Curriculum Intent Statement
At Mereside Primary our curriculum has been carefully designed to meet the needs of all our children who predominantly live on the Mereside Estate. Much emphasis is placed upon character development and interpersonal skills, alongside the knowledge and skill base of individual academic subjects. We strongly believe that our curriculum must meet the needs of the local community and the needs of the wider society in developing our children’s resilience, creativity and interpersonal skills for their future role in society and the ‘soft’ skills future employers will value. Preparation at Mereside Primary School for their next stage of education is key to their future success both at secondary school and beyond.
We aim to give each child as broad and relevant an education as possible. In doing so we hope to develop fully the abilities and skills which each child possesses. Our dedicated staff have the highest expectations for all pupils as we strive to give each child the best start in life. Work is planned to cater for the needs of each child, to develop their intellectual, social, moral, spiritual, physical and aesthetic potential. We embrace change and aim to provide a breadth of skills and knowledge to inspire a love of learning.
At Mereside, we aim to engage and enthuse all children at every opportunity/stage of learning. Through school, we use ‘hooks’ to engage children and continue to strive to provide opportunities that enrich our children’s lives and show them possibilities. Our fundamental aim is to improve the life chances of all our pupils. Mereside Primary provides an inclusive environment where children are challenged and encouraged to take an active role in their learning. Bronze, Silver and Gold activities are used to inspire children and ensure they have a clear understanding of their next steps.
Within the community as many links as possible are made, from being involved in local events, inviting people into school and sharing our learning with others e.g. Distributing newspaper reports on the estate, sharing puppet shows with local playgroups or creating Christmas crafts to sell to the local community as just a few examples.
We believe our aims can be shown through the following areas:
Relating to Self
Relating to Others
*Enjoyment & fun
*Love of learning
*Friendship and community
*Self-esteem and confidence
*Developing a sense of belonging
*Global awareness and responsibility
*Improving your own learning and performance
*Application of number
*Use of technology
*The arts and sport
*Creativity and problem solving
*Managing time and resources
*Managing risk and uncertainty
Alongside this, all staff are committed to ensuring that our breadth of curriculum, and lesson delivery, is designed with three key goals in mind:
1. To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens;
We have developed three curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bringing about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:
Possibilities – which helps pupils to build aspirations and know available possibilities for their future lives.
Initiative – which enables children to make decisions and take the lead in their learning.
Growth – which enables children to develop self-confidence and reach their full potential in all that they do.
2. To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;
Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world children need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary, which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in an increasingly mature way.
3. To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.
A coherently planned academic curriculum that is underpinned by our three drivers that sets out:
a) A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered;
b) The knowledge and skill concepts pupils should understand;
c) The clear progression within the knowledge and skill concepts;
d) Criteria for depth of understanding.
Within school there are a mixture of single year group and mixed year group classes. Here we ensure that ALL children, regardless of which class they are in, have access to the same mastery approach, skill and knowledge input based upon the same knowledge and skill concepts.
As a school we believe that nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories. This does not happen and cannot be assessed in the short term. Assessment, therefore answers two main questions:
a) How well are pupils coping with curriculum content?
b) How well are they retaining previously taught content?
At Mereside Primary our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science and two main principles reflect our beliefs:
1) Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
2) Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to these principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term memory and that sustained mastery takes time.
By the end of each key stage the vast majority of pupils have mastered the content of our curriculum. Some children will have demonstrated a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.