Bedford Preparatory School
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2009)|
|Headmaster||Mr. Ian Silk|
|Location||De Parys Avenue
Bedford Prep School is located within the estate of Bedford School (a large independent school in Bedfordshire). The Preparatory School, which caters for 450 boys aged 7 to 13, is situated on the same campus as the Upper School and, while sharing a number of whole school facilities, is a self-contained unit, maintaining its own identity and character.
Years 3 + 4
For the first two years the Class Teacher takes the major responsibility for subject teaching and then, as the boys move up the School, greater specialisation is introduced. In Year 3 and 4, it is normal for the Class Teacher to teach the three core subjects to their class along with at least two or three other subjects. The majority of the teaching takes place in the Nash's building and in Tisdall's. Boys will use the specialist facilities for French, Art, ICT, Music and Design Technology. These subjects are normally delivered by subject specialists. In addition, all boys will have Physical Education and Swimming lessons alongside two double Games lessons. Boys are also encouraged to take a full part in the wide ranging extracurricular programme.
On joining the School, boys are allocated to one of the four Houses; Bunyan, Harpur, Howard or Whitbread, each comprising a Housemaster, approximately 110 boys across the age range and eight members of staff. The well-established House system is central to School life; each is a community in its own right and has its own individual character.
Lunches are organised by House, with boys and staff eating together each day. A weekly assembly takes place on a House basis, as do regular outings and trips. Inter-House competitions are organised across the age range and in as many fields as possible and all boys are given the opportunity to represent their House.
Years 5 + 6
In Years 5 and 6 the academic and pastoral organisation changes. Each boy is allocated to a form with a Pastoral Tutor who teaches their form for one subject. In Year 5 this will be either English or Mathematics and in Year 6 either English, History or Geography. The boys have a form base in the Inky Building, but will move around the School to specialist areas for lessons and be taught by subject specialists.
The curriculum continues to be broad, with expectations increasing in terms of assessment and homework. Setting is introduced in Year 5 for Mathematics.
Boys will be assessed regularly through the year by means of end of unit tests in the majority of subjects and end of year exams will be sat during the latter part of the Summer Term.
Years 7 + 8
Years 7 and 8 are based in the Wells Building and pastorally are organised by House. Each House has three Tutor groups composed of Year 7 and Year 8 boys. Each tutor group has a room in the Wells Building as a base. Boys will be taught in one of the five teaching groups for each Year, with setting taking place in a range of subjects.
The breadth of the curriculum is maintained with the main development being the introduction of additional languages in Year 7. In addition to French, boys will study a module of German, Latin and Spanish during Year 7 and will be able to express a preference for one of the languages to study alongside French in Year 8.
The system of unit testing continues and in Year 8 boys sit two sets of exams in preparation for the transfer to the Upper School.
As well as the development in academic expectations it is also envisaged that boys will take on positions of responsibility in their House and in the School in general.
Moving Into The Upper School
In the Preparatory School, the foundations for future education have been laid. They move on to the Upper School. All have to sit a Transfer Examination and for certain boys the Academic Scholarship Examination may be an option. Boys who show a particular ability in Music or Sport will also have an opportunity to sit for a specific Scholarship (Art, Design Technology, Drama, ICT are no longer sittable for scholarships).
Bedford has an outward looking philosophy that is exemplified by the introduction of the International Baccalaureate as a Sixth Form option from 2003.
The boys may take advantage of many extra curricular opportunities and house competitions offered by the school.