Year 8

Curriculum Content

English

In Year 8, students study a pre-1914 novel, exploring the social and historical context as well as the writer’s use of language. Students will study a play and use the conventions of script writing to produce their own alternative ending to a play. The students also improve their descriptive writing skills by evaluating travel writing extracts. There is an opportunity for students to read a modern novel and study a Shakespearean play. There will be a yearly examination which students will be prepared for in lessons.

Maths

Students follow the Key Stage 3 Mathematics framework, via a series of contextual topics. Each topic is designed to encapsulate the National Curriculum areas of Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measures and Handling Data, but in a way which demonstrates the relevance of skills and builds understanding of the application of each skill in a wider environment. There is an emphasis on using and applying maths in each of these areas, completing rich tasks which develop investigative and problem solving approaches.

Topics the students will study include; Home Improvement (Area and Perimeter), Superheroes (ratio and proportion), Endangered Animals (Fractions, Decimals and Percentages) and Jungle Adventurer (Coordinates, Graphs and Bearings)

Students are encouraged to develop their mathematical and thinking skills through a variety of activities and learning approaches. These include demonstration, illustration, dialogue, problem solving and the use of ICT, in particular taking advantage of the school’s subscription to MyMaths.co.uk. Students are regularly engaged in oral and mental work and are regularly expected to collaborate and communicate mathematically with others, explaining their ideas and strengthening their verbal reasoning skills.

Assessment is through questioning, written work, homework and assessments at the end of each term, where progress is monitored and intervention arranged for students who are failing to make expected levels of progress. Students are taught in ability which are regularly reviewed. Parents are informed when changes are made.

Science

Students follow the KS3 Science programme of study. The programmes of study cover the National Curriculum areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Working Scientifically. There is a specific focus on investigative skills and the development of the scientific method.

In Year 8 students will study solutions, materials, creating compounds and the rock cycle in Chemistry. In Biology students will study diet and digestion, respiration, microorganisms, disease and extinction. In Physics students will study energy and heat transfer, motion and forces and develop their understanding of light and sound.

Assessment is through questioning, written work, the observation of experimental technique and written unit examinations every term

Geography

Year 8 students further refine their geographical skills by studying the following topics;

Coasts, Location and Place – Africa, Ecosystems – Tropical Rainforest – Soils (nutrient cycle) and Deforestation, China, Glaciation – weather and climate – Ice Age to present, Geographical Information Systems and OS Maps

There are several opportunities for field work and this supports our enquiry approach

History

During Year 8 students study the developing world from 1500-1700. There is an emphasis on the Tudors/Stuarts and English civil war. We then move on to looking at aspects of the British Empire as well as studying the Industrial Revolution.

Religious Education

Topics studied during Year 8 further develop key themes relating to world religions from Year 7. Pupils study a selection of Holy Books from the six main world religions. This links in to the importance of religious charities and the concept of commitment in relation to the students, where students will complete their own presentations.

Students also study Islam in detail, in order to begin to understand the main religions in our society Specific focus placed on basic beliefs (Muhammad, Allah and the five pillars of Islam. Why these beliefs are important for Muslims and that these beliefs fundamentally provide a basis for the entire religion.

Students then study festivals with an Introduction to the Christian Church Year in the context of multi-cultural festivals and their importance to believers. Festivals studied include Easter, Christmas, Eid, Ramadan and the Passover.

The year finishes with a study of the environment, the concept of stewardship and Christian environmental responsibilities also an exploration of alternative views of stewardship such as those of aboriginal people

Art

All students will complete three projects with a focus on creative thinking and developing ideas with meaning. Students develop skills in drawing; painting, textiles processes and learning how inform their ideas from analysing artists’ work.

Art and Words: making art which communicates a meaning using image and word. Learning a range of creative mixed media techniques

Transformer Faces: Learning proportions of the human face drawing in a Surreal and Fantasy style on the theme of transformers and robots.

Architectural Textiles: Creating layered mixed media pieces of textiles inspired by the shapes and patterns found in architecture.

Music

Students build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness; and understand

musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. They listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians, whilst learning to appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.

In Year 8 this is done through the study of African Music, Harmony, Film Music, Theme and Variations and a joint project with Drama on the subject of Melodrama. Topics provide a range of opportunities for both solo and ensemble performances.

A formal assessment of practical skills is undertaken at the end of every topic and listening work is carried out regularly during lessons.

Drama

The same key areas are assessed (creating, performing and responding) but the work aims to build on the basic skills learnt in Year 7. Year 8 students will gain a greater understanding of Drama strategies, expand their knowledge of theatre history and explore text work through scripted performances.

In Year 8 the topics covered are, Responding to Stimuli, Script work and Melodrama.

Technology

Students in Year 8 will continue to experience a wider range of practical design-and-make projects with specialist teachers in a range of workshop and design studio settings. Having studied a foundation of design technology and food technology students in Year 8 are able to expand their designing and practical skills on a different range of projects that can be designed, tested and taken home once they have been completed. In Year 8 there is a focus on designing and testing their creative and practical skills a long with an introduction to CAD/CAM and structures.

Class work follows a similar format to Year7 with teacher led instruction and both regular topic tests and related homework task set by all technology teachers. Some of the work is done in small groups and other activities are individual design tasks with 2 hours of technology per two week cycle.

ICT

All students in Yr 8 now follow the new Computing curriculum. The new programme of study requires pupils to study at least two programming languages, understand computational thinking, understand binary, as well as undertaking creative projects. Specifically Year 8 students learn: Control using Flowgrid, Flowcharting using Gliffy, Esafety, Developing an adventure game, Visual programming using Kodu Game Lab, Creating a video advert, Making a cartoon.