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Curriculum & Ethos

What does teaching and learning look like at Meadows?

meadows mouseWe want our children at Meadows to love learning and to be left with memorable experiences that will stay with them for life. With this in mind, we have decided to shape our curriculum around the needs of the learners in our school and our community. The National Curriculum, which is a mastery curriculum, determines "What is to be taught" and the school curriculum increasingly determines "How it is taught". Our starting point was to decide on the key skills, attributes, experiences and knowledge that we want our children to leave Meadows with. 

 We follow a creative approach to our curriculum whenever possible, linking areas of learning together under topics/themes making lots of cross- curricular links. In this way, we aim to make teaching and learning exciting, interesting, dynamic and inspiring for our pupils. We also hope that children will appreciate how many of the areas for learning are linked to each other, and that we need to be able to transfer skills from one area (such as maths, science, computing) to other subjects. We provide the pupils with exciting opportunities and take note of pupil voice to support the planning of work to be covered.  We include challenges to extend thinking. This planning method requires teachers to actively think about what their curriculum needs to meet the needs of their pupils.

The needs of our children are changing all the time. There is now a far greater need for acquiring personal and social skills that can be used in life and in the work place. We think it is important that we teach our children how to grow into caring, polite and responsible citizens, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills. We actively promote British Values such as democracy, mutual respect, and tolerance.  The celebration of special events and traditions play an important role in school life. We aim to give pupils every opportunity to fully achieve their true potential. We also spend time teaching children about what makes a good learner; the children have created a character called 'Meadows Mouse' who reminds us of how we can be a good learner. Click here to see how.


The key principles of teaching and learning which shape how we plan and teach at Meadows:

  Planned around the needs of our children.
  To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum
  Pupil voice: what pupils want to find out about
  Explore learning in a creative way.
  Developing and broadening the application of basic skills
  Cross-curricular (where meaningful)
  Sustainability and outdoor learning
  Empowers a love of learning ('learn to learn')
  Community links, including guest visitors.
  Explore the developing and ever changing world

meadows mouse

Curriculum non- negotiables:

meadows mouse

When planning our yearly overviews, we try to include:

* E-safety- regular lessons or a unit of work

* Wow moments/ trips to enhance the topics.

* A sustainability theme into a unit of work

* Talk for writing opportunities

* The teaching of key skills.

* Outdoor learning opportunities

* Application of literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum

* Two topic homework projects per year

* Cultural diversity themes, including British Values

* Dedicated weeks to be celebrated by the school (Healthy school week/ Friendship week/ Everyone different, everyone equal week)

* A keeping safe theme, in addition to assemblies

* Opportunities for extended writing in topic work.

* A vibrant classroom environment, which encourages independence

* British Values.

* Opportunities to use computing and technology.


The Year In The Life Of Meadows 

We ensure we teach the requirements of the National Curriculum

meadows curriculum map


Elliott and Thomas building Small     Reception Curriculum (click here)

In Nursery and Reception, we are very proud to have been awarded the Early Years' Quality Mark from 2014 onwards (we are assessed every 2 years for this and have retained it each time).  

The curriculum is planned from the Early Years' Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory guidance, covering the 7 areas of learning, which are taught through the 'characteristics of learning'.  It is a play based curriculum which embraces  children's own desire for learning through natural curiosity, imagination and creativity. Exciting and engaging activities are planned for both inside and outside starting from the children's own interests. The children are also involved in planning; each week some children take on the role of 'target tigers'and think of what and how they would like to learn based on a new theme. British Values are actively taught within the EYFS as well as being part of most learning opportunities on a daily basis. Some of the activites are child led, encouraging the children to develop independence, social skills, self esteem and language, whilst allowing them the opportunity to embed new learning and skills.  Other activities are adult led, where the children will work alongside the teacher or teaching assistant to work on next steps in their learning. As well as freeflow into the outside classroom,the children also go to Forest School on a weekly basis to try out new challenges as well as giving them the opportunity for risk taking in a safe environment.

Please click on this link to see more information about the curriculum, or go to the class pages for 'Goslings' and 'Cygnets' to see some of these exciting activities. Further information is also to be found on the menu on the left hand side on 'Parents' and then look on 'Reception Information'.

IMG 3208 Small


In Years 1 to 4 the children follow the National Curriculum 2014. The subjects of the National Curriculum 2014 are English, Mathematics, Science, R.E. (Religious Education) and Computing, History, Geography, Music, Art and Design, P.E. (Physical Education), PSHE (Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education.)  Languages (currently French and Spanish) are also covered in Year 3 and 4.

Click here for the Parents' Guide to the National Curriculum.

The children are taught in mixed ability groups throughout the school. Emphasis is placed on matching the curriculum encountered with a child's personal development. We believe that the quality of teaching and learning is at the centre of our desire to raise standards. We use a range of resources as a starting point for our topics: challenges, quality texts, questions, pupils' interests and own enquiry, and world events.

Breadth of Curriculum

Depth of Curriculum

Here are the curriculum subjects taught in Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4.

On each year group's page, you will find more information about the curriculum content and topics being covered.

Click the relevant links below to view the subjects in more detail.

science 2English



Religious Education (R.E.)




Physical Education



Art & Design

Design & Technology                                                                                         

Equal Opportunities 

Meadows commitment to Learning in Partnership implies a nurturing and valuing of others. Inherent in this is the commitment to tolerance and respect regardless of race, gender, religion, physical ability, social experience or age. We therefore, encourage mixed groupings and positive interactions, ensure full participation by all children in all curricular activities and monitor the performance of different groups to ensure fair opportunity is given to all.
The school believes that racism is wrong and it will not tolerate racist attitudes amongst its staff, pupils, or those who visit the school. Staff will always challenge racist attitudes and behaviour. (Racism is defined by the school as attitudes and actions directed against a person by virtue of the fact of their colour and or ethnicity in such a way as to hurt another or to engage in stereotyping) School will not tolerate racist taunting or bullying and in certain cases will contact the police, especially if parents are involved.


Sex and Relationship Education

In compliance with Section 17 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, the Governors of Meadows First School have considered that sex education should form part of the secular curriculum of the school.

The following is a proposed statement of policy regarding the content and organisation of the subject in the school. Section 46 of the Act requires that:
"where sex education is given to any registered pupils at the school, it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard for moral considerations and the value of family life."
With this requirement in mind, sex education, as such, will be taught to the children in Year Four as a natural progression to the Health Education curriculum. Parents may ask the Head Teacher for their child to be withdrawn from all or part of sex education.