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Meadowside School

Inspiring brighter futures

Curriculum Design


Our whole-school aim is to provide a broad, balanced relevant curriculum that motivates pupils and prepares them for life beyond school.

We also aim to support all pupils to develop their full potential in personal wellbeing and academic achievement, through a child led approach, where diversity is accepted and celebrated.

Our curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils of our school and of society. (National Curriculum 2019)

All of our curricular are underpinned by the Survival Curriculum, a ’hidden curriculum’ designed to teach positive characteristics such as dignity, humility, hard work, responsibility, and appreciation. Hidden curricular have the potential to positively impact students and even change lives.


The five Every Child Matters outcomes are the foundation for the broad and balanced curriculum taught throughout Meadowside School.  These are:

  • Be Safe
  • Stay Healthy
  • Enjoy and Achieve
  • Make a Positive Contribution
  • Achieve Economic Well-being

Bespoke Learning

Many young people in Meadowside have timetables designed carefully to meet their specific needs. Some children have made the transition to Meadowside during Key Stage 2, in Year 6, for varying individual reasons.

Key Stage 3

When your child joins us in Year 7, based on transition information gained, and in discussion with you, he or she will be placed in the most appropriate teaching group.

Flexible Grouping

Pupils are placed in a group which best meets their needs. There are some groups that follow a secondary model, travelling around school to different subject specialists. 

We follow a curriculum that includes National Curriculum and widens from KS4. Following the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, we have built upon the success of more class-based learning and stay in Pastoral groups most mornings then these groups follow a secondary model, moving around the school to different teachers and subject specialists in specialist rooms.

Aspire, Endeavour, Enquire, Discover groups are for KS3 pupils, following a differentiated National Curriculum, adapted for each group.

KS4 are in 3 groups, based on three progression pathways– Life Skills based, Vocational Skills based and a Core Curriculum based pathway. In Annual Reviews, parents and school choose the most appropriate course based on individual needs and aspirations.

At Post 16, we have two groups– one following the Core Curriculum pathway and the other a blend of  Vocational and Life Skills pathways.

For some lessons, Post 16 and KS4 combine to form six mixed 14-19 groups, based on their chosen Options. Options is a set of curriculum choices based on the three pathways and linked to Preparation for Adulthood outcomes, with a Leisure/Social Option included. 

Cross Phase Bespoke Groups

Focus group are cross phase ASD designated groups that follow TEACCH and bespoke communication strategies. They follow a modified and differentiated National Curriculum, class based in the mornings and with other specialists in the afternoon. The 14-19 Focus group follow the Options curriculum 4 afternoons a week.

Fusion group is also an ASD designated class based group that follows a semi formal curriculum, delivered mostly by one specialist teacher, class based all day.

Flair group is PMLD class based provision, following the informal curriculum, with multisensory approaches and Thematic Units from Quest.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum focuses on all subjects which your son or daughter is familiar from primary school, as well as skills for life.  The Modern Foreign Language taught at Meadowside is French.  Multi cultural activities are celebrated where the focus is on speaking and listening, with multi-sensory activities involving music and tasting samples of food from other countries.

Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11, there are more opportunities for inclusive learning and education in the community.  Personal strengths and interests are built on and learning opportunities extended, both on and off site, accredited where possible. For example, pupils can access Horticulture, Team Work, Drama and inclusion in a local High School, accessing a range of qualifications.

Post 16: Independence and Inclusion

The prime focus for learners in Years 12-14 is Independence and Inclusion, in preparation for life outside, or after Meadowside School; at an appropriate level for each young person.  Different progression routes focus on:

  • Social and Personal Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Vocational Skills
  • Core Curriculum

Key Skills

In addition, there is a greater focus in Post 16 on the six Key Skills which are:

  • Communication (including Literacy)
  • Application of Number
  • Information Technology
  • Working with Others
  • Problem- solving
  • Improving Own Learning

Options, Work Skills and Leisure 

All Key Stage 4 and Post 16 timetables are supported by a range of real life experiences, including Work-Related Learning Skills Week, work experiences, off-site learning and community inclusion opportunities.  All of these opportunities will be balanced by a focus on a broad curriculum, based mainly on the National Curriculum in preparation for a fulfilling adult life.  At Meadowside,  we support learners to plan for the future  in preparation for transitions such as moving into Post 16, Further Education and training or wider opportunities.  A wealth of enrichment activities is offered across the school to motivate learning and to raise aspirations. Students will be able to access a range of options, from the different pathways, personalising their own timetables according to their own aspirations and interests. 'Options' are offered to pupils in KS4 and Post 16.