Curriculum Intent and Rationale
The school’s vision is modelled in our curriculum, where we believe in advantage over disadvantage. As a school serving a community that has known decades of disadvantage, we believe that our students deserve a curriculum that does not narrow the life chances but enables social equity and mobility. For our students to compete in a global economy, we offer a wide range of subjects and offer guidance and support for the choices they make.
Our programme for education at Meridian High School is a knowledge-based curriculum, empowering students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the subjects they study. Our curriculum is therefore carefully designed by our subject specialists within the school and across our Multi Academy Trust to challenge our students, to ensure learning is at the heart of our lessons and to enable our students to meet and exceed their minimum expected grades (MEGs) so all students have the opportunity for a better future.
Our curriculum aims are to develop strong academic outcomes through:
- A foundational knowledge base using our knowledge organisers and build on the knowledge they learn independently
- Subjects offering extra-curricular opportunities for students to develop cultural capital and appreciation of subjects beyond examination content
- Students having guidance and support to develop an understanding of what it takes to be an ambitious member of our community
Moreover, we firmly believe that to fully enhance the life chances of our students, our curriculum must actively promote the acquisition of a broad/academic vocabulary and depth of understanding. Put simply, we believe that knowing more words makes you smarter, and our curriculum is very intent on ensuring this becomes a reality for all of our students.
In order to deliver the aims of our curriculum we ensure all students in Key Stage Three study 4/5 lessons of English, Maths and Science per week, 2/3 lessons of Humanities, Spanish, Art, DT, PE and 1 lesson per week of Drama/Music (subject to study options where students will receive more curriculum time). We pay careful attention to the sequence of when knowledge is taught and subject leaders work actively to review this aspect very regularly so that our students are well placed to access GCSE exams and content. This is underpinned by:
- Starting every lesson with a memory recall quiz
- Using planned and targeted questioning in lessons
- Adapting and scaffolding content so that it is accessible to every student
- Every topic studied has an overarching challenge question that student’s work towards answering over time building their learning confidence and resilience
- Nurturing our students so they understand they are ready to learn and education improves their life chances
- A focus on language development and oracy
We believe it is our responsibility to develop strong literacy and numeracy skills for all of our students given their context. To support this a selection of students are not required to study an additional language and receive additional targeted support to close the gap between them and their peers. We believe that the curriculum should be flexible to allow for personalised choices.
As a modestly sized high school we work hard to offer a broad and balanced curriculum model throughout Key Stage Four. We believe in offering subjects that allow a wide range of pathways and progression for our students in the future. These subjects include:
- English Language
- English Literature
- Combined Science
- Ancient History
- Art and Design
- DT (Textiles & Resistant Materials)
- Business Studies
- Physical Education
- Hospitality and Catering
- Performing Arts (Dance & Drama)
- PSHE (inc. Financial Education)
Developing British & Family Values: Tutor Time at MHS
Our tutor time PSHE sessions aim to explore British and family values including the importance of respect and showing kindness. We aim to develop positive attitudes, tolerance and understanding of all cultures and communities. We celebrate success and achievement.
In tutor time students will explore:
- How to develop empathy for those who are different to them
- How to be kind to themselves and others