Years 7 and 8
In Year 7, lessons become more formally structured and delineated by subject, but this does not mean that they are less wide-ranging in approach.
At the beginning of Year 7, our pupils will begin preparations for examinations in earnest and develop their independent learning and organisation skills. One of the key skills that we focus on in the senior years is independence, encouraging pupils to manage their own homework schedules and take on more responsibility within the School. For some, this is also an important stage in their preparation for scholarships.
This is also a time when many parents are thinking about senior school choices and over the coming academic year, our own Senior School offer all pupils a Bede's Experience Day. Transition is an important aspect of an all-through education and the BE Day is just one example of supporting the children with this, as well as providing them with an insight into Senior School education at Bede's.
There is no doubt that Year 7 is an extremely busy year and it is certainly expected that, in addition to working hard in the classroom, our pupils will exploit the many co-curricular opportunities available to them.
All of this happens against a background of the uniquely reflective environment created by Bede’s Year 7 form tutors who strive to provide excellent pastoral care for their pupils, in addition to the support given to new children by “buddies” when they first arrive.
This year is also a time when many children really begin to focus on self-regulation and build resilience as they navigate the path of adolescence and transition.
Our pupils engage in team building games at the end of the first week of the year to promote integration and a sense of identity as a year group, and this is followed by a variety of events, trips and outings to extend the learnings across many strands of the curriculum.
Although every year in a child's development is an important one, Year 8 is a particularly significant one in the independent sector. Although sandwiched between Year 7, effectively the start of secondary education and Year 9 which assumes higher status as they join their new senior schools, Year 8 is for many the pinnacle of their prep school journey.
Year 8 is also the time in which many pupils take on greater responsibilities by becoming School, Subject and Section Prefects, often representing the School at functions, events and undertaking other duties around school, such as supporting our younger pupils with reading or playtime.
During the year, the demands of exams and scholarships often feel very real for the children and we therefore take huge pride in the welfare provision that we offer through which children are monitored, nurtured and supported with strategies and signposts to ensure to ensure every step of their journey is manageable and even fun!
Although a busy academic year awaits, it will be a balanced one, full of trips and concluding with the “Leavers’ Programme” in June – a diverse and innovative programme designed to give maximum enjoyment whilst broadening and enriching their learning.