Bede's Senior School Academic Overview
It is our aim that a pupil joining our First Year will be able to build on already-existing passions, whilst also finding new pathways to explore.
The programme sees all pupils taking a wide range of subjects while also allowing for a considerable amount of choice. At the heart of the curriculum remains a strong focus on the core subjects: English, Maths, Science and Languages.
There is also a heavy emphasis on the creative subjects and pupils who excel in areas – such as Music, Dance, Art are able to focus intensely upon these areas whilst for others, there is the opportunity to take a greater number of academic subjects.
Other pupils may choose to focus more on the academic sphere and beyond the core subjects for which there are 13.5 hours of ring-fenced lessons, “The World” carousel is focussed on the humanities offering an introduction to politics and religion and philosophy as well as history and geography.
Common to Bede’s holistic educational approach, pupils’ broader development is nurtured through the Twentieth Century carousel, in which pupils gain some hard skills including first aid, cookery as well as some softer skills such as team work and consideration of relationships.
The majority of lessons are comprised of wide-based introductory courses that centre on the acquisition of skills necessary for GCSE, IGCSE and BTEC courses to be followed in the Fifth Form (Years 10 and 11).
In addition to the academic curriculum, all pupils join in the School's extensive Co-Curricular programme, which offers a wide range of sporting and cultural opportunities.
During the first term, all First Year pupils also take part in team building sessions as well as an Outdoor Pursuits week based in the Peak District. The 'OP' week is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and develop essential life skills, and further information related to that trip will be submitted to parents nearer the time.
During the second term, with the help of their Personal Tutors, students then select subjects to be studied at GCSE.
The choices made as a pupil approaches the Lower Fifth year are amongst the most difficult that they will have, until that point, encountered.
While all pupils will study English, Maths, and Science GCSE and at least one Modern Foreign Language, there is an enormous range of subjects from which to choose.
Inevitably, some favourite subjects will need to be jettisoned as each pupil starts to narrow their focus.
As these anticipated come into effect, Bede's will continue to be at the forefront in ensuring the best possible programmes are available to all our pupils.
The beginning of the GCSE programme can feel like a step up for some pupils but our Fifth Form tutors work hard in order to ensure that pupils are working to achieve their goals, identifying ways in which the Co-Curricular Programme can support and enrich their academic studies and that they are engaging in the rich pastoral and social opportunities.
We are enormously proud that pupils at Bede's consistently perform at a level beyond that which might have been expected when they first embarked upon their GCSE courses. It is always busy and always exciting!
Regardless of the courses that pupils have chosen to pursue in the Lower Fifth, the opportunity continues for each and every pupil within the Fifth Form to grow and develop, to seek real areas of specialisation, and to emerge, at the end of two years' study, ready to face the challenges of the Sixth Form.
Whilst the focus in the second year of this course is to build upon the skills and knowledge gained in the Lower Fifth there is an increased emphasis on equipping pupils not only to succeed at their chosen GCSE subjects but also in preparation for life as a senior pupil in the Sixth Form.
Help and advice in choosing suitable subjects for the Sixth Form is readily available through an option morning for parents and various taster sessions for pupils. In addition to this, the expertise of the Year Heads and Sixth Form Team can be called upon to help in this regard.
We will endeavour to strike the right balance between support, inducement and propellant during this potentially stressful year so that they can achieve the very best results that they are capable of.
For ten years, Bede’s has been running a successful Pre-Sixth Programme for overseas pupils. Over the course of the last decade, this programme has welcomed hundreds of pupils from across the world to Bede’s.
Students who enrol on the programme are full members of the Bede’s community, participating in all aspects of school life, including joining houses and taking part in our renowned Co-Curricular activities programme.
Over this time, the Pre-Sixth Programme has been enhanced and refined in terms of the subjects offered but at its heart it remains an intensive one year programme focussed on improving the spoken and written English of students. The majority of pupils use the Programme in order to prepare them for Sixth Form study although some students may study this one-year course and then return to school in their home country at the end of the year having improved their English, gained a good set of GCSEs and experienced life in a British school.
Pupils on the current Pre Sixth Programme take 5 GCSEs during one year, with core subjects including Art and Design, Economics, English Language, Mathematics and Science with some students opting to take an additional language GCSE during activity time.
The transition from GCSE to Sixth Form studies is undoubtedly one the biggest challenges young people undertake in their academic lives.
Consequently, it is fundamentally important that they pick subjects that they both enjoy and are able to succeed in whilst leaving as many options open as possible as they head into further education or the work place.
Every member of the Sixth Form team at Bede's has a wealth of experience and is used to guiding pupils as they embrace the myriad challenges before them.
Sixth Form life is different to that of the GCSE years, with pupils now being young adults. As such, the relationships they have with teachers tend to develop significantly; as well as standard lessons, staff at Bede's welcome the opportunity to work with pupils individually to ensure that they understand major concepts and are on course to succeed.
In addition to the academic side of things, we also try to integrate every pupil into the Sixth Form by arranging a number of social events throughout the course of the year.
These are very well attended and help pupils to both make new friends and feel that they are valued members of the Bede's community.
We offer a wide range of A Level and BTEC qualifications. Learn more about our BTEC offer in the below video: