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Year 9

WELCOME TO YEAR 9

Hello, my name is Kevin Higham, I’ve been here at St Peter’s for seven years. I am a Maths teacher and Head of Year 9, which are both jobs that I thoroughly love.

Year 9 sees the transition between our lower years and the upper school years, in which students will be building towards their GCSE exams. During Year 9 students will reflect on their time at St Peter’s so far, their wider curriculum studied, their interests, future aspirations and feedback from their teachers, to make GCSE choices, ready for Year 10.

In addition to this, students will attend an overnight residential stay at Kintbury, a Catholic retreat in Oxfordshire, to allow them to engage with their Faith and other members of the Year Group away from the attractions of TV, mobile phones and social media.

Students also have the opportunity to enrol and work towards the increasingly popular Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, on top of the sporting, musical and acting clubs, trips and performances they have each year.

A successful Year 9 student will be able to manage their time between study and staying on top of the subject specific requirements, as well as any relevant interests outside of school which may support or influence their future GCSE grades. They should be able to keep an open mind about all the options they will have for GCSE choices, weighing up the advantages of each and how this will start to shape their future, rather than discount some subjects which will leave them little choice.

Year 9 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.

Religious Education

The pathway to an enjoyable and successful GCSE in Religious Studies is orientated towards a high personal mind-set of application, aspiration, and engagement.

Specification followed for GCSE
AQA Religious Studies B (100% final exam)

Topics

Biblical Literacy (from)

  • What is the Bible?
  • Creation
  • The Fall
  • Cain and Abel
  • Jacob and his sons
  • Joseph in Egypt

Islam (from)

  • Key beliefs of Sunni and Shi’a
  • The nature of God
  • Muhammad
  • The Qur’an
  • The Five Pillars
  • Jihad

The GCSE specification commences in January

  • Creation
  • Judaism – beliefs and teachings
  • Judaism – practices

Extra-Curricular

  • Young Lasallians
  • The Young Citizens Bar Mock Trial (Great Britain) national competition and the Empire Mock Trial (United States) international competition

Home Learning

Home learning is set weekly with an emphasis on GCSE-style questions. For high achievers, flipped home learning is a focus on reading ahead, note taking from the reading, and the early creation of study paraphernalia.

Assessment

End of module class tests.

Art

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.

Citizenship

All students in Year 9 have one lesson per week of Citizenship. This is designed to enrich lives and includes opportunities to improve money skills, learning for a healthy lifestyle and understanding laws that affect young people.

Topics

  • Who Am I?
  • Making Money
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Careers
  • The Media
  • Crime and the Law

Extra-Curricular

All students in Year 9 take the “£5 Challenge” and try to raise as much profit from their £5 investment. All profits go to charity and every year the group raises more than £1000 for good causes.

Design & Technology

In Year 9 students will refine designing, practical and problem-solving skills through a series of challenges.

Topics

  • Problem solving using a range of tools and equipment safely, confidently and independently
  • Sustainability
  • Set challenges to be resolved
  • Using woods, polymers, metals and textiles

Extra-Curricular

  • Textiles lunchtime club
  • Rotary club challenge
  • CAD/CAM club

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

In Year 9 students will refine designing, practical and problem-solving skills through a series of challenges.

Topics

  • Problem solving using a range of tools and equipment safely, confidently and independently
  • Sustainability
  • Set challenges to be resolved
  • Using woods, polymers, metals and textiles

Extra-Curricular

  • Textiles lunchtime club
  • Rotary club challenge
  • CAD/CAM club

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.

English

Year 9 will build on the skills covered in Year 7 and 8 and develop self-expression in reading, writing, speaking and listening. At the end of the year there is a focus on critical reading and fake news. 

Topics

  • Study of a novel – Teacher choice of Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird – Writing a literary essay
  • Study of The Gothic genre – short stories – followed by short story writing – writing to entertain
  • Study of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • The study of George Orwell’s Animal Farm – incorporating the study of fake news, propaganda and bias – writing to persuade and argue
  • Poetry – reading and writing poetry – comparison and performance skills
  • 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 Develop food skills with the introduction to the science of food. With more emphasis on food nutrition and food choice. Each student follows a rotation including all Technology material areas and Food.

Topics

  • Use a range of tools and equipment safely, confidently and independently
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental issues linked to food
  • Investigation of different cultural foods

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 9 students will extend their understanding of key concepts in human & physical geography.

Topics

  • Avatar & Sustainability
  • Ecosystems fieldwork onsite
  • Madagascar
  • China
  • Food
  • Distinctive landscapes

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 9 History concentrates on the twentieth century in Europe. Students will continue to develop key skills whilst developing their understanding of some of the most fascinating and tragic events the world has seen.

Topics

  • USA & prohibition
  • WWII (causes and events)
  • Holocaust
  • Civil Rights
  • JFK investigation
  • Medicine through time

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

Year 9 lessons will embed and develop the knowledge, skills and concepts required for GCSE (9-1) Mathematics.

Specification followed for GCSE
Pearson Edexcel

Topics

Foundation (sets 3+4)

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Fraction and Percentages
  • Equations
  • Angles
  • Shape (PAV)
  • Graphs

Higher (sets 1+2)

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Data
  • Fractions, ration and percentage
  • Angles and trigonometry
  • Graphs
  • Area and volume
  • Transformations

Extra-Curricular

  • Intermediate 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 60 to 75 minutes to complete.

Assessment

Half year Assessment – calculator and non-calculator
End of year Assessment: 3 papers (non-calculator, calculator, problem-solving)
Sets 3+4 Foundation Tier Grades 1-5
Sets 1 +2 Higher Tier Grades 4-9 

Modern Foreign Languages

Year 9 lessons will further language skills and students will be able to experiment with the language through the four skills, listening, reading, writing and speaking. To recognise and use the past, present and future tenses.

Topics

French

  • My Social Life
  • A Healthy Lifestyle
  • Future Plans
  • Holidays
  • Priorities in Life
  • Eating Out and le 14 juillet

Spanish

  • My Social Life
  • Jobs & Future Plans
  • A Healthy Lifestyle
  • Priorities in Life
  • Discovering Madrid
  • The Hispanic World

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

  • Changes – Rap and Hip Hop
  • Rhythm Focus – Toto’s Africa
  • Performance Skills – Valerie
  • The Music Industry
  • Ghostbusters
  • Year 9’s Got Talent

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 begin the first half of the GCSE course, including all higher tier work and required practicals for the Combined Science course.

Specification followed for GCSE

AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) (100% final exam)

Topics

Paper 1, mostly covered in Year 9

Biology

  • Cell structure and transport
  • Cell division
  • Organisation of the digestive system
  • Organising plants and animals
  • Communicable diseases
  • Preventing and treating diseases
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • The Periodic table
  • Structure and bonding
  • Chemical calculations
  • Chemical changes
  • Electrolysis
  • Energy changes

Physics

  • Conservation and dissipation of energy
  • Energy transfer by heating
  • Energy resources
  • Electric circuits
  • Electricity in the home
  • Molecules and matter
  • Radioactivity

Extra-Curricular

  • 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. Students will be tested at the end of every half term.