It’s our aim at Merritts Brook to provide as many exciting learning opportunities as we can in addition to our already highly engaging curriculum.We subsidise trips to ensure that all children are able to access these additions to the curriculum that make learning so much fun.
The academy decided to use the Cornerstones curriculum system as it meets the needs of our pupils. The Cornerstones website provides more detail about the philosophy of cornerstones.
In the ‘engage’ phase, the teachers plan an immersion day/days/week so that the children are enthused by their topic from day one and are keen to find out more. In school, this has involved children ‘flying around the world in a day’, inviting a bee-keeper into school, visiting the local supermarket to taste a variety of foods, investigating a crime scene, making Viking bread …the list goes on!
In the ‘develop’ stage , the teacher imparts knowledge. The children learn, through a variety of methods, and acquire necessary knowledge.
After the children have developed a good understanding of their topic, they move to the innovate stage, whereby they will be set a challenge in order to apply the knowledge and skills that they have acquired. We are constantly striving to ensure that our children are challenged and learn the strategies to problem solve.
The last stage of the topic is ‘express’. This element fits perfectly with our aims and intentions for the children at Merritts Brook. We feel it is imperative that the children are articulate and learn to express their learning clearly and effectively. In addition we feel very strongly about including parents in their child’s education, therefore during the culmination of the topic parents are invited into school to join their child in celebrating what has been learned. So far we have invited parents in to:
- a café – which served pizzas that the children had created.
- a party – sharing what made the children happy.
- exploding volcanoes – a science experiment involving coke and soft mints!
The children have commented that they really enjoy the topics that they cover and that school is more fun…they don’t realise that they are learning.
Enriching the Curriculum
We want the children to have a thirst for knowledge and therefore feel that children learn effectively through direct experience. We therefore offer opportunities for pupils from nursery upwards, to enhance their learning experiences by bringing the curriculum alive and making their learning more fun. We aim to enrich our curriculum through well chosen educational visits, workshops (both on and off site) and topic related costume and role play days. We have regular visitors in school such as the poet Paul Cookson, the fire service, theatre companies, etc. We have an artist in residence who teaches African and South American drumming to years 2,3 and 6.