Life At Branwood


Branwood Preparatory School is committed to excellence in education. In essence, this means that we are committed to providing the best possible education for each and every child in our care.

At Branwood, pupils follow a tailored curriculum which prepares them carefully and thoroughly for the senior school entrance examinations. With small class sizes throughout the school, we are able to ensure that each child gets the care and attention that they need.

Drawing on nearly a century of experience, and with the help of a close relationship with The Manchester Consortium of Independent Schools, we are perfectly positioned to successfully place our pupils at the next stage of their education. From preparation for the written examinations to interview confidence and technique, we use our wealth of experience to ensure that each child gets the right secondary placement.

Our highly successful pre-prep department supports the ethos of the school by setting high standards of teaching and learning at an early stage. Our pre-prep pupils are instilled with an attitude to learning that they retain throughout their educational career, and are taught the skills and techniques that will take them through to their later successes.

In addition to striving for academic excellence, we also focus on creating a happy and caring environment for our pupils. We believe that only a happy child is able to achieve their very best, and we ensure that each child receives the attention that they deserve. Our curriculum includes Science, Music, Spanish, Art and PE, as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities, ensuring that success at all levels is celebrated.

Please use the menu on the right to explore each of the classes throughout our school.

Core Curriculum

The school aims in the early years to give a sound and widely based general education but, in accordance with its independent grammar school entry objectives, concentrates on the necessary examination syllabus in the later stages of a child’s career. However, all children are given the opportunity to involve themselves in all subjects normally expected in a primary school.

Children receive regular homework which increases in quantity as they progress through the school. Parental support is essential on the matter of homework, as it is on all school policies. Attention is given to the National Curriculum but the grammar school entry examination demands tend to take Branwood’s curriculum naturally along appropriately concurrent lines.

On certain matters, particularly tables, spelling and reading, the school is unashamedly traditional. Here again parental support is vital, for the successful pupil is the product of properly coordinated three-way cooperation between its own efforts, those of the school and those of the parents.

From the start of their Branwood career, children are given P. E. and sporting tuition with a view to their learning both individual coordination and cooperative teamwork. Mr Rafferty runs the P.E. department and provides all classes with a well planned, varied and progressive curriculum. Our aim is to increase the health and fitness of the pupils and open up opportunities for children to take part in a wide variety of sports.

The curriculum comprises a range of different activities, from those based around the early learning goals in the foundation stage to more traditional team sports at the upper age range. Specific sports covered include: football, netball, cross-country running, hockey, rugby skills, gymnastics, dance, tennis, rounders, cricket, handball, volleyball, badminton, multi-skills, athletics and problem solving games. Children are encouraged to work as an individual and as part of a team.

All children from Form 3 onwards go swimming weekly for half of the academic year. Professional instructors at Worsley pool are in charge of tuition.

sport

Each form receives a weekly Spanish lesson which is delivered via ‘La Jolie Ronde’ programmes. The methodology is based on real communication situations suited to the interests and experience of each age group. It includes strategies for re-introducing words and phrases through new and different activities as each child develops. Phrases introduced in a rhyme, song or story at an early stage will be used again in a role-play situation at a later stage. The course aims at developing the listening and speaking skills through role-play.

Spanish is introduced in a structured way, which encourages the children to guess and anticipate the meaning of words and phrases. It also develops the reading and writing skills from Key Stage 2. Each child from KG2 to Form 6 has a book, which helps them consolidate their learning. Children like filling in blanks, labelling and matching words to pictures, and this enjoyment ensures that each child makes fantastic progress. Words and phrases, cultural and geographical items relating to Spain are also introduced.

mrs-butcher

Music is a thread which runs through  the whole school curriculum and, in Branwood, involves singing, the use of instruments, and music history and theory. Weekly class lessons cover a variety of concepts and bring together aspects of ‘Performing and Composing’ and ‘Listening and Appraising,’ through lively topic work.

We aim to provide every child with access to a range of musical experiences, which will deepen and broaden their musical interests and skills. Consequently, children also write their own musical compositions, sing collectively on a daily basis in assembly and hymn practice, and the school choirs rehearse at dinnertime. Individual instrumental tuition is available for those wishing to take their musical studies further. Children can learn the piano, violin, recorder, keyboard, trumpet and guitar. We celebrate our outstanding talent by showcasing our pupils in music assemblies and concerts. Children are also encouraged to take Associated Board Music Exams, achieving great success.

Music is imperative to a child’s development in self confidence, self-discipline, social skills and creativity. We aim to make music as fulfilling and enjoyable to every child as possible, so they can develop a love for the subject, which can be carried into adult life.

Drama and dance, is of course another important creative activity and all classes are active in this area.

Younger children are given in-house drama experience in the form of a Nativity play each Christmas while the upper school perform a summer show each year.

music

At Branwood, pupils use their artwork as a form of visual communication and expression. Art and Design forms part of the timetable for all classes throughout the school. It provides a unique way of understanding and responding to the world through visual, tactile and sensory experiences.

In order for our children to develop individually as artists, we aim to teach a progressive curriculum based on key artistic skills. These skills are extended and developed through other subjects. Children’s work is displayed around the school, encouraging a sense of achievement and pride.

The school holds an annual art exhibition, something that the children are very enthusiastic about. They are very proud of their creations and achievements, and they really enjoy this opportunity to showcase their talents to parents and the whole school community.

img_2532

Here at Branwood, we take pride in our traditional style of teaching and learning. We also pride ourselves in empowering our pupils with the skills to access an increasingly technological world. This is supported by our use of Information and Communication Technology to teach and assess the children and their personal development.

Every classroom is equipped with a large interactive display board which is used daily by staff and pupils as part of everyday teaching and learning.  Each class also has its own set of iPads, allowing children to work in pairs, groups or individually, linking the iPads to the internet and to the interactive display boards.  Pupils are able to create Leno boards, compose music and access numerous apps to enhance their learning.

The school also has a suite of more traditional PCs for word processing and other tasks. These are connected to an interactive display board.

The school has a custom built website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and our own personalised app, all of which work together to keep parents, pupils and staff fully informed and up to date on life here at Branwood.

+ Sport

From the start of their Branwood career, children are given P. E. and sporting tuition with a view to their learning both individual coordination and cooperative teamwork. Mr Rafferty runs the P.E. department and provides all classes with a well planned, varied and progressive curriculum. Our aim is to increase the health and fitness of the pupils and open up opportunities for children to take part in a wide variety of sports.

The curriculum comprises a range of different activities, from those based around the early learning goals in the foundation stage to more traditional team sports at the upper age range. Specific sports covered include: football, netball, cross-country running, hockey, rugby skills, gymnastics, dance, tennis, rounders, cricket, handball, volleyball, badminton, multi-skills, athletics and problem solving games. Children are encouraged to work as an individual and as part of a team.

All children from Form 3 onwards go swimming weekly for half of the academic year. Professional instructors at Worsley pool are in charge of tuition.

sport
+ Spanish

Each form receives a weekly Spanish lesson which is delivered via ‘La Jolie Ronde’ programmes. The methodology is based on real communication situations suited to the interests and experience of each age group. It includes strategies for re-introducing words and phrases through new and different activities as each child develops. Phrases introduced in a rhyme, song or story at an early stage will be used again in a role-play situation at a later stage. The course aims at developing the listening and speaking skills through role-play.

Spanish is introduced in a structured way, which encourages the children to guess and anticipate the meaning of words and phrases. It also develops the reading and writing skills from Key Stage 2. Each child from KG2 to Form 6 has a book, which helps them consolidate their learning. Children like filling in blanks, labelling and matching words to pictures, and this enjoyment ensures that each child makes fantastic progress. Words and phrases, cultural and geographical items relating to Spain are also introduced.

mrs-butcher
+ Music & Drama

Music is a thread which runs through  the whole school curriculum and, in Branwood, involves singing, the use of instruments, and music history and theory. Weekly class lessons cover a variety of concepts and bring together aspects of ‘Performing and Composing’ and ‘Listening and Appraising,’ through lively topic work.

We aim to provide every child with access to a range of musical experiences, which will deepen and broaden their musical interests and skills. Consequently, children also write their own musical compositions, sing collectively on a daily basis in assembly and hymn practice, and the school choirs rehearse at dinnertime. Individual instrumental tuition is available for those wishing to take their musical studies further. Children can learn the piano, violin, recorder, keyboard, trumpet and guitar. We celebrate our outstanding talent by showcasing our pupils in music assemblies and concerts. Children are also encouraged to take Associated Board Music Exams, achieving great success.

Music is imperative to a child’s development in self confidence, self-discipline, social skills and creativity. We aim to make music as fulfilling and enjoyable to every child as possible, so they can develop a love for the subject, which can be carried into adult life.

Drama and dance, is of course another important creative activity and all classes are active in this area.

Younger children are given in-house drama experience in the form of a Nativity play each Christmas while the upper school perform a summer show each year.

music
+ Art & Design

At Branwood, pupils use their artwork as a form of visual communication and expression. Art and Design forms part of the timetable for all classes throughout the school. It provides a unique way of understanding and responding to the world through visual, tactile and sensory experiences.

In order for our children to develop individually as artists, we aim to teach a progressive curriculum based on key artistic skills. These skills are extended and developed through other subjects. Children’s work is displayed around the school, encouraging a sense of achievement and pride.

The school holds an annual art exhibition, something that the children are very enthusiastic about. They are very proud of their creations and achievements, and they really enjoy this opportunity to showcase their talents to parents and the whole school community.

img_2532
+ Information Technology

Here at Branwood, we take pride in our traditional style of teaching and learning. We also pride ourselves in empowering our pupils with the skills to access an increasingly technological world. This is supported by our use of Information and Communication Technology to teach and assess the children and their personal development.

Every classroom is equipped with a large interactive display board which is used daily by staff and pupils as part of everyday teaching and learning.  Each class also has its own set of iPads, allowing children to work in pairs, groups or individually, linking the iPads to the internet and to the interactive display boards.  Pupils are able to create Leno boards, compose music and access numerous apps to enhance their learning.

The school also has a suite of more traditional PCs for word processing and other tasks. These are connected to an interactive display board.

The school has a custom built website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and our own personalised app, all of which work together to keep parents, pupils and staff fully informed and up to date on life here at Branwood.

Outside the Classroom

Although the Branwood school day is a very busy one, we do want our children to have a rich experience of the school outside daily lessons.

Below you can explore all the ways in which we offer this.

netball

We run a wide variety of extra curricular activities to compliment and enrich the children’s school experience, and to encourage confidence in all aspects of their lives.

The clubs that run every term include football, netball, judo, gymnastics, dance and cross country. We also introduce one-off clubs that run for a term or half-term to allow the children to experience different activities. These have included a Lego Club, fencing sessions and a yoga class to name a few.

An extra-curricular booking form, along with an activity timetable, is distributed to parents at the end of each term for the following term. Parents are asked to complete the booking form and return it to the Bursar’s office as soon as possible, as places are limited and clubs tend to fill up quite quickly. Booking forms can also be found in the ‘Parent Zone‘ area.

Music is an important part of life here at Branwood and we run a string group, a recorder group and two choirs; one for lower school and one for upper school. In addition to weekly class lessons, individual tuition in piano, violin, recorder, keyboard, guitar and trumpet is also available upon request. Booking forms for individual tuition can be requested from the school office.

We offer various care options during the holidays including a ‘Holiday Club’ for under 7’s, a ‘Sports Course’ for ages 5+ and a week long Drama Course during the summer holidays.

Parents can find out more details about this including dates, cost and booking info in our Parent Zone.

img_3141

Here at Branwood, we believe that drama is a fantastic subject to supplement the traditional curriculum and develop the ‘whole child’, something that is important in a child’s learning and progression.

Drama can help to improve speaking and listening skills, as well as encouraging confidence in public speaking and giving the children an opportunity to showcase their talents.

We produce two shows every year, with each child being given a role to play. A Nativity is performed by members of our lower school during the festive period, while the upper school stage a larger Summer Show at the end of the year. with past productions including ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Aladdin’. Parents are invited along to watch the performances, and the children take great pride in the performances. The PTA organise a professional company to film both productions each year, and copies are available for parents to buy.

At the end of each school year the whole school are involved in Class Fun Days.  Each class will experience a different activity, in the past these have included trips to Gullivers World, Airkix, Chill Factore and  Manley Mere.

It is a fantastic way to end the school year and for the pupils to relax and spend time with their teachers.  A fun time is always had by all!

We run a number of trips throughout the year for each class. Trips are selected to tie in with curriculum topics for each class to encourage practical learning and provide a visual and fun learning experience.

Lower school trips include visits to the theatre, Blackpool Zoo, the Blue Planet Aquarium and Knowsley Safari Park. Upper school trips have included visits to Tatton Hall, Manchester Crown Court and the Imperial War Museum.

In Form 3, pupils are invited along on their first residential trip to Patterdale. This two day adventure holiday is a great introduction to the junior school and a super team building activity. Both the children and the staff always have a wonderful time, and find the experience to be very rewarding.

Form 6 benefit from a series of activities after the secondary entrance examinations which have included holidays in Brittany, camping trips to the Howgill Fells, activity weeks in the Isle of Man, and an ascent of the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike in the Lake District. These residential activities create some fantastic memories for the children and are a wonderful reward for all their hard work throughout their journey at Branwood.

sports-day

We offer many opportunities for children to compete in inter-school sports leagues and competitions including football and netball, both of which are run as mixed boys and girls teams.

The string group takes part in the Alderley Edge String Competition each year, and have won first place in the 2015 and 2016 competitions.

Over the year, pupils take part in a number of competitions where they can win points for their house. Pupils have the opportunity to enter a wide variety of sporting, academic and social competitions including:

  • Calligraphy Competition
  • Maths Challenge
  • English Challenge
  • General Knowledge Challenge
  • Sports Day

The children’s achievements are celebrated at the end of each academic year at the annual Speech Night, where children are presented with awards ranging from ‘Class Achievement’ to ‘Dancer of the Year’ to the ‘Spirit of Friendship Award’.

+ Extra Curricular
netball

We run a wide variety of extra curricular activities to compliment and enrich the children’s school experience, and to encourage confidence in all aspects of their lives.

The clubs that run every term include football, netball, judo, gymnastics, dance and cross country. We also introduce one-off clubs that run for a term or half-term to allow the children to experience different activities. These have included a Lego Club, fencing sessions and a yoga class to name a few.

An extra-curricular booking form, along with an activity timetable, is distributed to parents at the end of each term for the following term. Parents are asked to complete the booking form and return it to the Bursar’s office as soon as possible, as places are limited and clubs tend to fill up quite quickly. Booking forms can also be found in the ‘Parent Zone‘ area.

Music is an important part of life here at Branwood and we run a string group, a recorder group and two choirs; one for lower school and one for upper school. In addition to weekly class lessons, individual tuition in piano, violin, recorder, keyboard, guitar and trumpet is also available upon request. Booking forms for individual tuition can be requested from the school office.

+ Holiday Clubs

We offer various care options during the holidays including a ‘Holiday Club’ for under 7’s, a ‘Sports Course’ for ages 5+ and a week long Drama Course during the summer holidays.

Parents can find out more details about this including dates, cost and booking info in our Parent Zone.

+ Shows
img_3141

Here at Branwood, we believe that drama is a fantastic subject to supplement the traditional curriculum and develop the ‘whole child’, something that is important in a child’s learning and progression.

Drama can help to improve speaking and listening skills, as well as encouraging confidence in public speaking and giving the children an opportunity to showcase their talents.

We produce two shows every year, with each child being given a role to play. A Nativity is performed by members of our lower school during the festive period, while the upper school stage a larger Summer Show at the end of the year. with past productions including ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Aladdin’. Parents are invited along to watch the performances, and the children take great pride in the performances. The PTA organise a professional company to film both productions each year, and copies are available for parents to buy.

+ Fun Days

At the end of each school year the whole school are involved in Class Fun Days.  Each class will experience a different activity, in the past these have included trips to Gullivers World, Airkix, Chill Factore and  Manley Mere.

It is a fantastic way to end the school year and for the pupils to relax and spend time with their teachers.  A fun time is always had by all!

+ School Trips

We run a number of trips throughout the year for each class. Trips are selected to tie in with curriculum topics for each class to encourage practical learning and provide a visual and fun learning experience.

Lower school trips include visits to the theatre, Blackpool Zoo, the Blue Planet Aquarium and Knowsley Safari Park. Upper school trips have included visits to Tatton Hall, Manchester Crown Court and the Imperial War Museum.

In Form 3, pupils are invited along on their first residential trip to Patterdale. This two day adventure holiday is a great introduction to the junior school and a super team building activity. Both the children and the staff always have a wonderful time, and find the experience to be very rewarding.

Form 6 benefit from a series of activities after the secondary entrance examinations which have included holidays in Brittany, camping trips to the Howgill Fells, activity weeks in the Isle of Man, and an ascent of the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike in the Lake District. These residential activities create some fantastic memories for the children and are a wonderful reward for all their hard work throughout their journey at Branwood.

+ Competitions
sports-day

We offer many opportunities for children to compete in inter-school sports leagues and competitions including football and netball, both of which are run as mixed boys and girls teams.

The string group takes part in the Alderley Edge String Competition each year, and have won first place in the 2015 and 2016 competitions.

Over the year, pupils take part in a number of competitions where they can win points for their house. Pupils have the opportunity to enter a wide variety of sporting, academic and social competitions including:

  • Calligraphy Competition
  • Maths Challenge
  • English Challenge
  • General Knowledge Challenge
  • Sports Day

The children’s achievements are celebrated at the end of each academic year at the annual Speech Night, where children are presented with awards ranging from ‘Class Achievement’ to ‘Dancer of the Year’ to the ‘Spirit of Friendship Award’.

The House System

Every child from KG1 to Form 6 becomes part of a House as soon as they enter Branwood.

We have four Houses: Romans, Vikings, Saxons and Greeks, each represented by a different colour.  During PE lessons, pupils wear a coloured T Shirt representing their house.

Various competitions are run throughout the year to earn house points as well as the merit system which all count towards house points.  Trophies are awarded at the end of year to the winning House in each competition as well as an overall winners trophy.

The aim of our House system is to encourage team spirit, assist the development of an increased sense of community and belonging, create a means to reward all pupils for their personal achievements, encourage inter-year group friendships and to promote a healthy sense of competition.

Behaviour

The standard of behaviour from pupils at Branwood both inside and outside school, is something we have always been particularly proud of.  We receive many comments from the public and partner organisations about how impressed they are by the level of politeness, confidence and maturity from ones so young.

The school endeavours to set standards of conduct and dress in keeping with its independent status, and parental cooperation is expected to support the school policy on these matters. The requirements in terms of uniform are laid out on our uniform list along with information on local suppliers.