Curriculum & Key Stages
At BSM, our curriculum is adapted from the English National curriculum which is grouped into Key Stages.
- Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1
- Key Stage 2 (KS2)
- Key Stage 3 (KS3)
- Key Stage 4 (KS4)
- Key Stage 5 (KS5)
EYFS is part of the Primary School and includes Nursery and Reception for ages 3 to 5. KS1 includes Year 1 to 2 for ages 5 to 7.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1), we nurture children’s curiosity and joy of learning to lay foundations that will continue throughout their education. We recognise that the best way to do this is to offer high-quality opportunities for learning through play; following children’s interests and facilitating for them in opportunities to become collaborators, explorers, problem solvers, and investigators.
Our classroom provision offers play-based learning up until the end of Year 2. Phonics takes place from Nursery class upwards, with more structured sessions taking place as children develop. We broadly follow the ‘Letters & Sounds’ structure.
It is within Year 2, that children begin their introduction to concept-based learning through Inquiry Projects. These projects give students the chance to be creative and derive real meaning from the work they do. These projects are also incredibly relevant to the times we’re living in now; they reflect a change in today’s students to be more hands-on with their learning. They want to make a real impact on the world.
KS2 is part of the Primary School and includes Years 3 to 6 for ages 8 to 10.
As play is the main vehicle through which children learn prior to Key Stage 2 (KS2), we also offer some play through inquiry projects and the classroom environment as part of their transition to Year 3 in Term 1. This leads well into KS2 where much of the curriculum is taught through concepts such as interdependence, systems, change, and energy. This conceptual understanding enables transfer of learning to new contexts which in turn deepens understanding.
To support our Maths and Science learning, we have Maths and Science ‘mantras’ where making mistakes, conscientious completion over speed, and asking questions are celebrated. Through exploring texts in English, the KS2 students not only developed reading skills, but learned more about the world and the people in it. To complement the Well-Being Framework, KS2 also use the Learning Power Approach which helps them to think practically about themselves and the skills they need to be effective learners.
Key Stage 3 (KS3) is the first stage of the Senior School and includes Years 7 to 9 for ages 11 to 13.
We teach a bespoke, enhanced version of the British National Curriculum designed to allow our KS3 students to flourish and prepare them for future academic success.
Year 7 students are guided carefully through a transition where the focus on well-being and global citizenship remains strong but the diversity of disciplines and experiences expands. Now taught solely by subject specialists, students are challenged to take new and exciting risks in their learning and build new and long lasting relationships.
Year 8 students continue their growth as global citizens and deepen their disciplinary knowledge but will increasingly be asked to apply their understanding and skills to novel local and global events and issues.
Year 9 sees the start of their transition to Key Stage 4 (KS4) and building the maturity to make some important subject choices. They are now challenged to retain their knowledge and understanding from previous years whilst being taught to understand the deeper structural patterns not only of their subject disciplines but of the wider world around them.
Key Stage 4 seeks to build upon the intellectual, social, and emotional development of our students during Key Stage 3. KS4 is composed of two year groups, Years 10 and 11, for ages 14 to 16 and represents the first period of time where their academic journey is one that is guided by international exam boards and rigorous global comparisons.
Students follow the two year International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) programme that culminates in externally assessed examinations that are internationally renowned. At the start of KS4, the students have significant ownership over the subjects that they choose to study and begin the process of shaping an academic pathway towards university.
The IGCSE provides students with a superb breadth and depth of understanding in preparation for the IB Diploma Programme. Our dedication to student well-being and the deliberate teaching of skills and behaviours to promote current and future well-being is paramount to the student journey through KS4. Our examination outcomes at the end of Year 11 are truly world class. This is because of a cross-school dedication to cognitive science, transferable understandings, and delivering this pre-16 certificate via experienced experts in their subject field.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Key Stage 5 is within the Sixth Form and includes Year 12 and Year 13 for ages 16 to 18.
Our Year 12 and 13 students follow the highly regarded International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), which we believe is the best and most rigorous pre-university course available in the world.
The programme develops students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge; the subject curriculum is designed to ensure that all students can flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically. The curriculum is made up of six subject groups. This ensures that each and every IB Diploma graduate is academically well-rounded whilst still acquiring specialist knowledge and depth of conceptual understanding in three Higher Level subjects.
IB Diploma students also follow a common core curriculum. The additional requirements are threefold. The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course helps students develop their critical thinking. The Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) module involves our students in a range of practical activities that complement their academic studies. The Extended Essay requires students to produce a piece of extended academic writing which prepares them well for the challenges of higher education.