Bellan House Curriculum
Early experiences affect children’s attitudes to learning, so here at Bellan we are able to offer small class sizes and a nurturing environment for them to start their journey through the school.
Our bespoke Reception class is light, bright and welcoming, and opens directly onto its own outdoor space for perfect outdoor learning.
Children learn best from experiences that are sparked by their own interests yet designed to stretch and challenge their stage of development. The Early Years Statutory Framework is referenced to ensure structured play activities excite interest and engage enthusiasm for learning, while fundamental skills for lifelong learning are developed. Through a range of play centred activities, children develop: confidence to explore, invent and question; social skills needed for personal development, and begin to work collaboratively and apply literacy and numeracy skills in a variety of tasks, all whilst they feel they are just 'having fun'. Within these challenges we encourage independence from the outset, promoting problem solving skills and creative thinking; skills that are valued in education and beyond. As a result, the children learn through a carefully structured, well balanced, theme based curriculum that is founded in the children's own interests and driven forward by the expertise of the professionals working with them to enable your child to achieve their highest standards.
All the time your child is learning with us, we continually assess their development, making specific observations about their abilities, skills and progress in line with national expectations. We place high value on our partnership with parents and regular meetings with you, starting prior to your child joining Bellan, help build a comprehensive picture for us to share of your child's overall development.
The Foundation Stage curriculum consists of six main areas of learning.
1. Communication and Language
2. Physical Development
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
6. Understanding the World
7. Expressive Arts and Design
Children develop at different rates and, through our small class sizes and close relationships, we are able to introduce the next steps to stretch your child’s learning at exactly the right moment. As your child moves through the final months of the Foundation Stage they may be ready to take part in more formal learning activities. Our team of professionals in our Early Years will support your child to make this transition to prepare them for their next steps into Key Stage 1.
Key Stage One
Year 1 and 2 - Ages 5 to 7
Our children have access to a full and varied curriculum where the focus on the development of skills needed for the future is developed right from the beginning. Benefiting from small, individual year-group classes, the children are challenged to develop these skills and acquire knowledge across a broad range of relevant topics. Children are set challenges that promote engagement in their learning and are encouraged to develop the attitudes to learning of PRIDE (Prepared, Responsible, Inventive, Determined, Evaluative). These attitudes are promoted and reflected upon throughout Bellan and on through the senior school.
There is specialist subject teaching in PE, Spanish, music, theatre arts and ballet for all Bellan children, including tuition for LAMDA examinations within upper Key Stage 1 and beyond.
Whenever opportunities arise, the children’s learning is enhanced by a range of educational trips out of school, visitors and in-house workshops.
All Bellan children enjoy the benefits of regular Forest School sessions on our own site in the extensive grounds at Oswestry School. These sessions are led by our experienced, enthusiastic and fully qualified Forest School leader. From Year 4 onwards, the children work towards the John Muir Award, where The Four Challenges - Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share - are met for each level, with increasing responsibility and ownership.
Our own school indoor heated pool provides opportunity for weekly swimming lessons for all children and the expansive area of the Maes-y-Llan enables the children to enjoy a wide variety of games and activities games on Oswestry School’s 30 acres of playing fields, at least once a week.
Our fleet of minibuses transfer the pupils around the site where necessary although the older children are encouraged to walk (with appropriate supervision) between sites in order to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
Key Stage Two
Years 3 to 6 - Ages 7 to 11
The children follow a comprehensive, progressive and creative curriculum throughout the school. Again, the children are challenged through our ‘Stretch and Challenge’ approach whereby all children are given opportunities to reach the highest levels of attainment by choosing the level they aspire to. By encouraging children to stretch their own goals, and by supporting them through clear explanation and exposition of the learning, our children reach for their highest attainment. Our belief is that children learn best when they feel in control and are not impeded by the expectations of others. Through developing an understanding of how they learn best and how to successfully attain, we foster the understanding of the skills and attitudes they need for lifelong learning and achievement.
Children continue to benefit from small class sizes that allow for this greater individual support and challenge from teachers and classroom assistants.
Specialist subject teaching in PE, Spanish, music, design and computing, theatre arts and dance, speech and drama, including tuition for LAMDA examinations continue and expand as children move through KS2 with upper Key Stage 2 beginning to take advantage of specialist teaching in science within the senior school labs.
A variety of trips (both residential and day trips), visitors and workshops, enhance and inspire the learning in a range of curriculum areas. The residential trips, which take place from Year 4 onwards, support curriculum areas and follow a progressive structure, allowing children to gradually become more confident whilst staying away from home.
From Year 5, afternoon lessons take place at both Bellan House and the Senior School. This enables the children to take advantage of the specialist teaching rooms and teachers for science, art, computing and Spanish. This carefully designed transition programme fosters a greater sense of independence and confidence within the children. The children’s knowledge of the senior school and the teachers’ knowledge of the children ensure the Bellan children benefit from sustained attainment as they enter their senior school years.