At Bede's, we want to encourage meaningful participation and enjoyment of drama and theatre, inside and outside of school.
We are fortunate to have drama specialists, who teach the curriculum, activities and as the children grow up, we gradually scale up the ambition and complexity of the skills taught, productions staged and the scripts we study.
Drama enables children to express themselves creatively, imaginatively, and to communicate with others effectively. It is a vital way of communicating in school and in public life. It builds confidence, teaches respect for others, and aids understanding of different needs, cultures, and lives.
In Year 1 and 2, the children experience drama through the wider curriculum, taking part in activities linked to a variety of topics. In English, they have the opportunity to act out specific scenes from a range of texts, as well as hot seating the characters. They also have opportunities to take part in termly workshops, in the Prep School Theatre, run by a drama specialist.
The Year 1 and 2 children perform a play at the end of the Autumn Term. They very much enjoy preparing for the Christmas Nativity. The children learn their lines and rehearse songs in order to perform to an audience of family and friends.
In Drama, the overall focus is to promote self-confidence, the ability to work with others, communication skills, self-discipline, creativity, empathy and understanding – all of which are valuable life skills.
Art and Design
Art and Design plays a large role in all aspects of learning throughout the Pre-Prep years.
The children’s learning is made as hands-on as possible throughout all subjects, and practicing the creative arts is the perfect way for children to spark conversations, make connections in their learning and to experiment with different media types.
Children in the Junior years learn Art and Design in a stimulating and inspiring environment in which pupils’ confidence and creativity are promoted. In these year groups, pupils are introduced to different materials and encouraged to experiment and take risks. Our specialist teachers ensure that pupils are engaged with their own learning and that their ideas are facilitated, encouraging them to make informed opinions and confidently communicate their ideas.
Alongside developing an aesthetic sense by describing artifacts and images, children are encouraged to evaluate their own and others’ work. Throughout Years 1 and 2, pupils become visually literate and able to understand art as a form of visual and tactile communication. Pupils’ aesthetic sensibilities are developed, as is their ability to make informed judgments about art and design.
Art is an important field that encourages pupils to enjoy and value the visual, tactile, and other sensory dimensions of the natural and made environment. Through the study of the subject, pupils gain the ability to articulate and communicate ideas, opinions and feelings about their own work and the work of others, as well as to respond thoughtfully and critically to ideas, images and varied objects from a range of cultures.
From Year 1, Bede’s Prep pupils receive weekly discrete Computing lessons with a subject specialist, in our dedicated IT suite.
They learn fundamental e-safety techniques and consider the importance of safeguarding our personal information when online. This helps Bede’s Prep pupils develop into well-rounded digital citizens.
Our young pupils also get their first taste of key programming concepts, which will continue to be developed as they move through the school. Our experience over many years of teaching programming concepts to small groups means all Bede’s Prep pupils benefit as we educate our learners in this sometimes demanding, but important modern-day skill. For them, this is the start of a journey that makes Bede’s Prep pupils amongst the most technically able in our digital world.
In Year 1 and above, Bede’s Prep pupils receive weekly discrete Computing lessons with a subject specialist, in our dedicated IT suite.
The pupils continue to develop their confidence in controlling technological devices, and accurate use of the mouse to select appropriate icons and drag objects on the screen is practised. Pupils gain familiarity with the keyboard, and typing challenges see the pupils improving their keyboard familiarity in preparation for the application of this skill to all other areas.
The pupils explore interactive simulations and learn safely about some applications of technology all around us. They also start to explore coding for the first time, by writing instructions for characters to move and interact on the screen.
Pupils in Year 2 discover computer algorithms and start to consider how a set of instructions can become a computer program. They see how instructions need to be precise and unambiguous as they complete a variety of challenges. They experiment with robots and create increasingly efficient algorithms for machines to follow in order to draw images and follow routes on a map. The pupils then develop this further by coding simple apps for PC and tablet devices. They create simple games and construct programs that control how a character moves on the screen. They also explore ‘events’ in code and try to make the computer do something when images are clicked, keys are pressed or objects collide. They look at different forms of input and explore the key principle of selection using conditional events.
Pupils also learn about computer animation and multimedia presentation techniques. They use software to create short cartoons and develop their drawing skills on the computer whilst exploring techniques that professional animators use to combine text, images and sound.
Geography teaches children an understanding of places and environments. It motivates children to find out about the physical world and it should enable them to recognise the importance of sustainable development to the future of mankind.
Our aim at Bede’s is to encourage pupils to value the rich and diverse school environment and to celebrate its wide catchment area both locally and globally.
Given the wonderful surroundings of the Prep School, pupils attend a fortnightly Beach School, where they can study physical geography, alongside learning about the geography and history of our local area, the environment and natural sciences.
During Years 1 and 2 we will study geographical features such as the beach, cliffs, coast and forest and as well as aspects of human geography, including cities, towns and villages. By comparing a small area of the UK pupils begin to understand the similarities and differences between human and physical geography. Pupils will also become familiar with the four countries and capital cities within the United Kingdom.
We also consider the seasons and daily weather patterns in the UK, as well as the location of hot and cold areas of the world. Pupils learn to use maps, globes and atlases, as well as photographs to recognise landmarks and basic features. We also introduce pupils to compass directions and locational and directional language.
Throughout these years we undertake regular fieldwork sessions in order to understand our local environment.
The overall aim is that History should be verbally, visually and experientially varied, interesting and enjoyable and, above all, a skill-based form of learning.
All are supported by appropriate outings and visits wherever possible, to give hands-on and enjoyable experiences, and a great deal of team-teaching.
In Years 1 and 2, pupils will consider many significant events beyond living memory, including the history of transport, the Titanic, festivals such as New Year, Chinese New Year, Easter, Mother’s Day, St George and the dragon as well as significant events which have happened more recently.
We will also learn about a number of people of historical interest such as Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, Amy Johnson, Ernest Shackleton and Noah’s Ark.
Pupils learn about aspects of the United Kingdom and its history, including flags, our royal family and festivals. We look at how history is linked to our myths and legends and folklore.
Bede’s Prep Dance offers a wide range of styles available from Nursery through to Year 8, either via curriculum dance, specialised dance classes during the school day within the Dance Programme or through our clubs and activities. Pupils can take Ballet, Contemporary, Modern/Jazz, Tap, Street, Musical Theatre and Choreography.
Whether students want to learn purely for fun or if they are looking to train for a career in the Performing Arts then Bede’s Prep Dance offers them everything they need to fulfil their ambition.
There are two elements to the Dance Programme at Bede’s Prep – Curriculum based classes and Co-Curricular dance activities. Curriculum dance is taken by all pupils up to and including Year 4. The delivery of these sessions is practically focussed to ensure that students are engaged at a level most suited to the stage of development of their bodies. All classes are taught by professional dance subject specialists and all classes are delivered at the highest possible standard. Pupils in Years 1 and 2 also have access to specialist dance classes in ballet, tap and modern via the Co-Curricular Progamme.
The main aim of curriculum dance is to offer dance opportunities to all, which enhance confidence, develop the pupils’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. This strong foundation in curriculum dance prepares pupils for a successful transition to other dance genres at higher levels.
In Years 1 and 2 pupils get the chance to show off their dance skills in a yearly nativity production, which includes dancing, singing and acting!
The introductory Bede’s Prep Dance Programme is aimed at dancers who have a particular talent or interest in the subject. The full programme starts in Year 5, but pupils in Year 3 also get the chance to access the Dance Programme classes too and Years 1 and 2 can also take specialist classes via dance clubs.
The programme consists of weekly classes in three core disciplines- Ballet, Modern and Tap. From Year 2, examinations can be taken in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) for Ballet and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) for Modern and Tap.
All pupils from Year 2 involved in the Dance Programme, specialist classes and/or clubs and activities will be involved in the yearly Dance Showcase as part of the Bede’s Prep training. The Dance Showcase is a big event in the Bede’s calendar. All dancers taking part get the opportunity to work on specially choreographed dances in all disciplines they study, to perform in front of their friends and family. The show is run as professionally as possible giving the pupils a real insight into the dance world and what it truly takes to put on a show! The pupils gain so much confidence from these performances as well as learning many additional skills like performance quality, performing under pressure and teamwork, to name a few.
Music lessons change significantly throughout these Pre-Prep years.
Year 1 starts in a very similar way musically to how classes in Reception ended, with pupils singing songs linked to the topic being studied in class. Music and movement are very intertwined at this stage and many songs have actions that enable pupils to participate physically.
As pupils move into Year 2 the increasing sophistication of the repertoire studied, still largely linked to the topic work in class, means pupils perform in more complex ways e.g.by singing in parts and rounds or adding instrumental accompaniment. Pupils will also undertake instrumental work, using both classroom percussion and recorders. Musical performance is a cornerstone of the work undertaken in these early years. Pupils often perform together, for example in the Holywell nativity or Pre-Prep concerts or as part of the section song at inter-section music. In addition there are opportunities for solo performances in class lessons and in concerts.
In Year 1, music lessons are frequent, and mostly linked to the topic being studied by the class. While there are some lessons in which the skills of listening and appraising, composing and performing are developed, most lessons are a study of songs, often action songs, that tie to the classwork linked to the current topic being undertaken in other subjects. The variety comes from the ever-changing repertoire as the class progresses to different topics over the year. There are opportunities for solo singing as well as group singing.
In Year 2, music lessons are still primarily linked to the topic being studied in class, but the musical complexity of the material steadily increases. Songs are more likely to be sung in parts, or to have instrumental accompaniment, provided by the pupils themselves. Pupils begin to learn instruments together focussing at first on classroom percussion, and also the recorder. They begin to learn how to change volume and tempo in response to a conductor. Many pupils choose to begin individual or paired instrumental lessons.
PE in Years 1 and 2, introduces a curriculum based in play. The pupils experience a variety of activities to contrast with and complement their games sessions.
The programme leads through modules in fitness with Cross Country as the focus; Basketball; Gymnastics; Racquet Sports and Athletics. This enables them success as individuals and the opportunity to take ownership of their own health and fitness. Within the department, for Early Years PE, we introduce the understanding of body systems, and wellbeing. This feeds into the ethos which promotes the holistic care of body and mind.
At Bede’s we do not just want our pupils to be fit for school, we want to promote and encourage fitness for life by giving our pupils the tools to work with from an early age, whatever their level, body type or personal preferences within sport and exercise. We aim to promote and encourage healthy and positive attitudes towards both.
At Bede’s, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an embedded part of our broad and balanced curriculum.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is at the heart of our school ethos. British Values are promoted through the overarching aims and objectives of PSHE by supporting our children to become healthy and responsible members of society, as well as preparing them for life and work in modern Britain and further afield. As a result the children understand how they are developing personally and socially, and have the confidence to tackle many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
The intent of our PSHE curriculum is to deliver lessons which are accessible to all and age-appropriate, so that it will maximise the outcomes for every child by increasing their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. This is achieved through the partnership with ‘Votes for Schools’, giving children a voice on issues that affect them most. This also provides them with the opportunity to learn about British values, rights and responsibilities and also what it means to be a member of a diverse society.
Bede’s programme of study covers three core themes:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
The content of the programme of study is selected on the basis that it is relevant to the pupils of Bede’s, and allows them to explore concepts and to develop essential skills and attributes.