Maths

Students in year 8 will deepen their sense and understanding of number by identifying and using primes, factors, multiples and indices. They will manipulate shapes on a 2D axis using transformations and even combinations of multiple transformations. They will bring their work to life when looking at compound measures and relationships between different variables. Their understanding of probability will strengthen when looking at independent and dependent events as they move away from labelling probability with words and use fractions, decimals and percentages to calculate them. Students will also be able to apply their coordinate plotting skills to questions involving straight line graphs and equations of straight lines.

English

Literature through a lens

Building on the work of year 7, this year will focus on how language is used by a wide variety of writers to express attitudes and ideas; beginning with a focus on the history of rhetoric. We then move to our second Shakespeare study (The Tempest) exploring the theme of power through the ideas of racism, slavery and colonialism. An exploration of Gothic literature encourages students to examine how writers presented their fears of the unknown. We then move to Animal Farm and finish with a range of War Poetry with a strong focus on analysing writer’s intentions.

Science

BIOLOGY: Breathing, digestion and looking after your body will take us on a journey of nutrition and drugs. Key biological processes such as respiration and photosynthesis are all around us and we will discover why they are so important. Inheritance and extinction will conclude biology with a look to the past and to the future.

CHEMISTRY: We will classify elements and look at their chemical and physical properties. We will find out why chemical reactions are so important to us and how the Earth provides materials for these reactions. We will also discuss our impact on Earth and how to be sustainable.

PHYSICS: Our forces topic will explore motion and pressure; We will model magnetic fields, build electromagnets and discuss their uses. We will take a closer look at energy stores and energy transfer in the world around us and we will find out how waves can be useful and sometimes harmful.


Computer Science

In year 8 Computing we start the year looking at Spreadsheet Modelling using Google Sheets, their studies will move onto understanding Computing Law and Crime. Students will then start to develop their programming skills progressing from year, now using Python, this will lead onto looking at Computing Algorithms and Computational Logic. The year will conclude with understanding sound and graphics through Sound Editing with Audacity and Graphics Editing with Fireworks.

History

In the Autumn term students cover the ‘Great War’ its causes, key events, the armistice and the subsequent peace treaties. This is followed by the rise of Nazism in Germany and the Holocaust study.

In the spring term students study the Second World War and the history of Russia through to the establishment of the USSR.

In the summer term students study a course tracing the key events of the Cold War and they finish the year with a study of the history of Terrorism.

Geography

Students build upon the key concepts developed in Year 7, first looking at the physical and human characteristics of Brazil, focusing on the Amazon Rainforest and Rio de Janeiro. We then challenge students’ perceptions of inequality, exploring the different economic development of countries around the world. We continue our exploratory focus on the UK’s weather systems, extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change. Our summer term aims to further develop our student’s independence as they explore the economic superpowers of China and the sustainability of our planet.

French

Vocabulary & Grammar Learning

The Past Tense is introduced, as well as Irregular Verbs (including ‘être’, ‘avoir’, ‘aller’ and ‘faire’). Reflexive Verbs are explained and how to describe a daily routine (e.g. ‘je me réveille à huit heures’). Complex sentences begin development, using connectives and intensifiers (such as ‘et’, ‘assez’, ‘très’, ‘cependant’), using topic related vocabulary, and including the use of questioning, particularly within speaking exercises. The Near (Immediate) Future Tense is used in describing plans for the coming weekend (e.g ‘je vais jouer au football’).

Art

In Chiaroscuro, students explore exaggerated tone in Art and Photography to create a still life drawing and experiment with printmaking to create a background for their still life. In Pop Art they develop knowledge of the Art movement, create a large Lichtenstein inspired artwork, refine painting skills and experiment with digital art inspired by Warhol. Finally, students learn about Sculpture and Contemporary Art, developing skills needed to make 3D artworks and learn about a range of modern artists that will inspire an abstract sculpture design.

Citizenship

KS3 study in Citizenship continues in year 8 with students debating and discussing crime and punishment with a focus on the age of criminal responsibility and youth justice. The focus then moves to global issues where students spend time analysing the causes of poverty and the methods used to help reduce the issue such as international aid and debt relief. Finally, students are introduced to government and politics and research the differing types of government as well as the role of Members of Parliament.

Religious Education

We continue to focus on the 6 conceptual areas identified in the Essex Agreed Syllabus and work our way through the remaining 3 great world religions. This ensures students have some knowledge on each of the 6 great world religions. We commence with Christianity and looking at how belief in Jesus’s divinity can shape a Christians life (PRACTICES AND WAYS OF LIFE). Students are given an ICT task to design a church that would allow different denominations to worship together and must contain the key items required by each of the 5 main groups. It is a whole year competition. Year 8 then look at Islam (IDENTITY, DIVERSITY AND BELONGING), we look at core beliefs in God, the relevance to Muslims of the Qur’an and who was Prophet Mohammad. We then explore Islam in the media and have a class debate on roles of men and women in the 21st Century. The final term Year 8 look at Sikhism which continues with a focus on identity and growing up as a Sikh in the U.K. Students have a discussion on the wearing of religious symbols, as Sikhs under British law are allowed to carry a knife. (VALUES AND COMMITMENTS)

Drama

The term starts with link of genres; murder mystery, comedy, and soap operas. Students engage beautifully with this concept and transpire an air of confidence, expressions and a sense of humour in their performances. In the middle of the year students meet 6 characters for a murder mystery. Each lesson we reveal a drama skill and “who done it?” moment. The mystery, fun and creativity is adored by all. Towards the end of the year we begin preparing for GCSE drama by exploring Blood Brothers.

Physical Education

In Year 8 PE, students will become more competent and confident in their skills and techniques and will continue to participate in a broad range of indoor and outdoor sports (including athletics, dance, games and gymnastics). They will build upon their understanding of tactics and strategies and will apply these in a range of competitive situations. Students will learn how to evaluate their own and others performances and will develop leadership attributes through developing their own practices. Students will begin to appreciate the short and long term benefits of exercise.

Food Technology

Building on skills from year 7

Nutrition from the Eat Well Guide. Topics include, carbohydrates, nutrition program and cooking skills.

Skills include: The reaction of yeast in pizza dough; how flour and fat gelatinises to produce a sauce; the chemical reaction of raising agents.

Students will make, scones, pizza, pasta and sauces.

Textiles & Electronics

Students will learn a variety of design and hand-sewing techniques. The overall project will culminate in an individually designed keyring using conductive thread and other electronic components. Students will learn the theory of textiles, materials and electronics throughout the course.

Design & Technology & Engineering

Students will continue learning designing and technical drawing techniques. Workshop machinery and hand skills will be taught through project work and theory using metal and wood.

STEM

Students will gain an understanding of how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics combine is the workplace and in the wider world. In Year 8 students will build and understand a steady hand game involving basic electronic and construction skills.

Music

Pupils continue their journey around the world, travelling to China, looking at the pentatonic sound. Continuing, we move to the Blues. Pupils get a chance to improvise, compose and perform. Next, we develop the independent learning, pupils progress in reading and performing notation. Then to Indonesia to learn about the Gamelan, deepening knowledge of the pentatonic scale. Lastly, we enjoy the simple structure of the pop song. Pupils perform an existing song. Then, pupils compose their own using technology or instruments.

Product Design

British Values night light, children’s themed bookend & desk tidy –students investigate, develop designs and create 3D models using craft knives, hot glue guns and corrugated card. Computer aided design and manufacturing is taught as well as how to build electronic circuits. Students work with soldering irons, PCB drills, the laser machine and other workshop machinery. Students journey through the design process and turn their ideas into reality.