Curriculum

 

Curriculum Intent

To provide pupils with a broad range of learning experiences that will support their development as members of the school and wider community, fostering a sense of belonging. We recognise that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not appropriate to help pupils to achieve to their full potential. Instead we assess our pupils’ individual needs and give them the opportunity to access a curriculum that meets their individual needs, provides pupils with opportunities develop knowledge and skills that will support them with life-long learning and independence, and promotes engagement through interest and meaningful activities.

The curriculum aims to:
– Increase independence
– Promote social skills
– Teach appropriate behaviour
– Improve communication
– Maximise progress in all relevant areas for our pupils

The curriculum has a large focus on PSHE, social skills, communication and behaviour. This enables pupils to maximise their learning and life skills by being able to access the community appropriately, both with school and parents, and engage in learning and community activities that they would otherwise find challenging. We aspire to provide pupils with opportunities to learn a range of knowledge and skills to develop their ability to be a successful and active member of their community, with aspirations for their future goals.

This is through opportunities for regular Educational visits, special events in school to learn about other cultures, learning linked to our own British values, Aspiration days to give children a flavour of opportunities available after leaving school and Social, Moral, Spiritual and cultural opportunities flowing through the curriculum. We have also provided extracurricular activities in order to provide opportunities for pupils to develop talents and interests. We have been  successful in developing links within our community, working alongside local care homes to provide intergenerational dance activities for our pupils as well as the residents. By providing these opportunities, we promote effective communication, self-confidence and continued progression in life skills.

For more information please see our Curriculum Policy. or contact the school office office@merryfieilds.manorhall.academy or 01782 914219

Art and Design at Merryfields School encourages our pupils to
express themselves in a creative way, that builds upon a pupil’s natural
pleasure to communicate in a visual way. We provide experiences linked to the
National Curriculum, that are enjoyable, where pupils find a sense of
achievement and fulfil their artistic expression. Our pupils enjoy a wide
breadth of artistic and design opportunities, using a vast range of art media
and equipment.  
 

At Merryfields we introduce children to technology from a young age. We create a passion for learning through technology and have a large variety of equipment. The computing curriculum help to prepare children for life if the technological world. 

Design and technology at Merryfields aims to be an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. We encourage pupil creativity and imagination which enabled pupils to design and make products that solve everyday problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Design Technology is cross curricular – with strong links to mathematics, science, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks safely, becoming resourceful and innovative. Our pupils evaluate past and present design and technology, with the aims of developing a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the pupil and their community.

English in Merryfields school covers a range of subject areas including Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Our intention, is for all pupils to progress according to their needs and potential. To support all pupils, we adopt a range of strategies including phonics, sight-reading, PEC’s, Makaton, Early Writing fine motor skills and comprehension/inference skills. 

Communication has a heightened status at Merryfields. We aim to support our pupils to be able to communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.  

Geography aims to stimulate an interest in and a sense of wonder about locations, both local, national and international. It raises questions about the environment and sustainability. The starting point for the development of a child’s geographical knowledge is school, getting to know the environment both inside and outside.

They then may explore local parks and outdoor spaces, local industry and the impact it has had on the area, moving onto the UK, comparing different areas within our country and finally looking at the  wider world and contrasting with the UK.

M Levels provide the basis for assessment and show progression from M1 through to M21. This ranges from encountering Geographical resources and listening to music from around the world, through answering questions about different weather types, to discussing how people can improve or damage the environment.

History at Merryfields is taught as part of a bespoke curriculum, enabling pupils to access the curriculum in a way that is relevant to their needs and experiences. Local history is drawn upon to provide context and chronology, allowing children to build and reinforce skills such as questioning, reasoning, analysis and discovery. They also find out about Britain, Europe and the wider world, and the aim is to relate past events to the present day.

Educational visits provide a source of learning beyond the classroom, from travelling by minibus and listening to adults’ memories and recollections of the area, to visiting a museum for a specific purpose.

Primary sources such as photos and artefacts are also used to inspire and engage. Cross curricular links are made with DT, Art, Music and Drama.

The Merryfields Maths curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to expand upon and develop their mental, practical, problem solving and reasoning skills. In school, at home or as part of the wider community. For example when  visiting a cafe or shop.

Delivered through multi sensory, interactive and real life learning opportunities that meet the individual needs of the pupils. Following sequential progression steps that are achievable. And match the National Curriculum objectives for Number, Shape Space and Position, Measures and Using and Applying.   

Maths at Merryfields challenges mathematical thinking and consolidates knowledge through questioning and extension activities. 

Reinforcing and connecting previous learning in order to develop pupil confidence when using standardised or abstract mathematical resources across school and respond to challenge independently. 

French. This will support children’s understanding of diverse places, different cultures and religions. Learning a new language helps children develop their communication skills, including key skills in speaking and listening, and extends their knowledge of how language works. In order to further extend the learning of languages, we plan and run a multi-cultural week once a year where each class links to a different country.

Music at Merryfields is practical and engaging. We believe Music should be enjoyed both for its own sake, and for the way it supports our pupils’ emotional wellbeing, confidence, and cross-curricular understanding. Whether in the classroom, assembly, or a school performance, Music is an opportunity for every pupil to make themselves heard, to respond to each other, and to convey their ideas and feelings. Following the National Curriculum guidelines, and led by our students’ passions, we explore body percussion, vocal sounds, instruments, composition, performance and more. At Merryfields, Music is for everyone.

In PE we want our children to feel they belong as part of a team, and thrive physically, socially and emotionally. Children of all abilities will have the opportunity to take an active part in all aspects of PE. This will support and help develop an enthusiasm for fitness and an understanding of the importance of good diet and exercise. We aim to provide an engaging and challenging curriculum that allows all children to achieve beyond their expectations. Our main aim is offer children an excellent wide range of opportunities so that they can develop a healthy life-long love of physical activity.

Religious education in Merryfields School, focuses on 3 main faiths which are prevalent in Modern Britain; Christianity, Islam, Judaism. Pupils are taught the theological grounding of these faiths through exploration of stories from the Torah, Bible and Qur’an which link to the core principles of these faiths. The intention is for pupils to develop a respect as well as an understanding of people who follow these religions and an understanding of how their spirituality impacts their daily lives, fostering charity, faith, hope and other virtues.

What is Phonics?

‘Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading that ensures virtually all children can learn to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught the correspondences between sounds (phonemes) and letters. They identify and blend different letter sounds and letter combinations together (‘synthesise’ them) to make a word – for example, pronouncing each phoneme in shop /sh/-/o/-/p/ and then blending those phonemes to produce the word. Through this, children take the first important steps in learning to read. They can also use this knowledge to begin to spell new words they hear.’

Phonics at Merryfields.

At Merryfields we understand that phonics is not just about reading words on a page, there is more to phonics than letters and at the lower levels of learning; it is everything that isn’t letters. We use a multi-sensory approach which is tailored to the child’s individual needs. Phonics it taught through music, singing, messy play, looking and listening, amongst other things. Children who are unable to write are not held back, spelling words can be achieved using other methods such as using magnetic letters to spell out words. If a child is pre-verbal they can still make progress as there are many ways to communicate. In some classes, Attention Autism is used alongside phonics.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSRHE)  is a topic that is taught on a daily basis in Merryfields, due to the nature of our educational provision. This enables our pupils to improve their independence, enhance their knowledge of British society as well as the world and enables us to help them understand a range of cultural, social and moral issues. The wellbeing of our pupils is enhanced through our PHSE curriculum by encouraging independence, physical health, a sense of self, positive emotional wellbeing and respect for others. Children are taught how to keep safe through both learning independence skills and topics such as safety in the community, safety when travelling and safety in the home or school, including online safety.

Our PSRHE curriculum encompasses Relationship Education where pupils learn about different types of relationships and what a healthy relationship looks like. Besides this, many strategies take place throughout school to supplement our curriculum, for example school prefects, classroom jobs, school council, Enterprise Week, whole school activities and focused participation in Anti-Bullying week, Children in Need and MultiCultural Week.

At Merryfields, we aim to give all of the children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically. The children access weekly/fortnightly Science sessions based on their relevant ability.

The curriculum aims to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
  • be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
  • develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
  • Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
  • Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
  • Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.

As well as Science being taught as a standalone lesson, it is also taught cross-curricular such as through PSHE when we focus on healthy and unhealthy foods and puberty in Year 5/6.

Massage therapy can help to improve short term mood and longer term classroom behaviour.  Children are happier and in a better mood. We have observed they appear more relaxed, calm, and prepared for learning.

For other children, there is a decrease in touch sensitivity and disruptive behaviour, and increased ability to relate to their teachers.

There are a number of key benefits for children

  • Improved calmness and concentration  
  • Increased self-confidence and self esteem
  • Improved social skills with a greater number of relationships/friendships with peers and adults
  • Happier and more relaxed children
  • A reduction in aggressive behaviour and bullying
  • A more positive attitude and greater engagement with learning
  • Improved ability to work in groups and independently
  • Greater creativity and problem solving
  • Increased awareness of the body and signs of stress and anxiety

Within Merryfields we use a combination of different massage therapies.

  1.  Story massage
  2. Massage in Schools Program
  3. Functional reflex Therapy

Story Massage information 

https://www.storymassage.co.uk/                             

Background Information 

Story massage combines the benefits of simple massage strokes linked to spoken words to help to build up an engaging story.

This may be your chosen story during literacy, a story linked to a topic and social stories.

Key points

  • The strokes are mainly on the head, back, arms and shoulders, but may also be used on the legs, hands and feet.  No oil is used and children do not remove clothing.
  • Massage is given with respect and consent, it is ok to say no.
  • Positioning is suitable for your pupils needs i.e. on the floor, lying down etc…
  • Story massage can be adapted for all pupils.
  • Always say thank you at the end.

The Benefits

Story massage is a simple, fun and interactive way of sharing the benefits of positive touch.

  • Relaxing of mind and body, easing tension and anxiety.
  • Releases the feel good hormone ‘oxytocin’.
  • Opportunity for calming time.
  • Improves focus and concentration.
  • Reduces aggression and behaviour.
  • Increased self-confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem.
  • Engaging way of encouraging children, to develop vocabulary.
  • Opportunity for children to express emotional language.
  • Develops relationships.
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