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At Buckingham Prep School we deliver an exciting, inspiring and rewarding education in Art and Design. The curriculum is designed to be experimental, inclusive and inspiring for children, building creative confidence and fostering a love of Art. All children in Reception to 6 enjoy a weekly lesson taught by a specialist art teacher. Lessons are largely project based, allowing for the development of ideas and the exploration of different materials and techniques. Children have the opportunity to develop different skills, such as, drawing, painting, printmaking, clay modelling, 3D modelling, sculpture and ICT skills. A range of artists are studied, including: designers, architects and illustrators across a range of projects. The children are encouraged to find solutions to problems and learn from their mistakes, whether working independently or in groups.
In Design Technology, boys ’ confidence and competence in a range of designing and making skills, as well as their understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, are developed. We encourage pupils to reflect on and evaluate, past designs and technology, while looking to design new ideas for the future. Meaningful cross-curricular links are made along with a knowledge and understanding of the world’s rich artistic and cultural heritage. The boys also use a wide range of ICT programmes such as CAD modelling and Adobe to help them plan and build their projects.
Our English curriculum has a direct focus on developing reading, writing and communication skills across all subjects. Our boys are actively involved in their own learning journey. They are encouraged to explore the excitement of the unknown, and create new possibilities by asking questions that extend their knowledge and understanding. Working both independently and in collaboration with others across all curriculum areas promotes the importance of speaking and listening skills. From a young age, our boys are immersed in a wide range of rich, high-quality literature. We encourage pupils to select books that challenge, excite, and help our boys to develop confidence in themselves by igniting a passion for reading. Opportunities for writing are interwoven throughout the curriculum where writing has a purpose is powerful, engaging and real. Buckingham Prep School have specialist teachers in Upper Key Stage 2 to focus specifically on the skills needed on the grammar school and independent school entrance exams.
At Buckingham Prep School , we teach French as a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) to all children from the age of three as part of the School curriculum. Early exposure to languages at a young age has many benefits including improving problem-solving skills and creative thinking. Games, songs and role-play encourage the boys to try new techniques, mimic sounds and speak without inhibition. Our pupils reach a high standard in all four areas: Listening and Responding; Reading; Writing; and Speaking. By the time they move on to their senior school their confidence in French gives them a distinct advantage.
The aim of Geography is to teach an understanding of our global location, natural environment and how people affect and change it. Through fieldwork in our local area, day trips and residential activities. To further enhance learning, visiting speakers come to talk to boys about their personal experiences in different parts of the world. Looking at global responsibility and citizenship, we work to draw on the boys’ own experiences, leading them to become more aware of the world around them and our potential impact on our environment.
In History, we create a stimulating and fun environment where pupils can gain an understanding of the past in relation to themselves, their families, their community and the wider world. By learning about their heritage we can help our boys make better sense of their changing world. Visits are made to places of historical interest, such as Hampton Court Palace, and the boys participate in exciting workshops at school, such as Roman and Egyptian Day, further bringing their study of History to life. The boys are taught by their own form teachers and study units in half term blocks.
In such a rapidly evolving world we feel that it is vital to expose children to the latest technology both in our designated computing lessons and across the curriculum. Our weekly computing lessons equip boys with skills to use technology both effectively and responsibly. Online safety is paramount and is embedded in both Computing and the wider curriculum. Children learn a variety of skills such as coding, developing apps, creating spreadsheets, photo shop as well as creating and editing their own films and soundtracks. The boys become competent in a wide range of applications and use ICT throughout all areas of the school curriculum.
Mathematics at Buckingham Prep School is based on a growth Mindset and a ‘We Can’ attitude. We firmly believe that all children have the potential to broaden their understanding of mathematical concepts through a mix of quality teaching and intelligent practice, children learning together and challenges set. As the children progress, teachers stretch and challenge into deeper understanding in preparation for academic senior schools. Through a challenging maths curriculum, we equip our boys with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Buckingham Prep School have specialist teachers in Upper Key Stage 2 to focus specifically on the skills needed on the grammar school and independent school entrance exams.
All of the children, from Pre School to Year 6, enjoy one hour of music teaching per week from a specialist music teacher. Lessons are practical, include the use of music technology, a variety of instruments and explore music from many genres and styles. Every child has the opportunity to develop their performing, composing and listening skills, additionally, many cross- curricular links are made to encompass Dance and Drama. Music is a central part of our co-curricular timetable, pupils are actively encouraged to join the BPS School Choir and all boys have performance opportunities throughout the school year. More than half of the children have individual instrumental lessons from our experienced team of peripatetic teachers.
We are very proud of our ‘sport for all’ approach at Buckingham Prep School. Sport is a valued part of school life, with specialist taught weekly swimming, games and PE lessons right from the Pre School and throughout the school. The addition of two afternoons of games lessons from Year 3 upwards takes place weekly at the Harrow Town Sports facilities. Every child in Years 3 to 6 is involved in our extensive weekly fixtures throughout the year in a variety of sports. Swimming takes place weekly at John Lyon school and all boys receive swimming lessons from Year 1 onwards. At the end of the year they also take part in an inter prep school swimming gala. After school sports clubs take place throughout the week which all boys are encouraged to attend. Our boys learn a variety of sports that instil a sense of belonging and develop teamwork skills, learning how to collaborate, communicate effectively and listen to each other, developing competencies that are transferable across the curriculum.
Children’s personal development is at the core of all that we do at Buckingham Prep School. We foster the personal, social and emotional skills needed to maximise both progress in learning and develop the resilience and perseverance needed to flourish in life beyond Prep school. We have a weekly lesson devoted to the PSHCEE curriculum, however, learning continues through our whole school ethos and our belief in a ‘growth mindset’. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development opportunities are mapped throughout, including British Values. All of the puzzle pieces of learning are brought together to form a cohesive picture, helping children to understand and value who they are, and make sense of how they relate to other people in the world. Mutual Respect, Tolerance and Courtesy are at the heart of our values and ethos. We place great emphasis on promoting diversity and celebrating a variety of faiths and cultures. Democracy is fostered throughout our school. Our boys vote for school reps, form captains, house captains and school councillors. Through these councils, boys are able to affect change and have their opinions heard. The Rule of Law is reinforced in the classrooms and in assemblies, supporting pupils in distinguishing right from wrong. Values, responsibilities and consequences are examined and visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Individual Liberty is promoted by encouraging girls to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to do so. Knowledge of individual rights, freedoms and responsibilities are taught through various stages of learning.
At Buckingham Prep School we celebrate our diversity through a wide variety of whole school events, including welcoming visitors and parents into school to share different traditions. All major world religions are studied, and debated, throughout the school. We encourage the boys to learn both about and from religions, reflecting on their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions, and developing respect for others. The boys develop their own ideas about critical issues and understand the importance of these in the lives of others. These studies aim to develop respect and tolerance for other cultures and religions, preparing boys for their future working lives.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities are threaded throughout our curriculum, developing the boys’ creative and critical thinking skills. We provide a very hands-on approach to science that challenges all of the children to acquire new knowledge and skills, and most importantly spark interest and develop curious minds. The boys have weekly science lessons and are taught by a specialist teacher in the junior section of the school.
Day trips are an integral part of the Buckingham Preparatory School year and are included not only to be fun but to bring to life to relevant parts of the school curriculum. Examples of such trips include many year groups visiting a number of the London art galleries and exhibitions, Reception and Year 1 to exploring the Ashridge Estate to see the Solar Eclipse and Year 4 pond dipping at the Wetlands Centre. Other visits have included pizza making at Pizza Express, history exploration at Hampton Court and a hands on experience at the Fire Station.
We prepare our boys for the entrance exams and 11+ exams in many of the leading selective Senior Schools. At Buckingham Preparatory School our curriculum is geared to the full range of 11+ examinations. It caters for both the maintained and private sectors. Our boys work a year ahead in all subjects and in line with these there is continuous testing, assessment and practice in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Reasoning. There is also a dedicated after school club run for the Year 5 boys which specialises in exam practice and coverage for the forth coming exams.