Keeping You Informed in Year 8
As part of our aim to keep you informed, we outline here the content of the curriculum studied by students in Year 8. We hope this will help you keep track of what is being taught and assist you in understanding the school curriculum.
In Term 1 of Year 8, students study a range of famous literary fiction which features animals.
Term 1 assessment task: critical response to opinion statement on unseen text. This links to GCSE Language Paper 1 Question 4.
In Term 2, students read a novel as a class to develop a deeper understanding of literary techniques. Students study the way characters are presented, the development of setting and how suspense is created. Key chapters will be analysed in detail to develop the students’ ability to comment on language and other features of writing.
Term 2 assessment task: descriptive writing – description of a place. This links to GCSE Language Paper 1 Question 5.
In Term 3, students explore poetry. During this project, students study a variety of poems linked with the theme of conflict.
Term 3 assessment task: comparative analysis of two poems. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 2 Section B.
During Term 4, students look at a range of non-fiction writing.
Term 4 assessment task: non-fiction writing of an argumentative article based on an opinion statement. This links to GCSE Language Paper 2 Question 5
In Term 5, students study a modern play. During this project, students develop their analytical skills when interpreting language, characters and the way the play has been structured.
Term 5 assessment task: analysis of language and structure in a play. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 2 Section A.
Term 6 begins with exploring a range of different non-fiction stories centred on survival, leading to students producing their own survival stories.
Term 6 assessment task: non-fiction writing to advise in the form of a letter. This links to GCSE Language Paper 2 Question 5.
In Year 8 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.
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 60 minutes and will be taken from various sources including online using MyMaths.
In KS3 Science at Willingdon out Year 8 students will study topics in biology, chemistry and physics. Our schemes of work are based on the KS3 Hodder scheme and have key skills embedded in each topic. All topics have learning objectives for each lesson and students will complete a core and summative assessment for each topic.
Year 8 areas of study
C7 Periodic Table
P5 Magnets & Electromagnets
B6 Food & Digestion
C8 Extracting metals
B7 Lungs & Gas Exchange
C9 Reactions of acids
P7 Domestic & Static Electricity
C10 Describing reactions
P8 Waves and Sounds
B9 Muscles and Bone
C11 Earth and Atmosphere
B10 Inheritance and Evolution
C12 Innovative materials
P10 Application of Forces
B11 Drugs and Health
P11 Heat Transfer
P12 Exploring Space
Modern Languages - French
In Year 8, students will learn to recognise and produce phrases in tenses other than the present. This will include talking about what they did in the past tense and their ambitions using the near future. They will extend work from Year 7 to give opinions about a variety of topics. Students will also learn to talk about eating out and travel. Students follow the ‘Studio’ course. Students will also develop an understanding of grammar as well as an insight into French culture.
Homework will be set once a fortnight. There will be a variety of tasks ranging from vocabulary learning, reading tasks, and listening tasks. They will also be set speaking and written tasks to prepare for their assessments.
Assessments will be in the form of regular vocabulary tests, where spelling will matter, and more formal tests based on reading, writing, speaking and listening. They will be assessed on two skills per term: speaking/ reading and writing/ listening.
MODULE 1: Youth culture: TV, cinema, the internet and reading.
- Assessment 1: Speaking (talking about going to the cinema, reading and the internet) and reading
MODULE 2: Paris: saying what you can do there/ what students like doing and what they did when they visited different places.
- Assessment 2: Listening and writing (a description of yourself name, age, family, etc., your interests, what you like did while on holiday in a different town)
MODULE 3: My identity: talking about relationships, music/ clothes and last weekend.
- Assessment 3: speaking (talking about yourself, somebody, somebody you get on well/ do not get on well, what you do with them and describing an event in the past) and reading.
Modern Languages - Spanish
Year 8 students will follow a programme of study focusing on communication, sentence building and basic grammar to help them discover a passion for languages and giving them the basic skills in the language to be able to take it for GCSE. 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 8, 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)
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 8 geography covers the following topic areas outlined below.
Unit 1: Young Geographer of the Year A chance for students to enter a national geography competition with the potential to win a trip to the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Unit 2: Food security Looking at supply and demand of food nationally, globally, and linking concepts to the rise of food banks in the UK.
Unit 3: Weather and Climate This highly relevant unit considers the need for change in the face of the effects of climate change.
Unit 4: Extreme environments An exciting topic where students get to look at a range of phenomenal environments.
Unit 5: Resource Management Students will think about how to provide for the daily needs of people and how different countries try to meet this need.
Unit 6: What shapes the land A first look at the central processes of erosion and deposition in physical geographical study. This unit links to our field trip to Eastbourne beach to experience basic fieldwork planning and techniques.
Unit 7: Global Issues Another opportunity for students to lead their own learning and research some of the geographical issues facing the world today with a primary focus on the plastic revolution.
The scheme of work has been designed to prepare students for the 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 logical structure.
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.
During Year 8 students will investigate the making of the modern world. Through a study of the transatlantic slave trade students will engage with themes such as racism, power and beliefs. Students will then move on to an enquiry on the changes in Britain 1750-1900. They will study the religious, social, political and economic changes of this period and consider how it affected different groups of people within society. Students will also investigate Britain’s place in the world at the turn of the twentieth century with an enquiry into how the British Empire should be remembered.
Finally, Year 8 students will delve into the horrors of the trenches of World War One. Students will investigate why the war began, who fought and the impact of the conflict.
During the year students will experience a variety of teaching and learning activities. Homework is used to consolidate and extend class work. Students are set a variety of tasks, appropriate to them including project work, descriptive writing and preparation for assessments. We will encourage students to carry out research to increase knowledge.
Students complete four formal assessments over the year:
Term 1: The English Reformation and interpretations of Mary I
Term 2: The Abolition of slavery
Term 3+4: Changes in Britain 1750-1900
Term 5+6: World War One
Ethics & Philosophy
In Ethics and Philosophy, we explore themes that emphasise concepts across and between religions (including alternative belief systems) and cover issues that impact students’ everyday life. In Year 8 these themes are; Environmental Issues and Peace and Conflict.
We also undertake systematic study of the content of a particular religion which leads to a coherent understanding of what it means to belong to that religion. In year 8 we study Islam.
We investigate contemporary ethical issues, focusing on the Holocaust and explore fundamental questions of human existence and right or wrong. In Year 8 such questions include- Why are people persecuted for their beliefs? Is it right to go to war? Is it our responsibility to care for the environment?
Students will be set key assessments which will include:
- Environmental Issues
- Peace and Conflict
Students will be set in single sex groups and will be set on their ability.
Students will study activities from the following programme:
- Mountain Biking
- Table Tennis
- Striking and fielding
- Outdoor and 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.
The Year 8 programme of study builds on the performing and group working skills developed in Year 7 – with a focus on naturalistic and abstract performance.
Year 8 Drama
Crime and Punishment
This scheme is based on an historical crime. It intends to prepare pupils for devising work and builds on student’s abilities to use their imagination. They will explore stereotypical assumptions, a character’s motivation, non-verbal communication and marking the moment.
Physical Theatre – Metamorphosis
In this scheme students will identify and employ the concept of using physicality to represent character and objects. They will work cooperatively to present the story Metamorphosis using physical theatre and abstract techniques.
Our Grimm Tales scheme will enable students to develop skills in storytelling and textual analysis. They will examine how fairy tales have developed over time and how stories can be deconstructed to create new versions.
Students will investigate relationships between characters in Private Peaceful, particularly Tommo and Charlie
They will explore the experiences of young people at war and be able to empathise with them. They will create a performance in a Brechtian style.
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.
Students in Year 8 will learn to develop confidence and technical skill through a thorough investigation of painting skills in different contexts. Students will also be building upon their skills developed in year 7 and drawing and observational skills will continue to feature in the curriculum alongside painting. They will learn effective painting techniques, focusing on experiments with paint consistencies, colour mixing techniques and brush control. They will learn aspects of colour theory and how to work from observation as well as secondary sources, using their research as an effective tool to inform class work studies.
Throughout the year, projects are linked to key artists 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 to 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 which may extend 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.
- 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 span from 1-2 terms and finish with a final piece which is assessed in class before teacher assessments. Examples of previous projects include:
- Colour mixing and colour theory, focusing on the watercolour studies of Paul Klee
- Landscape painting inspired by the work of David Hockney
- Print making informed by ‘bugs and butterflies’ and looking at the work of E. Seguy and Damien Hirst
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 8 students will cover the following topics:
- Beats and Rhymes
- Image Junction
- Band Skills
- Exploring Technology
- Rhythms of the World
- The Blues
Assessment in music 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
During Year 8, students will continue to develop their awareness of e-safety, use higher order data handling skills, update their multimedia website, unpick the architecture of a PC and develop their coding skills in Python and Scratch.
- E safety speech
- Bits, Bytes and Binary
- Coding in Python
- Future Technology website
Design & Technology
Design & Technology is taught to all Key Stage 3 students. Years 7, 8 and 9 experience three main focus areas: Product Design, Systems and Control and Food Skills. ICT is used in each module.
In Year 8 we continue to develop Design and Technology capability and we build upon the skills, knowledge and understanding from Year 7. 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: Students learn about prototypes, the importance of good quality and packaging. They develop their CAD/CAM skills by designing jewellery,
for which a mould is made and a prototype cast in pewter. The project will involve designing and making. Students will work on practical tasks to produce a quality item.
Module 2: Developing skills associated with product design and production. Research and investigation into existing products. Core skills in designing by hand, transferring the design to a digital form and independent manufacture of a commercially viable product, developing enterprise skills and creating laser cut jewellery
Module 3: Focus of learning in Year 8 is about special dietary needs and the role protein plays in the diet. Students are shown how to make dishes
using different proteins that are suitable for these specific needs along with advanced cutting techniques. Assessment is based on practical work, literacy, homework and a written knowledge test.
Assessment for DT
For each of the three modules, the assessment will be based on:
- Technical knowledge
Assessment for Food
- Practical Skills
- Theoretical work including homework
- Written assessment
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, students 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 and 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. 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.
Failure to complete or hand in homework.
Students can be given a break-time detention or an after-school departmental detention. If the problem continues, individual departments or your child’s Director of Student Progress will inform you of the situation, and may suggest a meeting to discuss the problem. Where there are problems in a number of subjects, a student may be put on a Homework Monitoring Report until the situation improves.
We hope that the above outline of our policy on homework will help you to support your child and to monitor the work that he/she brings home. If you.