Skill Slams

A twist on traditional lessons, our skill slams are a blend of direct teaching of new concepts for Prep school children, with time set aside for self-selection of carefully prepared resources and challenges for pupils to self-manage their progress in the fields of learning below.

The fields of learning contain information on how pupils learn knowledge in each subject, both discreetly and through project-based learning.


Learning happens both in and out of the Maths Lab, in Big Studies, STEAM workshops and WILD Fridays, in a cross curricular fashion linked to other projects students are working on.

During Maths Workshops the class are split into two halves; whilst one half spends time with their Teacher who explains and demonstrates new mathematical concepts and sets the group challenges to test their application, the other group will be choosing from a selection of intentional resources in the Maths Lab to practise a concept of maths mastery that the class is working on that particular half term.

The class Teaching Partner supports students to work in a self-directed way, selecting challenges at an appropriate level for them and tracking their progress before they move on to something harder. Students and teachers can use the Evidence Me (LINK) App on their class ipad to record their work and write an observation about their learning and achievement that is recorded in their digital profile, assessed against the National Curriculum and is shared with parents if the student decides they want it to be.


Learning literacy crosses through all parts of our curriculum as there is always a need to read for research and to speak and write to share your knowledge.

So it happens explicitly and organically throughout the day across the school. Our dedicated English Lab and Library is a space to be seduced by language, stories, books, poems and creative writing, and to develop skills in literacy and oracy.

Classes work as a whole or in half groups supported by the Teacher and Teaching Partner. One half may use our school Library to read or write stories collaboratively, linked to other project work from WILD Fridays, STEAM or Big Studies projects, whilst the other half learns some knew knowledge about complex adverbs, for example because it could be useful in their next piece of writing.

Literacy 5 is a 15 minute practise all students take part in where they spend 15 minutes after morning mindfulness exercises to choose to read alone or to a partner, write for a purpose, do word games or listen to someone read. Reading at home is actively encouraged and our youngest learners begin their journey into developing a love of reading and writing by exploring stories and using Montessori materials for sound blending and segmenting, along with the Read Write Inc phonics system.


Children have the chance to learn instruments through peripatetic lessons and gain grades if they want to.

All children are encouraged to sign up to our school Rock Choir, and class music takes place in our Music and Drama Studio with Jason, an experienced Music teacher.

Music workshops and singing have their own place within the timetable, but music is also an area pupils will be able to enjoy as part of their self-directed studies, Big Studies projects and Wild Friday activities. Music is usually playing in our school somewhere everyday!


Science – Technology – Engineering – Art – Maths.

Our STEAM Lab is a place for examining the world through the lens of biology, chemistry and physics as well as integrating design, invention, aesthetic and technology.

Our cross-curricular teaching of science and technology enables students to make links about how the world works both naturally and synthetically, without teaching subject matter in silos, which can foster disengagement as children don’t always understand how what they are being asked to learn actually applies to them.

Our STEAM workshops are supported by an expert science teacher who help devise a curriculum based on investigation that applies an enquiry-based approach to challenge students to think for themselves and develop a researcher’s mindset. Inspiring speakers such as local designers, engineers, coders and medics are invited into school regularly to introduce students to real life problem solving and explore future career pathways.


Our Atelierista (Resident Artist), Ben Reid, is an expert in interactive art, multi-media, sculpting, screen printing graphic design, animation and illustrations. We also have a professional film producer and ceramicist, Katie, who teaches in school and leads art related workshops.

Our Ateliers (Creative Studios) are furnished with the highest grade painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, woodwork and digital creativity equipment, as well as music production software, video and animation software and podcasting and vlogging tools – for students to create and express themselves in infinite ways.

Ben’s driving force is curiosity. He is curious about all things and all processes which allows him to teach such a wide range of media and creative styles. In particular he is drawn to motion and movement because there is so much information in such things. A paused goal, mid kick can show a lifetimes worth of training, branding, weather, texture, colour, mood, the feelings of the person, the importance and difficulty of the action, the forces involved and the impacts of those forces on the surrounding environment. These actions happen all around us all the time and we miss the detail in them.

As Ben says in his artistic statement below:

“My aim is to capture action to preserve a moment. I encourage students to explore their own curiosity of the importance of an action, but also to capture it, so that it may be explored or considered by others. Pausing a moment gives it importance, majesty. So many amazing things happen in a modern world that acts of skill become every day or mundane and we become complacent or used to them.

My curiosity is my driving force and so the skill, sport, or action I am currently learning or exploring is the focus of my artwork. As my curiosity wanders so does the subject of the artwork, however the concept or driving force remains the same.
The media I use also drifts and changes in relation to my ideas, however an observational element is always present as I aspire to an Abstract Realist style. The subject matters I have previously focused on are climbing, martial arts, historical re-enactment and more classical focuses much as figure drawing and still life. The media I use is very varied, but I started creating stills from videos, sculptural and conceptual pieces. I have always had a love of printmaking, current pieces are usually digital, pencil in tone, colour pencil and airbrushing. I am looking to progress my use of mixed media into using oil paint and acrylic airbrushing together.”


Our chosen foreign language is Spanish for 2022-2023. Students learn through fun and engaging games and songs, as well as role playing everyday scenarios to understand foreign language in a context.

Exposing students to different languages and cultures also happens through themed culinary weeks, world music and dance workshops or exploring world politics.

The whole school community might tuck into homemade Chinese food made by the primary classes to celebrate Chinese New Year, for example. For GCSE courses we aim to offer other languages as options as well as Spanish, such as French, Japanese and Italian or a language of student’s own choosing provided we can source a teacher.


As well as a large outdoor area and the rolling green spaces of Broadfield Park at our disposal, just a minute’s walk away the students access the K2 Sports Centre for indoor climbing, swimming, diving, hockey, football, squash, badminton, trampolining, athletics and gymnastics (plus many more options).

As one of the largest sporting facilities in the South East, the K2 is a real gem in the offering of Atelier 21, as it means we have competition grade sports facilities on our doorstep along with trained teachers to access teaching specialist sports.

Sports and games for the upcoming terms is decided by vote at our school circles meetings and being a small school we can be flexible to incorporate specialist sports from time to time as the students request, such as fencing, horse riding or judo. Our school is small, however we do compete in competitive sports locally and have transport to facilitate this.


Drama is led by Jason, an experienced performing arts teacher, who also teaches music, broadcasting and IT at the school and orchestrates the most amazing whole school productions each year. Since starting, the school has put on a number of performances including the production of Matilda JR at The Hawth Theatre on its main stage and Seussical Musical which was performed with full staging outside the school. Drama is also taught around the school wherever the pupils and teachers feel is the most appropriate setting.

As well as a dedicated drama studio they could often be seen reading through a play in the school Piazza, in the park grounds under a tree, or devising a scene on WILD Fridays on the beach or in the forest. Our outdoor plays are a real treat as we invite our community of parents and teachers to join us for a summer evening production from the pupils in Broadfield Park where we are based.

Drama workshops are planned emergently, and like all workshops, are linked to the fields of research that the student’s have chosen to pursue in Big Studies. If we were looking at ‘Events That Changed The Way We Live’, for example, we may well be introducing Anne Frank for the students to explore.