The junior years at Buckswood are viewed as the ‘formative years’. We instill the values of hard work, respect for others, a sense of right and wrong, and an intrinsic internationalism into our junior scholars. We give them responsibility and a sense of independence, but point out the parameters not to be crossed, believing that children thrive on structure, security & opportunity.
Forms 1-3 provide a solid preparation for success at GCSE, and offer the scope to experiment: to go “off-piste” in academic terms, perhaps by watching lambing for themselves down at the Buckswood stables as part of a science lesson, or by standing knee-deep in an original World War I trench in Flanders, with the History Department.
Form 3 (Year 9) offers the chance to spend some time in the Far East, visiting Buckswood Hong Kong. We feel that at the age of fourteen our students are old enough to travel to the other side of the world, and are aware enough to appreciate the value of such an experience.
Form 1 has the opportunity to visit the cities of Venice and Florence each year, and Form 2 has the opportunity to visit the historical city of Prague in the Czech Republic.
The academic programme in Forms 1, 2 & 3 is both broad and dynamic. It is designed to enhance knowledge, and teach students to communicate, reason, think and innovate. The focus is placed on the thorough preparation for a student’s transition to senior school.
Junior school students are high achievers, and study fourteen subjects (including three languages) in which they are formally assessed twice per term. Full reports are written on the progress of each student at the end of every term, and there are formal and informal meetings arranged between parents and teachers.
There are many traditional features of an education that has its roots in the tried and tested methodologies of yesteryear. For example, students sit weekly spelling and tables tests, and much importance is placed on the immaculate presentation of work in all subjects, using fountain pens. In English, for example, there is a focus on basic skills, and there are regular handwriting, grammar, comprehension, dictation and spelling exercises. Composition is a most prolific feature of the junior school English programme, with an active Authors Club, and the production of a paperback each year (Buckswood Young Writers) containing stories and poems of students in the junior school.
Homework is completed between 4.00 and 5.00 p.m., and an extensive programme of clubs, squads and sports offers students exciting opportunities to enhance their educational experience and develop their talents.
Students at Buckswood develop into self-confident, independent thinkers and are schooled in the social skills essential to mark them out as exceptional young people.