Our English curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is designed to develop and inspire each individual's love and curiosity of language and literature.
At Bede's, we are keen to develop in our pupils a wide knowledge and enjoyment of literature which extends across forms, genres and historical periods. We develop the essential skills needed to be effective and confident speakers, taking part in discussions and debates whilst supporting pupils in finding their own authorial voice.
Our team of specialist English teachers are expert in identifying and fostering pupils' creative talents and skills, encouraging the curiosity to question, reading with precision and refining the skills of expression to allow each individual to flourish.
In the Autumn Term, whilst pupils are exploring the context of World War 1 in History, in English, we focus on poetry written around this time. We learn to analyse bias in propaganda posters, newspaper articles, letters and poetry.
In the run-up to Christmas, we introduce Victorian Gothic literature into our studies by studying A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We explore the context of the novel and analyse setting, characterisation and themes. We use critical thinking to investigate the transformation of Scrooge’s character and innovate on Dickens’ language and style in our creative writing.
In the Spring Term, we join the Geography department to explore global issues and examine 19th and 21st-century views on pollution and the climate. We develop our skills in speech writing and speech delivery using digital literacy to communicate our message confidently and persuasively.
In the Summer Term, we explore the interweaving dual narrative that interweaves between past and present, myth and curse in Holes by Louis Sachar. Later, the children read and research a range of modern, classic and unfamiliar poems that are linked by a theme.
Alongside the English curriculum, pupils also take the ISEB accredited iPQ. The iPQ takes the form of a project, independently chosen, researched and presented by the pupil. The project incorporates essential 21st Century skills, celebrating and recognising pupils’ skills: artistic, academic or sporting talent as well as interests beyond the classroom.
In the Autumn Term of their final year with us before the Senior School, Year 8 are introduced to Shakespeare and the genres of comedy and tragedy. Pupils also revisit Gothic literature introduced in Year 7 to explore the development of the genre. Through a selection of key Gothic texts, we explore typical settings, archetypal characters and narrative structure.
In the lead-up to Easter, Year 8 study one of three classic novels. Close reading skills are further developed through annotating passages in response to specific questions; skimming and scanning skills; discussion, inferring and predictions; analysing and innovating. Travel writing is explored with the outcome of creating our own travel writing articles.
Year 8's final term inspires the children to study the work of one particular poet in depth. They undertake research with specific analysis of selected poems and write a critical review of the life, influences and work of their chosen poet.
Our Year 7 and 8 Maths curriculum has been designed to build confidence and develop the skills required to achieve every individual's own mathematical potential.
During Years 7 and 8, we continue with the 'teaching mathematics for mastery' approach, building progress made in the earlier years. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
The scheme of work is organised into distinct domains, but pupils are taught to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
The children are assisted in articulating their thinking clearly to themselves and others. The teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy any misconceptions.
In Year 7, the children are split into two bands - Foundation and Higher. The curriculum is tailored to encompass the aims and objectives of the national curriculum and ISEB, but not be dictated by them. The Higher sets consider deeper and more complex examples, while Foundation sets focus on the underlying skills that are essential for transition to Senior School.
All pupils start Year 7 by studying the concepts behind factors, multiples, primes, squares and cubes, orders of operation, number operations, negative numbers, fractions, estimations and significant figures. During the year, they are also taught topics linked to algebraic thinking, fractional thinking and lines and angles.
In Year 8, an extensive supply of further work is available to extend able pupils and support those that need more help. Pupils investigate algebraic techniques, develop their understanding of number and geometry and explore proportional reasoning and representations, and reasoning with data. Children complete Year 8 as confident mathematicians, ready for the challenges ahead.
As pupils proceed through Year 7 and 8, regular assessments are integral to teaching and learning. Pupils and teachers use the information formatively and can address areas of weakness quickly and effectively.
We have many pupils performing well at scholarship level. Bede's Prep pupils regularly score well in the UK Maths Challenges and more than 70% of Bede's Prep pupils sit the highest level of examination available. Each year, some of our pupils are entered for both the UKMT team challenge and UKMT individual challenge. The results are regularly outstanding, with many pupils achieving a bronze, silver or gold certificate.
Bede’s Prep could not be better placed to enable scientific investigations of the natural world.
Throughout Years 7 and 8 we use our location at the foot of the South Downs and our proximity to the beach to full effect, striking out from our modern, well-equipped labs and engaging in a near-constant stream of practical work which stimulates curiosity, interest and enjoyment in science.
Children are encouraged to develop their experimental and investigative abilities through a wide variety of activities. The curriculum is tailored to encompass the general aims and objectives of the ISEB curriculum but is not dictated by them. We aim to get the children enthusiastic and interested in this fascinating subject and give them a firm foundation of knowledge for their GCSE course.
There are a variety of visits and activities to enable the children to broaden their knowledge and experience. STEM projects and science clubs provide the opportunity for individuals to explore topics of their choice in more detail. The Galactic Challenge, held at the Senior School, complements learning within the classroom. They work in teams with students from other schools, to present their ideas resolving a unique brief. The Salters Festival of Chemistry provides additional opportunities for children in Year 8 to work with children from other schools, on a series of fun chemistry experiments in university laboratories.
In Year 7, we begin the year with a detailed look at cells, the fundamental unit of all living organisms. The children use microscopes and relish the opportunity to make their own slides and observe unicellular organisms including amoeba and euglena. In Chemistry, a series of practical activities aids learning about atoms, elements and compounds and how the elements are organised in the periodic table. Physics topics include energy with the opportunity to identify energy transfers in a series of activities.
In Year 8, we begin with the fascinating topic of genetics and evolution. In Chemistry, practical work involves the reactions of metals with oxygen, water acid and displacement reactions. In Physics, we study electricity, beginning with a series of problems to be solved. The children are challenged to make a circuit with a buzzer that stops when the switch is closed.