Orrets Meadow's Curriculum

Orrets Meadow Curriculum Aims and Values


To ensure all our children are at the centre of a broad, varied and interesting learning experience that is enjoyable and relevant for the future. Our creative, multisensory curriculum will create a sense of awe and wonder and help to inspire a lifelong love of learning. The holistic nature of our practice will promote positive mental health and well-being and will enhance our children’s life skills, social skills and cultural awareness.


Our curriculum will promote a range of values including:

  • Respect              
  • Empathy
  • Responsibility
  • Equality
  • Independence
  • Happiness
  • Resilience
  • Gratitude
  • Honesty
  • Friendship

Our Curriculum

We have designed a curriculum which will showcase the aims and values set out above. All of our stakeholders were surveyed about what they believe are the most important factors for our pupils when planning our new curriculum.

Our mornings focus on Phonics, English, Arithmetic and Mathematics, as these multi-sensory, over learning approaches to teaching basic skills are proven to successfully meet the needs of our pupils and ensure maximum progress.

Our curriculum includes discrete social skills, life skills, SMSC and PSHE sessions timetabled weekly for every class. We ensure every child receives 2 hours of PE every week and we make sure every child is taught the local RE syllabus through discrete lessons and themed religious weeks.

Computing skills are taught weekly every other half term and the skills are applied in our exciting themed topics.

Science is taught in themed weeks, once every half term and the week includes a Science Investigation Day on the topic they are studying. Science knowledge and skills are also revisited in our Dimensions curriculum.

We have a  Global Curriculum called 'Learning means the World' for all our other subjects. This curriculum not only follows the National Curriculum, but it is also innovative, forward-thinking and highly relevant to our pupils' needs and thoroughly engages them as they tackle challenging and inspiring topics and issues. 

Why did we choose 'Learning Means the World'?

As a school which is majority white British, we wanted our pupils to fully embrace cultural diversity, learning about, experiencing and celebrating a range of different cultural and faith heritages.

We believe that communication is key to accessing learning and securing pupils’ future success. As many of our pupils have Speech Language Communication Needs it is essential that opportunities are given to develop language for learning across the curriculum. With one of its 4 foci being on communication, this curriculum provides lots of opportunities for pupils to develop expressing themselves in discussion, debate and presentation, as well as enabling them to collaborate and exchange ideas.

We feel our pupils, as the future generation, need a greater awareness and appreciation of local, national and global conservation issues and initiatives. The need to learn that they have an important role to play in sustainability. Finally, pupils need to learn how to handle conflict well, realising that it is important to develop empathy in order to develop positive relationships in their immediate home and school environments, as well as in the wider community. They need an appreciation of other opinions and perspectives in order to learn how to address conflict and develop the necessary skills to resolve it. 

The curriculum gives pupils opportunities to grow and develop spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially in the natural world around them. Our commitment to nurturing positive attitudes and values and developing life and social skills is promoted throughout the Learning Means The World (LMTW) curriculum.

LMTW curriculum has been written with world issues in mind and is centred on 4Cs:-

  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Conservation
  • Culture
It is theme based and broken down into the following phases:
  • Explorers 
  • Pathfinders 
  • Adventurers                                    

The curriculum is based on learning pathways which as you can see closely reflect the aims and values the stakeholders wished our curriculum to possess.

Explorers - Have a go!

* Experimental     * Curious       * Confident      * Co-operative

Pathfinders - Find a Way!

* Innovative         * Decisive     *  Creative       * Independent

Adventurers - Make it happen!

* Brave                * Risk- takers  * Resilient     * Prepared

We have the freedom to teach the National Curriculum in line with our pupils' specific needs and believe that our new whole curriculum meets the values and aims which our stakeholders requested at the start of the consultation. We are excited to teach our new curriculum and see the impact it has on our pupils' academic and whole well being.

Afternoon Curriculum - Curriculum Plans
Satellite View of the Year Group's learning in Dimensions

National Curriculum

In September 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced for all primary schools.

Orrets Meadow teachers have implemented a new curriculum, which is progressive in skills and knowledge, meets the national requirements and meets the needs of the pupils who attend Orrets Meadow. 

The national changes affect all curriculum areas with children expected to reach higher standards in Maths and English. Below you can see the expectations for each year group. As many of the children who attend Orrets Meadow have literacy and/or numeracy difficulties, they are likely to be working below the expectations for their age range and so may not be working at their correct age curriculum. 

National Curriculum 2014


The English Curriculum

The English Curriculum at Orrets Meadow has basic skills as its heart. We teach a Core Curriculum designed to develop phonological awareness and fine motor skills in order to build strong foundations. Our Core Curriculum was originally based on The Hickey Multisensory Language Course, but has evolved and been adapted to suit class teaching and meet the demands of the curriculum 2014 and the needs of our children. It has also been checked against the 16 step SSP validation.  The programme is accumulative, multisensory and tracked closely, to ensure children develop the reading and writing skills needed to access the English Programme and the wider curriculum. Our programme can be used as a SSP as well as having the capacity to allow for precision teaching.

 Literature Spine

In our review of the English Curriculum we have put together a Literature Spine for our school with pleasure and enjoyment at the top of our agenda. We aim to cover a wide range of authors and genres including a wide range of poetry. We have harnessed the enthusiasm and joy our teachers have for certain authors in the hopes that their enthusiasm and joy will be infectious enough for our children to develop a lifelong love of reading and writing.

Year 1 pupils sit the National Phonics Screening check if we feel it is appropriate to their ability. Pupils are given the chance to sit the phonics screening check again in Year 2.

OM Reading System
OM Phonics Teaching Programme


The Orrets Meadow Phonic Programme is an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme based on research used to develop the Hickey Multisensory Language Course. Our phonic programme has been tried and tested since the founding of the school and has data to evidence how effective it is at maximising the development of phonic and reading skills. Our systematic phonics programme fully meets the varying learning needs of our children. Originally, the Hickey course was developed as a one-to-one programme, but we have adapted it to be delivered to groups.

We continue to update and amend our programme regularly, to reflect current thinking and developments in the teaching of phonics. During the most recent update, our programme was checked against national validation processes in order to ensure that it conformed to the 16 steps of government validation. We continue to use our programme because it allows our children to make progress where mainstream phonics programmes have failed them. It is a structured, sequential and accumulative programme, underpinned by over learning and the development of the working memory, an essential learning style for children with a phonological deficit or poor working memory which many of our children have. The Orrets phonics programme also has the dual capacity to be used as a SSP as well as catering to precision teaching based on the individual gaps of each pupil.


1) Combley, M (2001) The Hickey Multisensory Language Course 3rd Edition

2) Hickey, K (1977) The Hickey Multisensory Language Course

3) Rasmus F et al (April 2003) Theories of developmental dyslexia: insights from a multiple case study of dyslexic adults Brain, Volume 126, Issue 4, , Pages 841–865

English Overview

The Maths Curriculum

The main areas in the Mathematics curriculum are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range - every year group has its own programme of study detailing what the children should be able to achieve in each area. The changes for number present a significant increase in the level of challenge. Problem solving occurs in all areas of the Mathematics curriculum. Mastery of Maths is a focus for the school. We are using the White Rose Hub to support us with our planning.

 Maths Promoting Fluency

A discrete 15 minutes each day is dedicated to the promotion of mathematical fluency. After successfully introducing daily multiplication sessions, we now have further elements of arithmetic to support all areas of Maths. These lessons are often practical but written applications may be used to support understanding.

Monday - Multiplication/Division facts and relationships

Tuesday - Addition and Subtraction relationships

Wednesday - Multiplication and Division recall fluency

Thursday - Number bonds and Inverse operations

Friday - Problem solving

Talking Maths

Using correct mathematical language is crucial for thinking, learning, remembering and communicating mathematically. Children may build knowledge through remembering information they her but it is only when they put these ideas into their own words that it becomes clear whether concepts have been learned correctly.

As part of our additional needs groups, which take place daily, we have Talking Maths. Below are the mathematical language expectations for each year group.

 Animal Awards

We use animal awards to assess and support mental maths. This a fun way of encouraging children to progress through a selection of objectives aimed at supporting mental maths application. The children progress through the animal awards which each contain a number of mental maths objectives. See the animal awards below.

Maths Curriculum Overview
OM Progressional Steps of different Maths Strands
Mental Maths, Talking Maths and Animal Awards

The Science Curriculum

Science has regained its status as a core subject. A vital part of our curriculum, it teaches our children to understand the world around them and nurtures their natural curiosity and inquisitive minds.

Our science curriculum focuses on children learning scientific facts as they think and act like scientists. They develop central scientific skills: enquiry, observation, prediction, investigation, measuring and evaluation. (This is all referred to as ‘working scientifically’). At Orrets Meadow we aim to make science work as practical as possible, taking every opportunity to enable our children to develop these skills.

Our science topics are derived from the three specific areas of chemistry, physics and biology. Topics are revisited as children progress through the school to allow learning to develop and deepen.  


Sept 2022 - We achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark! 

Religious Education


Orrets Meadow is committed to nurturing each child's spiritual, academic and personal development and by celebrating all their achievements, enabling them to recognise a sense of worth in themselves and to achieve their full potential. Our RE curriculum follows the Local Authority SACRE programme of study and links very strongly with  PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education).  We want our children to have a broader understanding of different cultures as they develop their own spiritual and moral values. The children learn about other religions practised within our country.  Wherever possible, we incorporate visits to other places of worship, or welcome into school, visitors to share their faith.

Parents can decide to withdraw their children from RE lessons if they choose to.

There have been significant changes in the curriculum for History. In KS1 children learn about the lives of significant people and will be expected to have a growing sense of historical understanding. In KS2 there is an emphasis on developing chronology with the children studying History up to 1066. In addition to this schools  include special studies which will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond 1066. 

Geography is an important part of our curriculum. The study of Geography allows children to see the relationship between people and the environment in which they live. Children begin studying their local environment before broadening their outlook to the wider world. A variety of skills will be encouraged through research, studying maps and atlases and practical field work activities.

The aims of our Geography curriculum are in line with the National Curriculum:

  • To develop knowledge about significant places in the world, understanding their physical and human features.
  • How physical and human features relate to each other and change over time.
  • To develop the geographical skills needed to:

o    collect, analyse and communicate data gathered through fieldwork.

o    interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

o    communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through creating maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.


Previously children have studied ICT (Information and Communication Technology), now it is referred to as Computing. The emphasis in the Computing curriculum is on the children being able to use and understand programming, develop their digital literacy as well as their understanding of safe internet use. ICT will still be used across all subjects in order to enhance and develop the children's learning. Orrets Meadow has achieved the Esafety Quality Mark.
Physical Education


At Orrets Meadow we understand and value the important role Physical Education (PE) plays in the development of children. We actively encourage all children to undertake a range of sports and activities within PE lessons, at playtimes and as extra-curricular activity. We believe that PE leads to improved fitness, health, well-being, concentration, attitude and academic achievement. Through PE at Orrets Meadow, children develop respect, resilience, resourcefulness and responsibilty. They are also encouraged to develop a lifetime love of sport and fitness. Orrets Meadow has achieved the Platinum School Games Award and gained AfPE (Accreditation for PE) which is the highest achievement possible in the area of PE.

Art and Design

Art and Design

At Orrets Meadow, we strive to provide a high- quality art and design education that engages, inspires and challenges children’s creativity. We aim to equip children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Each child works towards their Arts Award and Orrets Meadow has achieved the Silver Arts Mark.

In Key Stage 1, children will use a range of materials creatively and develop techniques using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space to design and make products. Opportunities are created that allow children to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. A range of artists, craft makers and designers will be explored to provide opportunities to compare differences and similarities, linking this to their own work.

In Key Stage 2, children will build on their prior knowledge and focus on the mastery of techniques, including their control and use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increased awareness of different kinds of art and artists, craft and design.

Design Technology

Design Technology (DT)

Design and Technology provides our children with an opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature.  The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for the children to apply knowledge and skills from a number of other subjects including art, language, maths and science. Skills are developed using tools and machines in designing and making artefacts and food products with an emphasis on healthy living. Working with a variety of materials aims to help children learn important life skills. Children learn independently and in groups, learning to co-operate, plan, design and make and evaluate their work. They learn to make their own decisions with help and encouragement. At Orrets Meadow we hold STEM days to allow the children to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. 

Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

We believe that learning a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. Learning another language raises awareness of our multi-lingual and multi-cultural world, and introduces an international dimension to pupil’s learning. At Orrets Meadow we have an MFL specialist teacher who led us to achieve the Silver International Award. As part of this Year 6 each had a pen pal from Africe - Burkina Faso - this is a French speaking country. We hold a Culture week where each class studies a European country and is introduced to their language.



At Orrets Meadow we aim for all children to experience a music education which allows them to take part in performance, listening, appraisal and evaluation activities across a range of genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. 

Music is a powerful focus for creative energy as it stimulates and guides the imagination. It is a vital part of any primary curriculum, underpinning many aspects of learning, such as the ability to listen carefully, to explore feelings and responses to stimuli, to appraise, to take risks, and to work as part of a team. Pupils are given the opportunity to visit the Philharmonic Orchestra and learn to play the recorder and Ukelele.

Personal Social Health Education


At Orrets Meadow we recognise the importance of giving children a rounded curriculum, including life skills taught through a discrete weekly lesson on PSHE and Citizenship. The curriculum that we follow is called '3D PSHE'. Please click the weblink for more information: 3D PSHE

Included in the PSHE curriculm, children also receive a programme of work on SRE (Sex and Relationships Education), Substance Related Abuse and Extremism and Radicalisation . The curriculum is aimed at providing children with skills to make appropriate choices to keep themselves and others safe. OUR PSHE curriculum fully meets the RSE 2020 requirements.


OM PSHE Coverage - Discrete lessons
Life and Social Skills Curriculum
Life and Social Skills
Pupils at Orrets Meadow often require life and social skill teaching. Therefore, as part of our curriculum offer, pupils receive discrete life and social skill lessons each week, where they are taught specific skills to help them become more independent in and outside of school. The pupils are assessed on these skills as part of our Autism Tracker, which tracks their progress throughout their time at Orrets.