“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”
Meadowside is a nurturing community primary school with a strong sense of pride and belonging. We believe that all pupils have the potential to thrive.
We exist to cultivate a love of learning by broadening horizons and opening minds to new possibilities. Through our School Values, we grow confident individuals who aspire to shape the future.
“We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things.” Stephen Hawking 1942-2018
We want the children of Meadowside Primary School to be not only as academically brilliant as they can be, but also great citizens of their locality, their country and the world.
Our curriculum drivers are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our pupils, our beliefs about high quality education and our school values. We aim to ensure that we give our pupils appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities. Meadowside’s Curriculum Drivers are:
We aim to give our pupils the vital background knowledge necessary to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British Values.
Our curriculum breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital and subject topics.
Our ambition is for all pupils to study the best of what has been thought and said by many influential people throughout history.
Key Concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful learning. The same concepts are explored in a wide variety of topics. Through this ‘forwards and backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, the pupils revisit the same concepts and gradually build understanding of them. For each ‘Key Concept’ there are three Milestones which build on knowledge throughout the school thus ensuring progression.
Milestone 1 – Years 1 & 2
Milestone 2 – Years 3 & 4
Milestone 3 – Years 5 & 6
Within each milestone, pupils’ knowledge and understanding gradually progresses through three stages of development, basic, advancing and deep. Our aim is for pupils to display mastery at the advancing stage by the end of each milestone. The timescale for sustained mastery or ‘greater depth’ within their milestone is two years. This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who believe in direct instruction in the early stages of learning and discovery based approaches later.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Stephen Hawking 1942-2018
Learning is most effective with:
- Spaced repetition
- Interleaving – which helps pupils to discriminate between topics and supports long term retention
- Retrieval – frequently retrieving previously learnt content increases pupils’ learning
Our content is subject specific, making intra-curricular links to reinforce learning.
Knowledge and Understanding
We provide our children with detailed subject specific ‘Knowledge’ with the aim of committing it to their long term memory. For our children to understand and enjoy their learning as deeply as possible, we believe that this is essential.
The advantages of children acquiring deep knowledge are:
- It inspires creativity
- It helps children with reading comprehension
- It improves their vocabulary
- It prepares them for life in modern Britain and helps them understand their social context
To assist with the learning and acquisition of knowledge, we use ‘Knowledge Organisers’. Please see an example below:
These knowledge organisers are used both at school and at home to help consolidate knowledge.
The acquisition of vocabulary is a vital part of our curriculum. Children are exposed to 3 main types of vocabulary. These consist of:
- Tier 1 words – Every day words mostly found in everyday talk eg. the, be, to, of etc
- Tier 2 words – General academic and literary words eg. relative, vary, formulate, accumulate etc
- Tier 3 words – Subject specific words eg. lava, missionary, timbre, circumference etc
At Meadowside, children keep a log of the Tier 3 Subject specific vocabulary in their books. This is called Vital Vocabulary. See an example below:
The children will add key vocabulary to this ‘log’ as they progress through a unit of learning, along with a picture and definition. The Knowledge Organiser can be used to support this process.
“Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long term memory nothing has been learned.” Ofsted 2019