Merchant Taylors’ Junior Boys’ School offer an excellent academic education in a caring and supportive environment. Boys are encouraged to develop their individual talents and have a love of life. We want our boys to have a passion for learning which goes far beyond the classroom so we offer the opportunities for creative thinking, individual learning and adventure.
To have a look at individual departments please click on the departmental links below:
Art is an important part of school life and encourages creativity and personal expression.The children actively participate in the timetable lessons and are able to come to extra art sessions on Wednesday lunchtime as and when they want. The children are introduced to a range of artists, styles and materials and are taught various techniques as well as being encouraged to discover and experiment themselves. The clay is always very popular! The boys have sketchbooks to collect materials and to practise ideas ready for display work; they make a good record of progress and development. Please provide your son with some sort of protective apron, old ones from Stanfield are great, if it is your Dad’s shirt, please do something about the sleeves! I try my best to protect the school uniform and all materials used do say they are washable…
Mess can be impressive, but it is all part of the learning progress and, thankfully, we have a dedicated art room. The children are super at clearing up as well.
Seasonal competitions and activities are arranged and Resident Artists come and spend time with the children too, in order to enhance the curriculum and brighten up the school environment. Harvest Festival is approaching and any photos or art work on this topic would be appreciated for a display in the hall.
The children are delighted to see that their work goes on display and it helps to keep the school looking so vibrant.
Design & Technology
In September 2012 a revised whole school scheme was introduced. Each class has a double lesson of DT for half the year, with Art lessons for the other half.
The activities have been planned to enhance the way in which boys learn and to interest them. There are creative food activities such as J3s exploring making sandwiches and biscuits, and the J6s have a trip to Merchant Taylors’ Senior Girls’ School for a bread making session in their Home Economics classroom.
The core skills which are needed to produce mechanisms start in J3, with cutting tasks producing hats and musical instruments. These are developed further in J4 to produce pop-up cards, hinges and levers, to make puppets and a storybook with moving parts, which provides an opportunity to use their creative and design talents.
The older boys are introduced to more challenging materials and equipment, and as in J5 they make an electrical circuit to produce a buzzer game (just in time to go home for a noisy Christmas!), create moving toys, such as a fairground roundabout and toys with cam movements. The J6s make bridges, photograph frames and cars; for the latter they have to work out a way to power them.
All these activities take place in a DT room which is very well stocked with a large variety of materials and equipment. All the items in the room are clearly labelled, to encourage the boys to work independently and to tidy-up!
Educational & Enrichment Activities
Whole School Activities
December – Visit to a local pantomime
March – Challenge – Puzzle workshops
Visit to Chester Grosvenor Museum to support Roman History topic
CHET (Crosby Hall Educational Trust) – Outdoor Learning Experiences
Mike Quinn – Storyteller
Visit to Liverpool Museum
Lego activity workshop
The Narnia Experience at St George’s Hall, Liverpool
Visit to Speke Hall to support history work – Tudor topic
Residential to Patterdale Hall, Cumbria – outdoor activities (e.g.kayaking, climbing etc)
Bootle Recycling Centre – Geography field trip
Chester Zoo – support minibeast and skeleton work in Science
Visit to Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire to support History work – Victorians topic
Llandudno, North Wales – Geography field trip to support Geography topic on Contrasting Localities
Calderstones Park, Liverpool – Liverpool International Tennis Tournament Education Day
Residential – Newlands Activity Centre, Cumbria. Outdoor activities including assault courses, canoeing and ghyll scrambling
Young Shakespeare Company visit to perform Macbeth
Eden Camp, Yorkshire to support History topic on World War II
and Geography field study (2 day residential)
In English the boys are offered a wide range of lessons to foster enthusiasm and to stretch enquiring minds. High quality texts are studied to develop their understanding and interpretation of a wide variety of writing. Emphasis is placed on inference and deductive skills as well as literal interpretation. Boys are also encouraged to read extensively and to achieve the highest level possible (Platinum Plus) in our reading award scheme.
Regular author visits give the boys the opportunity to meet writers face to face, hear about latest releases and question them about how and why they write. In addition, the twice yearly Young Shakespeare Company visits enable the boys to participate in interactive Shakespeare workshops. Writing opportunities are varied using a wide range of different genres, film clips and drama as stimuli.
At Merchant Taylors’ Junior School we feel that Geography is more than knowing where places are to be found. We develop geographical skills, including the use of maps and photographs, enquiry about our own and different localities, investigating on field visits, where appropriate.
We develop knowledge of places and environments locally and throughout the world. The boys are involved in a range of problem solving and investigative work both inside and outside of the classroom.
As the pupils study geography they will learn about different societies and cultures, considering how their actions and values can change the environment.
In 2013, Merchant Taylors’ Junior Boys’ School were awarded The PGQM Silver Award. Silver award schools ‘lead effective whole school approaches that support excellence in geography’.
History at Merchant Taylors’ Junior Boys’ School follows a very carefully designed and resourced curriculum with a coherent, progressive and rigorous learning programme designed to engage and motivate pupils and encourage them to see the world through the eyes of young historians.
The areas of study in Years 3 and 4 are in chronological order and cover the Stone Age through to the Viking period of British and European history. The focus is on building knowledge and understanding as well as critical historical thinking skills, analysis of sources and evaluation of evidence to build a clear picture.
Years 5 and 6 takes a more global ‘big picture’ approach, and builds on the skills acquired during Year 3 and 4. Students are expected to be more critical of sources, using their skills of deduction and reason to develop their own conclusions and hypotheses based on evidence presented. They are encouraged to make judgements and apply their prior knowledge to add extra context to what they are learning.
During our ICT & Computing lessons we focus on going above and beyond the National Curriculum with a bespoke scheme aimed to prepare the pupils for the Senior school and beyond. The first half each each term is always based around ICT where boys will complete projects such as Microsoft Publisher Calendars in Year 3 or creating their own Firefly pages in Year 6. E-Safety also features consistently throughout the year and we aim to help and support the boys in the digital worlds they explore.
The second half of each term is based on Computing and Purple Mash’s 2Code scheme is used to introduce the pupils to programming in Years 3 and 4. They then progress onto MIT’s popular Scratch program which is a fantastic resource aimed at create exciting projects whilst developing their programming skills to a high level. Pupils will also use our physical computing resources such as the 3D printer, Dash & Dot robots and Sam Labs. These are the most popular sessions throughout the year as pupils are able to see their ideas and creations come to life. We liaise closely with the Senior school to ensure our pupils are well prepared for the expectations of Year 7 and beyond. There are also weekly ICT sessions for Years 5 and 6 where boys often enjoy programming in their own time.
Our Mathematics syllabus follows that laid down in the National Curriculum at Key Stage Two, though this often extends into work normally covered in Key Stage Three. The work involved is both challenging and enjoyable and the boys are encouraged to participate fully to extend their knowledge base.
The work covered includes individual work, together with collaborative exercises where the boys learn from their own, and their peers, experiences.
Classwork is supplemented by regular homework in a range of topics based around work covered in school.
Our Key Stage Two SATs results over the past few years have been excellent, thanks to the hard work from both staff and pupils.
Modern Foreign Languages
Our Junior School French syllabus, administered by two or three experienced linguists from the Senior School, has three chief objectives; the development of communication facility, the cultivation of learning skills and the nurture of cultural awareness. This being the case, much of the work we do dovetails with or parallels the pupils’ research in other subjects – history, geography, and English, for instance. Since each form has only one French lesson a week, one of our aims is to revise from year to year material which has already been learned, but to add to it. A Y4 boy might expect to learn basic food vocabulary, which will be extended in Y5 with a look at restaurant role play and further consolidated with work on shopping and money in Y6.
Topics covered are many and varied, ranging from simple alphabet, number, weather and colour vocabulary via family, food, school, clock time, nationalities, transport, town and clothes to quite sophisticated work on the body and health and a look at the history of the French Revolution. In addition we introduce simple grammar at an early stage. The study of leisure activities or of the ‘fête des rois’ (when the king or queen for the day gives orders to the rest of the family) are both excellent introductions to the way verbs are structured and used; colours can be used to demonstrate that French adjectives change in the feminine and are to be found after the noun.
Obviously all this has to be done in a way that captures a child’s imagination, so our lessons incorporate physical games and songs, drawing and craft, word play, DVDs, rôle play and the Internet. In recent years we have also offered to Y5 and Y6 an Easter trip to Normandy, which has been tremendous fun. We believe wholeheartedly that the love of language should be instilled early, and the boys respond with enthusiasm.
Music is a major part of our school life. The boys are encouraged to participate in their timetabled music lesson each week, where they cover a range of topics from singing to playing musical instruments, including recorders. The whole school take part in singing as part of our school assemblies and weekly hymn practice.
Our school is lucky to have a group of enthusiastic boys from Junior 5 and 6 who form the Junior School Choir. The choir sings at concerts, hosted by themselves, at various times in the school year. They also perform at local residential homes at Christmas time and, of course, the annual Merchant Taylors’ Carol Concert.
The boys in the Junior School are encouraged to play a musical instrument, taking advantage of the peripatetic teachers specialising in a wide range of instruments. Recorders are introduced in Junior 4 as a way of learning the rudiments of music. This is carried on into Junior 5 and beyond. We have a fantastic Brass Band which performs at various events during the year.
Music is a valuable subject, which encompasses a range of skills. It is an important discipline – one that is enjoyed by all of the boys in the school.
Winter – Our main winter sports are rugby, played on the school field, and swimming. We have enjoyed considerable success in both over the years regularly reaching regional and national finals.
The ruby teams play all over the North West for Blackpool to Shrewsbury and over the last couple of years have been NW Independent Schools’ Sevens and twelve-a-side champions. Boys learn rugby from the age of seven. Skills are developed with tag rugby initially, quickly moving on to the nine-a-side version of the game. Contact skills are gradually introduced and the boys can play for the school team at Under 9 level (Year 4).
Our strong extra curricular programme includes our swimming team who have been unbeaten for the last 12 years, and have reached the national finals each year for the same length of time.
In summer the boys play cricket and take part in athletics. We have ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams in cricket, meaning that as many boys as possible can represent the school, and net practices after school are hugely popular.
Religious Studies & PSHE
Religious Education and Personal Social and Health Education are an important part of the junior school curriculum.
In R.E. the boys gain an understanding of some of the world religions so that they are able to have an understanding and appreciation of other people’s beliefs and views.
P.S.H.E. (Personal, Social and Health Education) is taught across the school. Subjects include bullying, smoking, drug misuse, sex education and many other important areas which help the boys cope with some of the things they may face as they mature. The topics are reinforced by visits from outside guests. PSHE continues outside of the classroom in the pastoral work undertaken by the dedicated staff at the school.
The Science programme of study follows the National Curriculum at Key Stage Two. The lessons are both interesting and stimulating for the boys in the junior school, making use of a wide range of resources contained in our purpose built science room and nature garden.
The boys are able to plan and investigate a range of scientific experiments, both individually and in groups. This is enhanced by themed science days where the boys get ‘hands-on’ experience in a range of scientific topics.
Science in the Junior school plays an important role and we are are proud to have been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark at silver level for our commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning. The award is the result of over 12 months of hard work in which the school was rigorously reviewed under several areas of key criteria.