Tel. 01481 721602
The Ladies' College

Melrose Curriculum

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin

The curriculum is enhanced by the use of visiting speakers, outings and workshops and the girls are encouraged to bring relevant items or information from home. In addition we also offer Forest School teaching which develops the independent learning skills which are so important in the world today. The Forest School approach is designed to enhance our curriculum offering deep and unforgettable learning experiences using the outdoor environment.

Lower Preparatory

Here we use the Foundation Stage Curriculum with seven main areas of learning: communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

Middle Preparatory and upwards

As the girls move into Middle Preparatory they follow the guidelines of the National Curriculum. Subject areas covered are English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Religious Education, Music, Physical Education, and Information Communication Technology. As part of our Physical, Health, Social and Emotional programme we encourage the children to take increasing responsibility for their actions and foster self-discipline, good manners, a caring attitude, tolerance and pride in their work, appearance, local environment and school.

Junior Department

Here we follow the National Curriculum with its core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, although we do go beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. We also follow the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Art, Design and Technology and Information Communication Technology. Religious Education, Speech and Drama, French, Personal, Social and Health Education and Forest School Outdoor Learning are also part of our curriculum. We expand and extend areas of the curriculum to ensure the girls receive a well rounded, balanced education.

Curriculum Enrichment

The Junior Department girls benefit from a Curriculum
Enrichment programme, which runs on Tuesday
afternoons. Through this they experience half term
blocks of subjects aimed to further broaden and enhance
the Curriculum. These subjects are often taught
by specialist teachers. Areas include; Modern Dance,
Food and Design Technology, ICT Projects, Specialist PE
Units and Forest School, which is an inspirational cross
curricular outdoor learning programme.

Learning Support

At Melrose we aim to meet the needs of every individual. In the vast majority of cases this takes place through carefully differentiated work within the class room. However, some girls will require additional support, either due to them having varying learning difficulties, or due to them performing at a level significantly above that of their peers (Highly Able).

We have a Learning Support Department which can offer additional tailored support to help those with specific learning difficulties and those who just need a little extra help to achieve their full potential. We also recognise the most able girls across the curriculum by adding them to our Highly Able register and finding opportunities to present them with stretch and challenge.

Mrs Nicola Ingrouille, is the Head of Learning Support and can be contacted if you feel that your daughter needs additional support during her time with us.

Junior Department Homework

All Junior girls are expected to do homework. This encourages organisation and self-discipline and prepares the girls for the Senior School. Girls are provided with diaries to record homework details. The amount of homework and time to be taken is at the discretion of the Form teacher. Homework will be reduced at busy times in the school year, for example, during the Junior Production and the second half of the Trinity Term. Approximate times are as follows and include time for reading and spellings;

Class   Weekly Amount      Main Content  
Junior Remove     3 x 30 minutes   Guided Reading
English, Maths
Form I 3 x 30 minutes   Guided Reading
English, Maths
Form II 4 x 30 minutes   Guided Reading
English, Maths, One Varied
Form III 4 x 30 minutes   Guided Reading
English, Maths, One Varied

A quiet environment should be provided at a sensible time. Homework takes precedence over all other activities and parents are required to sign the diary and ensure homework is completed. A guide on how to support your daughter with homework is available from school. Reading should be a daily activity.

Reading Records should be filled in at least twice a week.

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Assessment for Learning (AFL)

The Ladies’ College, Melrose follows ‘Assessment for Learning’ initiative aimed at further improving teaching and learning.

At the start of a lesson the teacher will share the ‘learning intention’ with the girls.  This will then be broken down into success criteria i.e. the things the children need to do to achieve the learning intention.  We hope this will help the girls to become more active learners with a better understanding of what they are learning and why. 

It will also allow teachers to give the girls more focused feedback on their progress. You may hear the girls using the following terminology at home:

WALT - We are learning to and WILF - What I'm looking for


Notes for Preparatory Department parents

Reading at school Each child will learn to read at her own pace. It is not constructive to compare your child’s progress with that of another child. The girls read to their teacher many times during the day – from their written work, instructions, a story and labels as well as from their reading book. All opportunities for reading are of value and should be encouraged.

Reading at home Parents have an important part to play in helping their child become a fluent reader. A regular story at bedtime read by the parents to the child is a wonderful introduction to the written word. Your child will regularly bring home books to share with you. Please help your daughter by

• sitting down comfortably together with time to read
• avoiding distractions
• looking at and discussing the pictures and storyline 
• guessing what may happen next 
• summarising the story and 
• giving lots of praise and encouragement

Reading should always be a shared, happy and comfortable experience.