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Year 8

WELCOME TO YEAR 8

My name is Tom Berry, I am a Technology teacher and Head of Year 8 here at St Peter’s School. I have worked at St Peter’s since 2004 and have also spent the majority of those years as part of the pastoral team.

Year 8 sees the year group building on the excellent foundation put in place by Miss Johnson in Year 7 and securing their Key Stage 3 subject knowledge ready for the all-important transition to Year 9. In terms of personal growth Year 8 also sees the students becoming much more independent and growing in confidence and friendships around the school.

Over this year students take part in retreat days, where time is taken off timetable to explore and develop further their Christian Faith and spiritual walk with God. In addition to this there are other growth opportunities such as enrolling in sporting, musical and acting clubs, and taking part in the school performances.

A successful Year 8 student will be someone who in becoming more confident in managing their time and staying on top of the subject specific requirements, as well as any relevant interests outside of school. They will also be someone who is developing the ability to be able to handle school life with confidence.

As with all year groups Year 8 can be a challenging year for some, with changing friendship groups and increasing independence, both in and out of school so a positive attitude, open mind — willing to take on new opportunities and an ability to continue to develop their resilience in difficult times, are key skills.

It is my pleasure and privilege to be Head of this amazing year group, and I look forward to seeing how each and every one of them becomes the best that they can be.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

In lessons students will continue to develop an understanding of God’s relationship with his people through the promise of salvation.

Topics

The Truth:

  • Judaism
  • Covenant in The Old Testament
  • The Mystery of the Eucharist
  • The Paschal Mystery
  • The Mission of the Church

Extra-Curricular

  • Young Lasallians
  • Lasallian Camp at St Cassian’s, Kintbury

Home Learning

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

Assessment

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

ART & DESIGN

Key Stage 3 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

Students will continue to develop safe online practices and extend their experiences into formal computer programming.

Topics

  • Security & Staying Safe
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Introduction to Javascript
  • Introduction to Python Programming

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

In Year 8 students will continue to develop practical skills and knowledge of different materials and processes including programming microbits and buggies. Incorporating electronics into all material areas.

Topics

  • Developing skills using a range of tools and equipment safely and confidently
  • Iterative design
  • Programming microbits
  • Using electronics within all material areas
  • Using woods, polymers, metals and textiles

Extra-Curricular

  • Textiles lunchtime club
  • Rotary club challenge

Home Learning

An onus on personal achievement to complete home learning to a good standard every time. Home learning is set every other week and is in preparation for the next lesson.

Assessment

At least two assessments will be undertaken in each rotation, every term.

DRAMA

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 8 level.

Topics

  • Guernica (key skills through a real life event)
  • Commedia (exploring design)
  • Anne Frank (script work and duologues)
  • Stage Combat (live theatre assessment)
  • Fairytale (directing)
  • Devise

Extra-Curricular

  • School Production

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

Year 8 will build on the skills covered in Year 7 and develop self-expression in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Topics

  • Short story study/writing stories
  • Exploration of 19th Century literature (Great Expectations)
  • World War 1 poetry study/essay writing skills/can be combined with novel study (Private Peaceful)
  • Essay writing skills
  • Media study — newspapers and reviews
  • Shakespeare study: A Midsummer Night’s Dream/The Tempest/Much Ado About Nothing
  • Novel study: Stone Cold/The Tulip Touch/Trash

Weekly literacy lessons devoted to personal reading and grammar

Extra-Curricular

  • Debates
  • Writing competitions

Home Learning

Home learning is set weekly from modular home-learning booklets and is varied in its content.

Assessment

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

FOOD TECHNOLOGY

Students will continue to develop practical skills and knowledge to be able to make main meals. Each student follows a rotation including all Technology material areas and Food.

Topics

  • Developing skills through main meals using a range of tools and equipment safely and confidently
  • Following a recipe to make a successful product
  • An introduction to food nutrition

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

In Year 8 students will develop an understanding of key concepts in human & physical geography.

Topics

  • Development
  • Violent earth
  • Ecosystems
  • Coasts
  • Fieldwork to Durdle Door

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

Year 8 History builds on the key skills introduced in the previous year whilst focusing on a range of interesting and complimentary British and world History topics.

Topics

  • Aztec History
  • English colonisation of Americas
  • British Empire
  • Slavery
  • Industrial Revolution
  • WWI
  • China

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

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. To embed and develop the knowledge, skills and concepts that are essential for starting the GCSE (9-1) Edexcel Mathematics (MA1) course in Year 9.   

Topics

  • Calculations
  • Algebra
  • Area
  • Ratio
  • Angles
  • Powers
  • Sequences
  • Fractions
  • Graphs
  • Percentages

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 45 to 60 minutes to complete.

Assessment

Half year exam and calculator and non-calculator examinations will take place during Year 8 exam week.

MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

In Year 8 students will develop a confidence in speaking a foreign language and to develop a further interest in communication. Confidently using the past and present tenses.

Topics

French

  • TV, Cinema and the Internet
  • Paris
  • My identity
  • My Home and Meals
  • Talents and ambitions
  • Pocket Money/Gadgets and The French Revolution

Spanish

  • People and Routines
  • Making Arrangements Using the Future Tense
  • Holidays
  • Eating Out
  • Fashion
  • Discovering Barcelona

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

At Key Stage 3, Musical history and aural skills are taught practically and through composition using music ICT, preparing students to be confident musicians with strong language for learning.

Topics

  • Rama and Sita/Jai Ho — Indian Music
  • Moondance — Jazz
  • 4 Chord Challenge
  • One Love — Equality and Protest music
  • Theme and Variations — Paganini’s Caprice
  • Film Soundtracks

Extra-Curricular

  • Concert Band
  • Choir
  • Music Theory
  • Cubase Club
  • Practice Rooms are open every lunchtime, and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Home Learning

Home learning will be set twice a half term, usually relating to the learning of key vocabulary to help students access aural and written aspects of music lessons.

Assessment

Half termly practical assessment with short keyword tests.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Through the development of employability skills and the medium of physical activity we aim to enthuse the desire to be active for life, encourage the drive for achievement, celebrate the success of others, allow freedom of thought and accept the differences of the individual.

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.

SCIENCE

Students will look in more detail at the concepts introduced in Year 7, which provide the platform on which GCSE studies are built.

Topics

  • Organisms
  • Matter
  • Forces
  • Ecosystems
  • Reactions
  • Electromagnets
  • Genes
  • Earth
  • Waves
  • Energy

Extra-Curricular

  • Soroptimist challenge
  • Usually one guest speaker per year group, topic varying each year
  • Evening Science lectures open to all

Home Learning

Home learning is set weekly in the form of learning key words and concepts from set pages. This is checked by a 10-mark quiz once a week. A detailed letter explaining the expectations and rational for these tasks will be sent to all parents at the start of September.

Assessment

Personal Assessment Tasks (PATs) for diagnostic (formative) use. End-of-topic tests for summative assessment purposes and an end-of-year test.