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Year 7

WELCOME TO YEAR 7

The transition from primary school to secondary school can be exciting as well as a little worrying on occasions and your time in Year 7 is dedicated to helping you settle in and set the best foundations for a successful educational career at St Peter’s School as well as to grow and mature spiritually and personally.

I am Miss Johnson and I will be your Year Leader throughout Year 7. I have been a Year Leader and English teacher at St Peter’s since 2009, having previously taught in Buckinghamshire and Dorset. St Peter’s is an amazing community of people, both staff and students, who are a joy to work with. Everyone works together to help young people grow in confidence and maturity, to become ‘the best that we can be’ as it says in our mission statement.

I have the wonderful privilege of helping Year 6 children through the transition process, especially organising the Induction Evenings and Transfer Day, so that you can feel a little more confident finding your way around when you join us in Year 7. I am helped by a very supportive and caring team of tutors who are dedicated to enabling Year 7 students settle into life at secondary school.

In many ways, Year 7 is an adventure. There are new friendships to be made, lots of new teachers to meet, a wide variety of subjects to learn, and many new skills to develop. It is important that everyone is respectful, kind, organised and hard-working in order for you to make the most of every opportunity and be successful at St Peter’s.

Throughout Year 7 there are many ways for you to get involved in extra-curricular activities. There are many sports clubs as well as musical, drama and science groups you can join. There are also many opportunities for you to make a positive difference to your wider community, for example through organising charity events with your tutor group or becoming a Pastoral Prefect so that you can support other students.

Your first year at St Peter’s provides you with the support you need to set good foundations, build relationships, develop a positive attitude to learning and establish good learning habits that will help you to throughout your future years here. School, parents and students working together is the best recipe for success. Students must have high expectations of themselves and treat everyone with respect and kindness so that they really can become the very best that they can be.

It is a great privilege to look after Year 7 as their Year Leader and it is a pleasure to see them grow and flourish as they progress through the years beyond.

Art & Design

Art lessons set out to promote Art & Design as a powerful tool for creative development, experimentation and self-expression. All lessons aim to develop practical skills alongside visual literacy, contextual understanding and critical thinking.

Topics

New themes are developed each year, in response to a range of inspirations such as artists’ work, gallery visits, news events, and personal, practical explorations. Across the year students will have the opportunity to experiment within key themes of:

  • Drawing
  • Mark making
  • Colour
  • Structure & form.

Extra-Curricular

A key stage 3 art club is available one day a week during lunchtime.

Home Learning

Home learning tasks promote independent creative study and provide opportunities for students to prepare for, and reflect upon, key classwork themes. Home learning is set each week alternating between practical tasks and materials preparation or research activities.

Assessment

Creative development and practical activities are assessed regularly to inform planning. This is done through a range of assessment strategies, including one to one discussions and sketchbook looks, also peer and monitored group assessments. Formal tracking grades are recorded across the school year in line with school policy.

Computer Science

Computer Science will familiarise students with technology they can use to accelerate their learning in a safe and responsible way.

Lessons are taught in a practical manner wherever possible with time built in for reflection of work. Students cover basic skills in the use of software packages that they then use to solve computer related tasks. Emphasis is placed on not only using the basic tools effectively, but also on developing a solution that is effective, creative and meets the needs of a user.

The department makes use of a variety of learning strategies to help students develop. They will be expected to work in groups as well as on their own, assess their own work and that of others in the group, set targets for themselves and help others to develop targets for improvement. The ability to work towards a deadline and organisation of work around that is developed through the use of online learning tools.

Topics

  • The Law and E-safety
  • Word Processing
  • Presentation Techniques
  • Spreadsheets
  • Website Development

Home Learning

There is an expectation that students use the knowledge and skills they acquire to support and supplement their studies in other areas of the curriculum.

Assessment

Each mini project is assessed (approximately every 7 weeks)

Design & Technology

Design & Technology is an introduction to workshop-based safety and practical skills leading towards a possible career in the design and manufacture or catering industry. Using a range of tools and equipment including computer-based design and manufacture. Each student follows a rotation including all Technology material areas - Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food.

Assignments will provide students with opportunities to design, make, evaluate products, learn and practice new skills and develop technical knowledge. Students will develop critical thinking and will learn to problem-solve and be creative and daring. It is important that each student has the confidence to work independently but can also co-operate with others and work safely in a practical environment.

An apron is required for all work in Food Technology.

Topics

  • Skills building using a range of tools and equipment safely and confidently
  • CAD/CAM – Laser cutter and software
  • Materials theory and food Nutrition
  • Methods of printing including sublimation and block

Extra-Curricular

  • Rotary club challenge
  • Electric Car club

Home Learning

Home learning is in preparation for the next lesson and promotes independent research and development activities.

Assessment

At least two assessments will be undertaken in each rotation, every term. By the end of Key Stage 3 students are expected to know, apply and understand the materials, skills and processes used in each area. A variety of assessments will be used by the teacher throughout Key Stage 3. Students will also assess each other’s work (peer assessment) and will be given targets to improve skills, knowledge or understanding. At the beginning of each technology rotation students will be made aware of the assessment requirements.

Drama

The Drama Department positively challenges students to think critically about the world around them through a highly practical approach to creating Drama. At KS3 students receive one fifty minute lesson of Drama per week in one of our Drama Studios with light and sound facilities. We also occasionally take students to perform their work in our 470 seat Theatre. We are a well-equipped department that can give students a flavour of all aspects of Theatre Making.

Lessons are an exploration of key skills in Drama to understand the world in which we inhabit. To develop imagination, creativity, confidence and sensitivity. To implement key learning areas of the GCSE at a Year 7 level.

Drama activities in the classroom will cater for all abilities from those with lots of experience to those who have never studied Drama before and the work set is accessible to all. Alongside practical tasks we will also complete a range of designs and theatre reviews to help clarify some of the areas they are learning about. All we ask of students is to come with their own ideas and opinions as they create Drama and gain a critical eye about the world around them, both contemporary and historic. Those who enjoy Drama will also have the opportunity for a range of extra curricular involvement in the subject across KS3 and beyond, including technical theatre opportunities as well as performance ones.

Topics

  • Ishi (key skills through a real life event)
  • Shakespeare (exploring design)
  • DNA (script work and duologues)
  • Tsunami (live theatre assessment)
  • Year 7 Production (directing)
  • Devise

Extra-Curricular

Year 7 production in conjunction with dance and music.

Home Learning

An onus on personal achievement to complete home learning to a good standard every time. Home learning is set twice termly and is varied in its content.

Assessment

Half termly assessments comprising end of module class tests and key terms.

English

We aim to develop students’ skills in the three core National Curriculum areas: Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.

We aim to spark a real love of Literature in our students and seek to give them the experience of a wide variety of new fiction and non-fiction texts, in a range of genres, which they will find challenging and stimulating. We also encourage an independent response to literature and encourage each student to have their own reading journal to help them develop their opinions and critical thinking skills.

Students will learn to communicate their ideas on paper and verbally. We will aim to extend their skills in structuring their views and in developing their ideas, and also to introduce them to a broader and more varied vocabulary.

Topics

  • Autobiographical writing/recount writing and structural skills.
  • The study of a novel (Point Blanc)
  • Essay writing skills
  • Poetry study
  • Writing to persuade/formal and informal writing
  • An introduction to soliloquys and monologues
  • The study of a play (Oliver Twist)
  • Development of reading skills.

Weekly literacy lessons devoted to personal reading and grammar

Extra-Curricular

  • Assorted library activities
  • Writing competitions

Home Learning

There is an expectation that students will read independently and regularly in Key Stage 3 to support their developing skills. Punctuation, grammar, research or other tasks may be set as appropriate and students may sometimes be required to complete work begun in lessons.

Assessment

Half termly in-house assessments comprising end-of-module class assessments, combined with peer, self and additional teacher assessments.

Food Technology

Food Technology is an introduction to food preparation and nutrition including the essential skills needed when working in a kitchen. Each student follows a rotation including all Technology material areas and Food.

Topics

  • Skills building using a range of tools and equipment safely and confidently
  • following a recipe to make a successful product
  • learning practical skills to make a product

Home Learning

An onus on personal achievement to complete home learning to a good standard every time. Home learning is every other week and is linked to the work taught in lessons. Students who study Food Technology will be expected to bring in ingredients on a regular basis.

Assessment

Two assessments will be undertaken in each rotation, every term.

Geography

Year 7 Geography is an introduction to geographical skills, concepts & language. We aim to introduce students to a lively and enjoyable curriculum where students will learn where they are in the world, how different aspects of the world work and how as people, we interact with and affect this world.

Topics

  • Map skills
  • Global fashion
  • Weather & Climate
  • Oceans on the edge
  • Tour of Britain
  • Microclimate fieldwork on site

Extra-Curricular

  • Geography in the news group
  • Geographical Association competitions as appropriate

Home Learning

A range of home learning including research, learning and written tasks set once a week

Assessment

End of unit assessments on each unit and internal annual exams.

History

In Year 7 History students will be introduced to the key skills of the subject including source analysis, critical thinking and communication whilst allowing them to develop a deep interest in the ancient and medieval worlds.

Through their study of History, students will develop a sense of chronology and will understand how events and people fit into the large timeline of History. They will learn how to make judgements on significance and will explore how and why different interpretations are made in History. Students will learn how to analyse and evaluate evidence, how to build an effective argument and key research skills. Furthermore, all students will develop their communication skills as they share ideas, investigate collaboratively and present their findings and judgements to others whether in writing or verbally.

Topics

  • Introduction to History
  • Norman invasion and impact
  • Medieval England
  • Tudors & Stuarts
  • Aztecs & Native Americans
  • Industrial Revolution
  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Cold War
  • US Civil Rights

Home Learning

Home learning will be set by the class teacher to support learning, usually once a week with a range of tasks being set.

Assessment

End of unit assessments to test the key skills and knowledge.

Mathematics

In Year 7 students will be streamed according to their ability based on Prior Attainment and Teacher Assessment in the first half term. Prior to this Year 7 will complete a number of projects aimed to stretch and challenge their mathematical thinking and understanding of key concepts. All students will be supported as well as extended throughout the year.

Lessons will stimulate your brain and develop your confidence, resilience and determination so that you will have the ability to learn from mistakes and solve problems both in the Mathematics classroom and in real life.

Throughout their time at St Peter’s students will be provided with a wealth of resources to help them develop their independence and solidify key concepts. ALL students must have the correct equipment for maths, this being a pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, pair of compasses and a scientific calculator. This allows students to become confident using this equipment effectively over the course of five years.

A variety of creative, interactive and independent learning styles are used by all teachers to allow all students to develop confidence and be given maximum support in order to make progress.

Topics

  • Patterns (Calculations, Sequences, Solving equations)
  • Area
  • Calculations
  • Algebra
  • Angles
  • Ratio
  • Graphs
  • Percentages
  • Shape
  • Estimation
  • Algebra: problem solving

Extra-Curricular

  • Junior Mathematics Challenge
  • Southampton University Mathematics Challenge

Home Learning

Set by the teacher once a week (handed in on the same day each week) to take 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Assessment

Baseline assessment (week 4) and calculator and non-calculator examinations will take place during Year 7 exam week.

Modern Foreign Languages

In Year 7 students have the opportunity to study French or Spanish in order to have an appreciation of the cultural and linguistic aspects of both of these languages. Students learn to give basic descriptions of themselves, family, friends and school. They also work on a variety of different topics that explore traditions, fiestas and food and what life is like in a Francophone or Hispanic country in order to develop their understanding of other cultures and societies.

We have a team of enthusiastic and dynamic teachers who motivate and engage students through the use of role-plays and drama, songs and games. Language learning can often be daunting at first so we aim to encourage our students in their learning, creating a supportive learning environment in which students feel more confident to speak in the target language in front of their peers. We celebrate any form of effort to communicate in the target language during lesson time and hope our students will be eager to try out their new phrases at home as well!  We use contemporary and challenging resources. Our teaching and learning is balanced across all four skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening – as well as developing a cultural understanding of the language.

Topics

French

  • My Identity
  • Family & Friends
  • My Home
  • Out in Town
  • My School Day
  • Sports, Hobbies & Holidays

Spanish

  • My Identity
  • Family and Friends
  • My Home
  • My School Day
  • Places and Activities in Town
  • Free Time and Hobbies

Extra-Curricular

French & Spanish Club

Home Learning

Home learning is set weekly and will vary between learning vocabulary, reading and writing activities and practising conversations.

Assessment

One module assessment every half term.

Music

The Music Department is firmly committed to a practical approach and delivers the curriculum in terms of Performance, Composing, Listening, Reviewing and Evaluating. The Department is equipped with keyboards, guitars, bass guitars, percussion instruments and a computer suite running up to date versions of Cubase, Guitar Pro and Sibelius software. The curriculum is divided into half termly modules which are delivered through performance, composition, listening, reviewing and evaluating, each of which has a different skill and knowledge focus. Lessons have a strong emphasis on practical music making. Key skills are taught through a variety of styles, genres and traditions, through music the students can relate to. Students have the opportunity to work in groups, pairs, individually with final performances done as a whole class. Lessons are tailored for a wide range of musical abilities and any home learning links directly into whole class work. 

Topics

  • Pachelbel’s Canon – Baroque Music
  • I Feel Good – Soul Music
  • Into the 20th Century
  • Oye Como Va – Salsa
  • Advert Soundtracks
  • Year 7 Show

Extra-Curricular

  • Choir
  • Rock Band
  • Music Theory
  • Cubase Club
  • Practice Rooms are open every lunchtime, and are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • For students who have strong instrumental skills we provide plenty of opportunities to perform in assembly, mass and concerts.

Home Learning

Home learning will be set once per half term, usually relating to assessment of skills used in lessons and the learning of key vocabulary to help students access aural and written aspects of music lessons.

Assessment

Half termly practical assessments with short keyword tests.

 

For more information see our Facebook page St Peter’s School Music Department.

Physical Education

Physical Education is compulsory for all students from Year 7-11. The Year 7 curriculum includes games activities like Rugby, Football and Netball; Athletic activities such as Orienteering, Athletics and health related fitness; striking games like Softball, Rounders and Cricket; and net games like Tennis.

Students will be encouraged to lead parts of the lesson and develop their leadership and team skills as well as develop mentally, physically and socially.

Topics

A number of activities will be on offer encouraging a wide variety of active and competitive opportunities with the intention of developing the students core values of:

  • Empathy
  • Community
  • Persistence
  • Aspiration
  • Collaboration
  • Imagination
  • Morals and ethics.

Extra-Curricular

A full programme of extra-curricular activities is on offer ranging from boxing to badminton in excellent facilities with a combination of paid coaches and PE staff. Opportunities involving coaches from outside of school may have a termly charge.

Home Learning

Home learning is not methodically set although there is an expectation that students and their families should take a positive and responsible approach to regular weekly exercise and a healthy food regime. This may include park run, visits to the gym, cycling and running or some form of daily outdoor activity.

Assessment

Students will be assessed throughout the year on the PE core values: Empathy, Community, Persistence, Aspiration, Collaboration, Imagination, Morals and ethics.

Religious Education

The RE department employs a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which aim to develop the basic skills of reading, writing and the ability to think broadly by expressing reasoned and balanced arguments.

Liturgical Celebrations are prepared and celebrated during the year as a whole class exercise. Students participate as a year group in the celebration of the Eucharist and as individuals in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We believe that the Catholic experience is just as important as ‘learning about’ Christianity.

In lessons students will understand the Roman Catholic Church as a community of believers. To develop an appreciation of faith and revelation, in the Bible, and through sacramental practice today.

Topics

The Way:

  • The Catholic Community on a local, national and global level
  • Revelation and Faith in the Old Testament
  • The Mission of Jesus
  • Catholic Sacraments
  • Sikhism
  • St John Baptist de La Salle

Extra-Curricular

  • Lasallian Ambassador
  • Lasallian Camp at St Cassian’s, Kintbury
  • Day trip to Portsmouth Cathedral

Home Learning

Home learning is set once a fortnight and is varied in its content. This might take the form of writing, research, reading ahead or preparation for a test.

The RE Department is well resourced, however, it would be desirable for students to have their own Bible at home to assist with home learning. The Department uses the Hope New Testament and Good News Bible in the classroom.

Assessment

Students are regularly assessed through their classwork and home learning and half termly assessments comprising end of module class tests and key terms.

Science

Science in Year 7 looks at the basic concepts which provide the platform on which GCSE studies are built. The Science course is designed to encourage enthusiasm and enjoyment of Science, while learning specific skills and basic concepts. Most students are very excited at the prospect of carrying out practical Science once they join St Peter’s and the Key Stage 3 course provides plenty of opportunity for them to learn to work safely and confidently. Year 7 students have four lessons per week in mixed ability groups. Students learn though a variety of activities which include modelling scientific processes, investigative work and demonstrations, group discussions and problem-solving. In early September, a schedule is sent to all parents, listing the topics taught for the year, the home learning topics for each week and the dates and topics of all tests for the year.  It is well worth printing this out and having a copy in plain sight so that students and parents can see what is coming up. Work from text books called Activate1 and Activate 2, available from a free on-line platform called Kerboodle. Students should use this each week for home learning (see below).

Topics

After an introduction to practical laboratory Science, which includes students obtaining their Bunsen Burner licence, the following topics are studied across the three Sciences (though there are sometimes some changes from year to year about the order of teaching):

  • Chemical reactions
  • Waves
  • Humans as organisms*
  • Earth and atmosphere
  • Earth and beyond
  • Plants and ecosystems

* This topic includes the biological aspects of reproduction - you may wish to time key discussions you have in this regard around this. 

Extra-Curricular

  • Science Club
  • Usually one guest speaker per year
  • Evening Science lectures open to all

Home Learning

Home learning is set weekly in the form of learning keywords and concepts from set pages. This is checked by a 10-mark quiz once a week. Home learning is set to consolidate understanding. We may also set extended tasks for home learning which require students to carry out research around a specific area of the topic and to present their findings. These pieces of work encourage students to extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the material covered in class.

Assessment

Students are assessed on each topic studied and their overall progress, the attitude they show towards learning and the Science skills they develop are all taken into account when reporting to parents. Students should be encouraged to do some revision for these tests to show their knowledge and understanding in the best possible light. 

Students should take an active role in class, complete tasks to the best of their ability, contribute to oral and group activities and participate in practical work. There will be an end of year exam, which will test all topics studied.