“Pupils throughout the school have a positive attitude towards their learning and are keen to succeed.” ISI Report 2020

While outcomes are very important, education is about far more than achieving excellent grades. Establishing habits of lifelong learning and adaptation to new challenges are key elements to thriving in the modern world. Enjoying the process also helps maintain motivation over the long term! With this in mind, the junior school curriculum at Bales is rich, broad and stimulating. Teachers are all subject-specialists, enthusiastic about their field. The teaching and leadership groups meet each week to critically review and develop the academic programme. Classes in the junior school have twin aims of developing subject-specific knowledge and skills, as well as more general learning abilities.

We set high expectations – our students contribute to the maintenance and development of a positive learning environment. Small class sizes add to the atmosphere of consultation and enquiry.

We offer full coverage of the National Curriculum in Years 7-9 and students continue to a range of GCSE subjects in Year 10 and 11. GCSE courses are based on the Edexcel syllabus with a combination of GCSE and IGCSE. Homework is also a key aspect of the learning process: students receive weekly homework in each subject according to a rotating calendar, and this is recorded and monitored through the online learning portal. Teachers provide timely and instructive feedback on student work to help foster further engagement and enquiry.

Durham University CEM System

We use the Durham University CEM system to begin the process of monitoring each child’s academic progress. Tests are completed at the point each child joins the school, to provide a learning profile for each student. This illustrates the strengths and areas for development for each student and provides teachers and leadership staff with valuable information to assist each child with their learning and development.

For years 7-9, the Midys System is used: http://www.cem.org/midyis

For years 10 and 11, the Yellis system is used: http://www.cem.org/yellis

For Sixth Form (years 12 and 13), the Alis is the system used: http://www.cem.org/alis

Regular assessments

The learning cycle for any pursuit involves exploration of the activity, experimenting, exploring and reflecting on experiences. Setting goals also helps create structure and a vision of where you are seeking to go. Students at Bales set themselves targets for achievement based on their current knowledge and performance, and these are monitored regularly. Our end-of-year exams are held in June. Parents receive a grade letter every term, a full written report at the end of the Easter term and our parents evening is held in mid-December and the summer. Revision classes are held during holiday periods for GCSE and A level students.

Subjects taught:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • PE
  • Physics
  • PSHE
  • *Optional additional music lessons

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