Year 9

Curriculum Content

English

In Year 9, students are prepared for their GCSE course by further developing their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. Students undertake a whole text study of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and pay particular attention to a key scene from the play. Students will work on a GCSE-style examination paper- the skills needed to tackle the paper will be taught in class. There will be a chance for students to study poetry which have been chosen as part of the centenary. Year 9 will study gothic fiction, work on a spoken language unit and study a play.

Maths

Students follow a programme of study to begin the preparation for Edexcel GCSE Mathematics. The Mathematics GCSE covers the national curriculum areas of Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measures and Handling Data. Students will have increasing exposure to examination papers and past questions throughout the three years as well as having regular assessments in order to assess progress and help students develop their thinking skills and application of knowledge. The goal throughout Year 9 is to maximise Key Stage 3 progression and then begin to ready the students for the new topics they face at GCSE.

The examinations will consist of two examinations in June of Year 11, one non-calculator and one where a calculator is allowed. 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, and then entered for the tier which we believe will yield them the highest grade. Parents are informed when changes are made to setting.

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.

Students begin Year 9 by following a bridging course that completes the KS3 curriculum and prepares students for GCSE study. During the bridging course students study variation, photosynthesis, plant structure and control in Biology. In Chemistry students study how acids react with metals and metal oxides, how metals react with water and the reactivity series. In Physics students study electrical circuits, gravity, friction, terminal velocity, pressure and moments.

Following on from the bridging course students start the GCSE Science course. In Biology students will study diet, exercise, hormones, genes and drugs. In Chemistry students will study atoms, rocks, metals and fuels. In Physics students will study energy and efficiency.

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

Geography

In preparation for choosing Geography at GCSE level students study; Plate Tectonics – Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Hazards – Drought and Hurricanes, Population and urbanisation, Middle East – location and place, Development and economic activity and Asia – India – location and place.

History

In Year 9 students study the Black Peoples of America with emphasis on Slavery and the civil rights movement. We then move on to 20th century affairs. WW1/WW2, the inter war years and aspects of the Cold War

Religious Education

Buddhism is introduced and explored through teaching about the Buddha, his early life and enlightenment. Also key teachings are covered such as the four noble truths and the 8 fold path.

Students are assessed through a guide to the life of the Buddha and an evaluation of the 8 fold path linking to their own life. Students learn about how Buddhist monks live.

The next topic is ‘Rites of Passage’ which introduces key concepts of life as a journey with stages, specifically linking this to the pupils’ lives and experiences. Various rites are explored such as baptism, confirmation and naming ceremonies with a focus on Christianity, as well as the Muslim and Sikh traditions. Also coming of age ceremonies such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Teaching then looks at death including concepts of Near Death Experience, reincarnation, rebirth plus Christian concepts of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Finally to explore what it is like to lose someone special in life and concentrate on the final funeral rites and dealing with bereavement.

At the end of year 9 students are introduced to Ethics which prepares them for the GCSE Syllabus in Philosophy and Ethics in year 10 and 11. This covers what is morality and key concepts of the quality of life, value of life and sanctity of life. Pupils consider their own opinions and study religious views on life.

Art

All students will complete three projects with a focus on developing key skills in drawing, painting and learning how to critically question and analyse other artists’ work. We focus on producing well organised sketchbook work in preparation for GCSE.

Street Art: Being inspired by Street Art styles, creating stencil printing with textiles processes to communicate meanings through text and image.

Fantasy Art: With a focus on making sketchbooks, respond to contextual sources of Fantasy Art developing drawing skills in a range of media.

Talking Pictures: Learning to analyse and critically question other artists’ work.

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 9 this is done through the study of Blues, Jazz, Indian Music, writing a Blues inspired song and an open topic where students are invited to present/perform their own interests in music. 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

Throughout the Year 9 curriculum students are expected to embed the skills they have learnt in Year 8 and develop a greater sense of independence in their work. Students learn about Drama theories, such as Stanislavski and apply the theoretical knowledge to in depth performance work.

In Year 9 students explore Duologue scripts, Modern Theatre and character development. The work is devised to best prepare students for the GCSE Drama course.

Technology

All students study design technology and food technology in Year 9 currently for 3 hours per two week cycle. Year 9 introduces students to more advanced design-and-make activities in a range of mixed materials construction and more complex and demanding food technology and catering challenges. Year 9 projects allow students to make the informed decision whether or not this area of their curriculum is suited for them at a more advanced level of study.

Students again rotate between specialist D&T teaching staff and can look forward to making a variety of practical outcomes and tasty food dishes.

We offer afterschool clubs and extracurricular design competitions throughout Key Stage 3.

ICT

All students in Yr 9 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 9 students learn: Visual programming using Scratch, Esafety, CAD using Sketchup, Making a film, Programming using Python.