Curriculum overview for year 7

This is a summary of the curriculum in year 7.  More detail for each subject including curriculum journeys and knowledge organisers can be found in the subject pages.  

At the bottom of this page is an overview of the assessment for year 7 you can jump to that here.


Students in year 7 will develop their proportional reasoning and probability skills to solve real life problems.  They will deepen their understanding of shape through the manipulation of area, perimeter and volume. They will begin to solve problems by representing unknowns with algebra, interpret data using averages and challenge their accuracy when drawing, interpreting and measuring. They will expand on their existing knowledge of shape properties to solve multi–step problems, requiring them to reason accurately. 


Chronological journey through literature

We begin the year exploring the origins of storytelling and how they were used by ancient civilisations to empathise with and understand the world.  Students will explore the seven main story types before before moving on to exploring Juliet's role as a daughter, wife and woman in a patriarchal society in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  We then move to the rebellious poetry of the Romantic era before immersing students in the Victorian period through the study of Oliver Twist, using both units to explore the role of literature as a social commentary.  We end the year by exploring a selection of Dystopian stories to explore why some authors choose to step away from contemporary social commentary and look to the future.  Throughout the year, students are encouraged to engage with a range of linked reading to explore these ideas further and deepen their knowledge.


BIOLOGY: Skeletons, cells and microscopy will lead you to understand what goes on inside your body; we will then look at how organisms connect and interact with their environment. Life cycles, genes and adaptations will show you how amazing living things really are.

CHEMISTRY: Solid, liquid and gases are studied in relation to their properties and we will explore how materials can be separated. We will look at the chemical reactions of metals, acids and salts and understand what our Earth is made of and why its movement is important.

PHYSICS: Our forces topic will explore the effects gravity and speed calculations; electromagnets will model and design circuits and we will take a closer look at electrical energy and energy in food and fuels. We will also discover how light and sound help us to interpret the world around us.

Computer Science

In year 7 Computing we begin the year by looking at the effective use of computers and E-Safety. Once students have a grasp of using the computer they will have an introduction to basic programming  using Kodu. We then move on to Computing Principles and looking at how Computers represent information. Students will then progress they computer programming skills first using Scratch and then text based programming using Small Basic. Our final project will develop the students digital literacy and creative skills through App Development using MIT App Inventor. 


In the Autumn term students cover an overview of ancient civilisations followed by the role of state and church in Medieval society.

In the Spring term students complete a depth study into the Tudor dynasty and its impact which leads onto the English Civil war including a local study into the witch craze.  

In the summer term students cover ‘Civil rights - from slavery to emancipation and beyond’ this is followed by a depth study into the Native American society and culture.


Students begin to look at the qualities required to be a good geographer. We look at the topic ‘where in the world am I’, which aims to develop the sense of place, locational knowledge and the concept of interconnectedness. This topic aims to build students' confidence from KS2 and to aid their connections with their prior knowledge.  We continue to develop their critical thinking skills as we explore population growth and the impacts it can have around the globe. 

In the spring term, we investigate our UK coastal landscapes answering the key question ‘What happens where land meets the sea? We explore the coastal processes that form key features such as headlands and bays, caves, arches, spits and bars. We look at these processes and the impact on coastal locations such as Happisburgh.  We shift our focus to what life is like on the African continent. Our key question ‘What is the dangers of telling a single story in Africa?’ allows students to challenge any prior misconceptions and how we can overcome these as we look at the continent exploring its biomes and economic status.  

Our final term explores the physical Geography in the UK, focusing on the physical systems stemming from both ice and water. We explore glacial and fluvial processes and their impact on the Lake District’s landscape. We end year 7 looking at weather and climate and complete fieldwork to explore the key question; where is the best location to set up a picnic bench at the Colne Community School?


The Building Blocks of the French Language 

At the beginning of Year 7, students are exposed to basic grammar of key irregular verbs, adjective agreement and present tense, through the All About Me topic. They then expand their vocabulary and develop their grammatical knowledge in the School topic, where they also learn to express and

justify opinions, tell the time and talk about food. In the Free Time Activities topic, we revisit the present tense of key regular and irregular verbs through the context of technology, sport and hobbies. Students then learn to describe where they live, and use a wide range of irregular verbs to talk about where they go in their town, what they want to do at the weekend and what they can do in their local area. By the end of Year 7, students have built on prior knowledge from previous topics, learnt to develop their basic sentences into extended sentences, and laid the foundation for Year 8.

Physical Education

In Year 7 PE, students will participate in a broad range of indoor and outdoor sports (including athletics, dance, games and gymnastics).  In each sport, they will develop a range of basic skills and techniques to improve their performance. Students will gain an understanding of tactics and strategies and will be able to apply these in a range of sports. Whilst practising in conditioned situations, students will learn how to analyse their own performance and demonstrate improvement.  Students will also gain an understanding of how to construct a warm up and cool down and will improve their communication and organisation through being able to lead these for small groups. 


The Drama department at The Colne prides itself on meeting the needs of all students and engaging them with a curriculum that is varied, bright and challenging. We start with an introduction to theatre skills and techniques which encourages their performance skills and confidence. As we move to the year students learn about different genres of study from Theatre In Education to physical theatre. Students will learn to perform in a variety of characters which enthuse their interests naturally. We finish the year with a nod to Shakespeare. 


Year 7 in Art is all about learning ‘Core Skills’. 

Students study three projects, one each term. I, Me, Mine is an exploration of self-portraiture, developing drawing skills, use of facial proportions, basic painting and colour theory. In the Formal Elements of Art project students explore the use of line, tone, shape, colour and pattern in artist’s work, developing skills with different media, experiment with applying the formal elements and also look at 20th Century Art History. Finally, students learn about Perspective and Composition, developing knowledge and application of linear, visual, aerial perspective and foreshortening.

Food Technology

Students study an introduction into safe food storage and cooking temperatures  How to handle and use a knife correctly, using the Arch and Claw methods and safely carrying and cleaning of knives.

Basic cookery is covered via the Eat Well guide, including fruit, vegetables and healthy eating 

Design & Technology, Engineering and Textiles

Projects: Students will learn skills to produce high quality, handmade products such as a wooden spatula and a usable tie dye bag.

Health and Safety: Students study Health and Safety in the workshops before using tools for practical activities.

Tools and Equipment: Saw, file, sandpaper, sewing machines 

Design: Ideas taken from a 2D format and created into 3D.

Knowledge and Understanding: The properties of materials and sustainability. 

Religious Education

Year 7 explore Religious Education using 3 lens: Theological, Philosophical and Sociological. We begin our Learning Journey at the beginning of existence. This introduces students to all 6 of the world’s great religions. Students gain an understanding of how sacred writings can be interpreted in different ways e.g. literalist and liberal. Students gain insight into how different groups within Christianity practice their faith. We look at the concept of being responsible for ourselves and for the planet. Continuing our theological focus on sacred teachings such as the 10 Commandments. We finish the year with a focus on key moments in a human's life as marked by different religious traditions. This then takes us to the life of Buddha and what motivated him to give up everything he had in his search for enlightenment. 


KS3 Citizenship starts through students identifying the importance of rules and laws and how these play a significant role in both their school life and wider society. Students examine how these rules and laws have a link to the rights and freedoms that citizens of the UK enjoy today. Students spend time developing their knowledge of the differences between life in the UK compared to countries where there is less of a focus on rights. Finally, students learn what it means to be an active citizen.


Autumn Term

In PSHE lessons this term, Year 7 have been looking at managing feelings, friendship, peer influence, verbal bullying and banter, as well as online privacy and social media. Year 7 will go on to look at the makeup of families, bereavement, and will finish the term examining mental health in terms of feelings and behaviour, self esteem, managing disappointment and learning from mistakes.   

Year 7 will also receive a lesson from our specialist teacher on respect, harassment and banter.


We start our musical journey by ensuring that all students understand the basics of reading music - pitch and duration. They will demonstrate their understanding by composing a four or eight bar melody as well as exploring other types of notation.  Once we have gained the key basic knowledge, we put it into practice on the keyboards where pupils will learn to play with their right hand, using good technique, and progress at their own pace. We then travel back in time to the Baroque Period and discover some great musical composers and their works as well as looking at the history of music and society. We also look at how the orchestra and instruments have developed over time.  Following this, we move forward in time again to learn the basics of sequencing on the iMacs through singing and playing the Bill Withers song, ‘Lean on Me’. Students will then be introduced to the guitar and learn the chord progression for ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.  We finish the year by travelling to Asia, where we explore Indonesian Gamelan and traditional Chinese Music and cultures through the pentatonic.