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Mesne Lea

Primary School

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We are a very busy school with a broad and balanced curriculum to engage all learners. Here are some examples of what we get up to:

Our School Day


To get to and from school, walking is definitely the best option! There are many benefits: it’s healthier than travelling by car, it improves the safety of pedestrians and road-users, and it respects nearby residents and parking regulations. If you do need to travel by car, please park wisely. The school officially opens at 8.50am, however the school gates are open from 8.40am and Registration is at 9.00 am. Lessons begin promptly after registration, at 9.00 am.





At Mesne Lea, we believe that Maths is best learnt through the children having a deep, conceptual understanding of a range of mathematical ideas and a strong knowledge of number. We challenge the children to make connections across distinct mathematical domains. We believe it is important for children to not only be able to find the answers to problems, but to be able to explain the reasoning behind their lines of enquiry using accurate mathematical vocabulary. By celebrating learning and through engaging challenges, we inspire the children to increase their fluency in maths and to become increasingly sophisticated problem solvers.  Lessons are planned to build on basic number acquisition using practical resources, fluency activities and then application tasks, We aspire to deliver the mastery of mathematics for each child in the school.


Phonics – Letters and Sounds with Jolly Phonics



Nursery introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focused groups and activities. Phase 1 focuses on children’s abilities to tune into sounds, listen to and remember sounds and be able to talk about sounds. The activities are intended to help children to develop these skills in preparation for beginning to hear sounds (phonemes) in words. Parents can help to consolidate this at home through activities such as playing rhyming games and reading rhyming books, playing I spy, and listening to and talking about sounds in the environment. When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds from Phase 2.


Reception Reception children will be taught Phase 2 and Phase 3 phonics. If children are capable, they will move onto Phase 4 and 5. The phonic sessions will last 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day. If appropriate for their stage of development, some children may go into Key Stage 1 phonics groups. The purpose of phase 2 is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC (e.g. is, it, at) and CVC (e.g. cat, sit, dog, map) words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no. The purpose of phase 3 is to teach another 25 sounds, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. th, ee, oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 sounds by a letter, digraph (2 letters) or trigraph (3 letters e.g. igh). Children also continue to practice CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words. Word walls are sent home each week for children to practice words which are appropriate to each child’s stage of development, a shared reading book is also sent home which children may begin to read independently as they grow in confidence.


In Key Stage 1 children are streamed into high quality, phased phonics groups, informed by their half-termly assessments. They meet on a daily basis for 25 minutes and though phonics is taught as a discrete lesson, children have the opportunity to consolidate their learning through the continuous provision and literacy lessons in the classroom. Children are expected to complete Phase 4 and Phase 5 during Year 1 in order to meet the requirements of the phonic screening check. The purpose of phase 4 is to consolidate children’s knowledge in reading and spelling words and captions and focus on reading and spelling words with adjacent consonants (e.g. tentclap). The purpose of phase 5 is for children to broaden their knowledge of letters and sounds for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words. By the beginning of Phase Six, children should know most of the common grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways: *reading the words automatically if they are very familiar; *decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established; *decoding them aloud. Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder. During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.




We strive to provide a challenging and engaging English Curriculum; we want our pupils to be literate individuals with the skills to thrive in life. We work hard to facilitate opportunities for those with a passion for language or literature to pursue this further. As a school we endeavour to nurture a love for reading and the children at Mesne Lea enjoy sharing books with both adults and their peers. School requests that children read at home at least 3 times per week and record in their diaries. Children have access to a range of genres and texts and reading skills are used throughout our Literacy lessons and are embedded throughout the wider curriculum. Here at Mesne Lea we believe that children should find writing enjoyable and engaging. Teachers strive to plan lessons that are inspired by the world around us and texts relating to the lives of our children. Lesson journeys are planned to support a build up of skills, whilst giving the children the chance to apply these skills in a range of exciting and purposeful ways.


Lunch time

All children benefit from a variety of dishes, freshly cooked on the premises, as well as vegetarian options, salad bar and fresh fruit (as alternative to puddings). Facilities are available for children bringing packed lunches and they can enjoy their meal in the dining room with the other children, when school dinners are served.   Afternoon Lessons (These alternate depending on day and Year group)




We provide a broad and balanced approach to science, encouraging the children to question and hypothesise when things happen. There are many opportunities for Scientific Investigations with hands on activities to consolidate knowledge and develop understanding of the world around them. All children receive at least 2 hours of Science per week. We aim to equip the children with the specific skills required to understand the uses, processes and implication of science and discovery. As often as possible, teachers share links between science and the modern world we live in; this includes linking learning to technology, computing and engineering.


Global Understanding


History and Mesne Lea is not simply the learning of facts and dates. We develop pupil knowledge and understanding of the impact and influence significant individuals, inventions and discoveries have had, and continue to have, on British Civilisation. We discuss and explore the links between History and the modern world we live in – we use significant individuals to inspire future leaders and careers. Development of skills is encourage through group work, investigations and the celebration and sharing of knowledge through class assemblies. 


Our aim in Geography is to make sure that all children understand their locality, Manchester, the UK and the wider worlds. In addition to this, we place high importance on pupils understanding the cultural differences and benefits of these in an increasingly multicultural UK. Pupils at Mesne Lea will understand the physical, social and economic forces which shape geographical locations and the people who live there. We want to inspire a generation of explorers, environmentalists or geologists; a generation of pupils who are inspired to travel the world and become a global citizen. 


At Mesne Lea Primary School, our intention is to unearth talent and fire passions, to create artists and designers ready for the real world. Mesne Lea uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in Art  lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in Art and Design. We ensure the act of investigating and making something includes exploring and developing ideas and evaluating and developing work further. We do this through the mixture of whole class teaching and individual and group activities on projects in two and three dimensions on different scales. Children also have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources including ICT. Art and Design is taught as a stand-alone subject. We use a skill based scheme of work which ensures progression whilst enabling creative cross curricular links. We plan activities in Art and Design so that there is an increasing challenge for the children as they move through the school and they progressively become competent masters of paint, print, sculpture, mixed media (textiles) and drawing by the end of KS2.



We believe that design and technology helps to prepare children for the ever-developing world around us. At Mesne Lea, we encourage pupils to become curious and creative problem-solvers, nothingnesses as individuals and as part of a team. We are aiming to nurture future discerning and informed customers – perhaps even the potential innovators of the future. 


All pupils at Mesne Lea receive at least of 1hr of Music per week. We aim for our children to experience the excitement and joy of performing music in a variety of ways, for a variety of audiences. Children study the history of music, famous composers and musicians; they use a variety of instruments and digital programming tools to compose their own pieces. Year 3 and Year 4 Music is taught by MAPAS. Pupils get the opportunity to perform on stage at the Lowry at the end of each academic year. 


Computing and technology is the future. Our pupils are taught a range of skills that they will need to succeed as adults in the future. The children are given the opportunity to explore how computing can be used as a career and how they may use technology and programming in their day to day lives in the future. The children use a range of operating systems and e-safety forms a significant part of the teaching undertaken. 


Mesne Lea is a healthy school. We encourage healthy eating, promote physical activity and provide a safe school with the children understanding the importance of both physical and mental health. We strive to foster a love for sport and competition. We have achieved our Gold Award for PE and hope to inspire the next generation of sportspeople. Children build on social skills like teamwork, individual success and the art of winning and losing – a key life skill!



Mesne Lea is a non-denominational school. Emphasis is placed on the development of a caring, respectful attitude towards people of all faiths – we promote the tolerance, acceptance and understanding of people who may have different religious beliefs to our own. We believe that in order to understand the world we live un and build community relations, children should have the opportunity to learn and understand the different religious practices and beliefs – as a result, children learn about different religious celebrations throughout the academic year. 


Foreign languages allow pupils to understand language and linguistics on a deeper level, whilst teaching about different cultures and providing practical skills needed should they want to explore the world. In addition to French, teachers are encouraged to teach simple vocabulary within global understanding units to ensure the pupils are fully immersed in the countries they are learning about. 


PSHE provides the foundations upon which a tolerant, healthy and well-informed society is based. Children are given opportunities to talk about current affairs through debates and discussion. Outside agencies are invited to school to demonstrate some of the key roles people play within our community which help it thrice and hopefully inspire future careers. 
Children are taught tolerance, respect, emotional maturity and about physical and emotional health. Pupils are taught how to keep safe and understand the complexities of life as we grow up. 

Alternative Curriculum

The aim of this provision is to immerse pupils in first-hand experiences which enable them to draw on prior learning, to consolidate and expand their knowledge and understanding of the life skills they will need to feel safe and secure in the future. Links are made between school and home, plus the wider community. For more information, feel free to pop in and ask. 


Drop Off & Collection

School finishes at 3.30pm; parents collect their children from the appropriate exits. As children get older, it would be expected that they would become more independent with this.