Art and Design
Our aim is to create a stimulating and inspiring environment which promotes intelligent making, critical thinking, learning as a social activity and collaboration.
During Years 3 to 6, we encourage pupils to make informed opinions and become more visually literate, to discuss ideas about beauty and aesthetics, artefacts and images.
During Years 3 to 6, pupils will have a number of opportunities to enter local and national competitions.
In Year 3, pupils take advantage of a range of cross-curricular opportunities while working with a range of media, including the creation of three-dimensional ceramic pieces. Alongside their topic on The Romans in Autumn Term, for example, pupils study Roman pottery, forms, patterns and techniques. We explore pinch pots and coiling, smoke firing and primitive techniques, alongside press-in texture and coloured slip decoration.
Year 3 also design their own Christmas cards, which are sold for charity donations at the Friends of Bede's Prep Christmas Fair. We also visit an exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and every other year, pupils exhibit their work in the Towner Art Gallery.
In Year 4, pupils will embark on a cross-curricular project focussing on the sea shore. They will also study the fishing industry, looking at images and species of fish, coasts and local history of fishing in Newhaven, Hastings and Eastbourne as well as learning about the history of printmaking around the world.
Pupils design their own charity Christmas cards. In the Spring Term, we look at local landscapes, and visit the Towner Art Gallery. In the Summer Term, the pupils try their hand at Batik fabric painting, using Indian animals and artefacts.
Art and Design in Year 5 sees children taking inspiration from the twentieth century artist and archetects. Pupils explore how colour, patterns and symmetry can inform design before they begin work on their installations, exhibiting as part of a collage at the Towner Gallery Annual Schools Exhibition.
Along the way, children develop their thinking and discussion skills, annotating work as individuals and groups, following a pattern of work which echos that undertaken at GCSE level.
In Year 6, ancient Egyptian artefacts act as an inspiration for an exploration of biological shapes and animal anatomy through tone, ink, collage and ceramic work, building up a portfolio of creature drawings. Later in the year, the focus will move onto 3D work, constructing creatures using cross-hatch and slip techniques.
Latin is introduced in Year 5 for those who are ready to embark on this exciting subject which those who opt to study the subject receiving three 50 minute lessons per fortnight whilst the rest of the group study Classical Civilisation.
Pupils study Latin verbs, nouns and vocabulary allowing them to translate sentences, complete puzzles and use online Latin games. Following our annual Classics Day, the pupils tackle chapters from “Minimus” before learning about the Trojan War.
During Year 6, children are set by ability for Latin with those who have studied the subject during Year 5 forming the top set whilst the majority of the rest of the year will begin to learn Latin. Each set will move through the curriculum at a tailored pace depending on ability. Children also benefit from a study of Roman life and some children opt to continue with a Classical Civilisation programme learning about the eruption of Pompeii and “Roman mystery” stories.
Geography in the middle years is all about exploring and discovering the wider world.
In Year 3, the children's geography learning is integrated with their study of history, through topic-based learning. 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.
In Year 4, geography is taught in topic lessons which combine humanities as 'Integrated Studies'. These topics serve to develop key skills, location knowledge and introduce children to a crucial local environment and a contrasting, exciting region of the world.
In Years 5 and 6, the focus is on exploring and discovering the wider world through some exciting lines of enquiry. These introduce classic and more contemporary geography themes with the emphasis on mystery and a sense of discovery.
Enquiries in Year 5 include a comparison of biomes in ‘Why are the rainforests so wet and the deserts so dry?’, a study of the Icelandic island, Heimaey in ‘How are the people of Heimaey affected by volcanoes?’ and finally ‘Why are more and more people living in megacities?’
Year 6 kicks off with a study of air pollution, which includes a survey and air quality sampling around the school grounds as well as a field trip across Eastbourne recording traffic volumes and measures of air quality. We move onto a contrasting country study, exploring Spain. The Spring Term starts with an enquiry leading up to a stakeholders debate on the problem of plastic pollution. Just in time for the Easter break the children then learn about chocolate production and cocoa growing in Ghana, emphasising the benefits of cooperative farming and Fair Trade. The summer term is spent combining a study of Settlements and Ordnance Survey map reading.
Our pupils need to develop the skills of enquiry and curiosity about how we find out and understand events in the past and to appreciate the sources and provenance of historical evidence.
In Year 3, we study the Romans, covering life in pre-Roman Britain and the Roman Invasion. Then, we move on to study the Anglo Saxons, their buildings, tools and artefacts. Our final topic in Year 3 is the Vikings.
In Year 4, History is studied as part of an Integrated Studies programme covering an extensive study of Ancient Egypt, through which pupils develop research skills and consider the geography and history of the period.
In Year 5, pupils are introduced to History as a standalone subject and, under the theme of "Defence of the Realm", we cover the French Revolution considering the British Navy and life on board ship, disease and medicine, Nelson and Napoleon and the Battle of Trafalgar.
Next, Year 5 study the Industrial Revolution, looking at the period from a child's point of view. We cover agriculture and the development of factories, some of the era's key characters and what life was like in a British town.
The study of RS in Years 3 to 6 at Bede's has three main objectives:
- To increase knowledge and understanding of some of the major world religions; their beliefs, traditions and history.
- To encourage pupils to start to ask questions about what is right and wrong in the world around them.
- To introduce pupils to morality and ethics.
During Years 3 to 6, children have an introduction to some of the major world religions, with equal emphasis. Alongside these lessons themselves, the school aims to increase children's moral and spiritual awareness and reflective thinking skills through assemblies once a week (which cover major festivals when they occur) and a Chapel service in the Christian tradition. Though the school has a predominantly Christian tradition, it is most of all a community that welcomes and respects all religions; and this is really at the heart of the syllabus.
In Year 3 we learn about the Bible and why it is important for Christians as well as what we know about Jesus, learn about Hinduism and the festival of Diwali, consider the signs and symbols of Judaism. We also consider broader questions around faith and the difference it makes to people’s lives.
In Year 4 we consider more aspects of Hinduism, learn about the Christmas Journeys and learn about the religions which are represented in our own neighbourhood.
In Year 5 we learn about why Mohammed is important to Muslims and how Muslim beliefs are represented through practices. We learn more about the Bible and consider Easter and its significance to Christians.
Finally in Year 6, we turn to the study of Jewish religious artefacts and through this examine the beliefs, culture and tradition of Judaism. We examine Hanukkah and its practices as well as the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, considering the responsibilities which children take on at this point
In the Drama department, we share a love of performance and collaboration and we aim to inspire pupils to share this. The department is fortunate to have drama experts who are also English and Performing Arts teachers and, as the children grow up, we gradually scale up the ambition and complexity of the productions which are staged and scripts studied. Throughout Years 3 to 6 pupils are taught in their form groups and have one 50 minute lesson a week in Year 4 and then every fortnight in Years 5 and 6.
In Year 3, pupils are taught in their form groups and work on the basic performance skills of voice, gesture and character. This also includes the development of mime, before moving on to a range of short script and text work, based on fables and fairy tales. The children explore many skills-based drama games and encourage listening skills, voice projection, eye contact and confidence.
All pupils in Year 3 will have the opportunity to experience the performance syllabus of LAMDA, choosing, learning and performing a specific poem. The Year 3 children take part in the collaborative production, supporting the Year 4 children, as the chorus.
In Year 4 pupils are encouraged to be more independent and organised; they have the opportunity to devise their own group pieces and self-direct a range of short scripts. The pupils explore characterisation in more depth and experiment with accent, voice, volume and tone.
Pupils will also have the opportunity to experience the performance syllabus of LAMDA, choosing, learning and performing a specific poem. The children will cover all of these kills during their 50 minutes lesson each week and at the end of the Spring Term, the Year 4 pupils will take the lead roles in the play which is performed in collaboration with Year 3. Recent productions have included "Porridge" and "Dragon Days".
In Year 5, pupils go on to work on improvisation and mime, as well as script and text work. Pupils explore genre, stories and voice, developing skills which include mime and movement, hot-seating and gesture alongside character studies and the development of performance techniques.
Pupils are taught to communicate effectively by expressing themselves confidently and clearly. They are taught to speak, present and perform for a range of purposes including storytelling, play preparation, sharing ideas and opinions and presenting to live and recorded audiences.
In Year 6, pupils build on these skills and are encouraged to be more independent and organised; they have the opportunity to devise their own group pieces and self-direct a range of short scripts. The Year 6 pupils take the lead roles in the collaborative Year 5 ad 6 production which is usually performed at the end of the Autumn Term.
There are also a range of enrichment options available for drama enthusiasts through the Activities Programme, including individual or small group LAMDA lessons with specialist teachers.
The overall focus during is to promote self-confidence, team work and communication skills, self-discipline, creativity, empathy and understanding - of which are valuable life skills.
The study of Music during these years is all about encouraging creativity and innovation which is achieved through study, performance and compositions.
In Year 3 music lessons, pupils move away from music linked to the topics being covered in class to more specific musical themes that develop their composing, listening, performing and appraisal. They start by exploring contrasts between music that is noisy and active and music that is quiet, calm, and peaceful.
Year 3 pupils are part of the carol service and are involved with inter-section music, though generally more in support of the section song than as soloists.
In Year 4 pupils concentrate on shape, structure and form through appraisal and composition activities. Pupils learn how to label phrases or sections of music with letter names to help them identify the overall form of the music.
They then go on to explore songs about winter festivals , to learn about the structure and metre of the songs they will sing, with attention to the expressive quality of the song.
In the Spring and Summer Terms, pupils have the opportunity to listen to repertoire that develops their appreciation of the richness and diversity of Britain's musical heritage, before composing their own "musical journey" and then examine how music is used to accompany dances, both old and new.
Music in Years 5 and 6 will enable pupils to develop key components of creativity and innovation through study, performance and composition in the style of the music from a range of places and times,
In the Autumn Term of Year 5 pupils will learn how musical textures are used to evoke a range of feelings and they will play, sing and compose pieces in range of textures. Pupils will learn about the traditional musical facets of a Victorian Christmas and then in the New Year begin exploring chords and different instrumental sounds through calypso music and Greek bazouki.
In the Spring Term there is an introduction to European classical roots and some of the famous composers before we move across the musical globe to examine the similarities and differences between music in the East and West.
In Year 6 the emphasis in the Autumn Term is on singing and layering parts and melodies and understanding the way in which faiths and cultures use light and music to brighten the darkest part of the year, culminating in the learning of carols.
In the New Year we move on to learn about the history of American music including jazz, blues and soul and its influence on contemporary music before learning about melodic lines and different vocal qualities and then in the Summer Term, there is an emphasis on performing with others and learning to maintain rhythm. Following this, the pupils follow a popular music trail from the 1930s to the contemporary chart music of today.
The aim of the Dance Department is the provision of high quality dance tuition that develops pupils’ physical and creative skills.
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 on the Dance Programme or through our clubs and activities. Pupils can do: Ballet, Contemporary, Modern/Jazz, Tap, Street, Musical Theatre and Choreography.
The aim of dance in Years 3 to 6 is to help develop the dancers’ skills, technique and love of dance. All dancers in Years 5 and 6 are part of the Bede’s Prep Dance Programme, where they are trained to a higher standard, and have a more intense training. Pupils in Year 4 will be part of curriculum dance, but also have the opportunity to start classes as part of the Dance Programme too.
All pupils at Bede’s have curriculum dance up to the end of Year 4 and many also choose to explore the different genres of dance we offer in clubs and options, such as classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, musical theatre and street dance. All classes are given by specialists with a proven record in their field.
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.
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 and 4 also get the chance to access the Dance Programme classes too.
The programme consists of weekly classes in three core disciplines- Ballet, Modern and Tap. 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.
When pupils join the full Dance Programme from Year 5, they get a more intense dance training with a combination of the exam work above, as well as free work classes too.
All pupils involved in the Dance Programme 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.
All Bede’s pupils also get the chance to enter the yearly Choreography Competition. To enter, pupils need to choreograph their own dance. This can be either a solo, duet or small group in any dance style they choose. They get to choose their own music and costume too. This is a great way to help enhance the pupils’ creative skills, as well as help them learn how to put together a dance, using skills such as musicality, timing, coordination, planning and dance structure. It also helps the pupils use inspiration from their teachers, alongside performances and shows they may have seen. The pupils gain so much confidence from doing this and it is great for the teachers to see the pupils being free and innovative.
From Year 6 the dance pupils get to join the Legat students on a trip to the MOVE IT dance convention in London. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Bede’s Prep pupils, as they not only get a chance to browse the stalls, but they also get a chance to watch performances from professional companies and dance colleges, as well as take part in a number of dance classes taught by industry professionals.
PE in Years 3 to 6 builds upon and consolidates the groundwork laid by the Early Years Programme.
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 at 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, we aim to generate a developing understanding of body systems, diet, nutrition and wellbeing. This feeds into the ethos trust wide, 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 also want to promote and encourage fitness for life by giving our pupils the tools to work with, whatever their level, body type or personal preferences within sport and exercise. We aim to promote and encourage healthy and positive attitudes towards both.
In their weekly lessons with a subject specialist in our dedicated IT suite, pupils in the middle years at Bede's Prep gain firm grounding in key Computing concepts, covering Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy strands.
In Year 3, pupils learn about key programming concepts which they will continue to develop as they move through the school. Our e-safety work is developed further to include the importance of protecting our digital files, and procedures for avoiding revealing personal information online.
We also begin formally teaching word-processing skills in Year 3, and children will learn to enter text accurately, to format documents and add images.
Pupils are also taught the benefits of computer simulations in this year group, where they consider its advantages and disadvantages, whilst exploring a number of simulated systems.
In Year 4 pupils learn about the five SMART rules of keeping safe online: Safe, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable and Tell. These guidelines offer pertinent advice to young people who are beginning to explore online environments with more independence.
Pupils also learn how to insert text and images and add animation to a multimedia presentation using professional software applications,
Children learn how computer networks allow for communication, information sharing and collaborative working, exploring networks and the components that allow us to share documents and resources. We also consider how the largest network in the world, the internet, operates at a basic level.
Our programming module in this year group introduces pupils to text based coding through the Logo language.
In Year 5, pupils compound their knowledge of SMART, creating posters to help explain it to younger children and creating their own blogs in a secure online learning environment.
We also aim to build the children's fluency in coding as we look for them to become ever more independent in producing their own applications.
Pupils' skills are then developed through a study of spreadsheets, with the children developing confidence with professional office applications and by the end of Year 5 children should show sound fluency with word processing, multimedia presentation and spreadsheets.
In Year 6, pupils are tested in their knowledge of the key e-safety concepts such as the importance of having strong passwords and the dangers of pretending to be older than they are. They also consider the importance of checking the reliability of online sources, and practise designing a website to show effective consideration for the user’s experience.
Coding during this year is covered through visual programming languages that allow various forms of input and output, collision detection, variables and loops. To enhance their understanding of STEM disciplines, pupils build physical models to which computer modules and servos are added to bring the designs to life.
As part of their coding work at this year group, pupils design and code retro-style videogames, and download them onto our handheld, programmable gaming devices.
With so much going on around them, an important focus for these lessons is the teaching of the importance of communicating thoughts and feelings.
Lessons deal with issues such as how children might cope with common problems such as falling out with friends as well as the importance of individual rights which leads into discussions about bullying and discrimination and the rule of law in these areas.
We talk about puberty and personal hygiene as the children learn about the physical changes their bodies will soon be going through as well as how the media can impact upon our sense of self.
Fundamental principles such as the role of Parliament United Nations and citizenship are also studied as are migration, the plight of refugees and fundamental human rights, climate change and a range of foreign affairs issues.
In Year 6, children study relationship and basic sex education and by the end of the two-year programme of study, pupils will have a solid understanding of their own rights as children, the role of local, national and international governments and just as importantly the skills they will need to maintain healthy friendships as they move towards the ever-challenging teenage years.
Extending an understanding of how a language works gives children the tools for enormous creativity.
In Year 4 pupils study French and cover all the basic vocabulary in order to introduce themselves, talk about the weather, food and clothes.
Year 5 pupils study both French and Spanish in order that they can make an informed decision about which language they wish to study in Year 6. During their lessons Year 5 pupils will put new and familiar language structures to use whilst working together and having fun. Digital media offers endless possibilities for consolidating listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and plays an increasingly prominent role in language teaching at Bede's Prep. Whilst there is a need to focus directly on language structures, play through language remains a vital learning tool throughout Year 5.
Year 6 is a key year in the progression of our language learners and each child is encouraged to take responsibility for managing more of their work independently with expectations growing that title bit higher and many pupils will make astounding leaps in progress during this year.
Having selected the language of their choice, the year begins with a recap of the core vocabulary to lay the foundations for extended learning. In French pupils follow Studio 1 and learn to express opinions, describe themselves, talk about school, leisure and describe where they live. In Spanish pupils follow Viva 1 and learn to introduce themselves, talk about free time, school, family and friends.