Keeping You Informed in Year 9
As part of our aim to keep you informed, we outline here the content of the curriculum studied by students in Year 9. We hope this will help you keep track of what is being taught and assist you in understanding the school curriculum.
In Term 1, students read a novel as a class to develop a deeper understanding of literary techniques. Students study the way characters are presented, 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. They will also produce their own writing responses.
Term 1 assessment task: analysing an extract from the novel exploring language and structure. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 1 Sections A and B
In Term 2, students study a range of texts from the Gothic genre, identify their main features, themes and study the language and techniques used by the writer to create a specific effect on the reader.
Assessment task: a descriptive piece of writing. This links to GCSE Language Paper 1 Question 5.
In Term 3, students are introduced to a range of thematic poetry and descriptive writing.
Assessment task: a comparative analysis of two poems. This links to GCSE Literature Paper 2 Section B.
In Term 4, students study texts from the nineteenth century including Sherlock Holmes novels. This is designed to prepare them for a GCSE approach to studying texts.
Assessment task: narrative writing. This links to GCSE Language Paper 1 Question 5
In Term 5, students study a Shakespeare play (‘Macbeth’). Students complete an essay response in which they demonstrate their analytical skills by commenting on the language used as well as the structure. They will produce writing responses linked to the themes of the play.
Assessment task: Shakespeare analysis based on extract. This links to GCSE English Literature Paper 1 sections A and B.
In Term 6, students study a range of non-fiction from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century. This unit gives them a taste of the GCSE Language exam.
Assessment task: non-fiction writing argumentative speech based on an opinion statement. This links to GCSE Language Paper 2 Question 5.
In Year 9 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 90 minutes and will be taken from various sources including online using MyMaths.
In Year 9 students start studying GCSE courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our Schemes of Work are based on the AQA 9-1 Collins Schemes. Nine units will be covered in Year 9, Biology 1-3, Chemistry 1-3 and Physics 1-3.
Year 9 Areas of Study
B1 Cell Biology
C1 Atomic Structure
B2 Photosynthesis Organisation
C2 Structures, Bonding and
B3 Infection and Response
Modern Languages - French
In Year 9 students will continue to develop and extend work on topics from years 7 and 8, as well as preparing new topic areas.
Grammar work will concentrate on the development of the use of tenses. Students of all sets will also develop their learning skills in preparation for the new GCSE requirement.
Sets 1 and 2 especially will be expected to present work orally in front of the class, as well as developing their written skills in order to produce essays in French in Year 10 and 11.
Homework will be set once a week. There will be a variety of tasks from a website directly linked to the textbook used in class where they will be able to access 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 : My social life (discussing Facebook/ music events/ going out/ music festivals around the world)
- Assessment 1: writing (Say how often you go on the internet, how long you spend on it and what you are going to do on the internet in the future) and listening.
Module 2 : Being healthy (parts of the body/ sport/ healthy eating/ making plans to get fit)
- Assessment 2: speaking (Say what you must do to get fit, what you think about sport, what you do to keep fit, what you eat and drink which is healthy/ unhealthy, and what you will do in the future to keep fit) and reading
Module 3 : My future (jobs/ learning languages/ using the future and the past)
- Assessment 3: writing (mention two things that interest you, say what kind of pupil you are, say what kind of work interests you and mention what two of your friends want to do, mention three things you will do when you leave school) and listening.
Homework will be set once a fortnight. Students will be set homework from https://www.pearsonactivelearn.com website where they will be able to access reading tasks, and listening tasks. They will also be set speaking and written tasks to prepare for their assessments.
Modern Languages - Spanish
Year 9 students 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 9, 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 9 Geography covers the following topic areas outlined below.
Unit 1: Urban studies and environments
With an increasing urban population in the UK and the world, it is important that students explore the reasons for and impacts of urbanisation.
This unit links to our local field trip where students evaluate the consequences of further development in the rural-urban fringe.
Unit 2: National Park Tourism
Students get to explore a different region and create presentations together.
Unit 3: China
An incredible country and rarely out of the news. Students will look at the physical geography of China and the growth of this country in a global context.
Unit 4: Geography of Conflict
A chance for students to examine the causes/ impacts of conflict and the relationship of conflict to geography.
Unit 5: Globalisation: Sport & Fashion
Students can follow their own interests as they look at the pros and cons of globalisation.
Unit 6: Africa: A continent of contrasts
A time to challenge stereotypes, this unit comprises, graphical work and group projects.
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.
History in Year 9 focuses for the most part on 20th century British and world History in order to lay the best possible foundation for the GCSE course.
In Year 9 students will study the twentieth century world. Through a study of World War 1, World War 2 and the Holocaust students will be engaged with themes such as conflict, persecution and power. Students will investigate why World War 2 began and how it ended. They will also compare and contrast differing forms of government, dictatorship and democracy, communism and capitalism.
Later in Year 9 students will be led through an enquiry of the Civil Rights movement. Students will study the context of discrimination and segregation in the USA and develop an understanding of different forms of protest. Students will gain an understanding of key individuals in the movement, such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Homework is set fortnightly to consolidate and extend class work Students are set a variety of tasks appropriate to their ability and level of progress. The Department encourages students to carry out extended research to increase their knowledge.
Assessments in Year 9 are modelled on GCSE questions and marking done in accordance to GCSE mark schemes.
Term 1+2: World War One
Term 3+4: The Holocaust and World War Two
Term 5+6: The Civil Rights movement
Ethics & Philosophy
In Ethics and Philosophy students develop their independent study skills and complete a research project tailored to their interests. Students work with their peers to explore concepts that challenge their view of the world and appreciate the alternative viewpoints of others. The development of critical thinking, reflection and the building of confidence is strengthened as students research one of the following topics and produce an exhibition for their peers; Animal Ethics, Life After Death, Evil and Suffering or Buddhism.
Students are given an opportunity to explore themes covered in the GCSE and challenge themselves, developing intrinsic motivation and passion for a well-established subject.
We investigate contemporary ethical issues and fundamental questions of human existence, relevant to the individual in his or her personal development. In year 9 such questions include- What happens when we die? Do animals have rights? Are some people evil?
Students will present on their own topic which will include:
- Life After Death
- Animal Ethics
- Evil and Suffering
PE will be set in single sex groups and set on ability. Students will study activities from the following programme:
- Sports leadership
- Gaelic football
- Mountain Biking
- Table tennis
- Striking and fielding
- 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.
In Year 9 we begin exploring different performance texts; the ‘Grimm Tales and ‘DNA’. We explore both texts of using a GCSE style approach ending in an assessed performance.
This scheme will prepare students with the foundations for making work at GCSE. They will explore style, form, structure, plot, character, dialogue, staging and design.
DNA In this scheme students gain experience of transferring script from page to stage. They will develop skills relating to naturalistic acting and create more complex characterisation
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 9 will be building upon and refining their skills developed in year 7 and 8 whilst gaining a strong understanding of the expectations at KS4 in GCSE Art and Design. Drawing and observational skills will continue to feature in the curriculum alongside painting, printing, collage and paper manipulation art. Students will be further developing their research skills, looking at contemporary and historical artists and designers and using the artists’ work to inspire their own responses. Students will be guided more closely on how to present work at GCSE standard in order to prepare those who have the aim of taking art as an option.
Students will continue to learn how to analyse art works and be encouraged to express their own observations and opinions. They will also build upon previous experience by learning how to analyse and evaluate their own work and that of their peers, using the evaluation process to help them to make further progress in their art work. Literacy will be a key focus at times, with the aim of encouraging students to be able to articulate their own ideas in writing. Homework is set weekly to fortnightly; students are expected to spend a minimum of 30-40 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.
The following explains what will be the key objectives which students will be assessed on throughout the year.
1. Contextual research - To develop ideas using research of historical and contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople.
2. Media - To use a range of media, materials, techniques and processes to explore and refine your ideas.
3. 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)
4. 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:
- Drawings of natural forms to inspire paper manipulations and monochromatic paintings.
- Printing project inspired by the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ festival.
- Drawing and collage project inspired by Balinese masks and the contemporary designer, Jonny Wan.
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. With a Vocal Group, Warrior Band, School Ensemble, 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 9 students will cover the following topics:
- Band Skills
- Composing to a brief
- Music and Politics
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 Technology & Communication
During Year 9, students will continue to develop their coding skills in Python, computer control and data handling skills.
They will work on more sophisticated operations using databases, searching data for information and using statistical analysis. They will concentrate on three extended pieces of coursework in preparation for Year 10. The first one centres on data handling, the second on computer control coding their own theme park ride and the third, on developing their coding skills in Scratch and Python.
Within each project students are taught the computation skills relevant to that unit.
- Detailed project documentation for each unit
- Their ability to interrogate a database and present findings
- Production of a tested and refined flowchart for their ride
- Online mini-tests
- Working, tested and debugged code for their coded game.
Design & Technology
In Year 9 we continue to develop Design and Technology capability and we build upon the skills, knowledge and understanding from Years 7 and 8. This course is also preparation for GCSE D&T courses and GCSE Hospitality and Catering. 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 homework set fortnightly. 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. Design and Technology capability will be built upon over the year to give a final teacher assessment. The student will often be using GCSE criteria and grading to support them with their tasks.
For 2019/20 we offer the following range of modules and projects:
Module 1: In Year 9 the two workshop DT modules are linked, in the first module students will undertake design research and develop creative ideas and solutions to a lighting brief. They will use CAD/CAM and sketch work to design ideas and develop these through prototype modelling.
Module 2: In the second module they will construct working models of their lighting ideas, developing key workshop skills and manufacturing techniques.
Module 3: Focus of learning in Year 9 develops and extends student’s skills in the kitchen along with the role carbohydrates play in the diet. Assessment is based on practical work, literacy, homework and a written knowledge test
Assessment for DT
For each of the three modules, the teacher assessment:
- Technical knowledge
Assessment for Food
- Practical skills
- Theoretical work including homework
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, 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. 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.