Keeping you informed in Year 7
As part of our aim to keep you informed, we outline here the content of the curriculum studied by students in Year 7. We hope this will help you keep track of what is being taught and assist you in understanding the school curriculum.
Our Key Stage 3 learning is designed to systematically build the skills needed for the final English GCSEs in Year 11. Every assessed Key Stage 3 task is directly linked to a section of the GCSE Language and Literature exam papers.
In Term 1, students are introduced to a collection of texts linked to overcoming setbacks.
Term 1 assessment task: narrative writing. This links to GCSE Language paper 1 question 5.
In Term 2, students read a novel as a class. They study the writer’s use of language and development of characters, in addition to reflecting on the writer’s themes and ideas.
Term 2 assessment task: analysis of language and structure in an extract.
This links to GCSE Literature Paper 1 sections A and B.
In Term 3, students study a range of adverts. They explore how writers craft adverts to persuade and they create their own marketing package for a product.
Term 3 assessment task: non-fiction writing – a discursive essay based on an opinion statement in which students show both sides. This links to GCSE Language paper 2 question 5 – discursive essay.
In Term 4, students study a Shakespeare play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Students study the characters, themes and plot.
Term 4 assessment task: reading analysis of language and structure in an extract. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 1 Sections A and B.
In Term 5, students explore a modern play as a class, allowing them to explore issues of characterisation and theme. Students analyse the author’s use of language and develop their own ability to empathise with situations.
Term 5 assessment task: non-fiction writing – speech persuading in favour of equality of education based on an opinion statement
This links to GCSE Language paper 2 question 5 – persuasive speech
During Term 6 students study a range of poetry and explore themes and language used by writers to create effects. They produce a collection of their own poetry.
Term 6 assessment task: analysis of an unseen poem. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 2 section C skills.
Students are set in Mathematics, on entry to the school, according to achievement at Primary School in the year six National Tests.
We use our own teaching plan built around stages that is designed to support and develop students from their ability on entry to success at GCSE. All students will be challenged to develop both deeper understanding and also mastery of the course material. All students have access to computer packages and online resources.
Terms 1 and 2
Students cover work on patterns, numbers and the number system, calculation, shape and space, algebraic manipulation and fractions.
Terms 3 and 4
Here we look at statistics, equations, probability and symmetry.
Terms 5 and 6
During these terms we study proportion, graphs and measurement.
Students are required to be equipped with a scientific calculator and geometry set for every Maths lesson. These can be purchased from the mathematics department through parent pay at no profit to us.
Students are assessed on 13 key skills each year. Three fortnightly tests concentrate on the same set of skills, allowing students to improve and consolidate their understanding, before moving on to a different set. In between the key skills tests, students are assessed on their ability to apply their understanding and reason mathematically when faced with longer worded questions. A couple of times a year, students sit longer review papers that help us to make predictions about the likely GCSE grade that might be achieved.
Homework is set once a week for approximately 30 minutes and will be taken from various sources including online using MyMaths.
In KS3 Science at Willingdon out Year 7 students will study topics in biology, chemistry and physics. Our schemes of work are based on the KS3 Hodder scheme and students are taught scientific key skills in each topic. All topics are approximately 10 lessons in length. Student progress in each topic is assessed by one core and one summative assessment.
Set 1 students will complete the KS3 course in two years and start their Triple Science GCSE course in Year 9. This gives them the opportunity to gain three GCSEs in separate sciences.
Year 7 Areas of Study
B1 Cells and Tissues
P1 Energy Transfers
B2a Animal Reproduction
C2 Atoms and Elements
P2 Forces and Effects
B2b Plant Reproduction
C3 Acids and Alkalis
B3 Environment and Adaption
C4 Pure and Simple Substances
P4 Energy Sources
B4 Variation and Classification
C5 Simple Chemical Reactions
P5 Magnets and Electromagnets
B6 Food and Digestion
Modern Languages - French
In Year 7, students will be following a programme of study focusing on communication, sentence building and grammar to help them become more independent learners. Students will be encouraged to use bilingual dictionaries to look up new words and check spellings and we strongly recommend that students have a French / English dictionary for use for homework.
During Year 7, studies include the following topic areas:
Module 1: C’est perso
- Learning phonics and how to pronounce words.
- Introducing greetings and the alphabet.
- Describing yourself (understanding adjective agreements)
- Talking about other people
- Birthdays, including numbers
- What there is in a school bag.
- Assessment 1: Speaking (describing yourself and another person) and reading
Module 2: Mon collège
- Talking about school subjects, asking questions.
- Giving opinions and reasons.
- Describing your timetable and your school day using 12-hour clock.
- Talking about food. (using du/ de la/ del’)
- Assessment 2: Listening and writing (writing about yourself, school subjects, including likes and dislikes, your school day)
Module 3: Mes passe-temps
- Talking about computers and mobiles (using regular –er verbs)
- Talking about which sports you play (using jouer à)
- Talking about activities (using the verb faire)
- Saying what you like doing (using aimer+the infinitive)
- Describing what other people do (using ils/ elles)
- Assessment 3: speaking (talking about hobbies and sports, including opinions) and reading.
Homework will be set once a week. There will be a variety of tasks ranging from a website called pearsonactivelearn, which follows the textbook we are using in lessons. They will also be set speaking and written tasks to prepare for their assessments.
Modern Languages - Spanish
Year 7 students follow a programme of study focusing on communication, sentence building and basic grammar to help them become confident speakers. Students will be encouraged to use online resources to support their learning and become more independent learners. There will also be opportunities for students to do project work and to learn about Spanish and Latin American culture.
During Year 7, studies include the following topic areas:
- Learning the numbers, alphabet, pronunciation
- Understanding teachers’ instructions
- Knowing how to say the items in the classroom and school equipment
Module 1: Mi Vida/My Life
- Introducing yourself (name, age, how you are feeling)
- Describing your personality
- Talking about animals and pets
- Understanding dates
- Writing skills
Module 2: Mi Tiempo Libre/My Free Time
- Giving your opinion
- Describing the weather
- Talking about sports and leisure activities
- Using the Present Tense to talk about hobbies
- Speaking Skills
Module 3: Mi Instituto/My School
- Giving your opinion on school subjects
- Describing your school
- Present Tense (-er and –ir verbs)
Module 4: Mi Familia/My Family
- Talking about the members of your family
- Describing other people
- Saying where you live
Module 5: Mi ciudad/My City
- Saying what there is in your town
- Telling the time
- Ordering food/drink
- Using the future tense to discuss plans
Module 6: Mis Proyectos/ My Projects
- Creating a video about yourself and giving a presentation
- Researching a Spanish speaking country
- Writing a text from a time capsule
- Researching out about Spanish festivals
Homework will be set once a week. There will be a variety of tasks to practice reading, listening, speaking and writing skills as well as vocabulary lists for students to learn.
Year 7 geography covers the following topic areas outlined below.
Unit 1: Huge hazards: Students will look at plate tectonic theory and continental drift and the resultant landforms and hazards. They will further look at how this impacts upon people and the measures that can be taken to mitigate the effects of such disasters. This unit links to our field trip to London and particularly to the Natural History Museum visit in November.
Unit 2: Zombie Apocalyse Map Skills: A unit of work cleverly designed to relate geographical skills to a disaster emergency.
Unit 3: Exploring England: It is important for students to have the opportunity to understand the geography of their local area and region as well as the UK’s place in the world.
Unit 4: World cities: Students have a range of choices on what they study here. They will learn research techniques and use GIS to look how cities around the world are dealing with a variety of issues that they face.
Unit 5: Breathtaking Brazil: Time for students to look at this amazing country; so many different physical and human topics to encounter here.
Unit 6: Frightful flooding: This is where we investigate some of the problems of flooding in the UK and compare the causes with Bangladesh. This unit also gives the students a chance to flex their design muscles as they look for solutions.
The scheme of work has been designed to start preparing students for the new specification KS4 course and also introduces students to the types of command words and other transferable skills that they can expect to employ in later study. It is adapted to suit different learning styles and abilities. This layered learning approach means that students study issues in depth whilst getting to enjoy a huge variety of study which is delivered in range of forms. We also use an online Geography homework system which will be used to extend learning at certain points in the year and vary the homework options for the students.
There is a unit assessment that follows each topic of study. Within each assessment, there are questions that meet three assessment criteria and test the student’s ability:
a) To retain geographical knowledge and memorise key terms, facts and figures
b) To be able to link conceptual understanding with resources provided and answer in paragraphs using specialist terminology, accurate grammar and
c) To be able to apply learned geographical skills to unseen data/ graphs/ maps. After each assessment is marked, the students receive their mark and
follow up with DIRT (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) which allows them to work on their individual areas for development. The data gathered allows us to support students going forward, to provide advice on revision techniques and arrange additional support where required.
We begin Year 7 with a series of lessons which develop students’ historical skills. We ensure students are able to engage with historical evidence and develop their understanding of key historical concepts. This enables all students to begin Key Stage 3 in History with similar skills, whatever their experience of History at primary school.
The first major study of Year 7 is Medieval England. Starting with The Battle of Hastings, students will study the social, political, religious and economic history of this period on a local, regional and national level. Topics include: The Norman Conquest, King John and the Magna Carta, The Black Death and the Peasants Revolt.
Students will then move on to look at the major changes that took place during the Early Modern Period. They will study the significance of Henry VIII and the English Reformation. They will investigate why characters in History can be viewed in different ways through a study of ‘Bloody Mary.’
In the final term of Year 7 students will explore the changing relationship of King and Parliament as they study the English Civil War. Students will also consider the social changes of the period and investigate why for many the world seemed ‘upside down.’
During the year, students will experience a variety of teaching and learning activities, from 'questions & answers' to extended writing and role-play. The department encourages students to carry out extended research to increase their depth of knowledge.
Homework is used to consolidate the work carried out in the lessons. Students are set a variety of tasks appropriate to their ability and progress, including project work and descriptive writing
Students will be given a number of key assessments over the course of the year:
Term 1+2: The Battle of Hastings and the Norman invasion
Term 3+4: The English Reformation and interpretations of Mary I
Term 5-6: The English Civil War
Ethics & Philosophy
In Ethics and Philosophy, we explore themes that emphasise concepts across and between religions (and other belief systems such as humanism) and that often relate directly to students’ own experiences. In year 7 these themes cover; the Origins of the Universe and Human Life, as well as Inspirational People.
We also undertake a systematic study which emphasises the content of a particular religion and leads to an understanding of what it means to belong to that religion. In year 7 we study Christianity and introduce the other five main world religions, through their own exhibition work.
We investigate contemporary ethical issues and fundamental questions of human existence, relevant to the individual in his or her personal development. In year 7 such questions include- What is truth? Is there a God? What do I believe?
Students will be set key assessments which will include:
- Philosophy- Is there a God?
- Origins and Creation
Students will be divided into mixed-sex groups and are set on ability. All students will cover the following areas of activity:
- Gifted and Talented setting
- Mountain Biking
- Table Tennis
- Striking and fielding
- Outdoor & Adventurous Activities
- Demonstrate, apply and analyse the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport.
- Demonstrate and apply relevant skills and techniques in physical activity and sport.
- Analyse and evaluate own performance to identify areas of improvement.
Drama at Willingdon Community School aims to develop students’ skills as creative individuals, independent learners, and also effective group workers. The Drama curriculum builds distinct opportunities for students to develop key skills such as communication, negotiation, compromise and self-assertion. Students are encouraged to show confidence when speaking and their vocabulary is extended when they adopt roles and characters. Students will gain an understanding of subject-specific vocabulary and will also acquire a growth mindset through reflecting on and appraising their own work and the work of others. All of these skills are again highly transferable across other subjects and into employment.
Introduction to Drama.
Our introduction scheme aims to explore the fundamental performance skills and to develop confident communication skills when working in groups. The students will extend their understanding on use of space, physical control, gestures, facial expression, organisation and flow of piece.
They will also learn how to use freeze frame, thought tracking, mime, soundscape, levels and proxemics.
This scheme uses both on and off text work based on the novel as the stimulus for some exciting exploration into character, improvisation, devising and ensemble work.
Students will use elements of drama and the drama medium in order to show tension and create believable characters
To develop understandings of physical theatre and use effectively in performance
At the end of each topic students will be set an assessment which aims to check their understanding of the topic, as well as developing their performing and writing skills.
The Drama curriculum offers a broad, coherent and rigorous course of study. It aims to inspire creativity in students. All assessments at KS3 will provide opportunities for students to make and understand drama, recognising it as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated. The assessments will prepare students with the knowledge and understanding required at GCSE.
- Introduction and key skills
- Darkwood Manor
Students in Year 7 will learn to develop the following skills, knowledge and understanding through an investigation of different observational stimuli such as shoes, mechanical objects and natural forms. Students are taught skills of drawing and recording, learning about composition, proportion and scale (how to effectively plan a drawing). Students go on to learn skills in shading, mark-making and working with a range of media. Throughout the year, projects are linked to key artists, designers, cultures and art movements so that students can develop their research and writing skills. Literacy is also focused on during the year and students learn how to analyse art works and be confident writers in expressing their observations and ideas in writing as well as analysing and evaluating their own work and that of their peers. Homework is set weekly or fortnightly; students are expected to spend a minimum of 30 minutes on homework tasks. Often the homework tasks may be ongoing as students develop a long term drawing or project will may be extended over a number of weeks but will be monitored each week. Students are also required to collect research images and information about an artist or movement to support their class work project. The following explains what will be the key objectives which students will be assessed on throughout the year. Assessment frames are given to students at the start of the year and the start of projects so that students are clear on the marking system. Examples of work are also regularly shown in class.
- Contextual research - To develop ideas using research of historical and contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople.
- Media - To use a range of media, materials, techniques and processes to explore and refine your ideas.
- Drawing and recording ideas - To record ideas and use a range of drawing and recording techniques (including pencil, pen, painting, printing and photography and image manipulation)
- Final response - To complete a final, personal response in conclusion to the project in connection with your studies and research.
Projects usually cover 1-2 terms and finish with a final piece which is assessed in class before teacher assessments. Examples of previous projects include:
- Mini-still life. Using matchboxes filled with nuts and bolts, students develop a large scale drawing, learning crucial drawing skills.
- Cubism, looking at Juan Gris and Georges Braque
At Willingdon Community School students study a wide range of different musical styles and genres. Music plays an important role in the daily life, with all students being encouraged to participate in music-making and fostering musical ability at the highest level. The department is a "Champion School" for Musical Futures with KS3 following this learning method. With a Vocal Group, Warriors Band, School Ensembles, Rock and Pop bands, numerous music projects with outside agencies and a wide range of specialist music staff, the Music Department is one of the busiest and liveliest departments in the school.
Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps students understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.
In Year 7, students will cover the following topics:
- We are the Passengers
- Find your Voice
- Band Skills
- Elements of Music
- Instrumental Skills
Assessment covers performance, composition and listening
East Sussex Music Services
'Wherever music takes you, start your journey with East Sussex Music'
'If your child is interested in learning an instrument, they can sign up for lessons through East Sussex Music service’ Most students learn in a group with three or four other players so that every student can benefit from learning with others and making music together. If required, we also offer individual lessons. Lessons are held weekly for 30 weeks over the school year.'
Information & Communication Technology
In their lessons during the first year, students are introduced to the use of the school network, cloud services and a broad range of software used in for data handling, website creation, computer control, e-safety, a technical unit on bits, bytes and binary and coding.
- An introduction to the safe use of Internet and a thorough course on e-safety.
- An understanding of the basic working concepts of computer hardware and software, memory, files and file organisation.
- Computer control and coding a game in Scratch and Python
- Excel exercises in validation.
- Computer model for an automatic greenhouse and online computer coding exercises.
- Skills assessment in data handling.
- Online mini-tests
- Annotation of their game code to explain their understanding
- Computer model for an automatic greenhouse and online computer coding exercises.
- Skills assessment in data handling.
Design & Technology
Design & Technology is taught to all Key Stage 3 students. Years 7, 8 and 9 experience two main focus areas: Product Design, Systems and Control and Food Skills. ICT is used in all the modules.
In Year 7, we aim to give students a broad range of projects across the focus areas. Whilst the projects may appear to result in very different outcomes, the essential core element of designing and making is evident, whatever the product. This enables students to realise that behind every product lies a common ‘design process’. It teaches students to understand, appreciate, make and evaluate products, and gives them an insight into methods of design and production.
Students are taught in groups of maximum 20, (mixed gender and ability), for a period of 7 weeks in one focus area by one teacher. They then move on to the next teacher for a different focus for a similar period until three modules have been completed across the year. Each module will have regular homework set. Typical homework will include research and investigation into existing products related to the topic, identifying and carrying out customer interviews and recording feedback; learning key vocabulary and appropriate, innovative design tasks.
For 2019/20 we offer the following range of modules and projects:
Module 1: Working with materials, tools, equipment and workshop processes. Designing and making an acrylic clock with CAD/CAM numerals.
Module 2: Introduction to Product Design, modelling and ICT. Importance of computer aided design and computer aided manufacture in ‘real’
Module 3: Focus of learning in Year 7 is about the nutritional qualities of food and how to make healthy choices following guidance of the Government’s Eat well Guide. Learning how to use the different parts of a cooker, follow a recipe along with why fruit and vegetables are
important in the diet are also areas explored in Year 7. Assessment is based on practical work, literacy, homework and a written
Assessment for DT
For each of the three modules, the teacher assessment will be based on:
- Technical knowledge
Assessment for Food
- Practical Skills
- Theoretical work including homework
- Written assessment
PSHE is to be delivered on a rolling programme on a school wide basis. Lessons will be suspended fortnightly for all tutors to deliver PSHE for a lesson.
The delivery of PSHE education at Willingdon Community School acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people are experiencing, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the skills that will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life. Pupils are encouraged to manage diverse relationships and the increasing influence of peers and the media. PSHE education allows them to be more confident in addressing the challenges of effective learning and making a full and active contribution to society.
At Key Stage 3, pupils build on the skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding they have acquired and developed during the primary phase. PSHE education acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people are experiencing, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the skills that will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life. Pupils are encouraged to manage diverse relationships and the increasing influence of peers and the media. PSHE education allows them to be more confident in addressing the challenges of effective learning and making a full and active contribution to society.
The programme of study at Key Stage 3 and 4 follows 3 core themes as identified by the PSHE Association. The 3 themes are covered throughout terms 1-6.
CORE THEME 1: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
This core theme focuses on
- How to manage transition
- How to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing;
- How to make informed choices about health and wellbeing matters including drugs, alcohol and tobacco; maintaining a balanced diet; physical activity; mental and emotional health and wellbeing; and sexual health
- Parenthood and the consequences of teenage pregnancy
- How to assess and manage risks to health; and to keep themselves and others safe
- How to identify and access help, advice and support
- How to respond in an emergency, including administering first aid 8. The role and influence of the media on lifestyle
CORE THEME 2: RELATIONSHIPS
This core theme focuses on:
- How to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships within a range of social/cultural contexts and to develop parenting skills
- How to recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships
- How to deal with risky or negative relationships including all forms of bullying (including the distinct challenges posed by online bullying) and abuse, sexual and other violence and online encounters
- The concept of consent in a variety of contexts (including in sexual relationships)
- Managing loss including bereavement, separation and divorce
- To respect equality and be a productive member of a diverse community
- How to identify and access appropriate advice and support
CORE THEME 3: LIVING IN THE WIDER WORLD
(Economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work)
This core theme focuses on:
- Rights and responsibilities as members of diverse communities, as active citizens and participants in the local and national economy
- How to make informed choices and be enterprising and ambitious
- How to develop employability, team working and leadership skills and develop flexibility and resilience
- The economic and business environment
- How personal financial choices can affect oneself and others and about rights and responsibilities as consumers.
At Willingdon we attach great importance to the links that exist between home and school, since we believe it is by working together that we can ensure the best possible education for your child.
One important aspect of this joint effort is HOMEWORK.
The school believes that homework is an essential part of learning. It can contribute very effectively to raising achievement, for the following reasons:
- It gives students an opportunity to work independently, and to take responsibility for their own learning;
- It helps students to recognise the link between good study habits and higher standards of achievement;
- It helps teachers check that students have understood class work;
- It can be used to extend work covered in class;
- And it can strengthen liaison between home and school.
We believe that students can best benefit from the work they bring home if they have full parental support, and it is for this reason that we have taken this opportunity to outline the school’s policy on homework and the part you can play in ensuring that your child develops and maintains good homework habits.
Timing & Quantity of Homework
Key Stage 3 - Years 7 – 9
Students should expect to be set homework weekly in the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, French and Design Technology, and at least fortnightly in Geography, History, Ethics, Art, Music and ICT. Students should therefore expect to have homework to do in one or two subjects each evening.
A range of homework tasks will be set, as appropriate to individual subject areas, including written and reading tasks, learning, collecting information and objects, conducting simple experiments or making models, sketching or designing, and carrying out surveys and interviews. It is important to note that homework does not always take a written form.
It is difficult to draw up a formal homework timetable with specific evenings allocated to specific subjects, since students in any one tutor group belong to a number of different teaching groups being taught a particular subject at different times of the week. We need, therefore, as teachers and as parents, to help students see the importance of planning their time sensibly, so that work does not accumulate, and deadlines are not missed.
Adequate time will always be allowed for completion of work. Staff will avoid requiring homework to be done for the next day as far as possible, realising that students may have family or extra-curricular commitments on certain nights.
Students in year 7 should be spending approximately one hour per evening on homework. We do not, of course, wish to discourage students from spending more time than this if they are keen to do so, but we would not expect your child to struggle on throughout the evening with a piece of work that he or she found too difficult. If your child has worked conscientiously on the assignment for a reasonable amount of time, a note in the diary to that effect, to the subject teacher or tutor, would be very useful. We encourage students to carry out their homework tasks in a quiet place away from distractions, but recognise that this may not always be possible.