This area of our curriculum aims to increase our pupils’ understanding of the world around them and provide a context to apply the skills they learn in school to other situations.
We want our pupils to develop in three key areas, firstly we want our pupils to gain knowledge and respect for living creatures and the natural and human environment around them through practical experiences alongside classroom based activities. Secondly, we want pupils to develop enquiry skills and encourage their natural curiosity to work and think scientifically and logically. We encourage inquisitiveness and exploration and believe a skills based focus will promote the acquisition of new knowledge and concepts. Our pupils learn best when they are doing and seeing. Thirdly, we want our pupils to be able to apply the skills and knowledge that they have gained outside the school environment and into adulthood.
The very nature of our pre-formal curriculum, which uses the Engagement model as an anchor, means that aspects such as curiosity and exploration are at the very heart and engrained into the learning experience for these pupils. Activities are planned to be motivating, based on their Engagement profile, to encourage pupils to be inquisitive and active in their learning. Pupils learn about their own bodies through self-awareness and self-regulation activities and learn to control and respond to their own senses. They are given the opportunity to experience, explore and respond to different environments both inside and outside school and to develop an understanding of how they might have control over their own environment.
For pupils following the semi-formal pathway, several semi-formal Equals units make up this curriculum area. These include not only The World Around Us and My Outdoor School schemes but also the ethos of My Thinking and Problem Solving and Travel Training from within the My Independence scheme. Pupils are encouraged to be curious and explore their environments both inside their classroom and beyond.
Our formal learners follow the Equals Formal Science Curriculum. This has a broad spread of strands which, cover biology, chemistry and physics and build on prior learning and knowledge. Pupils also follow geography, history and RE using the National Curriculum as the base.
This curriculum area is designed to offer all our pupils many opportunities to step outside the classroom. Trips and visits into our local community are commonplace and are important to allow our pupils to apply the skills they have learned within school into other contexts and situations. Beach school and Forest school are both a feature of our curriculum across all age groups.
Mayfield School have a long and successful relationship with Bendrigg Lodge and have for many years offered an outdoor and adventurous activities residential week for our key stage 4 pupils. We are very proud that Mayfield School is able to offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to our sixth form pupils and have recently added the John Muir Award into Key Stage 3 and 4.
Our science, humanities and the world around us curriculum area, should give pupils an awareness and understanding of the world beyond school. They should leave Mayfield with a curiosity about how things work and about how things may affect them and their environment. They should have a working knowledge and have developed skills to understand scientific concepts, which they may encounter in their everyday life. They should be able to use and apply these skills and knowledge outside school to achieve a greater level of independence in their lives.