Our objective at Hackney New School is to equip students with the intellectual and emotional tools they need to lead an interesting, rewarding and diverse life.
We believe that the four central elements of our core vision are required to achieve this:-
- Academic excellence: we need knowledge to navigate through life
- Self-belief: children must learn to believe in their judgement and their abilities; if they do, they will be able to have full control over their lives
- Intellectual curiosity: everything can be interesting – we believe it is worthwhile regularly to review one’s beliefs and explore new facts, phenomena and points of view
- Responsibility towards others: we share our lives with others, and our liberty and happiness depends on that of other people. We want to remind HNS students of this important feature of our lives
In pursuit of this core vision we encourage our students to consider a number of beliefs and characteristics that we think are naturally supportive of our objectives.
The length and structure of the school day and the curriculum have been designed to help us achieve this core vision. Ten specific examples of how we do this are:-
- Focus on the Core
Getting Maths and English right is critical, alongside Science, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages
- Teaching Day
Six 60-minute lessons during the day with movement breaks in between until staggered lunches from 12.45-1.45pm.
Independent study and enrichment activities take place from 4pm until 5/5:30pm
- ‘The Core’ Programme
A unique debate-based course to explore the history of ideas in literature, politics and science
- Regular Assessment
We assess students every week, in many different ways, focusing on problem solving and coherent thought and expression
- Personal Tutors
Each student has their own personal tutor/mentor
- House System
Each pupil is part of a “House” to establish networks of support between different age groups
- Learning Expedition
Exploring the world outside Hackney New School
- Public Performance
Students participate in a range of public performances in Sport, Music and Art, assembly and the classroom
There are lots of competitive sports and activities to keep students healthy and agile
If everyone at HNS wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge, and succeeded in doing so because of the education and grades they achieve at Hackney New School, we would be delighted. However, we are more interested in developing certain faculties that we believe are required to lead a good life regardless of whether they are being put to use at university or in some other walk of life – for instance, an ability to think critically, solve problems, and understand how and why others may have very different beliefs than oneself. If we achieve this, we will have delivered a very good education to HNS’s students.