The School Curriculum

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. Work is planned to cater for the needs of each child, to develop their intellectual, social, moral, spiritual, physical and aesthetic potential.

Opportunities are provided to enable each child to develop skills and interests. These take place both within the classroom and outside, through visits and extra curricular activities.

Throughout the course of the year a number of educational visits are arranged to enhance the school curriculum. All children are encouraged to participate. To make these visits possible we rely upon voluntary donations from parents.

The Curriculum is designed to follow the programme of study set out in the National Curriculum guidelines.

Early Years children are taught the Foundation Stage curriculum.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the curriculum.

 

 

Subjects taught as the National Curriculum Core Subjects are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • ICT

Others are the National Curriculum Foundation Subjects of:

  • Art
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Ed.
  • Design Technology
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French)

In addition, your child will study Religious Education, which will reflect a broadly Christian tradition. Parents are permitted to withdraw their children from assembly and religious instruction in consultation with the Headteacher. Alternative provision will be offered to the child.

This does not form the complete curriculum, and other areas such as Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) will be included as and when considered appropriate.

Parental Responsibility and Expectations

Parents are asked to take a responsible positive approach to their child’s learning by encouraging and helping their child with homework and ensuring that homework is completed, well presented and handed in on time. When parents help their child to develop Literacy and Numeracy skills and show a positive approach, their child learns at a quicker rate.

Staff at Mereside are willing to help and discuss the strategies and skills to enable parents to take an active part in their child’s learning.

Homework

Homework is set each week and there is a gradual increase in the amount of work being set as the children move through the school. Parents are asked to make sure that homework is completed and returned on time.

Literacy

Literacy is a core subject in the National Curriculum and holds a high priority in school, having the largest time allocation of our timetable. The school follows the Primary National Strategy Literacy Framework.

In the Literacy lesson each day, the children receive whole class teaching and may take part in small group work and individual activities. The lesson then usually finishes with the whole class working together again. Marking and assessment helps teachers to monitor progress and to then continually adjust their teaching to help support further the varying needs of the children during Literacy.  

The school uses Bug Club phonics and reading programme at Key Stage 1.

Mathematics

Maths is a core subject and as such a high percentage of the school timetable is allocated to Maths. We follow the Singapore Maths approach, using the Maths No Problem scheme. The mathematical progress of each child is carefully tracked throughout school and extra support provided for any child experiencing difficulties. We pride ourselves on the progress that our children make in mathematics. We also cater for the more able with extra activities arranged through the gifted and talented register.

At Mereside Primary School, Maths is valued as a vital tool for life. We aim to make it practical and relevant to the everyday lives of our children, their families and the wider community. Most of all, we aim to make the children’s mathematical experiences fun and exciting.

Science

Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum and holds a high priority in school.

At Mereside we ensure that science teaching should offer opportunities for children to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes and skills and relate these to everyday experiences.
  • Learn about ways of thinking and of finding out about and communicating ideas.
  • Explore values and attitudes through science.

The children are taught Science through topics such as Ourselves, Plants and Animals, Forces and Light. The children are assessed in line with the National Curriculum.

ICT

ICT is a core National Curriculum Subject. We have computers in every classroom, including a bank of laptops and iPods. ICT is an integral part of the curriculum in all subjects to aid and extend learning, carry out research and present work in an exciting and challenging way. In our new building we have state of the art interactive projectors, with iPads and Apple TV in upper KS2 to enable innovative teaching.

We also use the extensive ICT facilities of the Blackpool City Learning Centre for work on multi-media broadcasting presentations and also animation projects.

ICT is part of our children’s future and we aim to give them as many opportunities as we can to develop their skills and open up this exciting world of technology to them.

History

In History, children learn about people’s lives and life styles. They find out about significant people, places and events from the recent and more distant past, including those from both Britain and the wider world.

They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the present is different from the past.

The children look at History in a variety of ways, for example, from political, social, religious and cultural perspectives among others. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past in depth and overview. They also learn that the past can be represented in different ways.

Geography

In Geography pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the UK or abroad. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, photographs, atlases and ICT.

They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it.

ART and Design

Through the teaching of Art, a child’s creativity, imagination and enthusiasm is developed through the teaching of knowledge, skills and understanding of materials and processes.

From Early Years to KS2, the children’s understanding is developed of the diverse roles and functions of art and design in the locality and in the wider world.

Design Technology (DT)

DT is taught throughout Early Years, KS1 and KS2 and aims to build up a
selection of skills.

In design and technology, children are taught skills and how to apply knowledge
and understanding of:

  • Materials and components
  • Mechanisms and control systems
  • Structures
  • Existing products
  • Quality
  • Health and safety

Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) is not a compulsory subject in the National Curriculum, but we are a school that recognises the value of learning another language for our children, as not only does it help our children develop their ‘speaking and listening’ skills, but also importantly, makes them aware of the wider community around them.

Presently, French is taught in KS2.

Physical Education

At Mereside School we aim to teach all pupils through experience, to know and value participation in physical activity.

All children have regular PE lessons which cover games, dance, gymnastics. Years 4 and 5 have weekly swimming lessons at Palatine baths. Outdoor adventure activities are planned as part of the residential educational visits to Water Park at Years 4 and 6. Members of staff regularly attend and participate in these on a voluntary basis.

Children are taught the importance of a physically active lifestyle including personal hygiene. They are taught to plan, improve and evaluate their own performance and that of others. They are taught the importance of warm up and cool down activities. Children are given the opportunity to learn safely how to develop strength, stamina and control of their bodies through carefully structured challenges.

Extra-Curricular activities include clubs in football, netball and rugby which are held weekly with a variety of other sporting clubs being held for a shorter time period. These have included judo, badminton, multi skills, cup stacking and cheerleading.

The school takes part in inter school tournaments and competitions as well as local ones.

Our annual sports day aims to be inclusive and is a mixture of team and individually scored activities.

Children are given the opportunity to develop their own skills and foster teamwork within a framework of consideration and tolerance.

Music

At Mereside the children are taught Music by a specialist teacher. The programmes of study are developed in the areas of :-

  1. Composing
  2. Performing
  3. Listening
  4. Appraising

Opportunities for using untuned and tuned percussion instruments are built into
planning.

We have a thriving choir, which meets weekly. Children are also able to learn to play a brass, woodwind, keyboard or string instrument with tuition from our own Music teacher and peripatetic teachers.

Religious Education

Religious Education is taught according to the Lancashire Syllabus 2012 used in Blackpool and Lancashire schools.

This develops knowledge of Christianity and all other principal religions represented in the UK.

A daily act of collective worship is held.

PSHE

In PSHE lessons, pupils are encouraged to develop confidence and responsibility in order to make the most of their abilities, to develop a healthy, safe lifestyle and to develop good relationships and respect differences between people. The expectation is that they will become informed citizens who have developed skills of enquiry, communication, participation and responsible action through a range of fun, active lessons.

We use the Jigsaw PSHE programme, which focuses on a different topic every half term. The topics are:

Being Me in My World

Celebrating Differences

Dreams and Goals

Healthy Me

Relationships

Changing Me

the Jigsaw website has full details of the scheme and a useful guide for parents www.jigsawpshe.com 

ASSESSMENT

The National Curriculum makes expectations for learning and attainment explicit and establishes national standards for the performance of all pupils in the subjects it includes.

These standards are used to set targets for improvement and measure progress towards those targets and monitor and compare performance between individuals, groups and schools.

School holds termly assessment weeks which enable us to track children’s progress throughout the year. As well as Teacher Assessment this includes nation wide testing material, e.g. Suffolk Reading Tests, Nelson Spelling Tests, and Optional SATS Tests, (year 3, 4 and 5). All this assessment helps school to detect individual strengths and weaknesses and evaluate progress year on year. It also provides feedback to children and parents, e.g. Open evenings, reports.

The way in which Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATS testing is carried out changed in 2016. To help you understand how your children will be tested click HERE for a video relating to Key Stage 1 and HERE for Key Stage 2.