Meath School

Meath School

Talk, Learn, Grow

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Curriculum Design


This page shares the school curriculum Intent, Implementation, and Impact. It draws together the whole school intent linking to the Talk Learn Grow (TLG) levelling document. It then shares the 5 Core Elements to Teaching and Learning at Meath, whole school Meath specialist approaches, and the provision offered to enable a Total Communication Environment. Example planning documents display how this is planned for in an integrated approach.   Finally, it gives details on the various methods we measure impact and how and when this information is shared. There are examples of curriculum maps for a class and in our residential setting. The document demonstrates the strong collaboration between school and residential curriculum.




Our children at Meath School have complex speech, language, and communication disorders, as their primary need. Through a combination of specialised education, therapy, and care, we aim to create a community of happy, independent, and confident communicators. Meath School caters for pupils for whom speech, language and communication is the primary barrier to accessing the curriculum and experiencing social opportunities to their full potential. Meath also caters for pupils with high functioning Autism (previously Asperger’s Syndrome). All pupils are supported by an Education Health and Social Care Plan. Each class is grouped by functional comprehension.


Curriculum Intent:

At Meath School our ‘Curriculum Intent’ is that all children continue to develop skills to ‘Talk, Learn, Grow’. When selecting areas to focus whole school curriculum development, we considered these key progressive transferable skills to equip our children for their next stage of learning. This includes communicating effectively, having the knowledge and skills to fulfil their aspirations; knowing own strengths and working collaboratively, and finally develop social and emotional aspects, with an ongoing level of independence and resilience.

The grid below displays areas of focus within each Intent strand to ensure clarity and alignment for all staff; in our purpose of how best to support our children within their time at Meath school.

By providing a total communication environment and focusing on TLGs, we enable children to access their learning, meet their potential alongside their peers, whilst developing lifelong skills in these key areas:


Integrated Approach

Our aim to provide a multi professional team and integrated approach, which is key to our effective practice. The TLG Levelling Document was created to enable all staff to be aware of current targets for each child. The targets are progressive which allow staff to easily review previous and next step learning for each child, in each area.   It draws together key assessment documents we use to assess each child in areas of communication, behaviour for learning, social and emotional aspects, resilience, and independence.   At each TLG levels there is a reference to aligned functional comprehension and PIVAT levels.

Class Teams select the appropriate TLG level that best suits their class’s ability, it gives a starting point to pitch for the class. Differentiation within levels is necessary to meet the needs of all individual leaners within the TLG level. The TLG levelling document is core to staff planning for their class and guides key focus areas.

Curriculum Design

We follow a modified National Curriculum to allow learning to become accessible, enjoyable, and challenging for our children. Teachers plan collaboratively with Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists to deliver an integrated curriculum, which is adapted, personalised, and resourced to meet the holistic needs of each child. We offer integrated therapies which is a collaborative model throughout the child’s day including play, lunchtime and after school.

All areas of the curriculum aim to be purposeful and progressive in teaching our pupils skills for lifelong learning.  We focus on maximising opportunities for communication and relevant knowledge, skills and understanding. Class timetables are carefully crafted to allow acquisition of core skills in communication, reading, writing and numeracy.

Engaging cross curricular themes are at the core of our curriculum, to develop an understanding of the wider world as part of science, computing, PSHE, Children Around the World (humanities) and RE lessons.  These are married with the opportunities through the arts to explore and create whilst increasing children’s self-expression and emotional health through art, DT and music.  All children take part in weekly swimming lessons and an additional PE lesson each week. (See Curriculum Maps.)

The TLG key areas underpin the curriculum, to carefully plan and differentiate in all subjects to maximise individual children’s learning potential through progression of these skills.  As skills are introduced and practised, we discuss why they are needed at Meath, in their community and home, and beyond as a young person and on into adulthood. 

Our residential offer continues and extends the TLG strands within the care setting. The residential curriculum map compliments and reinforces work completed within the school day, and offers further functions skills such as road safety, first aid and personal care.   As with all our work this is completed in a collaborative approach between the school and residential team. (See Residential Curriculum Map, Weekly Skills Overview, Personal Development Plan).

We use a range of Integrated Specialist Approaches throughout the day to enable children to access the curriculum and maximise individual learning potential.  Our Speech Therapists aim to develop children’s functional communication, help them to access the curriculum, and build their confidence in communicating. Our 5 Core Elements of Teaching and Learning within the school environment describe key tools and strategies integrated within our practice:

    1.  Talk Learn Grow Levels
    2. Simplifying and Extending Language
    3. Sign Supported English
    4. Active Engaging Learning
    5. Overlearning

Links are constantly drawn from previous learning to recap, experience, overlearn and consolidate language and concepts.  (See Medium Term Plan Example) This vital time allows opportunities for our children to develop their language and learning skills, by practising then developing skills in context as a class, in groups or individually.   (See Weekly Plan Example)

We use a wide range of strategies, resources and approaches to create our Total Communication Environment and in turn support children to develop a Communication Tool Kit. Language within each session is carefully considered and delivered with highly consistent use of Sign Supported English, gesture, objects, symbols, and visuals to enhance understanding. This is also important for extending language structure and developing literacy skills. Further tools include Visual Timetables and Social Stories as part of our total communication environment. For some of our children with expressive and articulation difficulties we use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) strategies to support their communication. These include Low Tech e.g. signing, picture boards, sentence builders or High Tech Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs) known to the children as “talkers”.


Our curriculum is supported by a wide-ranging enrichment offer to apply the skills developed within the curriculum:

Friends Group – Speech and Language Therapists run weekly Friendship groups focusing on a key theme each term.

Autumn Term - Emotional Intelligence and Regulation

Spring Term - Social Competence and Play Skills

Summer Term – Self-Awareness and Self-Empowerment

Signing - All children have weekly signing lesson.  A new sign of the week is introduced each week in a whole school assembly.

Early Years Occupational Therapy - OT based weekly programme in class targeting early years foundation stage functional skills.

Superskills – This is an OT based programme which provides personal development opportunities in functional skills. There are 3 areas within the programme which include Hygiene Heroes, Home help Heroes and Super Chefs. All children take part in these activities once a week.

Just So Singers- Visiting musicians from Surrey Arts visit weekly in the Autumn Term to form a group choir. They practice learning songs which culminates with a performance at Jubilee High School in Addlestone, just before Christmas. Parents and staff are invited. The children are provided with opportunities to play percussion instruments and to sing in a round. This activity supports being part of a wider group as there are choirs from other schools, and is fully accessible to all pupils both verbal and non-verbal. It is great for self-esteem building.

Totally Rad Music - Offer 1:1 weekly lessons for all children in either piano, guitar and ukulele within the school day, parents are invited to sign up to an instrument of their choice.

Journey Around the World Days - Each class takes part in an arts enrichment day once every half term. During this day the class focus on a country, they locate it on maps, Google Maps and globes. They explore traditions, culture, dance, food, costume and artefacts from that country. Then share their findings with the school in a whole school assembly.

Afterschool Clubs – There are a wide range of afterschool clubs including Jump Ahead (OT based programme) multiskills, football, art club, cooking club, choir. This offer is adapted and dependant on children’s interest and staffing skills.

Allotment/Plant Grow Share - Classes take part in a unit of work to explore and grow plants. The older children use the allotment as part of cross curricular learning.

Outdoor Learning – We enjoy creating daily opportunities for outdoor learning within our fantastic grounds, such as teddy bear picnics in the woodland, re-enacting Billy Goats Gruff on the play equipment, or using the natural elements to explore concepts such as freezing, melting, evaporation shadows, etc.

For our children that attend residential their curriculum and personal development plan provide a wide range of enrichment activities. (See Residential Curriculum Map & Weekly Skills Overview)


Links within the Community

Link Schools - We make links wherever possible with the local community. We work closely with Holy Family Primary School, hosting “learning together days” running reading groups and inclusion links between the two schools. We have established links with Cleeves Primary School, who have visited us and enjoyed joint IT projects such as cross curricular VI based projects. We have also visited Cleeves to take part in sporting events.

Addlestone Library – The older children visit the library monthly to choose and swap their library books.

Woking Swimming pool - Our more competent swimmers visit Woking Swimming baths weekly to extend their swimming skills in a larger 25m pool and take part in sessions such as water safety and lifesaving.

Weybourne Gym - Our youngest children visit weekly to develop basic skills in agility and movement skills. Residential children also visit one evening every week.


Curriculum Impact:

Class teams review their class TLG level and can move on as appropriate for the cohort.

Three Individual Learning Targets (ILTS) a Talk, Learn and Grow Target, are set jointly by teachers, therapists, and residential team (where appropriate) for each child, each term.  They are taken from the class TLG levels and personalised to ensure they meet individual needs. These are shared with children, class teams including residential staff (where appropriate); and parents at an Individual Parent Meeting.  Children are aware of their targets, they are referred to within their learning through the term, then reviewed and new targets set each term.

PIVATS Levels are assessed termly in core subject areas and TLG areas for each child.  Pupil Progress Meetings are held to analyse individual’s data and provision to maximise potential learning.  Core Subject Leaders receive termly data to inform areas of future subject development. 

We track individual children as they move through each term at school. 1 sub level PIVAT level is considered “on track” for progress, and 2 sub level PIVAT levels excellent progress. However, there are several children that’s needs require a more individualised target setting depending on their needs.   The TLG levelling document gives a swift indication of a child not making good progress. It allows analysis of individual areas of need (e.g.  Language, Curriculum or Physical and Sensory) referring to original in-depth assessment tool. If a child has a barrier in a specific area adaptation to their provision can then be implemented.

Curriculum Subject Leaders follow a monitoring timetable in line with whole school (See a Core subject example & a Foundation Subject example) Information is collated from a wide range of sources including: Learning Walks, planning, book looks (including photographs, observational notes and work folders) , pupil voice. This information is analysed for strengths and areas of development. Actions are taken as appropriate e.g., planning adaptations, target area staff training.