Our Curriculum Statement
At Meppershall Academy we believe that a curriculum is everything a child experiences in school, whether planned or unplanned. We have a strong commitment to providing the best possible chance for every child to thrive by engaging in learning both within and beyond the classroom.
Our curriculum is designed to develop the academic, the physical and what is becoming the increasingly important emotional well-being of children. We help them acquire strategies which develop resilience and enhance mental wealth.
We provide a project-based curriculum where connections are made between individual subjects and where children’s interests shape the learning experiences we provide. The curriculum is sequential, building on previous knowledge and skills so that they become embedded in children’s long term memory and can be transferred to different contexts. We plan opportunities for them to be creative, to experiment, explore and vitally, to make mistakes from which they will learn and grow.
We believe our children need to be familiar with the growing locality in which they live and understand how they fit within it. We recognise that for children to thrive in the wider world exposure to the diversity of cultures and faiths that contribute to the richness of our country is important. We have planned activities throughout the curriculum to expose them to this diversity including visits to nearby contrasting localities.
We also believe our children need opportunities to develop their voice so they can stand up for what is right and speak out against things that are wrong. So we seek to include activities to develop their confidence in speaking and listening. We do this through purposeful classroom talk and rich conversations where they express their own opinions and learn to agree and disagree respectfully with others.
Our commitment to ensuring that all children experience a broad education is underpinned by ensuring that they understand the role and purpose of Christian values in their lives. By living these values every day, they will learn to become successful individuals within our community, and be prepared for living in the world beyond.
Click on the button below to see the Curriculum overview by Project:
Curriculum Overviews 2020 -21
Please click the link to find the curriculum overview for the current year.
Our Reception class follow the Early Years Foundation Stage ( EYFS) curriculum guidelines,
This is taught through topics and a play based curriculum which covers different areas of learning, such as Communication and Language, Personal Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development, as well as Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Creative Arts. The children enjoy learning activities both indoors and outdoors, and we aim to provide a balance of child-led learning and carefully structured class, group or individual taught activities.
The rest of the school follow the National Curriculum 2014 programmes of study:
Year 1 and Year 2 follow the Key Stage One (KS1).
Year 3 and Year 4 follow the first two years of the Key Stage Two (KS2) curriculum with us, before moving on to complete the last two years of Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and Year 6) in a middle school setting.
Our English Curriculum
Phonics is at the heart of our English curriculum, and children start the building blocks from day one, developing phonological awareness and skills. We follow the Department for Education’s recommended approach: Letters and Sounds. This is a detailed and systematic programme from Reception to Year 2, split into 6 phases teaching knowledge of graphemes and phonemes (letters and sounds), and the skills of how to decode them (reading) and how to blend them (writing). We use Phonics Play as our central Scheme of Work.
Click here to see our Reading Curriculum Progression
Reading is a critical life skill, and is much more than decoding the symbols and words on a page. Our curriculum aims to place understanding and enjoyment at the heart of reading, enabling children to foster a delight in literature and a love of books. Reading is initially taught 1:1,with books matched to appropriate phonic knowledge. This is followed by a structured programme of Guided Reading in small groups. Skills taught follow the National Curriculum in order to nurture successful, independent and confident readers who are equipped with a range of strategies with which to decode print and interpret a wide variety of texts.
Our reading scheme consists of Big Cat Collins and Phonics Bug until children have reached the end of Letters and Sounds. This is then followed by Oxford Owl for more confident readers.
Click here to see our Writing Curriculum Progression
Skills are taught in line with the National Curriculum, and cover grammar, spelling, punctuation, organisation, vocabulary, planning and editing. Each year, children experience a series of ‘Writing Journeys’ which begin with a rich text, experience of film designed to inspire them. They then move on to acquire and develop skills, and they finish with a written piece of work in a specific genre for a specific purpose.
Handwriting is taught through the Nelson scheme of work. Children are taught correct pencil grip and posture, correct formation of letters, and from Year 2, how to join accurately.
Click here for Information on how we teach Handwriting
Our Maths Curriculum
The National Curriculum for Maths consists of four main areas:
Our curriculum follows the White Rose Scheme whose mantra is ‘Everyone can do Maths.’ This is a progressive scheme from Early Years onwards which aims to ‘shape happy and resilient mathematicians who relish the challenge of maths.’ Pupils become ‘independent and reflective thinkers with skills that support them across the curriculum.’
Each class has a daily maths lesson which includes mental fluency practice. A range of appropriate resources, for all ages and abilities, are used to support maths tasks. Pupils take part in range of activities to develop their fluency and also their reasoning and logical thinking skills. They work to develop a range of mental and written methods that can be applied to problem-solving tasks. Mathematical skills are enhanced and improved through our use of the Teach Active scheme which provides fun and physical ways to practise maths outside of the daily lesson.
Our Science Curriculum
Children experience the foundations of the scientific disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Following the latest national curriculum guidelines, children are encouraged to explore the world around them; making observations to predict what might happen and draw conclusions based upon what they have discovered. Every year our pupils’ progress to the next year group and this progression continues as they revisit and broaden their knowledge of key scientific concepts.
Key Stage 1
Children look closely at both the natural world around us and the elements of the world made by humans. Children begin by making observations and asking questions which come from their own curiosity. We then guide their discovery of scientific understanding by support and enquiry to answer their own questions.
Programme Overview Key Stage 1:
Year 1: Plants, Animals (Including Humans), Everyday Materials and Seasonal Changes.
Year 2: Plants, Living Things and their Habitats, Animals (Including Humans) and the Uses of Everyday Materials.
Key Stage 2,
At the beginning of KS2, the foundations of scientific enquiry established in Key Stage 1 are built upon and children broaden their scientific view of the world around them.
Ideas about everyday phenomena are tested and we challenge their ideas about the relationships between living things and familiar environments. Collaborative investigations are important at this stage of learning as our children think about the best way to carry out simple and comparative fair tests.
Programme Overview Key Stage 2:
Year 3: Animals (Including Humans), Plants, Light, Rocks, Forces and Magnets.
Year 4: Animals (Including Humans), Living Things and their Habitats, States of Matter, Electricity and Sound.
Our RE Curriculum
The principal aim of RE is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
We follow the Agreed RE Syllabus for Luton, Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough alongside a programme called Understanding Christianity.
All children in KS1 and KS2 have a weekly RE lesson which is supported by visits to our school by the Vicar and other visitors including a Bible Exhibition. Children also visit our local church, St Mary's. In KS2 children have the opportunity to visit St Albans Abbey and participate in a Faith Tour within Bedford, which includes a visit to a Mosque and Gurdwara.
Our History Curriculum
Children are introduced to historical enquiry by incorporating their understanding of other subject areas and how these can be applied to the passage of time.
In Key stage 1, learning is focused on changes within living memory and goes on to consider changes that have happened beyond the children’s living memory. They begin to develop an understanding that significant people in history have changed our lives today. Children also learn about the history of their locality including events, people and places.
At Key Stage 2 the children continue to develop a sense of chronology while studying various periods of history including the Stone Age, and additional themes in British history beyond 1066. Children build on previous years of learning about the history of the local community and deepen their understanding by considering periods in history that have shaped the locality.
Please click here to see our History Progression Overview
Our Geography Curriculum
In Early Years, Geography is closely linked to other subject areas through an overarching topic. Children are encouraged to think about their immediate community, local area and the people within it.
In Key stage 1, children begin to learn about seasonal changes, local and global climates and how these affect the people and animals that live within them. Children develop their observational skills and are encouraged to use simple fieldwork to study the school and school grounds, plus the surrounding environment. Children begin to compare contrasting areas in the UK and abroad.
At Key Stage 2 work is designed to provide a growing awareness of geographical facts and the development of concepts. Learning is focused on European countries and natural events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. By the time children reach Year 4 they are able to apply their previous learning to specific geographical studies, including cities and rivers around the world. They use atlases, globes with confidence to locate countries, describe their features and support their geographical enquiries.
Click here to see our Geography Progression Overview
Our Computing Curriculum
Computing is an ever changing subject and we are developing our provision all the time. Children have an opportunity to use ICT, not only to support the curriculum, but as a tool for learning. We follow a scheme of work called Purple Mash which is widely used in both primary education, which focuses on the acquisition of key ICT skills from mouse control to more complex data handling and elements of control technology. Children use the laptops and sometimes Beebots for a weekly computing lesson. There is also access to laptops in the classrooms. Finally, all classrooms have a Clever-Touch interactive whiteboard.
Our Art Curriculum
Children are taught skills that will enable them to become develop skills including drawing, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. Children will also learn about artists, crafts people and designers throughout history. In addition, they will learn to evaluate and analyse works of art including their own and those of their peers.
Please click here to see our Art Progression Overview
Our Design and Technology Curriculum
Design and technology forms an important part of each child’s experience. Children are challenged to solve technological problems and understand the importance of design and technology on our daily life and the world around us. They use their creativity and imagination to design and make products. They follow the design process: identifying need, designing, planning, making and evaluating across a variety of situations. The children work with various materials, including food, textiles, wood and pliable materials. Design technology draws upon other curriculum areas; mathematics, science, computing and art.
Our Music Curriculum
All children take part in music lessons as part of the curriculum. They are taught to sing, to play simple percussion instruments and compose music. Children are taught to appreciate and evaluate music. Music and singing form part of our weekly Collective Worship and we sing in St Mary's Church as part of our termly Services.
Some children between 7 and 9 are able to learn to play the violin. The peripatetic staff visit weekly to teach these children.
The school has a KS2 choir who sing at our local Meppershall Care Home and sing in the Young Voices at the O2 each year..
Our PE Curriculum
All children have regular opportunities for a variety of physical activity. We expect all children to participate in PE sessions and staff work hard to make any necessary adjustments to include all pupils in their care.
In Reception, the children gradually progress and develop skills throughout the year to enable them to apply these skills to game situations by the end of Reception.
Children in years 1 to 4 follow a balanced and varied programme either in the hall, or outdoors (weather permitting) using small and large apparatus. They have the opportunity to learn gymnastics, dance, kwik cricket, tag rugby, quick sticks (hockey), basketball, football, rounders, benchball, athletics as well as a range of invasion games. A qualified Premier Sports coach supports teaching staff (including TAs) to develop key skills and confidence for all aspects of PE. The sports coach works weekly with all children and all staff at some point during the year. The children really benefit from this as do the staff.
The school aims to involve all children in sport and to promote a healthy attitude to life and physical exercise. There is an annual sports day in the Summer term and we regularly participate in local and inter-school sporting events throughout the year run by the Redborne Partnership. We offer a range of sporting clubs for children to attend throughout the year, led by Premier Sports. These are well attended and introduce the children to a range of different sports and games.
In addition to regular PE lessons, we encourage physical activity on a daily basis. Each class participates on the Daily Mile. At lunchtime children have opportunities for exercise through play equipment, We also provide many opportunities for games such as football and volleyball to be played during lunchtimes.
During Year Four, pupils attend swimming lessons at a local pool. Pupils are taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
Our PSHE Curriculum
We use JIGSAW programme to deliver our PSHE curriculum. Please click here to see the Progression document
To read an Information Leaflet about Jigsaw for parents and carers please click here.
To find out about the linke with British Values please click here .
To find out about the links with Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) click here