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
Art and Design
The teaching of Art and Design in Years 7 and 8 focuses on creating a stimulating and inspiring environment that promotes intelligent making, critical thinking, learning as a social activitiy, collaboration, mutual respect, learning as teacher/teacher as learner.
Pupils are encouraged to consider a diversity of talents and their own creativity. At Bede's, we believe that with the right formative encouragement, there is a lot that can be done to help children learn about their creativity, across disciplines and in connection with other subjects.
Using a range of materials and processes, including ICT, ceramics, printmaking, painting, collage, digital media, textiles, sculpture, illustration, and a variety of basic drawing techniques. Pupils will also have the opportunity to investigate art, craft and design in the locality and in a variety of genres, styles and traditions.
In Year 7, pupils will study artists who are inspired by nature. They will collect natural forms such as thistles and seed heads to work from.
Year 7 sees an introduction to observational drawing in pencil using line and tone, using a variety of 2B-6B pencils.
In the Spring Term, everyone gets involved in the Towner Gallery Schools Exhibition. In the Summer Term, pupils complete the year by creating personalised 3D clay textured boxes, inspired by nature, developing their thinking and discussion skills.
In Year 8, we begin with the fine art and illustration project, where pupils produce detailed illustrations of animals before developing personalised masks inspired by the inside of clocks.
The year concludes with a Summer project in pop art, logos and typography. This sees the children using everyday objects, acrylic painting and complex colour-mixing while exploring linear composition, graphic communication and advertising as an art form.
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.
The focus of the Computing department is to ensure that pupils develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding they will need in a rapidly changing world; one in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technologies.
In their weekly lessons in our dedicated IT suite, pupils in Year 7 and 8 study topics covering Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy strands. Advanced e-safety skills are taught, with a focus on safe social networking and approaches to protect oneself from online cybercrime.
Bede's Prep senior pupils enjoy year-on-year success in national competitions covering cyber security and computational thinking.
Extra-curricular enhancement sessions are provided in areas including robotics and app development.
Year 7 pupils study Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and consider the rapid developments in this area whilst helping to train AI systems through simple games. They also learn about binary code and why computing devices use this unusual language. As part of their STEM studies, pupils use Minecraft Education Edition to consider ways in which computer code can be combined with Science and Maths skills, to help solve simulated engineering problems.
Year 8 pupils consider how social engineering techniques are used to elicit personal and financial data, and recognise how to identify such dubious activity. A team of senior pupils enter the CyberFirst Girls Competition, run by the National Cyber Security Centre.
Year 8 also study cryptography and its relationship to the history of the PC. They undertake code-breaking simulations, learn about the significant characters in British technology history, and investigate how encryption is still used on modern computer systems.
At Bede’s Prep, we make full use of the local environment and the stunning scenery which provides perfect opportunities for fieldwork
Geography is the integrated study of the earth's places, peoples, environments and societies.
Ultimately, we want to prepare our pupils for the further study of geography when they leave the Prep School. We also want to encourage a sense of awe and wonder and an understanding of the natural and built environment around them.
Year 7 begins with a study of the coast, as we are ideally located for such a study. This theme covers coastal processes and features of erosion and deposition, with plenty of opportunity for creative work such as play dough modelling of caves, arches and stacks. We visit Birling Gap to consider the challenges of management of coastal erosion with an eye to the future with increasing sea level-rise.
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; their locations and purpose in the UK, conflict and management of visitor pressure and an in depth study of the South Downs National Park, the boundary of which is literally on our doorstep. For fieldwork we carry out environmental quality and public impact assessment fieldwork on the downland slopes nearby.
Year 8 begins with the theme of "Weather and Climate". Children deepen their understanding of how the main climate factors combine to create the characteristics of the British climate and how this contrasts with other climates around the world. We look at how the battle between air masses over our skies and the jet stream influence our changeable weather. In the second half of term we focus on climate change; evidence of it, its human causes and consequences in various locations around the world, before considering what we can all do to reduce our own carbon footprints.
In the Spring Term, the focus is on the ever popular Plate Tectonics. This builds upon learning in previous years, with greater depth and complexity. There is always a recent volcanic eruption and earthquake to study and we strive to examine the contrasts in effects and responses to such natural hazards in developed and developing countries.
In the Summer Term ahead of their final exams, pupils study a short topic on Population. This includes patterns of population density at a range of scales, factors which influence birth and death rates and affect population change and how to interpret and compare population pyramids. We cover a brief case study on India’s population growth before a revision programme prior to the exams.
History at Bede's is a dynamic and engaging subject that challenges pupils in many ways.
In Year 7, we study First World War, including the causes of the war, the key alliances and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand as well as the experiences of those who fought in the trenches.
We also look at Renaissance Italy and the key figures of the era. The next topic is War of the Roses, and the pupils learn about Edward III, York vs Lancaster, the Princes in the Tower and the Battle of Bosworth before studying Henry VII.
In Year 8, we begin by studying Henry VIII and his family tree. We also cover Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey and Mary I. Followed by the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and the Spanish Armada. Finally, we study of the English Civil War.
As pupils cover these topics, they will develop a range of skills including evidence collection; covering the provenance of information, considering the limitations and usefulness of different historical sources.
During Years 7 and 8, pupils will take day trips to the Mary Rose at Portsmouth dockyard, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. We also host a variety of visiting workshops and speakers.
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 branch 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.
Bede’s Prep Dance offers a wide range of styles available from Nursery through to Year 8, either via specialised dance classes during the school day on the Dance Programme or through our clubs and activities.
The aim of dance in Years 7 and 8 is to help develop the dancers’ skills, technique and love of dance. All dancers in Year 7 and 8 are part of the Bede’s Prep Dance Programme, where they are trained to a high standard, putting them in a good position to audition for the Bede’s Legat Dance Academy at the Senior School and apply for dance scholarships.
Bede’s Prep Dance Programme is aimed at dancers who have a particular talent or interest in the subject. 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, they receive more intense dance training which includes a combination of the exam work as outlined above, as well as free work classes.
Dance Programme students can also audition for the opportunity to work with the teachers at the Bede’s Legat Dance Academy, based at Bede’s Senior School, on a weekly basis. At Legat they will have classes in Contemporary, Ballet and pointe work. These classes are designed to stretch and challenge the pupils both physically and creatively. It also gives the pupils an insight into Legat and what to expect from those classes in the future, putting them in an excellent position to continue their Bede’s journey to the Senior School and Legat.
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’ creativity 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.
Each year the 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 don’t only get a change 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 dances classes taught by industry professionals.
PE in Year 7 and 8 encompasses a curriculum leading towards the transition to senior school.
The programme leads through five modules: Fitness with Cross Country as the focus; Basketball; Gymnastics; Racquet Sports and Athletics.
Year 7 marks the start of the transition to our Senior School and is very much a two-year programme. Pupils experience a more focussed, theoretical element to enhance the very practical nature of the subject. Positive experiences in PE are a key way to support body image.
With ever growing connections between the healthy body and healthy mind, our curriculum works to enable our students to take ownership of their physical and mental health by encouraging them to understand that there are many ways to exercise and how best to link the process to the desired outcome - and enjoy themselves along the way.
At Bede's, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an embedded part of our broad and balanced curriculum.
The intent of our PSHE curriculum is to deliver lessons which are accessible to all and age-appropriate, so that it will maximise the outcomes for every child by increasing their knowledge and understanding the world around them.
Bede's programme of study covers three core themes: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World.
Bede's aims to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, acrive and responsible citizens.
Modern Foreign Languages
According to the National Curriculum "learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education should foster pupils' curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world."
Pupils in Year 7 and 8 at Bede's Prep School develop a sound grasp of the foundations of their chosen language, French or Spanish, including its core vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation.
With five language lessons each fortnight, pupils develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills with different material. Languages are taught by specialist teachers, some of whom are native speakers. A highlight for many is the trip they will take to either Spain or France towards the end of Year 7 when they can really immerse themselves in culture and language of their chosen country and put their skills to the test.
In Year 7, the children cover the topics of holidays (using different tenses), free time, tourism, hobbies, and where you live.
In Year 8, pupils learn to talk about their talent, describing themselves, social media, health and fitness and future plans.
The aim is to ensure that all pupils understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources. They will begin to write at varying lengths, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learned.
Theology, Philosophy and Religion are, we believe, a vital underpinning to any education.
As a school with a Christian tradition, we concentrate on Christian Theology in our studies but it is certainly not taught in an evangelical manner and the emphasis is very much on pupils being able to form a coherent and substantiated argument rather than encouraging them to accept a particular point of view.
Pupils study the beliefs, teachings and practices of a religion in depth. This is a fascinating opportunity to explore the beliefs that have shaped the modern world. We will study the beliefs of another religion, allowing us to compare and contrast the different world views. At this stage, pupils will produce a project based on one of the five major religions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism.