School of Opportunities
Our mission here at Merrywood is to educate children within a home-like environment where children with social, emotional and mental health needs will flourish. Children will benefit from an individualised, inclusive and nurturing setting where they will have the opportunity to explore deep-rooted issues and traumas through therapy. At the heart of our therapeutic curriculum is nature and play. Our beautiful countryside surroundings are home to all manner of animals and wildlife, where the children will benefit from playing and learning in the wilderness. Our core aim is to provide a nurturing space for children to grow educationally, emotionally, morally and socially. Children will develop a deep understanding of themselves as an individual and a connected part of society, they will understand and value themselves and their unique offering, and grow an appreciation of learning and an engagement in education.
MICHELLE QUAYLE – Behavioural Consultant, Social Change Activist, Founder of Personal Independence & Merrywood House Independent Special School – has set up a not for profit community interest company 10 years ago with the goal of changing the life trajectories of children and young people who have experienced trauma and been rejected by the system.
Michelle is committed and passionate about supporting children who have had a difficult start in life, and she strongly believes that with nurture and support in developing self-discipline and self-worth, every child and young person can succeed, be happy and contribute to society.
Michelle’s extensive range of qualifications include: Independent Domestic Violence Advisory, Youth Violence, Social Sciences, and Counter Terrorism. She has dedicated her career to developing and creating a number of unique and innovative services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable young people. A keen advocate of sharing good practice, Michelle has travelled to Gothenburg to spread PI’s theory, service and impact. Over the last two years Michelle has expanded Personal Independence across 4 London boroughs (Southwark, Lambeth, Croydon and Merton) as well as Cambridgeshire, working with over 200+ police officers & professionals and 300+ young people.
Merrywood house school
School of Opportunities
Merrywood House is a not for profit independent special school for pupils aged 7 to 11 (KS2) with complex needs including:
• Social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) difficulties
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Autism (ASD)
• Self-harming and suicidal ideation
• Attachment Difficulties / Disorders
• Speech & Language difficulties
• Dyslexia or Dyspraxia
The majority of children will have faced the feelings associated with; exclusion, feeling different from others, isolation and resentfulness.
We understand the psychological effects of exclusion and our model has been developed with a trauma informed approach, whilst keeping nurture and boundaries at the core of our daily school lives.
We want every child to feel safe and happy to attend school, primary school is the time when a child should learn, play and build the skills relevant to a successful career educationally and socially.
Offering an inclusive, non-judgmental learning environment
Michelle has made it her mission to bring children and young people from all backgrounds together with police officers, policy makers and educators and the outcomes have been astounding. Children who have who had been ‘written off’ by professionals a few years ago are now prospering in jobs and education. Police officers who struggled to communicate with young people are now actively working as advocates for them. Ultimately Michelle’s work has led to a deeper understanding and compassion for young people within the police force, education and further. She has dedicated every moment in the past decade to creating social change.
Michelle’s extensive range of qualifications include: Independent Domestic Violence Advisory, Youth Violence, Social Sciences, and Counter Terrorism. She has dedicated her career to developing and creating a number of unique and innovative services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable young people. A keen advocate of sharing good practice, Michelle has travelled to Gothenburg to spread PI’s theory, service and impact. Over the last two years Michelle has expanded Personal Independence across 4 London boroughs (Southwark, Lambeth, Croydon and Merton) as well as Cambridgeshire, working with over 200+ officers & professionals and 300+ young people. Personal Independence works with law enforcers such as the Metropolitan Police Service and Youth Justice Boards. Within the Personal Independence management board, she collaborates with professionals such as Chief Superintendent Steve Wallace, Dr. Ursula Weekes, Dr Yen Lam, Natalia Greene (Security and Defence Consultant).
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