Alongside creativity and curiosity about books, we encourage children in Years 3 to 6 to be increasingly independent.
A great deal of importance is placed on key skills across these middle years, not least around those all-important areas of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Children follow structured spelling programmes and a clear pathway of progression in grammar and punctuation.
In Year 3, we consolidate and build on the literacy learning that has begun in Years 1 and 2. The Autumn Term focuses on transition and a shift away from teacher-led learning to more independent study. Classic fiction and poetry inspire creative writing and performance in the Autumn Term.
In the Spring Term, Year 3 focus on the Anglo-Saxons and 'Beowulf' becomes a central text to the topic of Myths and Monsters. Year 3's topic travels to Kenya in the Summer Term, with further skills in story-writing and diary-writing being developed.
In the Autumn Term, Year 4 research sea creatures and publish information texts for display. Children explore different forms of poetry. After half term, creative writing is inspired by reading classic fiction, such as Stig of the Dump by Clive King.
In the Spring Term, the Americas topic is woven through the curriculum. In the Summer Term, children delve into Greek myths, researching Greek gods and goddesses, tracing character transformations and main themes such as the triumph of good over evil.
In the Autumn Term of Year 5, children explore story openings and respond to 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes. Children also investigate an engaging current issue such as food waste to produce a persuasive speech with the end goal of using digital media to film their work.
After Christmas, children explore classic fiction and build skills in writing explanatory texts which are formally assessed. Finally, in the Summer Term, children explore books from other cultures.
At the start of Year 6, the children begin their journey into more serious literary study through learning how to annotate texts and use supporting quotations. After half term, structural and language skills in non-fiction writing are widened with a focus on non-chronological reports, using digital media to record reports.
In the Spring Term, in collaboration with the Geography department, pupils research, write and record news reports on plastic pollution. During the Summer Term, children are inspired by modern fiction, such as Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, to create new characters and mood change through settings and journeys. They write an episode building atmosphere, tension and suspense in the style of the author. Finally, they write, perforrm and record a radio script of a chosen episode.
Our pupils are active learners, who develop their problem-solving and reasoning skills by applying mathematics to everyday situations and understanding the role that maths plays in the world around them.
As in all departments at Bede's, we focus on the individual child. We provide tailored support to every learner: from those who require extra help, to those who wish to further their interest in the subject, and everyone in between.
Years 3 to 6 use the 'teaching for mastery' approach to learning, which the children started in Year 1. Using this approach, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth, and the teacher does not move onto the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
During Year 3, children develop their skills and understanding even further. The year starts with problems linked to place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. During the Spring Term they continue exploring multiplication and division as well as investigating money, length, perimeter and fractions. They finish Year 3 developing their understanding of fractions, as well as learning time and solving problems linked to shape, capacity and mass.
By the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables (up to and including 12). Children in Year 4 start the year increasing their place value knowledge and solving problems using the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. During the Spring Term, area is investigated, decimals are introduced and the children's knowledge of fractions is developed.
Year 5 start the year increasing their place value knowledge and solving problems using the four mathematical operations. They will look at measurement, including area and perimeter. During the Spring Term, fractions, decimals and percentages are taught and the children's understanding of how to covert between each increases. They complete Year 5 focusing on the properties of shape and measurement.
Children in Year 6 start the year increasing their place value knowledge and solving problems using the four mathematical operations. They will also look at fractions, position and direction. During the Spring Term, decimals and percentages are investigated and algebra is introduced. They complete Year 6 focusing on shape and measurement as well as understanding ratio and statistics.
According to the national curriculum for Key Stage 2, "learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils' curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world."
The children in Years 3 to 6 at Bede's Prep School develop vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation in languages. They develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills with different materials.
The children all study French from Reception to Year 4. In Year 5, they are given the opportunity to study French and Spanish so that they can make an informed decision at the end of Year 5 regarding their language choice. From Year 6, they concentrate on their chosen language. Year 4 has four French lessons in a fortnight, Year 5 has four French lessons and four Spanish lessons in a fortnight whereas Year 6 has five lessons of their chosen language in a fortnight.
In Year 3, pupils extend their learning and focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing. They cover a range of topics in French including numbers, colours, days, months, introducing themselves, content in the school bag, family, animals, and description (physical description and adjectives).
Year 4 cover all of the basic vocabulary to introduce themselves and learn to talk about the weather, food and clothes. Year 4 also take part in a blind folded fruit tasting session to express their opinions. They engage in conversation, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others confidently by the end of Year 4.
In their language lessons in Year 5, pupils put new and familiar language structures to use whilst working together and having fun. In French, they start the year by reviewing the geography of France. The children learn the names of the main rivers and mountains in France, look at bordering countries and symbols and emblems of France.
In Spanish, pupils start with the discovery of Spanish-speaking countries around the world and its culture. They study the basic vocabulary.
Year 6 begins with a recap of core vocabulary. In French, pupils follow Studio 1 and usually cover 3 to 4 modules in the year. They learn to express opinions and to 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.
The unique location of Bede's, at the foot of the South Downs and on the beach, provides ideal opportunities for practical investigations of the natural world.
The children are taught in three well-equipped laboratories supported by a science technician. In Year 3 and 4, where the children are taught predominantly by their class teacher, they come into the laboratories for practical sessions. When the children move into Years 5 and 6, science is taught by specialist science teachers.
Small sets aid teacher assessment which is ongoing and focuses primarily on active participation in lessons and maintaining high standards in oral, written and practical tasks. Homework is set regularly in Years 5 and 6 to help children begin to work with independence and to test knowledge and understanding.
Pupils in Year 3 take fortnightly trips to our local beach. This is a fantastic learning opportunity for them to identify seasonal changes and discuss how the different weathers affect the beach-front.
The Year 4 science curriculum begins by building upon the children's knowledge of the animal kingdom. They gain a deeper understanding of the animal groups, including vertebrates and invertebrates, and use classification keys to identify their unique features.
In Year 5, we start the academic year by looking at the properties of materials including hardness and strength, flexibility and magnetic behaviour. They then study reversible changes and changes of state.
The Year 6 science curriculum stars with the topic of electricity. This provides excellent opportunities for practical investigations of conductors and insulators by making switches that push, turn and slide from cardboard, split pins and paper clips.
In the study of humans and other animals, pupils learn about the structure of the heart and lungs and the effect of exercise on the pulse rate.
During science week, we challenge pupils to make their own vehicle using balsa wood, holding a competition to see which vehicle would travel the furthest down a ramp.