Years 7 & 8
Your child’s move up into our Senior Prep and to Year 7, whilst designed to be as seamless as possible, represents the biggest change they will have experienced at Hoe Bridge, in a number of ways. It is, however, a very exciting change.
The focus in Senior Prep, Years 7 and 9, is very much on preparing for senior school - either as they stay with us and continue into our dedicated GCSE hub to continue their learning in year 9 or as they move to other top-rated schools in the area.
One of the main differences is the greater proportion of experiential learning outside the classroom environment, benefiting the whole child and endowing them with first-hand knowledge, skills and ambition in abundance.
Being in these years involves far more than merely, but albeit proudly, wearing the senior tie. As members of the Senior Prep, our children eagerly embrace additional responsibilities that are bestowed on them. Roles include mentoring a lower form, working alongside class teachers, marshalling in assemblies and performing other duties around the school. Each Year 8 child has a position of responsibility, whether it be membership of the School Council and one of its several committees or taking up the position of Head of School. Aspects of Year 8 school life such as the leaders programme and valedictory farewell dinner imbue the importance of seniority and achievement balanced with humility and respect.
Quite simply, our children leave Year 8 being the best they can be for the next step in their lives.
The already robust curriculum experienced in Years 5 and 6 is further strengthened by development into the Common Entrance curriculum. Children in Year 7 and 8 are streamed according to their ability and needs.
The comprehensive core curriculum embraces English, Maths, Science (now divided into three discrete subjects), French, Latin, History, Geography, TPR (Theology, Philosophy & Religion), Art, ICT, Design & Technology, Music and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education). Drama develops further and encompasses more focus on production and ‘backstage’ aspects as well as continuing to develop confidence and self-expression.
Day and residential trips are still high on the agenda, with Bushcraft now featured to further develop independence, teamwork, survival and other vital life skills. Year 7 children also enjoy a trip to France to help the appreciation of and immersion in a European language and culture.
Every child is equipped with an iPad, to support their learning experience, dive deeper into subject areas and make them more confident in the use of technology. It also helps their understanding of important issues like the difference between real and fake news and misinformation.
The Year 7 and 8 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) curriculum is truly exciting and inspiring, and enjoyed equally by boys and girls. For example, the annual Year 7 trip to and around the Isle of Wight opens up the concepts of motive power types, sustainability and the environment. The major STEAM project, however, focuses on the deconstruction and rebuilding of an electric car, immersing the children in many different aspects of the STEAM curriculum and their context in the ‘real world’. Apart from the learning and satisfaction involved, they experience a number of memorable project highlights. These include working with engineers from the locally based McLaren headquarters and racing the rebuilt vehicle at Goodwood, meeting competitive teams including some from universities.
Academic success continues to be based on not only exam results but the day-to-day achievements which arise from both your child’s ability and the quality of their experiences and our teaching.
All the while, our emphasis on sports and expressive arts is rigorously maintained, with inter-school competitions and other events regularly entered and impressive results achieved. All children have the opportunity to join our exciting sporting trips, which in the past have included tours in UK and as far afield as the Netherlands and St Lucia.
Provision of Breakfast and After School Actities continues into Years 7 and 8, providing multiple benefits for children and their busy families.
From as early as 7:30am to the start of registration at 8:15am, Breakfast Club provides a chance to socialise before classes in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying a healthy, tasty breakfast.
Classroom teaching finishes at 4:15pm every day, after which children attend prep to complete their homework under the watchful eye – and with the help – of our teaching staff until 5:30pm. They may then choose to either go home or participate in one of our many After School Activities which include sporting, artistic, academic or many other activities. Clubs finish at 6:30pm daily.
Happiness, Confidence and Achievement are, as our school motto suggests, the cornerstones of your child’s time with us at Hoe Bridge.
Attaining the fine balance of the three extends to secondary school and throughout adult life. Whilst your child is with us, we consider it our duty to support you and your child in maintaining it. Friends having left for other schools at the end of Year 6, harder course work and exams, and taking on more responsibility and leadership, all represent challenges which affect different children in Years 7 and 8 in different ways.
Our Pastoral team is superbly equipped to support our Years 7 and 8 children through these challenges, as well as being on hand to discuss any other concerns – either in or outside the school – in a caring and positive way. They are equally happy to talk to our families discreet and constructive way, harnessing their experience and specialist training.