Maths is a key subject throughout the school. We follow both the National Curriculum and any additional work required for secondary school entrance exams. Maths is often a part of other subjects such as measuring or data handling in science and we see the importance of making the subject relevant for all ages. Practical maths and using and applying are an important part of all schemes of work. This could be weighing for cooking, measuring long jump or visiting a supermarket to investigate cost pricing. We feel that the early learning of times tables is extremely valuable to children as so much of the maths in the Prep Department is dependent on the ability to recall tables quickly. We encourage this with a system of tables challenges with certificates and medals. To widen the children’s skills we arrange for a visiting company to run puzzle days for the whole school to encourage logical thinking and cooperation between children. Maths is a very important subject and we ensure it can be fun!
Reading and writing are the foundation on which all other subjects can be built, therefore at Bricklehurst we believe that it is important that children develop a curiosity and need to explore English as soon as they begin. Upon entry in Kindergarten children are given a book bag as reading is developed through imaginative story telling based on text-less images, which develops into knowledge of sounds and letters and then gradually into what we formally recognise as reading. All the while writing is developed alongside, against the needs and abilities of the children. Throughout the school we celebrate English with high quality work displayed for others to see, annual handwriting competitions, as well as a celebration of books on book week, when the love of learning about English comes to the fore.
Science is taught throughout the school from Kindergarten all the way up to Year 6. Children are introduced to a variety of skills covering physics, chemistry, biology and geology. These skills are then developed throughout their time at Bricklehurst so they leave a confident and competent scientist. A wide range of topics are explored and investigated through practical experiments, where children are encouraged to use their knowledge to find answers to scientific questions. This is supplemented by the use of text books. Special science days, clubs and visits to museum and places of interest really enhance the classroom curriculum.
At Bricklehurst we are embracing the Computing Curriculum. Whilst still teaching children skills for presenting their work, we are also following the scheme of work to teach children how to write code. We celebrate when children have written apps on their own by uploading them to the children’s section of our school website. Making use of our bank of laptops, we actively encourage the use of research on the internet and presentation of work in all subjects. The advantage of having laptops is that we are bringing technology into the classroom, so that children recognise how technology is involved in many parts of our everyday life. We do recognise that we all have a responsibility to the children to make sure they are negotiating the internet safely, therefore we teach e-Safety annually, as well as the inclusion of special e-Safety events throughout the year.
Art is taught all the way through the school starting with an introduction to exploring different mediums in Kindergarten. In Year 6 we also teach History of Art, which follows chronological changes in artistic movements and styles. We study various artists in each movement and learn how to recognise themes and artistic developments.
Sequencing movements, responding to rhythms, using different levels and styles of dance are just some of the ideas in out dance classes. Styles include lyrical dance, modern jazz, ballroom and ballet, as well as musical theatre and maypole dancing! The children enjoy trying out lots of ideas as well as simple choreography. Each year they perform at an ‘Arts Afternoon’ and take part in our annual musical at the village hall, and also maypole dancing at the ‘Mayfield Fair’. Ballet classes are also offered as extra-curricular activity on a weekly basis (please see our Extra-Curricular page).
Technology provides children with the opportunity to use different materials in order to explore their creativity. We use cross-curricular learning, for example making World War I tanks alongside History, and Lighthouses alongside Geography and Science so that children see the end product of the designing process. There are also opportunities for children to learn the skills utilised in Food Technology, as we encourage our learners to gain life skills and to be aware of the importance of a balanced diet.
Drama starts from an early age here at Bricklehurst. We help children to develop an understanding of everyday situations and activities both at home and at school. It is an expressive and performing art which is both creative and imaginative. The children share idea and develop confidence as well as group interaction skills. These skills are then put into practice where each year all year groups will perform in front of an audience;
French is an ideal language to study at primary level; reasonably similar to English, it is not too difficult for young learners. At Bricklehurst Manor School we introduce French in Year 1 via songs, games, and video and sound clips, learning high frequency vocabulary through familiarity and constant repetition. By Year 4 we are ready to follow a more formal grammar-based programme, studying the structure of the language, and learning traditional vocabulary lists, in order to be able to begin to read, write and spell correctly in French. Every other year, Years 5 and 6 go to France for their residential trip in May, and spend five days immersed in French culture; they practise speaking to French people, and learn about French history and customs at first hand.
We encourage children to develop their geography skills by focusing on different cultures and countries throughout the world. We ensure children understand how they fit in to the world, by identifying their own cultural identity, and how they are linked to the identities of others. We also place an emphasis on general geographical knowledge and map skills as we feel it is imperative that children have a good knowledge of key geographical locations, including their own immediate environment. In our study we also investigate human anthropology as well as animal life.
History is taught in a chronological order throughout the school starting with the prehistoric era through to 21st Century. We offer exciting opportunities to see History in other settings by organising school excursions to sites of historical interest, as well as visits from experts in this field. We teach the children the importance of interpreting different sources to gather information as well as to identify bias, therefore gaining an understanding of cause and effect. We feel it is fundamental that children understand how British History has affected the world in which they live.
We teach all children logic and reasoning skills from Year 4. Although primarily as preparation for children who may wish to sit the Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning assessments for the 11+ exams, we also feel that this style of problem solving is beneficial to all members of the class. This alternative style of thinking lends itself to solving problems in later life.
Music is taught to all years at Bricklehurst by a specialist music teacher. This dedicated and professional delivery of the curriculum inspires budding musicians to learn instruments of their choice (information of which can be found on the Extra-Curricular page). The music teacher coordinates with form teachers so that annual class assemblies can provide an opportunity to perform in front of the parents.
Bricklehurst Manor aims to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Games and PE are an important part of the curriculum and are delivered by PE specialists. In pre-Prep children are taught in mixed gender groups, but in prep the children separate to be taught by a Girls PE Teacher and a Boys PE teacher. Children are taught progressive skills in the following sports: Athletics, Cross-Country, Dance, Dodgeball, Football, Hockey, Netball, Table Tennis, Tag Rugby and Tennis. All PE is taught on the mutli-purpose court, the AstroTurf or on the neighbouring field. Swimming is also taught for half a year, where the children benefit from weekly lessons in our own heated pool. An extra-curricular swimming club is also offered, as are other extra-curricular sports clubs, details of which can be found on the extra-curricular page.
PSHE is an excellent opportunity for children to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy lives. At Bricklehurst we prepare them for many of the challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in a rapidly changing world. They are encouraged to develop their social skills and build relationships through discussion and circle time, where they listen and respond to others as well as discuss their own feelings. Teacher led and class assemblies address many spiritual, moral and cultural issues which help the children to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential.
Our school has a Christian ethos and Christian assemblies. All classes teach a balanced curriculum of Christian and Bible based studies as well as looking at the major religions of the world and their history, beliefs and similarities. Different classes concentrate on one world religion to give the chance to study something in depth. In year six more general comparisons take place to bring these different threads together.
The Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural curriculum comes into all aspects of the school from when we arrive in the morning to when we go home. It encompasses every lesson and every interaction between staff and children, staff and staff, and children and children. It includes the development of self worth, identity and purpose both at school and in the wider world. It includes both the development of a child’s moral compass and their understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. It is helping children to build positive relationships with each other and to appreciate the value of our multi-racial, multi-cultural society. It is probably the most important subject on our curriculum.