The wellbeing of the children is our number one priority at Merrywood. Through understanding the root issues and working with the displayed behaviours, our children will be considerably more able to access their education. We support the children to deal with the current, past and suppressed trauma that they may have experienced, and due to the associated challenges, this will be supported on a sensitive, child-by-child basis, and facilitated by our team of experts including:
● Speech and Language Therapist
● Occupational Therapist
● Educational Psychologist
● Art & Play Therapist
● Lego Therapist
● Music and Drama Therapist
● Outdoor explorers (Nature experts)
We always view the child as a child and believe strongly in the importance of facilitating play. We see play as a powerful tool to aid behavioural learning and to provide modelling of prosocial behaviours. Thus, play forms part of our essential daily curriculum at Merrywood House, as part of our Personal Social Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE) sessions and facilitated by a member of our therapy team. We use play to encourage the following:
● Practicing of adult roles
● Explore and challenge negative interactions that the children may experience
● Emotional, creative, cognitive and imagination strength of our children
● Learn new skills such as decision making, sharing, caring, conflict resolution, negotiation and motor skills
● Develop their own identity and characteristics
● Encourage talents and interests
Our varied therapeutic interventions are offered on a daily, weekly and monthly basis depending on individual needs, as stated on children’s Educational Health Care Plan. These will help the children to work through any barriers to learning, whether they be emotional, social, behavioural, sensory or academic. Our aim is to help children to break down barriers to learning and provide an outlet to tap into their emotional intelligence, build confidence and build resilience to challenges.
is a key part of our curriculum at Merrywood, which is based in the rural countryside, surrounded by nature and animals. Our children have access to pet therapy on a weekly basis and will learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables on the school grounds, as well as looking after animals on the grounds.
is part of our therapeutic timetable and we encourage our community to take an interest in our school. Children will offer the fruit and vegetables to their neighbours. Neighbours and businesses will be invited to volunteer within the school, and to build relationships between the children and responsible, safe adults. Volunteering will range from employment workshops, agriculture clubs, group reading and baking sessions.
How We Got Started
Social therapy is part of many aspects of our day. Please see a sample timetable:
● Breakfast – the first social activity of our nurturing day. Children prepare their own breakfast and sit together with staff in the dining room to check in, share their morning thoughts, and set daily targets.
● Wilderness Therapy – animal care, pondlife, maintaining vegetation. Children are encouraged to talk about how to care for animals and vegetation amongst each other and takes turns at specific jobs (which incorporate academic topics, particularly in Math’s & Science). Children have their own Merrywood wellies and waterproof trousers, and are able to enjoy safe, structured outdoor activities, and feel a sense of responsibility for looking after their school and the animals.
● Mindfulness – children have meditation as part of their daily options and yoga weekly.
● End of day jobs – Children are encouraged to tidy up, get ready to talk about what they have achieved in the day.
Our timetable has been set with one common goal and that is for children to be educated within an environment that makes them happy, safe and successful. Our therapeutic timetable works towards achieving the following essential life skills:
● Team work
● Social communication
● Risk assessment
● Decision making
These experiences support the learning within the rest of our curriculum, including increased energy, focus and problem-solving capabilities, which are utilised within our more academic curricular areas.
Our therapeutic model is innovative and effective. We provide children with an opportunity to safely come out of their comfort zone (the optimal place for learning) and empower them to look deeper within, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and develop resilience.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Merrywood House School
The Old Pheasantry,
Call Us: 07427 630 539
If you'd like to go through the admissions process, visit our page dedicated to Admissions to Merrywood House School here.
Merrywood House School
The Old Pheasantry
Tel: 07427 630 539
© Merrywood House School 2019
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