Curriculum overview for year 9

This is a summary of the curriculum in year 9.  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 9 you can jump to that here.


Students in year 9 will begin to apply their inverse operation skills to solve linear equations and inequalities, these skills will become increasingly important through the rest of their time studying Maths to a higher level. They will also apply their algebraic skills to find terms in a sequence and identify the nth term. Students will be taking a jump from angles in basic 2D shapes to angles in all polygons and parallel lines and they will also look at calculating the surface area and volume of more complex 3D shapes. In addition they will also learn how to unpick data and draw conclusions using averages and skills to analyse data.


Literature through a critical lens

We will begin to look at literature in a more critical way.  Students begin the year by looking at a range of diverse authors in a collection called Iridescent Adolescent. Students will explore what is truly implied by the phrase 'Reading is breathing in: Writing is breathing out' as they explore all aspects of what it means to study English.  They then look at a range of poetry addressing various issues of identity and examine how writers express their attitudes and opinions through this medium.  Students will then look at a range of texts linked to the theme of gender and power with an exploration of the feminist lens reading the core text Medusa by Jessie Burton - a feminist retelling of the classic story.  This knowledge of class, gender and identity is then applied to the study of the first GCSE Literature text – An Inspector Calls.  Throughout the year, students are encouraged to engage with a range of linked reading to explore these ideas further and deepen their knowledge.


BIOLOGY: Cells and organisation will walk you through calculating magnification and comparing prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. We will help you to understand processes such as osmosis, cell division, gas exchange and transpiration. Enzyme function in digestion will also be explored.

CHEMISTRY: Atomic structure will delve into sub atomic particles, bonds and formulas of elements and compounds. We will also explain patterns of reactivity using the periodic table.  Organic chemistry investigates the properties and formulas of hydrocarbons and chemical analysis will allow you to identify unknown substances. Lastly we will look at how the Earth’s Atmosphere has changed over time due to the impact of human activity.

PHYSICS: We will revisit energy stores including energy calculations and also investigate energy transfers and compare renewable and non-renewable energy resources.  In particles at work you will gain greater understanding of different kinds of circuits and how they can be useful.  Density will also be explored.


A deeper understanding of Converting Number Bases and how to convert between binary, decimal and hexadecimal are covered in year 9. Units of Information and how to convert between unit sizes e.g. GB to TB link to the number bases. Representing characters, images and sound links to binary conversions. Key algorithms are taught for searching, sorting and compressing data. The advantages and disadvantages of these are studied.

Year 9 French

The Consolidation Year

Year 9 begins with consolidation of previously learned tenses; students revisit the present tense to describe physical appearance and personality, which is then extended to talk about family relationships. They practise the near future and past tenses in different contexts, before using the past to describe what their life used to be like when they were younger.

Language skills are developed through a range of interesting topics such as sport, your life online, reading, television programmes and cinema, where students increase their cultural capital and knowledge of complex grammar structures. 

Year 9 German

The Consolidation Year

Year 9 begins with consolidation of previously learned tenses: past, present and future. The vocabulary topics begin with school, describing school subjects and a typical school day. The vocabulary is then extended to talk about school rules and school uniform, and students make cultural comparisons between British and German schools which leads to discussions about exchange trips. Cultural understanding is developed via the free time theme, which incorporates  leisure activities, reading, music, films and TV and sport. The three tenses are then further consolidated across the topics of celebrations and festivals. Students then learn to describe their relationships with their friends and family, give their views on marriage and describe weekend plans. Finally, students study the topic of house and home, with a cultural focus on German food and a comparison of different lifestyles and daily routines. They also weigh up the pros and cons of technology and social media.


Language Development

The Present, Past and Future Tenses (e.g. ‘escucho la música’, ‘escuché la música’, ‘voy a escuchar la música’), are utilised simultaneously, to create and develop complex structured sentences (e.g. ‘me gusta escuchar la música pop porque es muy divertida pero no me gusta escuchar la música clásica porque es aburrida’). Students are actively encouraged to express opinions (e.g. ‘me encanta/odio’), give justifications, use negation and questioning, and include connectives and intensifiers to improve their language skills in all four disciplines. Translation focuses particularly on topic related vocabulary (Modules 1-3).


In the autumn term students will begin a study of Post War Britain to establish the events that helped to develop our modern Britain. This is followed by a depth study of the Vietnam war and the American involvement. 

 In the spring term students study an overview of Britain tracing key themes on their development. This is followed by a study of America  covering the prohibition and the depression eras  and investigating key people and events post World War Two.


Students begin year 9 evaluating the global issue of sustainability. We will cover key elements linking to the Sustainable Development Goals; specifically mitigating climate change, energy development and designing sustainable cities. We move on to our topic of Asia where we look at what life is like in differing parts of the continent. We compare its physical Geography and how it can influence settlements, globalisation and differing levels of development. 

In the spring we move on to discuss differing solutions to reduce the development gap between low-income and high-income countries. We look at case studies to support differing strategies such as fair trade, debt relief and tourism whilst evaluating which are more successful in the long term. This unit is designed to support decision making; a key skill in preparation for student’s GCSE courses. We continue the sprint term looking at crime and conflict which gets students questioning their sense of place and investigating their local area’s current crime rates. 

Our summer term looks at the theme of natural hazards. We explore the key physical systems that cause the formation of volcanoes and earthquakes; along with their impact upon low and high income countries. We compare key earthquakes occurring in both Nepal and New Zealand and how to reduce the impacts through monitoring, prediction and planning. We continue to look at tropical storms globally and extreme weather in the UK. 

Our aim, whether students finish Geography in Year 9 or continue to GCSE is to develop  confident global citizen who is passionate about the world around them.

Religious Education

In Year 9 students go deeper in their knowledge of the 2 main religions of the UK and the world: Christianity and Islam. The Theological Lens is used to explore core Christian and Muslim beliefs i.e. Why is the day Jesus died called 'Good' Friday? Once students have a more solid understanding they are better equipped for debates. Students use the Philosophical Lens to understand the complexities of ethical issues e.g. abortion and capital punishment. In the final term students look at religion through a Sociological Lens: How is shapes human behaviour and society. We then finish with exploring how religion has changed religious people’s lives over the 21st Century, with the rise of social media. 


Autumn Term

Year 9 have started the term with looking at family diversity, and have moved on to look at intimate relationships, and then contraception, unintended pregnancy and STIs, as well as how relationships can change. Year 9 will go on to look at online behaviour, sexting and pornography as well as positive uses of media and social media. Students will finish the term by learning about bullying and mental health, and finally the LGBTQ+ community.   A lesson on grooming from our specialist teacher will also take place this half term.

Physical Education

In Year 9 PE, students continue to enhance their skills and knowledge across a broad range of sports.  Students learn how to demonstrate more advanced skills and techniques and gain knowledge of tactics to allow them to perform successfully in conditioned situations.  Students will learn the main rules and regulations in a range of sports.  This will allow them to perform in competitive situations with confidence.  Finally, students will continue to develop their evaluation and leadership skills, helping them to work with others in different situations. 


The start of the year we hook students in with the most prestigious play of Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. Students will explore extracts and learn how to devise scenes in a naturalistic and non naturalistic way. As the curriculum moves on we explore true stories and discuss our rights within the law. This leads to a momentous devised piece that explores different viewpoints. In year 9 we teach students the roles of the performing arts industry. Such as; lighting, set and costume design, marketing and publicity as well as the role of stage manager and director.  This is all preparation for GCSE drama or GCSE performing arts. Students then become confident in exploring the roles and work in small groups to devise their own performances as a production team. 


In Year 9, students will develop their understanding of the Performing Arts (Dance) by examining two professional works and the process used to create a performance piece. With this, students will develop their analytical, performance and choreographic skills within two dance style techniques. Students will develop their performing arts skills and techniques through the reproduction of professional dance repertoire and will get an opportunity to work within groups to create their own work in response to a brief. All students will get the experience of taking part in at least two performances throughout the year, one of which will be in front of a large audience. 

Food Technology

Food Science

Building skills for food science and commodities . Experimenting with ingredients and properties. Enzyme discolouration, Gelatinisation in sauces, dextrinization. Building on cookery skills from year 8.  Knife skills – Bread making skills  - presentation skills.  Complex cuts to enhance presentation, Weighing and measuring ingredients  


Creation of own dishes – Marriage of ingredients . Modifying recipes to meet customer needs.  Building a port folio of evidence


Year 9 in Art is all about learning ‘Transitional Skills’- pupils are taught in longer projects marked in a similar way to GCSE. They are given further creative freedom, and chance to apply prior knowledge and skills. Transitional skills include how to analyse artists' work and how to develop and refine a final piece idea. 

Students study two projects in year 9. 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. Masterworks; a more independent project where pupils extend their investigative art skills and learn how to develop and refine a personal idea inspired by a chosen classic artwork. 

Design and Technology & Graphics

Project: Students will extend and learn skills to produce a high quality, handmade, Art Deco style clock. In Graphics students will study advertising and branding with a focus on detailed design.   

Health and Safety: Students study Health and Safety in the workshop before using any new tools for practical activities.

Tools and Equipment: Computers, saws, files, drill

Design: Computer Aided Design programmes are used to aid the design process along with new techniques. 

Knowledge and Understanding: Designing in 3D, a variety of wood joints, learning about a variety of materials including plastics and sustainability, CAD and presentation skills. 


We begin Year 9 by developing our keyboard skills and learning famous repertoire; ‘Chopsticks’ and ‘Für Elise’.  We then explore more modern world music fusions including Bhangra and Samba, involving whole class percussion ensemble and cultural exploration.   We then move on to a term-long project involving the development of knowledge in harmony and tonality, alongside new chords on the guitar and introduction of the drum kit.  This culminates in a band work topic where students play a song as a band at the end of term.  We then understand some of the musical developments in the Romantic Period, and students then choose one of the piano pieces they have learnt in KS3 to sequence and remix using Garageband in our ‘Pop Thief!’ topic.  We finish our KS3 journey with students exploring careers in the music industry and choosing their own path of musical activities to develop in the final half term.