Curriculum

Early age boys are taught by a range of teachers to support their ability to interact confidently with different adults.  Additional subject are introduced at important stages to offer breadth and stimulation to their learning.  It is important to recognise that boys come to us with a range of abilities and talents and an important role of our curriculum is to recognise and support these talents.

The curriculum at St John’s Beaumont is designed to achieve a sound intellectual basis in the context of fostering all-round human excellence.  Studies in a Jesuit School are in preparation for a life in which boys will use their talents in the service of others.  The design of our curriculum recognises the individual needs of boys as learners: what motivates them and how they learn effectively.  The Jesuit ideal of a “liberal education” is one that counts all spheres of human interest, study and endeavour as pathways to the discovery of a God who is alive and at work in Creation.

The curriculum is structured to ensure breadth, balance and coherence of studies.  Of particular interest and importance is the aspect of boys’ motivation and we feel strongly that one of the most significant factors in motivating boys is to ensure that their learning is relevant to the outside world and has a broad context that will assist them in consolidating their learning.

The School aims to provide a stimulating and carefully structured environment for learning in which all boys are given solid grounding in the important skills of literacy and numeracy and a stimulating and thought provoking Humanities curriculum (Geography and History), Sciences, the expressive Arts (Music, Art and Drama), Foreign Language, Physical Education and Games.  Religious Education integrates all of these studies, giving a sense of purpose of value in the Jesuit tradition which seeks “to find God in all things”.

The Formation Programme 2015

September 2015 saw the implementation of an exciting addition to the School’s curriculum.  The need for Preparatory schools to play a leading role in developing their pupils’ resilience and independence is becoming increasingly important as the challenges and opportunities they face increase.  Alongside an already rigorous curriculum, St John’s has implemented 2 very important sessions for boys from Years 3 to 8.

On a Monday, boys are offered opportunities to pursue learning opportunities outside of the academic curriculum but which nonetheless provide them with invaluable learning opportunities (problem solving, creative and analytical thinking, team work and making links between their curriculum and the outside world).  The boys are invited to make their own selection from a wide range of possibilities and can change these choices each half term if they so wish. They will be encouraged to try new activities or subjects as well as those they know they will enjoy.  Options include script writing, philosophy, Italian, European politics, advanced computer programming, creative writing, life skills and many more besides.

Each Friday, boys are then given 60 minutes for independent study.  With over 250 music lessons, 80 drama lessons as well as other individual and group sessions, boys will from time to time miss curricular time or fall behind with their work and it is important that they are given appropriate time to catch up, but in a way that they themselves manage.  They may wish to catch up missed work, seek additional support from their teachers, engage in extension work, update revision notes, practice for upcoming examinations or interviews or simply read a book – the choice is theirs.  Boys are also encouraged to review the work they have completed during the week and consider if any of this can be tweaked or improved (responding particularly to teacher comments and advice).   This session offers boys the opportunity to attend curriculum tutor sessions: where they can seek additional help if they are finding a subject difficult or receive extension work if they so wish.   All academic subjects are offered on a three-weekly carousel and boys therefore are encouraged to organise themselves; to think ahead and importantly to be clear on areas in which they require support.   Their increasing ability to be able to do this will allow them to make the best use of their time.

These changes, implemented for the 2015/16 academic year, offer boys invaluable opportunities to gain in confidence and enable them, from an early age and with the support of their teachers, to control important factors in their learning which initially they may have found daunting.

An overview of the curriculum can be seen below;

Nursery & Reception

Early Years Foundation Stage

  • Weekly swimming lessons are introduced in Nursery
  • Music is taught by a subject specialist
  • Drama is introduced into Reception
  • After school activities are available from Nursery
  • Short ‘Homework’ activities are introduced in Nursery
  • Individual music tuition is available to boys (usually form reception)

Year 1 :

  • English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Music, Art, DT, ICT, Drama, PE, Religious Education.

Year 2 :

  • The day is extended from 8.20 a.m. until 3.15 p.m.
  • Touch rugby (Games) is introduced to the above list.
  • French is introduced to the above list

Year 3 :

  • The day is further extended from 8.20 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. (+ optional activities)

Years 4 & 5 :

  • The day is further extended from 8.20 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. (+ optional activities)
  • Homework is completed at school
  • A comprehensive range of activities is now available
  • Latin is added to the above list in Year 5
  • Boys are involved more actively in the ‘Magis’ programme of talks and seminars.

Year 6 to 8 :

  • Current Affairs and Verbal Reasoning are taught in Year 6
  • Early preparation is begun for Common Entrance / Scholarship
  • The School does not participate in Key Stage 2 testing in Year 6
  • Each boy is allocated a personal tutor in Years 7 and 8.
  • An academic scholarship stream is introduced into Year 7 for boys who demonstrate the necessary academic ability and commitment.
  • All boys are fully involved in the ‘Magis’ programme of talks and seminars.