave PWPA conversant in the language
- Pupils leave PWPA with a strong understanding and appreciation of music and sporting skills
- PWPA embeds independence, stamina and considered risk into children’s learning, for example through EYFS and Year 1 initiative exercises, Years 1, 2 and 3 outdoor/forest skills, Y4 mountain biking, Year 5 caving, climbing and kayaking, and Year 6 skiing/snow-boarding.
PWPA has its own school minibuses and very frequently takes children out into the local area and into central London, as well as taking Year 5 pupils to the Brecon Beacons and Year 6 pupils to Paris. We have a strong regard for extra-curricular learning and a very healthy catalogue of sporting and other successes and awards. Our academy benefits from significant parent and community support.
Ethos and Values
Our philosophy is that all pupils have the right and deserve to achieve at no less than age-related expectations and that children will read at no less than their chronological age. We continue to develop the quality of teaching in our school through effective coaching and mentoring of class teachers and teaching assistants, and deliver clear, consistent messages about high expectations and exacting standards. We continue to broaden the range of opportunities we offer children, but the core of what we do in school will remain focused on helping children to secure ambitious/aspirational literacy and numeracy skills. Our motto is ‘keep it simple, do it well’. We strive to encourage children to do things extremely well, with stamina and determination to succeed. We are proactive in working closely with our school community, supporting families by developing conducive partnerships with parents and carers. Paddock Wood Primary Academy is a good school and is relentless in driving school improvement.
The origins of our primary school building date back to 1909 when the school was built for boys only. Girls and infants transferred to the school in later years and extensions were added. This is a picture of how it used to look before Ewins Close and new housing in Old Kent Road were built.
On 29 July 1980 during the school summer holiday, the whole school was almost completely destroyed by fire but was open for business in time for the new academic year which started in September. Here is an excerpt from the diary of the then Headteacher Mr Silletto: “The local church offered the use of the new Wesley Centre, when completed, and this was accepted. During August, seven mobile classrooms arrived with two mobile toilets and a staffroom. I returned early from holiday and met local officials and subsequently became involved in the planning of the new building on the previous site. Everyone including County officials, local officials, teaching staff, cleaning staff and parents cooperated splendidly. Stock and equipment began to arrive very quickly and parents turned out hundreds of books to replace our losses which were substantial. On 9 September, the school reopened on time and within minutes of the assembly of the children, the school was almost fully operational.”
The new building (which today houses the school office, small hall and Year 3, 4 and 5 classrooms) was completed in 1982. Further works took place in 1992, by a firm called Coombs in Canterbury and the new building was officially opened by the Rt Hon Patrick Mayhew QC MP on 5th March 1993. This building houses the large hall and Year 6 and Years 1 and 2 classrooms.
Finally, the Reception block was opened on 25 July 1997 by then local MP, Archie Norman.