The Benefits of Year 7 and 8 at Beechwood
Years 7 and 8 (Top Form) represent the apex of the Beechwood educational journey, the highlight of life at the School; a time when our pupils encounter their greatest challenges and grow the most as a result. They achieve exceptional results in exams and Scholarships; they participate in concerts and on the sports field. Pupils thrive in the numerous opportunities to lead and serve their community.
Our Leadership Through Service Award equips pupils with the leadership and community skills which will benefit them in their senior schools, and for the rest of their lives. Pupils leave Year 6 as children, but emerge from Top Form as balanced, fully rounded and mature young people.
Teaching from Year 7 at Beechwood is more bespoke, with smaller class sizes meaning that staff are able to closely monitor pupil progress and attainment, and offer pupils outstanding academic and pastoral support. Teachers encourage pupils to develop academic independence and confidence, focusing on and promoting learning skills as detailed in our Curriculum Policy.
Beechwood Senior Department staff are passionate subject specialists, who have prior senior school teaching experience, and who inspire pupils by delivering a challenging curriculum that has depth, detail and interest. They enjoy nurturing scholarship in our pupils.
Pupils learn in small classes with form groups of only 8-12 pupils. The teacher to pupil ratio ensures more individualised and bespoke teaching and learning. We really get to know your child’s needs over this important period in their lives when they stand at the threshold of their teenage years. Staff and pupils both enjoy the more informal relationships that are possible with smaller classes, which place the emphasis on our senior pupils seeing their teachers more as coaches, guides and enablers. Senior pupils learn to use the staff as a learning resource, learning to establish dialogue.
Most Beechwood pupils have unconditional offers from senior schools by the start of Top Form as schools now make offers much earlier in the process. For those that need to sit ISEB Common Entrance papers, we spread the preparation over Years 7 and 8, and they are more than ready when the time comes.
The Common Entrance exams and our own internal Beechwood Finals papers equip our Top Form pupils with the skills and attitudes that will help them towards top grades at GCSE and beyond. We instil independent learning skills and keep all pupils focused through teaching that is stretching and challenging. Pupils have the chance to learn revision techniques and to seek advice on their academic progress from their Form and Subject Teachers.
By staying on to experience Year 7 and 8, pupils benefit from being the oldest in the School; they enthusisatically welcome their chance to help shape the Beechwood community, to lead, inspire and support younger pupils, developing greater individuality, character and belief in their own abilities. Year 7 and 8 are the best ‘value added’ years for building confidence and independence in your child. Small, intimate form groups offer a greater degree of pastoral support than a larger senior school form, with staff who are familiar with pupils and know their school story. Confidence and independence soar, and pupils learn to better manage relationships and understand others within a familiar, environment.
These are a ‘wonder-filled’ two years, nurturing skills that will be massively to pupils’ advantage in their future educational and working lives. We have already started this journey with your child and would love to have the time to ensure that they are “the finished article”.
Senior schools are exciting, but they are also big and sometimes intimidating places and some pupils are simply not ready for the transfer at the end of Year 6. Staying at Beechwood through Years 7 and 8 can protect pupils from senior school pastoral issues and the attitudes of older teenagers; our no mobile phones policy is just one example of how we endeavour to minimise adolescent angst.
By the age of 13, we know that pupils are emotionally, socially, psychologically and cognitively ready to face the challenges of senior school with a greater degree of confidence and maturity.
By the time they reach Year 7 and 8, pupils get to play for the top teams, take on leading role in School plays and music groups, and spearhead school initiatives, all opportunities not generally afforded to Year 7 and 8 pupils at senior schools.
At the end of Top Form, Beechwood pupils take part in our bespoke Moving on Moving Up programme, which further expands pupils’ skill-set in readiness for senior school.
By the time they leave Beechwood at the age of 13, pupils have established mature relationships with peers and staff, the blueprint for future relationships.