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Mercer’s Wood AcademyLearning Together, Achieving Together

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Commando Joe

Since September 2009, our founder, Mike Hamilton, awarded an OBE for services to young people in the 2019 Honor’s List, former veteran and lecturer, successfully received grant funding from the Department for Education to support pupils, parents, teachers and schools Nationwide with building essential life skills, supporting positive behaviour changes and working alongside senior leaders with school improvement plans. Since 2012 the Department for Education have funded our programmes and most recently we are supporting Opportunity areas across the country with Character Education. The organisation has expanded from 2 Instructors in the North West to over 50 full-time staff delivering our Commando Led programme in thousands of schools nationwide! Our whole ethos is based around a whole school approach, we believe that parental engagement, whole school buy in and giving children a lust for learning, coupled with a thematic approach to the curriculum ensures success!


We aim to provide a character learning journey that can be personalised to the needs of children, whatever their background or circumstance - encouraging our children to think critically and develop a mindset that thrives on looking at themselves and others from different perspectives.

The School led Primary programme is progressive from Early Years phase through to Year 6 and preparing children and young people during the important transition phase to secondary school. The resources help create a smooth transition process which is based on children’s academic and pastoral needs.

Building the confidence of primary school children before they leave is of utmost importance: children with high self-esteem are better able to make difficult decisions under peer pressure, approach adults for support, and be self-sufficient in their learning. The programme develops this resilience through many activities, being part of the team, performing challenges or having a leadership role. Activities in class and homework projects that need to be completed independently can help prepare children for the new world of homework timetables. They develop their sense of adventure and increase their self-sufficiency by taking part in new and unfamiliar activities. These transferable skills will stand them in good stead as they move off into the unfamiliar world of secondary education.

The programme compliments the core curriculum teaching time and supports lessons. Alternatively, schools can use it primarily for before, during and after school, alongside supporting holiday clubs and transition camps, the programme will contribute to cultural, physical, spiritual, moral and social well-being and play a part in extending each child’s understanding of British values.


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