Curriculum Organisation: Merstham Lower School
Within the lower school, the traditional primary model of teaching has been adapted in order to meet the complex needs of pupils. With an emphasis on forging positive relationships, building trust and providing a safe base, pupils spend a significant amount of time being taught by their form tutors.
Mathematics and English
During English lessons, pupils spend 2 sessions a week within their own classrooms being taught, in mixed ability groups, by their form tutor. In these lessons pupils are exposed to a broad range of writing for different purposes as well as having the opportunity to experience extended texts such as popular or classic novels. The remaining three lessons are personalised learning sessions based upon the current educational needs and levels of pupils with a focus on developing reading and phonic knowledge. These lessons form our English Milestones curriculum.
Maths lessons are also structured in such a way as to provide pupils with both mixed ability and personalised learning sessions - Maths Milestones. Within the mixed ability sessions, pupils are taught by their form tutor with the emphasis on problem solving, collaborative learning and building upon key skills such as times-tables. Within the Maths Milestones sessions, pupils work with peers from across Years 7, 8 and 9 depending on ability. These sessions are designed to ensure that all pupils have a firm grounding in the key skills and knowledge required to move confidently onto increasingly more complex concepts and skills.
Design and Technology, Food Technology, Computing and Humanities
Once again, lesson are delivered by pupils’ form tutors via personalised, differentiated activities and outcomes with an emphasis on paired work, peer learning opportunities and mixed ability classrooms. Design Technology and Food Technology are run on an alternate half termly basis, as are the humanities subjects of History and Geography.
Science, Drama, PE and Art
During these sessions pupils have the opportunity to be taught by a subject specialist with Science and Art lessons taking place in subject specific learning environments. In Physical Education, pupils gain experience of a variety of sports both on and off the School site and are taught about healthy eating and adopting healthy life styles.
By combining and adapting the more traditional models of primary and secondary teaching we can provide pupils with a curriculum that is personalised in order to meet their specific educational needs. This ensures pupils’ social and emotional needs are met through familiar and secure learning environments, allowing them to thrive educationally and develop as enquiring and confident learners.