All of our English is taught through rich high quality texts, which where possible link in with the children's topics. Our philosophy behind our approach is to use the same rich text with the children and though this bring in a range of writing genres, for example the children may write a character description one week, then next they would be exploring a newspaper article based on the stories events, followed up by a monologue in the third week considering characters thoughts, feelings and emotions.
We believe that in the 21st Century rich texts come in a variety of formats from classic texts through to video clips, animated stories, musical stimulus but to name a few!
The school follows the new curriculum for all year groups. Maths is taught in a way that enables the children to use a range of skills in all learning opportunities for example when the children learn any new concept they are encouraged to always estimate, think about how the new learning links in with their current understanding and then to always use the inverse calculation to check their working.
At Merdon Junior School we understand the necessity of computing in today’s lifestyle. We aim to build pupil’s confidence and the ability that they need in this subject, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly changing technological world.
We use ICT to enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum, whilst helping to motivate pupils as they develop new skills. As they will become more digitally literate, they are able to use a wider range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. We will build on, and help them to develop their research skills, begin to question the plausibility and quality of information and learn how to amend their work for different audiences. With the computer science element the children use coding to in numerous scenarios from creating quizzes, exploring an d drawing shapes to designing and programming LegoWedo models.
There are bays of computers around the school along with an IT Suite and Library with enough computers for 1 per child, though collaborative learning is encouraged. Our Merdon Association recently funded a bank of 16 Ipads for use in all areas of the curriculum including green-screening and film creation.
E-Safety is talked about regularly in class assemblies and during lessons and E-Safety whole school events. This website has an area, with all aspects of E-Safety explained, to assist parents with this ever changing subject.
Science is taught in units of study in line with the National Curriculum, where possible units are placed to compliment Topics and the school believes strongly in practical hands- on investigation work. Children learn best through trying things out themselves through exploration.
Personal, Social, Health Education is a corner stone to all children's learning. The curriculum ensures that children have time to think about themselves and those who are in their community, whether it is through friendships, family relationships or own personal development. Children share our school HEART Values which support PSHE throughout- Honesty, Excellence, Attitude, Respect and Thoughtfulness.
Helping the children to feel safe and secure is fundamental to learning and therefore we value the children's points of view and regularly meet with them through School Council and House Captain meetings to gain ideas and receive feedback.
Art units are always linked in with the Topics and really enhance the children's learning. All aspects of the new curriculum are taught and both children and teachers keep sketchbooks to show the value in the process of art, not just the end product.
Children study and develop a variety of media and also think about modern and traditional artists who influence art in and around us.
Children have also had the chance to work towards Art Awards through an after school club.
DT units are fully integrated into the main Topic of the half term. Each unit has a key skill that the children are expected to develop and all will include elements of the deign process, such as research, design, prototype, evaluate and improve, final design and build, final evaluation.
The children will also experience the use of various materials including wood work, cams and levers, textiles and food technology.
Humanities- History and Geography
These are taught in line with the National Curriculum requirements. History has been planned to cover key time periods in British History with a strong link to how and what the children can learn about their own lives from these times.
Geography focuses on local, National and international aspects from exploring the school woodland to understanding how Fairtrade spans the world and continents.
Topics are purposely taught through engaging methods, these include UK geography through the Hairy Bikers tour of Britain and WW1 taught through a Hooke Court residential and followed up through the creation of their own character, for whom the children wrote the diary for.
PE is a very important part of the provision provided by the school. We provide a wide range of sporting opportunities and tuition for the children both in lessons and through a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Sporting success can be seen at both a local and area level with sports teams and individuals gaining awards for their excellence. In lessons, Teachers work alongside a specialised coach to develop their own practice and to ensure we provide a high level of provision for all abilities of children.
The music curriculum has developed, to one where we encourage the children to compose and evaluate their own pieces of work. Units are often linked to famous composers or styles of music so that the children can learn from them and then use this to inspire their own work.
The school has a designated music room and is well resourced with a wide selection of instruments. We also have a large number of children who have taken up musical instruments, and many of them play as part of the school orchestra. To celebrate school music children have regular opportunities to perform both in school and out in the community.
Modern Foreign Languages- French
French is taught to all year groups and is led by a specialist French teacher. This has enabled the children to experience confident and enthusiastic learning with the key focus on listening, talking and developing a love of language. As the children move on to Year 5 and 6 they begin to learn more about the written language and use of verbs.
The school also offers French as an extra-curricular club.
The school recognises and values all beliefs and religions and teaches through the Hampshire syllabus called 'Living Difference'. Children are encouraged to learn and value different religious beliefs, with a focus to understanding key concepts which span a variety of religions, these include such themes as forgiveness, flight and sacred places.
Through assemblies the school recognises key dates in a variety of religions, sharing and celebrating Christian festivals with the children, such as Christmas and Easter. The school seeks out opportunities to use first hand sources and visitors to speak to the children about religion.