Our 'Big Picture' Curriculum
Our school ethos is based upon the promotion of self-belief and positive attitudes to life. We celebrate the children’s achievements together and encourage our children to be the best they can possibly be! At The Meadows, our curriculum is built on the requirements of the National Curriculum and The Early Years Foundation Stage.
Themes are chosen which cater for the needs and interests of our children, reflect our local area and stimulate learning.
By linking subjects through themes, we aim to provide an inspiring, engaging and motivating curriculum that promotes both excellence and enjoyment. Our thematic approach enables all pupils to develop as learners and reach their potential. Each term, we start with an open-ended 'Big Picture' question, which is designed to encourage deep thinking. Memorable experiences are planned to inspire children, such as visiting experts or trips to significant places. Finally, pupils work towards an authentic outcome, which places it in a real-life context, invites evaluation and gives purpose.
Discover, Explore and Create!
Our 'Discover' term in the autumn focuses on history, with geography taking the lead in spring during our 'Explore' term. The final term of the year is our 'Create' term, when art and design are explored in detail. All other subjects are weaved into a thematic approach throughout. We hope this approach inspires the pupils to expand their learning beyond the school day and enthuses individuals to continue to investigate and learn at home.
We continually strive to bring real-life experiences and opportunities into the curriculum and immerse the children within the current theme and make learning relevant. Each term, the pupils build on and learn new knowledge and skills. This is outlined for families in regular newsletters that give information about the learning that will take place. Enrichment activities are key to the learning that takes place. These may be visits or visitors to the school and form an integral part of the curriculum. In addition to this, all Year 6 pupils have the chance to take part in a residential visit. Professionals and experts support teaching and are able to extend learning opportunities. Subjects such as PE, dance, music and art are often delivered by specialists.
Children are aware of the outcome they are working towards at the end of the term, and it is designed to be meaningful and linked to a real-life context to promote high aspirations and a strong sense of purpose. We aim to give children a real context for their learning and the opportunity to receive feedback from an 'expert' audience. For example, children in Years 5 and 6 produced and published their own book of stories inspired by their work on Roman Lincoln. It was launched at Waterstones Lincoln and a panel of experts reviewed extracts of the children's work. Families then had an opportunity to purchase the book.