Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets – Leonardo da Vinci

At Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School, we offer a full and rich curriculum combining the traditional academic subjects with the more creative and physical elements of School life. We follow the National Curriculum and complement this with other learning and enrichment activities.

We pride ourselves on providing outstanding learning opportunities for all children. We are proud of our well-qualified, dedicated and experienced teaching staff who offer a vibrant, diverse and challenging curriculum where children make excellent academic progress. We offer a high staff-pupil ratio and are committed to giving pupils a secure and happy environment in which to thrive, recognising that each child is unique, and helping each individual strive towards the best that they can be in every area.

Throughout the School children are predominantly taught by their Form Teacher, with some specialist teaching in Science, Computing, Music, PE, Swimming, French, and Dance. Children are given many opportunities to express themselves and perform in front of an audience, examples of which are the Christmas and Summer concerts, but also in class assemblies, to which parents are invited. There are opportunities within the classroom for pupils to develop their confidence in speaking and listening such as ‘show and tell’ in the earlier years, discussion and debating, and whole School assemblies.

Classroom teaching is enhanced by regular exciting and educational visits and workshops. Special events such as World Book Day, Science Week, Kindness Week, Money Week and other whole School themes are celebrated through external visitors, class presentations and assemblies.

Mathematics

"The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics" – Paul Halmos

We seek to ensure that all pupils develop an understanding and enjoyment of Maths. This is achieved through providing a stimulating and challenging mathematical environment, using differentiated tasks in order to interest and motivate pupils of all abilities. This enables everyone to succeed, whatever their individual needs. Children’s learning is enriched through a variety of individual, paired and group tasks promoting the discussion of mathematical ideas. Children are encouraged to use a wide range of practical resources including Numicon, dienes and place value cards. Problem solving and investigations are also incorporated to help and encourage pupils to master mathematical concepts and to develop reasoning and competence for more challenging problems.

Homework
Year 1 and 2: 20-30 minutes per week (including consolidation of taught objectives, online Mathletics tasks and Mental Arithmetic workbooks)
Years 3 and 4: 30- 45 minutes per week (range of activities)
Years 5 and 6: 45- 60 minutes per week (range of activities including practice 11+ preparation papers)
Enrichment opportunities
• NRICH and Beam challenges within the classroom
• Inter School competitions
• Primary Maths Challenge

English

"If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books" - Roald Dahl

English is a core subject and our curriculum aims to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. As well as the time allocated to English, links are made to many of the other subjects allowing pupils to develop their skills in a range of contexts.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are used. We encourage pupils to be articulate and confident. They will have the opportunity to develop a love of reading and a good understanding of what they read. As writers, they will be confident using a wide range of styles and able to engage their audience through well planned work.
English is taught daily for one hour and includes grammar, phonics and spelling lessons, whilst continually being woven into the wider curriculum. Our children are encouraged to write from an early age with ‘brave writing’ which progresses as they go through the school into independent writing. We are proud of our children’s abilities to write and speak English fluently, to communicate clearly, confidently and with expression in order to articulate their ideas and feelings. They are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate, learning through reading and listening in one to one sessions with a teacher and with the class.

All year groups visit the School library once a week and celebrate reading with events such as World Book Day, author visits and workshops. We pride ourselves on high quality poems and stories written by the pupils are regularly entered into local and national competitions.

Weekly Homework (including comprehension, spelling, grammar and writing activities)
Year 1 and 2: 20-30 minutes
Years 3 and 4: 30- 45 minutes
Years 5 and 6: 45- 60 minutes (including practice 11+ preparation papers)
Enrichment
• SATiPS national writing competitions
• Young People’s Poetry Competition
• Chiswick Book Festival
• Local Schools’ competitions
• BBC Radio writing competitions
• Bedford Park Poetry Festival
• Pass on a Poem

Science

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" - Edwin Powell Hubble

Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 Science is taught in a practical and investigative way. Children learn through a combination of practical, engaging experiments and research to fulfil their 'working scientifically' knowledge. They also have opportunities to investigate topics, participate in with scientific competitions and enjoy science-themed trips throughout the School year.
Pupils are encouraged to:
• Be curious and question aspects of the world around them;
• Value and challenge each other’s ideas;
• Develop reliable and fair methods of experimentation;
• Learn the application and importance of technology;
• Develop their natural spirit of enquiry;
• Acquire a broad base of scientific knowledge;
• Learn to communicate scientific ideas and findings;
• Appreciate the many links between Science and other subjects;
• Apply their scientific understanding to work out answers in less familiar contexts.
We are very proud to have been awarded the Terrific Scientific 'School of Excellence' status by the BBC. Every year we have at least 2 themed weeks and in 2020 we were excited to celebrate ‘Diversity’ Week. We continually link Science with other subjects, for example, most recently all children took part in practical workshops involving ‘Science through Art’.

P.E.

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity" – John F. Kennedy

Our aim is to foster a fun and nurturing learning environment. We strive to provide positive experiences and encourage lifelong enjoyment and participation in physical activity. We believe it is important for pupils to enjoy physical exercise and understand the lifelong benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly there is an emphasis on having fun and giving your best at all times, regardless of the outcome.

Through Early Years and Key Stage 1 we focus on three main topic areas in games: Spatial Awareness and Movements, Sending and Receiving, and Hitting and Striking. These areas teach children the key skills and techniques which underpin many of the sports they will go on to practise in older years.

In Key Stage 2, children are taught a wide range of sports including Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Invasion Games, Striking and Fielding, and Swimming and Water Safety. Greater emphasis is directed towards more challenging tactics to attack or defend successfully and improving individual and team performances.

Pupils in Years 1-3 have weekly swimming lessons and in Years 4-6 swimming lessons are for one term a year.

All children participate in house competitions at the end of each unit they complete. Older children have the opportunity to represent their school in regular fixtures against other schools in netball, football, hockey, cricket and rounders. In the Summer Term, the whole school competes in the end of year Sports’ Day and older children in House Swimming Galas.

Art & Design

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on" – Albert Einstein

Art and Design are taught through an exciting mixture of projects, combining a varied range of processes, techniques and media to allow artistic expression. These include drawing, printing, textiles, painting, sculpture and sewing.

A highlight of the year is the School’s Public Art Exhibition which forms part of the Chiswick and Bedford Park Festival. This showcases all children’s work from Nursery through to Form 6. Throughout the year colourful displays adorn our School walls, celebrating our children’s achievements.

When teaching Art, we emphasise the importance of the process of making art, not just the outcome. From Year 1, each child records their personal achievements in a sketch book that shows their progress as they move up the School. Art lessons are taught weekly and cover a variety of different topics inspired by the works of renowned artists, with our ‘Artist of the Month’ project helping to consolidate this knowledge.

Children can complement their learning in after school clubs and regular outings to museums and galleries.
In 2019, Form 3 took part in Sir Steve McQueen’s epic portrait of London’s Year 3 Pupils at Tate Britain and recently all ages took part in the World’s Largest Ever Online Art Lesson and produced some beautiful whale drawings.

Computing

“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn” – Professor Stephen Hawking

We teach an exciting and challenging computing curriculum. Children work on iPads that have a portfolio of apps all of which encourage computational thinking and problem-solving. They also use laptops, becoming confident in programs such as Scratch, Kodu and Logo. They learn to plan, design and code their own games.

In EYFS, the children explore using programmable toys such as Bee-Bots and remote-controlled cars that teach control and aid directional language development. By the end of Year 6, pupils will have covered a range of skills from touch typing, HTML web design, visual and code programming, interactive game development and mobile app creation, whilst maintaining core Computing skills.
Online Safety is paramount throughout our teaching here; children learn how to stay safe online, and who to speak to if something is upsetting. Each year our School celebrates Safer Internet Day by holding assemblies and online safety activities in the classroom. We ensure that every child has safe and secure Internet access.
Every classroom is fitted with a Smart Interactive Panel as a means of supporting teaching and learning.
All children have access to their own Google G Suite for Education account and Years 4-6 have their own school email account. Children enjoy taking part in the annual National Bebras Challenge and have achieved some excellent results.

Languages

"Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom" - Roger Bacon

Our aim is to foster an enjoyment of foreign language learning from an early age and to promote awareness of the culture of other countries. Learning French at primary level also increases confidence in Modern Foreign Languages at secondary school and beyond, providing a solid foundation for learning other languages.

French is introduced in Nursery and studied throughout the School. Lessons are taught by a specialist language teacher. Children enjoy a variety of interactive activities that develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The children are encouraged to express their ideas in French and learn new ways of thinking. We strive to develop every child’s confidence in language learning by encouraging them to join in with songs, stories, poems and rhymes in the original language. We introduce children to the French language in an inclusive way that is open to all pupils. They also develop their computing skills as French is assessed using The Language Magician Computer Programme.

In addition to French, Form 6 girls are introduced to Spanish and also learn Latin (Cambridge Course) in the Spring and Summer terms. In the Summer term, girls also complete an online Mandarin course.  The school prides itself on its diverse curriculum weeks and have in the past included French week and International days.  We celebrate the many different languages spoken by our pupils, for example, by having a ‘Language of the Month’ in Nursery.

R.E. & Philosophy

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela

Children study the six major world faiths throughout the School – learning about each religion individually, as well as exploring shared themes and values. Our pupils are given opportunities to use drama to create re-enactments of religious practices or stories as a way of reflecting on personal and spiritual experiences. Food and music are especially popular ways of learning about a variety of religious festivals.

Visits are made to places of worship to see faith in practice and to meet members of local faith communities.  In addition, the School welcomes local religious leaders to talk to classes or the entire school community.

In Upper Key Stage 2, we introduce Philosophy, providing time for the children to reflect on more probing questions about differing beliefs and debating philosophical questions.

PSHE and ESR

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" - William Butler Yeats

PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. Our pupils are encouraged to develop their self-worth by developing their resilience, determination, self-esteem and confidence by playing positive roles in contributing to School life and the wider community. We work hard to ensure that all we learn is put into practice within our own smaller community, in preparation for life beyond as responsible citizens. Our PSHE education provision includes three core themes; Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. We teach PSHE once a week and follow a spiral curriculum that revisits and builds on learning from previous years. There is plenty of opportunity throughout the School year to incorporate PSHE through other areas of the School curriculum and whole School events.
Pupils are given a voice not only in day to day interactions with their teachers and other pupils, but also through the formal structure of a School Council. This body has elected representatives from each class (Years 2-6) and they meet once a week to discuss School matters.

We offer residential visits to Years 5 and 6 where there is a particular focus on developing pupils’ self-esteem and giving them opportunities to develop leadership and co-operation skills.

Visits and special days in School provide opportunities for children to plan and work together, and develop and maintain relationships under different circumstances.  They can discover new qualities and characteristics through volunteering, participating and reflecting on new experiences.

ESR (Education for Social Responsibility) is embraced in our School and is taught across our curriculum. The 6 main strands are Well-being, Rights, Responsibilities, Intelligent Behaviours, Knowledge and Opportunities. We aim for our pupils to become more effective and compassionate individuals, prepared for the challenges of leadership and responsibility beyond their time at school. Our School Council has run whole school initiatives on Fair Trade and recycling.

History

“I believe that the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future” – Theodore Roosevelt

Our aim is to nurture a love of History by providing a fun and engaging curriculum. We achieve this by stimulating our pupils’ natural curiosity about the world around them, while endeavouring to give them a sense of their own identity within our social, political, cultural and economic background.

History is taught in a variety of different ways to give the children a breadth of experience; school assemblies enable pupils to share their learning with the rest of the school and visits to some of London’s famous museums and buildings bring the subject to life. As much as possible, we strive to promote historical learning across the curriculum including areas such as spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, key skills and thinking skills.

Geography

"Geography is the tapestry that weaves the world together" – Gil Grosvenor

Geography covers a wide variety of topics key to the world we live in, underpinned by core skills required to enjoy the subject. We ensure that we provide a balanced programme of physical, human and environmental topics. We want to take our pupils on a journey of discovery where they are encouraged to learn and build upon their experiences as they progress up the school. We want to inspire a love of Geography by developing an awareness of cultural diversity and a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world we live in and on which we all depend.  This links in extremely well with our Education for Social Responsibility curriculum.

Our curriculum enables us to teach in a cross-curricular manner where appropriate, and fieldwork opportunities offer an exciting and essential aspect of study. The children are given as much opportunity as possible to empathise with the world around them, and we encourage them to learn about our local area and cultivate an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means.

Notable teaching points include:
-Skills based learning which develops mapping techniques, a knowledge of the world through the use of atlases and maps as well as fieldwork techniques are studied.
-Pupils experience a number of fieldwork opportunities including a River Study and Environmental-themed weeks.
-In Year 5 everyone is offered the opportunity to take part in the 3-Day residential trip to Sayers Croft.