Whole School Curriculum
At Merryhills, we want our children to be able to take risks, to become responsible and well-rounded citizens, who can think critically and communicate effectively.
Ultimately, we strive for our children to achieve highly at secondary school and beyond. These stepping stones will prepare our children for adulthood. Since 2017, we have been embedding a new curriculum to ensure that we are able to achieve this aspiration.
Due to the context of our school, we have three key elements that run through everything we do.
At Merryhills “we inspire children and foster curiosity; together we create a better future with values at the heart of everything we do”
Inspiring children and providing opportunities for all pupils, including our most able and those with special educational needs, is central to everything we teach. We want our children to be curious about the world around them, so together we foster a love of learning. This will encourage children to step out of their ‘comfort zones’ in order to take risks.
Lessons will expose children to new ideas and to great pieces of work such as books and artwork. Our subject leaders are research informed and each subject has its own subject pedagogy. Using the work of Hirsch, Myatt and Rosenshine – knowledge acquisition and vocabulary are a key part of our lessons. Learning at Merryhills does not simply involve putting words on a page or numbers in a book; it should be about real life and challenging for children. P4C, debating and educational trips/visitors take place throughout the curriculum as a vehicle to inspire our children.
Reading is an essential part of what we do, it is the key to inspiring children. Reading has been a whole school priority since 2018. As a result, we have seen a continuous rising trend in outcomes. We now have an embedded approach to teaching whole class reading. To support reading further, reading spines for every year group have been created. This will give our children access to high quality texts, reflecting our diverse community.
We know that Merryhills is a stepping stone to good learning habits and further education; we acknowledge the part we all play in looking after the future. Research has shown us that many children will enter careers and acquire jobs which haven’t been invented yet. With this in mind, we have designed a curriculum which is innovative and gives children aspirations they need to thrive in an ever changing world.
To achieve this, we teach each subject independently and make links only when it is appropriate to do so. Subject leaders have mapped out the curriculum to ensure progression in all subjects. Teachers make use of curriculum content sheets when planning each unit to ensure: prior knowledge is revised, key new knowledge is set out, key vocabulary is identified and global links are made. We make use of a wealth of resources including: the Chris Quigley Curriculum, the CLPE and Power Maths.
With ‘Future’ in mind, lessons will have global links where appropriate and we have created our own Global Goals to work on as a school. We teach quality citizenship throughout the curriculum and want to offer our children enriching opportunities using visitors or going on trips. In order to follow the path of how innovative technology can be, we have 2:1 Chromebooks across KS2.
We know there are certain areas of the curriculum which are enhanced by a specific skill-set. We have ensured the very best possible provision for our children by employing subject specialists to teach these subject areas:
- Our Physical Education Curriculum is taught by Coach Eddie and overseen by our PE Leader, Mr Wheeler and AHT Miss Charles
- Our Music Curriculum is led by Mrs Croton
- Our Spanish Curriculum is led by Mrs Soria
We are a diverse, close knit community. Since 2013, we have been a Values Based School and in 2019 we were awarded the Values Based Education Hub School accreditation. Our values unite us and they are our common language. We believe that children’s positive well-being provides the foundation for academic success to be built on. By embedding values into our curriculum, our children will grow up to have a strong moral purpose, which will hold them in good stead in the wider world.
Selecting our 12 values involved all stakeholders playing a vital part. One value is focused on each half term, allowing all values to be embedded over two years. This structure means that each value will be focused on three times over the course of a child’s school life.
Our policies and subjects have core values. As a result, specific values will be emphasised in lessons and children will understand the importance of each value in each subject.