Art and Design in Years 5 and 6 sees children taking inspiration from twentieth century artists and architects including Hundertwasser and Delaunay.
They explore how colour and symmetry can inform design before they begin work on their installations which are exhibited at the Towner Gallery Annual Schools Exhibition. This is a treasured experience for the children who work as a collective to create their piece, using a range of materials.
The year ends with a Ceramics project during which they return to the study of architecture looking at the Art Deco movement.
In Year 6 ancient Egyptian artefacts act as 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 on to 3D work, constructing creatures using cross-hatch and slip techniques.
Along the way, children develop their thinking and discussion skills, annotating work as individuals and groups, following a pattern of work which echoes that undertaken at GCSE level.
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 Years 5 and 6 is all about exploring and discovering the wider world.
Questions are posed such as “Why are the jungles so wet and the deserts so dry?” In answering these questions, pupils cover themes such as climate and animal adaptions, looking at the Amazon rainforest and Atacama desert.
The questions posed then move on to allow pupils to explore volcanoes and earthquakes, weather and climate as well as economic activity and the impact of tourism and urbanisation.
In Year 6 the enquiry-based learning continues with the study of mountains through modelling, animation and video learning. The concept of settlement in the UK is also studied, linking to migration and linking with Ordnance Survey map reading skills.
The year ends with pupils learning about trade including the importance of fair trade, considering sophisticated notions of interconnectedness and interdependence of the world we live in.
During these years teaching focuses on the Victorian period and Middle Ages as well as the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and British Empire. The curriculum also focuses on the development of religion in England.
Pupils benefit from a number of curriculum-focused trips both locally, to the Redoubt and Wish Tower, Battle Abbey as well as further afield to the study life on board HMS Victory and learn about Canterbury Cathedral.
The programme concludes with study of the ever-popular grisly Black Death and as part of this topic, children design their own plague cures.
The focus during these years is on Islam and Judaism, increasing pupils understanding of the religions themselves as well as their cultural impact and practices including Ramadan and Eid.
In Year 6, pupils spend a significant amount of time studying Judaism, including its history, traditions and beliefs and the importance of Israel geographically, philosophically and politically.
Throughout the year, children are challenged with progressively more complex questions which require deeper thought and towards the end of the year, children look in more detail at a significant example of where moral and ethical values are tested including through our study of children’s rights.
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 4 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 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 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 yes 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 1030s to the contemporary chart music of today.
Hardly a day goes by when a Bede’s pupil will not engage in some kind of physical activity and one of the wonderful things about Bede’s is that children benefit from expert coaching; swimming lessons are taught by a swimming specialist, tennis lessons by a tennis specialist and dance by a dance specialist.
PE, however, is distinct from the Games programme. Whilst girls will all play hockey and netball and boys will play football and rugby alongside a range of summer sports, each pupil also has a PE Lesson when the focus will be on broader physical education. Pupils look at different training methods used by athletes and work on core fitness.
Sports such as volleyball, basketball, badminton and athletics feature within the curriculum as well as trampolining and gymnastics. Pupils are encouraged to develop skills, with challenges such higher hurdle-heights introduced into the athletics programme.
The programme dovetails with the practices of Bede’s Senior School, and expert staff from colleagues there are employed within the coaching team.
The breadth of the PE programme during these years is designed to reduce the risk of children becoming over-specialised too early, instead encouraging all pupils to take pleasure in experimenting and mastering a broad range of sports.
Swimming is the only sport which can save a child's life and therefore it is crucial that all children have the ability to be safe in the water. During these years, children are taught stroke technique and are helped to improve their stamina and speed as well as learning the skills to be an effective all-round swimmer, including diving, starts, tumble turns and finishes. In addition, children are taught lifesaving and personal survival skills.
Pupils in Years 4 to 6 receive one swimming lesson each week in the Bede's Prep swimming pool and also have the opportunity to take part in a range of co-curricular activities including kayaking, free swim, lifesaving and snorkelling. Pupils are also encouraged to participate in the swim squads which involve competing in galas and representing the School.
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.
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 importance of key e-safety concepts such as the importance of having strong passwords and the dangers of pretending to be oder than they are.
Coding during this year is covered through visual programming languages that allow various forms of input and output, collision detection, variables and loops.
Children learn about everyday electronic devices such as fire alarms and pedestrian crossings and explore modern robotics, considering the impact such systems might have in the future. The topic culminates in a challenge to program a Mars rover to navigate unfamiliar territory!
Pupils develop further knowledge of the different types of networks, designing their own simple network layouts.
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.