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Mesne Lea

Primary School

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Curriculum Approach

Vision and Values

Our children join Mesne Lea with varied barriers to learning. Many of our pupils arrive below national expectations for their age and a high proportion come from disadvantaged backgrounds and with varied complex needs. Therefore our curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out of school to further enhance children’s cultural capital beyond the academic curriculum such as: sporting tournaments, educational visits and visitors linked to the curriculum, fundraising events, residentials and a range of experiences and life skills in each year group that we as a school organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.

Mesne Lea Primary School is a diverse and inclusive school, which consists of a range of pupils from different cultures, speaking different languages and from different family backgrounds.  We encourage our pupils to develop a strong sense of self, whilst celebrating the similarities that unite us.  At Mesne Lea, pupils are valued and their voice is recognised.  Our Pupil Voice Team identified five values which reflect us as a school, these are:







Our rigorous, well planned curriculum combined with quality first teaching ensures that we develop our children's knowledge and skills across all primary subjects with the aim that our children are kind, honest, respectful, resilient and determined life-long learners who are great thinkers, problem solvers and who are fully prepared for further learning and life events ahead of them. At Mesne Lea our values permeate all areas of school life and are reflected by the school’s motto:

Working Together for Individual Excellence.

Curriculum Aims


Our Curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We provide a ‘Backpack’ for life for each Mesne Lea child, filled with knowledge, skills, experiences, personal attributes and ultimately, an understanding about the world around them which will enable them to thrive and have the confidence and courage to achieve their best in all they do- whilst at Mesne Lea and beyond.


At Mesne Lea the curriculum is based on the following key principles.:


  • having a sense of curiosity about the world locally, nationally and globally
  • raising aspirations and pride within our children
  • developing personal skills of vocabulary, language and oracy to take an active role in the wider world
  • understanding the impact and influence of significant individuals, inventions, places, processes, times, changes and development, with a specific focus on Walkden, Salford and Manchester.

Progression and Sequencing
Our curriculum has been developed to ensure we have full coverage of the National Curriculum. It follows the programmes of study for each year group very carefully and provides the right balance of knowledge and skills.
Our rich, broad and balanced curriculum provides children with:

  • A curriculum which has strong foundation in reading, writing, mathematics and communication skills:

Every Child a Reader
Every Child a Writer
Every child Numerate

  •  A curriculum that is word-rich, enhancing vocabulary and reading.
  •  A curriculum which ensures knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
  •  A curriculum which values subject specialisms and the unique subject disciplines to enable pupils to develop knowledge of the wide range of training and employment opportunities which they can aspire to in the future.
  •  A curriculum which offers a wide range of experiences.
  •  A curriculum which nurtures all elements of well-being for our pupils and the sense of community.

We are a reflective school and continually strive to improve our teaching and learning in light of the latest research and this has included a focus on how to improve children’s long-term memory of the knowledge set out in the schools learning threads.
Our curriculum is based on the 3 key principles of Brunner’s Spiral Curriculum.

A Curriculum of Breadth and Opportunity

We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum, and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas. This in conjunction with subject association resources and some materials from Kapow Primary to ensure clear learning intentions and progression across the year groups.

Our curriculum consists of 7 key areas:


2.English (Reading, Writing and Phonics)

3.Global Understanding – History, Geography, French, Music and Art.

4.Spiritual, Moral Social Cultural (SMSC) – RE, British Values interwoven with Personal Health Social Education (PSHE)- including Relationship and Sex Education, physical and mental Wellbeing.

5.STEM – Science, Technology, Computing (Engineering)  and Maths in the wider world.

6.Physical Education

7. Learning outside the Classroom - curriculum enhancements, Assemblies, Trips and Visits

Our curriculum is all planned on a yearly cycle with an emphasis placed on learning supported by quality texts and other quality experiences. Opportunities are sought within the curriculum to encourage community cohesion. In making these links, the children’s learning will be committed to their long term memory more easily.

Our curriculum has been designed so that pupils can initially explore their local area in depth – so they understand the human, social, physical and recreational features of their locality as well as developing an understanding of the history of their local area.

Children will develop an understanding of how Walkden and Salford and the surrounding area of Manchester were a cradle of industrialisation in Britain and how significant individuals and inventions helped to fuel change nationwide and paved the way for the British Empire to expand globally. They are then encouraged to make meaningful comparisons with other places in the UK, Europe and the wider world.

Our History and Geography plans are based around elements of Belle Wallace’s TASC Wheel and a Cooperative Learning Approach. We believe that both of these approaches build the children’s self-esteem, improve social skills, develop higher level thinking and resemble ‘Real Life’ social & work environments, thus preparing them for the next steps in education and future careers.


Our long term plans set out what will be taught throughout the year.

By the time our pupils leave Mesne Lea, we want to ensure that they have high aspirations for themselves and that they are starting to plan how they will achieve them. Through strengthening links with our local community, we want to provide our pupils with knowledge of global communities, enterprise opportunities, financial planning skills and the leadership skills required to compete in a global market.
The impact of our curriculum will be evident through classroom observations, pupil voice, books and through the use of both formative and summative assessments

A Mesne Lea child will:

• be engaged and engrossed in their learning
• have a sense of pride in their work and their learning behaviour
• be resilient, determined and willing to take risks in their learning.
• Be honest
• understand and confidently use sophisticated vocabulary.
• will be kind and understand and be respectful of differences in culture, beliefs and society
• ask questions about the world – locally, nationally and globally
• be ambitious
• know and remember more about significant individuals, inventions, places, processes, times, changes and development, with a specific focus on Walkden, Salford and Manchester.