Meridian Curriculum

Please see the information below, which details information on our curriculum areas at KS1/2 for the academic year.

If you would like to know more about our curriculum please do contact the Head of School on 0208 807 2656 – Option 5.


At West Lea, we differentiate in all our lessons so that the individual needs of pupils can be met, within the normal classroom environment. This includes questioning which is appropriate to their current understanding (Blank’s Levels), Makaton signing, task planners (to help pupils remember instructions) and the use of visuals, such as photographs, symbol and ‘real’ objects. Children are able to enjoy 1:1 reading, as appropriate, to help develop skills in reading. Children also work within an adapted curriculum, designed to meet the needs of learners and allow them to develop independence skills.

Sometimes, a pupil, or groups of pupils, will need to access some additional teaching to support their learning. This will involve the setting of targets, and will be reviewed on a regular basis. Often, this may last for half a term. This may be led by a member of the class team, with support from a specialist teacher. Examples of this include ‘lego therapy (take out lego therapy and replace with ‘What’s in the box?’’ (to aid communication and social skills), ‘speech bubbles’ (a series of drama sessions to promote team work) or ‘The Five Minute Number Box’ (a numeracy resource to develop maths skills).

Some pupils also access highly specialist activities outside of the classroom to support their learning. We have a range of English interventions available, including ‘reading mentors’ (older children reading to younger pupils, ‘Phonological Awareness Training’ (reading and writing activities) and 1:1 reading with a parent/carer (take this line out). We are also able to offer some specialist activities for pupils with difficulties of a dyslexic nature, and provide diagnostic dyslexia assessments for those pupils who require this. If your child is accessing a specialist intervention, you will be informed of strategies which you can use at home to aid their learning, as part of the intervention.

West Lea has a range of therapists who work across the sites. Our speech therapist, supported by our specialist communication teaching assistants, works with all classes as part of the total communication approach. We are proud to have been awarded ‘Communication Friendly School’ status by Elklan. This means that all staff have received significant training in speech and language, and some staff achieved accredited qualifications in this. Children’s speech and communication skills are developed at every point in the day. Staff use Elklan strategies to developing communication skills, and a high proportion of staff achieved accredited qualifications in Elklan. (take this line out)

Some children access specific speech and language groups, in addition to the classroom provision. Examples of this include ‘social communication’ groups (developing language and social skills), ‘brick therapy’ (developing turn taking and following instructions). The speech and language team also support individual communication aids such as Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) and the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

We have two art therapists who are part of the West Lea team. Art therapy (was in italics) is a form of psychotherapy that uses art (was in italics) media as its primary mode of expression and communication. This can be particularly beneficial to children who have social and emotional needs. Some children who receive art therapy access it in a 1:1 session, whereas others work as part of a small group.

Our occupational therapists support classes with activities that support daily living skills, such as being able to manage different sensory conditions, and fine motor skills involved in dressing/undressing. As well as providing planning advice for staff, some children access specific occupation therapy sessions, such as learning to use a keyboard for typing. Our physiotherapists provide fun and motivational activities for children who require their support, and advise on equipment such as adapted bikes and play equipment. In addition, there are also some groups run by the physiotherapy team, such as learning to bide adapted bikes.

The school also works closely with peripatetic teachers to support our learners, such as the hearing impaired and visually impaired team. Some children have access to music therapy to support their cognitive, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Other professionals, such as educational psychologists or psychiatrists, support our children, staff and families, to ensure that every child receives the support they need to succeed in life and be the best that they can.

Jack Petchey Awards

Sir Jack was born into a poor working class family in the East End in 1925. He left school with no qualifications when he was 13. Sir Jack joined the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm in 1943 during the Second World War. He applied for Officer training but was unsuccessful. On discharge from the Navy he began working as a clerk for the Solicitor’s Law Stationery Society. When he applied for management training there he was told he would never make a businessman!

Sir Jack refused to give up! Investing his £39 discharge gratuity from the Navy, he bought his first second hand car and started a taxi business. He worked long and hard, overcoming  adversity and going on to become a multi-millionaire through his various business ventures, which have spanned from motor car dealing and garages to property, travel and investment.

At 91 Sir Jack still comes to the office every day, but now it is his philanthropy that interests him most!

Since establishing the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999, his businesses have given £100 million to support youth projects. What he ‘gives’ is greater than money though; the same entrepreneurial skills that he brought to his business have led to some really innovative schemes for young people.

Sir Jack seeks to increase young people’s aspirations by rewarding their achievements and encouraging them to take pride in what they have done. He brings communities together to really celebrate and ensure that the young people have a moment of glory and that their parents/carers/ teachers and youth workers are there to witness it.

He focuses on the positives rather than highlighting the negatives. Yes, young people face problems and challenges, but Sir Jack believes that if you focus on these you risk creating a negative spiral. Alternatively, if you reward success and help young people feel positive about themselves you can give them the confidence and aspiration to change, overcome adversity and live to their full potential.

Sir Jack wants to encourage young people to make a commitment and put the effort in, so his principle is 50/50 – ‘you make the effort and I will support too’! He can often be heard quoting the ancient Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

In 2012, Sir Jack was awarded the CBE in further recognition of his services to young people.  This was presented to him, in front of 100s of young people, by Sir David Brewer, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, on the behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. After the event, Jack Petchey Foundation work experience student Yasmin McIntosh interviewed Sir Jack about the Foundation and his CBE award. She says: “Speaking to Jack Petchey made me realise the passion and confidence he has in young people in today’s society. We should all be nurturing the talents we have as individuals, as well as supporting and encouraging those around us. By working together as a team we can pull each other through the hard times and focus on the good ones.”  

More than anything Sir Jack believes that people should think of others and give back to society, no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity, he wants young people to know that in giving, you also receive and the world is a better place for it!

This emphasis on positive affirmation, self-belief, and the willingness to make an effort and to give to others are key to the development of the work of the Jack Petchey Foundation

Skip to content