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)
The boys will follow a varied and enjoyable range of English lessons, well preparing them for Key Stage Two examinations. They will look at a variety of genres, examining both fiction and non-fiction writing and producing a wide range of work.
Poetry and story writing are features and the boys will be stimulated into producing what is hoped will be good quality work. The boys will also be involved in drama – see our separate drama section for more details of our school productions.
Techniques are taught which develop the understanding and interpretation of text (comprehension). This is a key skill, which is important across the whole curriculum. Coupled with this, the boys are encouraged to read extensively, developing their vocabulary, which in turn assists them in their creative writing.
Our Key Stage 2 results over the past years have been excellent. The work completed in the Junior School will certainly help them when they move on to the Senior School and will stand them in good stead for future life.
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’.
Our history scheme syllabus follows the guidelines in the National Curriculum. Various topics are covered throughout the Junior School; Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Egyptians, Tudors, Victorians, local history study, the Greeks and World War II are all examined in some detail.
The scheme aims to arouse an interest in the past and to learn through a variety of experiences, whether it be classroom-based teaching and learning, discussion work, ICT, practical work, excursions, role play activities or visitors to the school. These methods of teaching enable the boys to develop a greater insight, gain knowledge and an understanding of events, people and changes in the past.
The boys LOVE our ICT facilities! Our purpose-built computer suite has 25 computers – more than enough for our classes! Our computers are regularly updated ensuring they have access to state-of-the-art software and hardware. Lessons are further enhanced by use of interactive whiteboards and multimedia projectors. Digital cameras are available for use by the boys for both still pictures and video work.
The boys will study a variety of topics in their lessons, ranging from graphics and word processing through to databases and computer programming. In year six the boys create their own intranet and produce a magazine which is sold to the whole school for charity. Our Scheme of Work is to be rewritten once national guidelines become available.
The boys are given their own space on the school’s network where their work is stored from day one until they leave at the end of their time at the senior school. They are also given the responsibility of a printing account, allowing them to manage the amount of printing produced within certain monetary restraints. This is updated on a weekly basis.
The boys are able to use the computers for one timetabled lesson per week, though classes often use the suite when it is available at other times.
All Pupils at the school are subject to an acceptable use policy, which governs the type of material viewed on the school’s network. This is closely monitored to ensure that unacceptable websites are not available to pupils and that their safety is not compromised. A copy of the school’s policy is available from the Junior School Secretary.
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.
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. These events, which are sometimes held in the evening, are very popular with boys and parents alike, particularly the ‘big bang’ on the field at the end of the day.