As well as the core subjects, pupils in their senior years at Bede’s Prep also study languages and humanities. The creative arts, computing and PE also feature as well as important topics covered within the PSHE curriculum.
- Art and Design
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Modern Foreign Languages
- Religious Studies
Every pupil in Years 7 and 8 studies Art and Design at Bede's Prep.
In the Spring Term of Year 7, everyone gets involved in the Towner Gallery Schools Exhibition which has a new theme each year from which we draw inspiration. This project culminates in a visit to the gallery to see the exhibition itself. Then in the Summer Term pupils complete the year b creating personalised 3D textured boxes informed by our study of the Arts and Crafts movement.
In Year 8 the year begins with the fine art and illustration project informed by the likes of Albrecht Durer Rhinoceros and Vladimir Gvozdariki. Through it, the pupils produce detailed illustrations of animals and experiment with machine illustrations too, before developing personalised masks inspired by social, religious, , spiritual, celebratory and dramatic history. Following the Tower Project in the Spring Term and subsequent visit, the year concludes with a Summer project in pop art, logos and typography centred on the work of Michael Craig-Martin, Andy Warhole and Peter Blake. This sees the children using everyday objects, acrylic painting and complex colour-mixing while exploring lineal composition, graphic communication and advertising as an art form.
Out of this, the pupils develop a final piece which combines drawing skills, collage, painting and colour pencil tonal work, and an opportunity to work outside on the walls with "Tape Art". They are invariably enabled to leave Bede's Prep with a deep and rich portfolio of work that rivals what many children achieve at GCSE level.
Western civilisation was built on ideas that we continue to celebrate at Bede's Prep today.
The majority of pupils in Years 7 and 8 study both Classical Civilisation and Latin with a small number focussing on the Classical Civilisation aspect alone.
In Year 7 we begin by tackling the inevitable question of why we should study Latin and the children are always quick to understand that although the language is no longer spoken, there is much to be gained by learning about the derivations of many English words. They also broaden their horizons by seeing how Latin continues to live on in inscriptions, mottoes, horticulture, medicine, the legal system, religions and literature. As they progress through the learning of Latin they also become adept at linking words and grammar to their learning of French or Spanish.
Children begin the year in a mixed-ability Beginners' Set, but move through the programmes of study at their own pace and by Year 8 are set by ability which enables the most able to accelerate through he syllabus.
As pupils move through Year 8 and in preparing children at all levels for their final exam, we work through the "Latin for Common Entrance" course as well as the "Greeks and Romans" textbook which tackles various aspect of classical civilisation. These are supplemented by a wide variety of e-learning resources, games and quizzes.
For those pupils who only study the Classical Civilisation aspect of the course, they will start by Year 7 by learning about the Greek belief system and then explore ideas related to the City Dionysia, Greek Theatre and the key features of tragedy and comedy. They end the year by studying The Ancient Olympics and its values, comparing it to today's games.
In Year 8 the pupils learn about Greek architecture and democracy and their influence on modern methods of construction and society. They then spend the rest of the year studying The Trojan War and The Odyssey.
In Year 7 as part of the e-safety module, we look at the risks of rushing into social networking, looking at good and bad practice online and developing and develop the pupils' awareness of the concept of a "digital footprint".
The notion of computational thinking is introduced and the children develop algorithmic designs to reach solutions. Focussing on the importance of problem solving, pupils apply these skills in areas such as programming.
Pupils are then introduced to to databases and create their own using different fields and data types, learning how to search the data.
Finally, in the unit on Binary code, pupils understand how numbers are represented using in a computer system and the code-breaking games are always an enjoyable way of testing their knowledge.
In Year 8, children are expected to have developed a secure knowledge of key e-safety principles and are then able to move on to explore cyber crime and security in more depth, a key preparation for later adult life. As part of the course, children edit website code and begin to gain an understanding of HTML language.
The screwdrivers are then brought out for a unit on understanding computers. learning about the internal component of a PC and then in the final module, we take a step back from modern devices and look at the history of the PC. Top secret codebreakers, war time battles and amazing discoveries are discussed as we consider where it all began. As part of this topic, pupils learn about key personalities, including Charles Babbage and Alan Turing and consider how creations including The Difference Engine and Colossus were used, and form the basis of modern computing.
At Bede’s Prep, we make full use of the local environment and the stunning scenery which provides perfect opportunities for fieldwork
Year 7 begins with a study of rivers. Beginning with the location of some major world rivers to boost location knowledge, we then focus on drainage basin features along a river's journey from sources to mouth. We are very fortunate to have the whole length of the Cuckmere River within easy reach so we visit various stages of it to bring learning in the classroom to life. Creative opportunities abound in this topic with play dough modelling, group memory diagram exercises. acting out erosion and transportation processes and even valley and waterfall cakes to provide a good variety of learning experiences.
In the Spring Term, we focus on Transport and Industry, considering the importance of transport to people and organisations and how it can have positive and negative effects on people's quality of life. Big issues such as HS2 and Heathrow Airport's 3rd runway proposals are studied and debated, emphasising the importance of understanding conflicting arguments behind such wide reaching projects.
In the Summer Term, we study National Parks and carry out environmental quality and public impact assessment fieldwork on the downland slopes nearby.
Year 8 begins with the theme of "Weather and Climate" and pupils carry out fieldwork focussing on local microclimates. Planning such investigation, hypothesising, collecting, presenting, analysing and evaluating data are all important geographical skills.
In the Spring Term, the focus is on the ever popular Plate Tectonics, which builds upon learning in previous years, with greater depth and complexity looking at recent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and examining the contrasts in effects and responses to such natural hazards in developed and developing countries.
In the Summer Term ahead of Common Entrance, pupils undertaken a case study on India's rapid population growth before rounding off their learning about Settlements with a visit to London's Olympic Park as part of their study on urban regeneration.
History lessons in the upper years at Bede’s Prep concentrate on the all-important Tudor period, exploring the turbulent years of the War of the Roses, the Princes in the Tower mystery and the heralding in of the new Tudor dynasty.
Year 7 includes a three-day residential trip to support learning with visits to Tower of London, Hampton Court and a guided tour of Westminster Abbey. In Year 8, pupils move on to study the Golden Age of Elizabeth I and children develop their evidence-handling and interpretative skills. Children are encouraged to research topics independently and analyse evidence and most importantly, we look to inspire a passion for history.
By the time every child leaves Year 8, we hope that they will have enjoyed a test of theatrical life and developed a sense of how they can best communicate their ideas to others.
In Years 7 and 8, pupils have a fortnightly drama lesson within the timetable led by one of our specialised teachers.
Year 7 starts with the children revisiting a wide range of performance skills, such as freeze-racing, mime and movement, physical theatre, characterisation and improvisation. They then go on to learn about characterisation, using mime alongside the spoken word as well as the importance of positioning, voice control and intonation and focus points. We encourage the children to watch and analyse live theatre performances which are usually closely linked to our English curriculum.
In Year 8, pupils are encouraged to take directorial or stage manager roles in group tasks, as well as leading and participating in skills-based warn up games and workshop tasks. The children build up to their final production which involves the entire year group, either through performance or in backstage roles. Some pupils opt to focus on the technical aspects of performance, learning about sound, lighting and set design.
For our budding thespians who wish to consider scholarships for senior school, there is a specialised Year 7 and 8 Drama Masterclass which prepared them for entrance auditions and sets challenges of performance and creativity. The pupils also perform in a Scholars' Showcase evening.
The Activities Programme provides further opportunities for Drama including individual or small group LAMDA lessons with a specialised teacher.
Our study of Music in Years 7 and 8 exposes pupils to a wide range of music, including modern, to enable them to find the types of music they like to listen to, perform and compose.
Year 7 pupils start by studying how some popular songs have mass appeal.
Genres covered include folk and jazz music as well as African drumming and Egyptian music. Technical aspects of music, including chords, rhythms, syncopation and call and response patterns are examined.
In the Summer Term pupils study how music is used to enhance an event, and are asked to compose to a particular brief for a particular audience and occasion.
In Year 8 pupils start by exploring how leitmotifs can be used in film music to depict a character, idea or event and then compose their own music, combining it with sound effects to create a soundtrack for a short film clip.
Next, they learn how impressionist music is able to describe an event or place identifying key features which they can use in their own compositions.
In the New Year they then brace out into the organisation of improvisation and compare the styles used in the Baroque period with Indian raga. This is followed by an exploration of how music makes connections between instruments, strucure and the musical elements.
In the Summer Term, pupils explore ways in which the night is depicted in music and finally use their new skills to improvise using jazz characteristics such as swing.
Hardly a day goes by when Bede’s Prep pupils will not engage in some kind of physical activity.
The main aim of the PE Department is to offer a depth and breadth of movement experience through which the pupil can develop physically, cognitively and socially, whether this be through PE lessons, games lessons, swimming lessons or activities after school.
Games lessons, with the traditional emphasis on "team sports" remain central to sport here at Bede's with football, hockey and cricket identified by the Trust as "core sports" and played to a high level by both boys and girls. Netball, tennis and swimming also enjoy a strong focus, with tennis and swimming being taught by specialist coaches. One significant change in Years 7 and 8 is that pupils are exposed to the coaching expertise and facilities at the Senior School on a more regular basis.
PE lessons are National Curriculum based and are slightly different in as much as they are mixed ability and mixed gender. Pupils experience health and fitness, athletics and basketball as in previous years, but in Year 7 and 8 the gymnastics moves from "sports acrobatics" to vaulting and trampolining and "net games" also changes emphasis in Years 7 and 8 with a move from badminton to volleyball.
As if this did not provide enough breadth, pupils in Years 5 and 6, as in any other age group, will get the opportunity to try sports that might be completely new to them, such as handball, futsal, climbing, trampolining or table tennis in after school Activities sessions.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 also receive swimming lessons once a fortnight which focus on technique, speed and stamina as well as covering the skills needed to be safe in the water. Pupils are encouraged to take up a range of activities including lifesaving, snorkelling and kayaking as well the opportunities to participate in the swim squad.
Regardless of which sport the pupils are experiencing, we also look to install the TeamBede's values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Humility, Discipline and Respect.
As pupils reach their senior years at Bede’s Prep, the issues covered in this curriculum relating to politics, society and health become ever-more relevant.
Pupils explore wide-ranging issues around peer-pressure and friendships, self-esteem and body image as well as discrimination and prejudice. Pupils engage in a project on human rights examining the basic rights we hold. An introduction to Philosophy involves discussions on wide-ranging issues as well as learning about world’s great philosophers and the fundamentals of modern democracy.
As children move into Year 8 pupils are introduced to the socio-political realm, considering economic concepts and issues relating to family life and relationships as well as the role the media holds in our lives.
Finally, children are given tips to help them for the interviews they will be undertaking as part of senior school admissions process.
Mastering a foreign language is a complex, sophisticated business which takes a very long time.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 at Bede's Prep School develop a sound grasp of the foundations of their chosen language, including its core vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation.
Pupils engage with one of two equally lively interactive courses: "Studio" for French and "Viva" for Spanish. Both offer the Active Teach e-learning facility which includes a range of embedded audio-visual features and games.
In the Spring Term language immersion trips to France and Spain take place providing the perfect opportunity for pupils to embed their learning.
The results of the Common Entrance exams which pupils sit at the end of Year 8 demonstrate that Bede's pupils typically achieve a high standard of competency for the imminent demands of GCSE study.
The Religious Studies course is wide-ranging in scope and allows children to develop their conceptual thinking and analytical skills, examining different opinions on a topic.
Pupils will also study a range of New Testament texts, considering their theoretical background and socio-political context. Pupils will learn about the people and geography of the Holy Land and the life of Jesus and the Outcasts before delving into a wide selection of parables.
In Year 8, broader concepts of justice and punishment and the basis of moral and ethical codes, the rule of law and the role of faith in the political system.
As well as a range of Christian beliefs, the curriculum integrates viewpoints from Hinduism and Secularism and by the end of the course, children will have developed an excellent grounding in the history and traditions of the Western faith providing them with the perfect grounding for study of the subject at GCSE level.