The Meridian Curriculum
The intentions of our Curriculum are as follows:
To become embedded as a Centre of Excellence for our community where students are encouraged to present the best verison of themselves. Students are challenged, they learn and achieve within a culture of resilience, ambition and respect. We are an inclusive school and aim to provide students with a personalised provision to enhance learning so that all students thrive.
1. Students are challenged to think deeply, recall and skilfully apply information and supported to ensure they produce work of the highest standard.
2. Students learn through the aquisition of knowledge through carefully sequenced learning journeys with opportunities to revisit and build on prior learning to support conceptual understanding. Disciplinary knowledge and skill development is another aspect of learning that is built into the learning journey and is refined and applied as students progress through the key stages. Learning also encourages students to develop an interest in the subjects they study to enable them to appreciate learning as an important life long skill.
3. Students achieve the best possible outcomes by studying a carefully considered and in some cases personalised educational programme which is ambitious and meets the *individual student's needs. We encourage students to apply themselves in every lesson and by developing a clear understanding of why achievement matters to their future goals and aspirations.
Our programme for education at Meridian High School is a knowledge-based curriculum which incorporates essential skills applicable to the subject, 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 with the support of 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 target grades so all students have the opportunity for a better future.
At key stage 3 our overarching goals are for students to develop cultural appreciation and be able to develop curiosity, question and work towards independence. At key stage 4 we continue to build confidence and resilience towards achievement and support our students in ensuring they all have a clear pathway to what they would like to do next.
We recognise that we ‘Require Improvement’ (Ofsted2019). Our team of dedicated teachers and support staff are relentlessly focused on improving the Quality of Education and therefore further strengthening our Curricular Intent and Implementation.
In order to support the curricular aims below, we are developing a whole school approach to Oracy because we believe the development of spoken language to be fundamental to the achievement of the students at Meridian high school.
Our curriculum aims are to develop strong academic outcomes through evidence based effective Teaching Strategies such as:
1. Modelling: Our teachers use the "I do, we do, you do" approach to modelling. This is often supported by the use of a visualiser. This enables the students to see the experts' thinking in the "I do" phase, collaboration with the teacher in the "we do" phase, which then prepares the students to develop independence in the "you do" phase.
2. Questioning: Our teachers carefully plan and target their questions to students. Teachers use a range of question types to check students' understanding and challenge their thinking.
3. Scaffolding: It is important that all students have access to the same content and high expectations, to ensure that this happens we further support our students using scaffolding strategies. Task boards, dual coding, structure strips and more time using the visualiser in the "we do" phase are just some of the strategies that we are using to support our students.
4. Retrieval and remembering: Our teachers have designed subject specific knowledge organisers which are available to students in their google classrooms. This supports PREP, which consists of knowledge quizzes set through google classroom and other online learning platforms. Low stakes quizzing supports memory retention and confidence. Teachers also plan a '5 a day' quiz at the start of every lesson that links to prior learning and retrieval of key knowledge that supports the lesson being delivered. This is further supported through teacher marking focusing on key terminology and a recall activity for the students to complete.
5. Challenge: Our curriculum is ambitious and teachers aim to teach to the top and through this incorporate higher order questioning to challenge thinking and create more sustained opportunities to work independently.
6. Oracy: Our teachers are starting to embed oracy by encouraging our students to speak using standard English in full sentences, actively listening and developing critical thinking skills. This is supported through Direct Vocabularly Instruction (DVI) to introduce key terminolgy that can be used to communicate ideas.
7. Feedback: Our principle is feedback to feed forward. Our teachers use formative assessment strategies through our "5 a day", verbal feedback and questioning which provides an assessment of learning during the lesson. Our summative assessment strategies include end of topic assessments and termly assessments where students will gain feedback.
We work alongside Trust Leaders and our colleagues in our Outstanding Schools to ensure the Meridian Curriculum is broad, rich and carefully designed to support our students so that they are well placed to be successful in the future.
"Reviewing learning to personalise and support student achievement"
Assessment is an important aspect of our curriculum implementation as it enables teachers and students to see what the students know, understand, and can do. Assessment strategies are skilfully deployed to ensure students apply their knowledge and are supported to remember more.
Formative assessment checks the understanding of students “in the moment” of a lesson and allows teachers to address misconceptions to secure depth of learning. At Meridian we have deliberately, and purposefully selected assessment methods designed for our students. These include:
- Recall quizzing at the start of every lesson
- Peer and Self-Assessment
- Targeted questioning
- Extended Writing
- PREP quizzes
Summative assessment checks the application of knowledge, assessing what students can remember. Summative assessments take place at the end of each topic and formally at the end of each term. At Meridian we have ambitious targets for our students and summative assessments help our teacher to plan for knowledge the students need.
Outcomes are important for students as they will provide a greater range of opportunities in their future. So as a school, it is important that teachers, middle and senior leaders work together to review assessment data and implement strategies that will support students to achieve and exceed their potential.