The School Vision and Values is described in our prospectus. Please click here to listen to our school prospectus.
We have designed a curriculum that is ambitious for all our pupils. It is planned and sequenced to ensure children gain knowledge and skill, year on year, in all national curriculum subjects (click here for our yearly timetable). Our curriculum is adapted, designed and developed to meet the needs of our community and those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This has been achieved through collaborative work with parents, pupils and staff, enabling us to successfully identify gaps in learning which we then aim to fill. Our curriculum priorities are as follows:
We prioritise early and secure literacy skills. Our curriculum design is centred around rich language development, oracy and reading, because this is what our pupils need.
2. Long term memory: knowing more and remembering more
We place a high value on key concepts in each subject and although our curriculum is broad it is also balanced. Concepts are carefully ordered across a year group to enable links to be made between subjects, for example, children linking knowledge from a history lesson to that learned in food technology. Concepts are also progressive, so in any subject the year 4 teacher, for example, can link back to previous learning that took place in year 2.
3. Positive mental health
Positive mental health is key because educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development) is a 'golden thread' that runs throughout the school. This is evident in PSHE teaching and learning and pastoral care. In addition, all lessons are designed to encourage collaborative problem-solving which develop the school values described in our vision (refer to the pupil's Quack Quest) providing challenge and ambition, as well as self-management and discipline.
And this is how we achieve it —
At Meadlands we deliver our vision through a curriculum which consists of the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects, taught through a relevant, contextual and inspiring programme. Subjects are taught discretely as we focus on skill and knowledge, developing expertise in all faculties.
We follow innovative schemes for specialist subjects:
In addition, we offer an exciting enrichment programme for each year group which includes dance lessons with practitioners from Boundless Dance Company, yoga, LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), boxing, forest schools and music (with resident musicians, teachers and performances in local and national events and lessons in our bespoke Music Factory building). We have also designed regular visits to ensure learning is always first hand and a wide range of extracurricular creative and physical opportunities.
The curriculum is highly organised which enables a whole school focus. For example, in the first week of the Autumn Term, all year groups will all be studying history for a block of time, followed by a block of Design and Technology. Click here to see each year group's curriculum on a page which outlines each subject and corresponding topics of work.
We have categorised our curriculum into 4 sections:
Core Subjects: Reading, Writing, Maths & Science
Culture & Communication: Humanities, Computing, RE & Spanish
PE & Wellbeing: PE, PSHE, ELSA & Outdoor Learning
The Arts: Music, Art, Design Technology & LAMDA
English and Maths
These are given the highest status in our curriculum to help learners to improve their learning and performance in education, work, and life. These are embedded in the school’s curriculum. You can read about our reading, writing and maths curriculum here.
English literacy is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through literacy that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Each week children read individually and in groups during guided reading lessons; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. Guided reading focuses on the skills of comprehension and critical appreciation. Teachers read a huge variety of written material regularly with the children: fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We believe in the importance of exposing children to classic texts at all ages, but most importantly in upper Key Stage two. Our love of reading is show-cased in special events such as our half-termly competition Ready, Steady, Read! The Poetry Slam, LAMDA examinations and the subsequent event for parents A Night at The Meadlands’ Globe Theatre.
We have a home-school reading system (up to Year 6), which requests that children read for at least ten minutes each day.
We place a strong emphasis on phonics (letter sounds) in the early years of learning to read as this lays the foundations for successful reading. At Meadlands, we use the resource Read Write Inc. Phonics learning starts in Nursery and continues throughout the school. Although explicitly taught in The Early Years and KS1, the children are encouraged to use their phonics understanding in all year groups, aided by sound charts which are on display in all classrooms. Children remain with their class teacher for phonics learning who provides the appropriate level of challenge for each attainment group. Pupils also learn 'sight words' by repetition and retrieval.
Systematic Phonics Teaching
The teaching of phonics begins in Nursery and Reception, where sounds are introduced at a rate of one a day throughout the autumn and spring term. Sounds are consolidated in the summer term. This knowledge is built upon in Year 1; more complex sounds are introduced and reinforced throughout Year 2.
During the summer term in Year 1, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and who may need support in Year 2 to develop reading and writing skills. The test is very low-key and the children are not aware that they are being tested. Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child’s end-of-year report. Additional individual and group tuition in phonics will be given to those children in years 1 and Year 2 who find reading difficult. Year 2 children will be tested again in the summer term.
We teach Maths by following the small steps of progression as guided by The White Rose scheme, an approach developed by The Maths Hub and the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics. Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving are at the heart of the approach. It uses the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach and allows pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next one. All ideas are built on previous knowledge and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics.
Lessons typically are broken into four parts:
We also use Times Tables Rockstars as a tool to help pupils develop fluency in multiplication tables.
Please see below the staff, parent and pupil curriculum surveys which were used to shape the decision on topics and trips.