Parents of Pupils in Year 8

12 September 2014

Dear Parents

Welcome back to another school year. I thought that you might like to know some details about what your child will be studying during the autumn term. A brief summary follows:


Pupils will study the work of the artist Hundertwasser. Inspired by his imaginative and colourful approach, they will design and produce their own landscapes using felt tip pens.


This term pupils will study the digestive system and be made aware of what constitutes a healthy diet. They will discover how exercise affects the body and look at the adverse effects of smoking and drugs. They will then move on to explore microorganisms, their effects on the body and how they are used in everyday life.


In the first half of the term pupils will become familiar with atoms, elements and compounds and will use this knowledge, in the second half of the term, to describe the makeup of the periodic table. Pupils will develop their ability to collect data in the first half of the term and use a range of graphs to represent this data in the second half.


At the beginning of the term pupils will study the evolution of English over the centuries. They will read historical texts from the past in order to assess how language is constantly evolving.  They will consider how writing varies in formality in different contexts. Pupils will also study aspects of language such as dialect and slang. They will present a fun language project to the class in order to consolidate learning. Fiction will be chosen accordingly to reflect the composition of the group.


This term pupils will learn to discuss television programmes, films, articles and books that have been read, the internet and what they do in different types of weather.  Pupils will revise the present tense and how to express opinions. They will also learn how to use new irregular verbs.


This term pupils will study the geography of crime.  They will learn how crimes have wide reaching effects in the community beyond just the victim and offender.  They will look at how crime can be mapped and how this data is used by the police.  They will learn how spaces can be adapted or designed to limit risk and finally they will investigate the global impact of the heroin trail.


During the first term the topics ‘Holidays’ and ‘Media’ will be covered. As well as consolidating and extending their use of the present tense, pupils will be introduced to the imperfect and perfect tenses.


We start the term by looking at the Reformation and religious changes in Tudor England, including the ʺReligious Roller Coasterʺ, the reign of ʺBloodyʺ Mary, and the Elizabethan settlement.  We also spend time on other aspects of Elizabeth’s reign such as the armada and the relationship with Mary Queen of Scots.  The Stuarts follow and we study the gunpowder plot and the causes and course of the English civil war. A detailed look at Cromwell’s rule follows, including the Irish campaigns. Alongside a study of these events we aim to further develop the writing and source skills that have been looked at in previous years.


Pupils will gain an understanding of the misuse of personal data, how we can protect personal data and some legal aspects of personal data. They will then create an e-safety movie integrating information from presentations, videos, and audio sources.


Pupils will study three distinct areas of mathematics this term. Their number skills focus on negatives, factors, multiples and percentages. In the geometry section the focus will be on angles, transformations of shapes, constructions, volume and surface area. They will also learn to apply probability to a range of real life situations.


Pupils compare arrangements of a minuet in classical, jazz and pop styles. They listen to‘The Skater’s Waltz’, focusing on its structure and instruments. Pupils compose their own minuet and waltz melodies and learn how to add an accompaniment using basic chords. They sing songs in a variety of popular styles, including some appropriate for our Christmas events.


In the first half of the term the pupils will be investigate sound.  The focus is on how sounds are made, together with the wave properties of sound, the detection of sound as well as its uses and abuses.  The second half term concentrates on the reflection and refraction of light, the use of light in cameras and the eye, as well as the formation of colour. It will involve skills of analysing wave patterns and interpreting colour formation.


Pupils will cover two units this term: ‘Should we commemorate the Holocaust?’ and ‘Religion: Is it the cause of conflict or the power for peace?’ Pupils will explore
the Jewish community and religious life prior to, during and after the holocaust in order to understand why this was such a momentous and defining event for the Jewish people.  In the second unit pupils will examine issues of peace and conflict with reference to Christianity, Islam and some non-religious views of life may also be studied. The philosophical and moral issues of pacifism, self defence and justice are explored.


This term pupils will cover the following topics: talking about where you live; describing where you live; talking about your house and describing it; describing your bedroom and talking about what you do in your bedroom; discussing and writing about your free time; telling and asking the time; sports; saying what you like to do; saying what you are going to do. Pupils will consolidate the use of the present tense of regular and irregular verbs, expressing opinions and justifying them and will also be introduced to the near future tense.

Systems Technology

Pupils will work on a number of different modules: aerodynamics; construction technology; basic electricity; research and design; robotics; mechanisms, pneumatics, hydraulics, materials and processes; and industrial control. During the term the pupils will attempt three intermediate assignments.


Pupils will develop their 3D drawing skills, using a range of different techniques. They will also consolidate the skills learnt in year 7 and continue to work with wood, metal and plastic. Pupils will develop their computer aided design and manufacturing skills by using and incorporating new technologies into their work.

Boys Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered. In the team games such as rugby and hockey, the aim will be to refine skills taught in the previous academic year and to gain confidence within the competitive environment. During single P.E. lessons, pupils will be involved in smaller units of work involving indoor hockey and health related fitness.

Girls Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered. In the team games such as netball and hockey, the aim will be to refine skills taught in the previous academic year and to gain confidence within the competitive environment. During single P.E. lessons, pupils will be involved in smaller units of work involving indoor hockey and health related fitness.


The pupils will cover 6 topics: ‘You and other people’, focusing on friendships; ‘You and your family’, exploring coping with change, divorce and divided families; ‘You and older people’, with a focus on changing attitudes in society; ‘You and your time’, in which pupils will look at effective ways to manage their leisure time and ways to beat boredom; ‘You and your achievements’, which assesses progress and reviews achievements; ‘You and your money’, which explores gambling.

I hope that this information will be useful to you so that you might support your child in their studies.

Yours faithfully

M A Makin

Director of Studies

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