Delivery of the Merged Action Curriculum may seem like a daunting task for an individual school. There is considerable rearrangement of National Curriculum content needed, as well as the additional learning material required of the Merged Action Curriculum.
A school can bring more meaning to children’s education by delivering some, if not all, of the Merged Action Curriculum learning domains while delivering the current National Curriculum as required by law.
Some of the MAC learning domains are relatively easy to deliver. Others require a considerable amount of research, development and curriculum programming.
There are nine learning domains in total.
- The Body
- The Emotions
- The Mind
- Plant Life
- Animal Life
- The Physical World
The teacher’s task is to focus children’s learning on knowledge and care of the body, including opportunity for daily exercise provided by the school. The school can adopt ‘The Daily Mile‘.
Much of the content identified in the study action areas is basically PE with an increased emphasis on physical skills development. Classroom-based learning is mostly the National Curriculum science programme, plus learning the parts and main functions of the brain. Part of the learning is keeping the brain healthy.
The teacher’s task is to focus on strengthening emotional resilience in children by developing emotional knowledge, self-awareness, self-regulation and self-worth.
The PSHE Association provides learning activities, albeit under the umbrella of relationships. These can be used, bearing in mind the MAC objective of strengthening emotional resilience in the individual as the foremost priority and then using that emotional resilience in relationships.
The teacher’s task is to focus children’s learning on basic knowledge of the brain, focus attention on looking after the brain and harmonising learning the way the brain works.
Learning about the brain and how to look after the brain is not in the National Curriculum. ‘Brain-based learning’ is increasingly being picked up by schools. An individual teacher could do a lot to research — and share with other teachers — ways of harmonising teaching and learning to the way the brain works.
However, ‘brain-based learning’ is much more than simply adopting a few techniques to improve memory. There is a vast amount of research still to to be undertaken and applied.
The focus is on emphasizing interaction between people as communication every which way. Obviously, a major part of communication is the ability to read, write and communicate mathematically.
The added MAC dimension is the wider view to incorporate the expressive arts —art, music and drama — with the intention of raising the profile of the importance of these forms of communication.
The teacher’s task is to focus on the benefits positive relationships have on people getting on with each other and contributing positively in working together, playing together and staying together.
Relationships learning is very much covered by the PSHE Association. The additional MAC element is the ‘win-win’ NLP concept where children are encouraged to develop personal emotional resilience so that the children are ‘O.K.’ in the ‘I’m O.K. You’re O.K.’ scenario.
In the Merged Action Curriculum, teacher and school ethos mirror positive relationship dynamics. The development of positive relationships in the school has major implications for how the teachers behave by example. Essential learning is verbal communication coupled with use of appropriate paralanguage and body language.
The teacher’s task is to focus on placing history at the heart of learning about the community. The beauty of the Merged Action Curriculum is the way it promotes the history of the country. Children learn how the nation developed into what it is today, locally, regionally and nationally.
The global context is given through the history of the nation and social geography. Historical learning is vital in giving children a sense of place in the community. In addition, the school actively models community, introduces pupils to the wider community and engenders citizenship.
The teacher’s task is to focus on devising programmes that encompass learning about plants (science), human use of plants, damage to plant habitats, examples of sustainable use of plants and the action children can take at home and at school.
The teacher’s task is to focus on devising programmes that encompass learning about animals (science), human use of animals, problems coming from human use, examples of sustainable use of animals and the action children can take at home and at school.
The Physical World
The teacher’s task is to focus on devising programmes that encompass the physical make-up of the universe (science and physical geography), the climate, weather and seasons of the year, humans’ use and impact on the material environment, the adverse impact the environment is having on humans and examples of ways in which children can take action to live sustainably.
© Credit the Merged Action Curriculum