9 January 2015

Dear Parents

Welcome back to another school year. I thought that you might like to know some details about what Year 9 will be studying during the spring term.  A brief summary follows:


Pupils will be continue with their expressive faces project by creating a 3D puppet or marionette


Pupils will be continue with the GCSE syllabus.   We will be covering microbes and disease, drugs to treat disease, immunity and medicine. We will concentrate on looking at the three main pathogens, the diseases they cause and treaments used. We will look at how microbes can be useful and how we develop new medicines.


Pupils will develop their understanding of the properties of metals and justify the use of these metals in everyday life. They will develop their ability to evaluate the risk involved in an investigation and will suggest ways to reduce this risk. In the second half of the term pupils will focus on the products available from crude oil, their uses, as well as the methods used to extract these products. They will also develop the ability to express results from investigations in an appropriate form.


Pupils will study a Shakespeare play.  They will learn how to write a  formal essay focussing on character and language techniques. They will learn technical vocabulary associated with stage drama as well as the historical context.  Work on grammar and spelling accuracy will continue. There will also be role play opportunities based on the play


Pupils will be describing jobs, talking about the importance of learning languages and using the imperfect tense to talk about what they used to do.  They will also be discussing holidays using  past, present and future tenses; using the conditional tense to describe an imaginary adventure holiday, talking about what you take on holiday and visiting a tourist attraction.  Grammar covered will include using modal verbs; consolidating reflexive verbs and perfect, near future and present tenses; introduction to the imperfect and conditional tenses; using different tenses together; asking questions using inversion; and using emphatice pronouns.


Pupils will be studying the first topic in the GCSE specification, ‘ice on the land’. They will learn about the processes operating in a glacial environment, the features formed by glaciers and the human uses of glaciated environments with a focus on the Alps.


Pupils will cover topics such as jobs, the working world, the environment and current issues. Through these themes pupils will look at the future tense, modal verbs, comparatives and superlatives.


Pupils continue to study elements of 20th century history.   Our study of World War One is brought to a close. We will look at how and why the war ended, and the arguments over the subsequent Versailles Peace Treaty.  We will look at the Russian Revolution through an examination of the story of Anastasia. We will then look at the rise of Hitler and take a look at certain features of life in Nazi Germany. We continue our focus on history skills such as source analysis and communication.


The pupils will focus on object orientated programming.  This includes the design of the game, how the game play develops, building commands for game objects, and setting the rules of the game.


Topics included are area and circumference of circles, arc lengths and sectors.  We will also cover the number system including standard form, laws of indices, factorising and probability.


Pupils compare different arrangements of a popular song and compose a melody to fit the harmonies and instruments that are typical of somepopular music styles. They also learn how older scales, called modes, can be used to create a typical nationalistic sound by writing a short Irish jig. Further exploration of national styles includes reggae and calypso music.


The focus this term will be on forces and motion, with the main emphasis on graphs: force/extension, distance/time and velocity/time.  In the latter part of the term we shall be reviewing work on electricity with the emphasis on series and parallel circuits and resistance.


Pupils will engage in debate and informed consideration of the existence of God. Pupils will be introduced to major theological and philosophical sources, questions and arguments that have over time shaped views and opinions on both sides of the debate.


Pupils will cover the following areas; future, past and present holidays, transport, possible activities whilst on holiday, food and drink and mealtimes.  Within these contexts the following grammatical concepts will be covered and consolidated; present, past and future tenses, expressing opinions and justifying them and developing work in line with GCSE criteria.

Systems Technology

All pupils will be working on a number of different modules this term which will include aerodynamics, construction technology, basic electricity, research and design, robotics, mechanisms, pneumatics, hydraulics, materials and processes, and Industrial control.  The pupils will complete 3 advanced assignments.


Pupils will use their design technology ICT skills in a range of design and make tasks. The emphasis will continue to be promotion and packaging of materials, with a greater emphasis on producing commercial quality products using the most appropriate technology for the task.

Boys Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered in the Spring term.  Pupils will be given the opportunity to play hockey and football.  The aim within these games lessons will be to develop skills taught in the previous academic year and to engage in activities with an enhanced level of understanding.  During single P.E. lessons, pupils will be involved in smaller units of work including basketball and badminton.

Girls Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered in the Spring term.  Pupils will be given the opportunity to play hockey and netball, aiming to refine skills taught in the previous academic year and to engage in activities with an enhanced level of understanding. Taster activity sessions in squash and football will also be included as part of the programme. During single P.E. lessons, pupils will be involved in smaller units of work including basketball and badminton.


You and your body: adolescence: identity, image, ambitions: feelings and mood swings.

Sex education: safer sex; sexually transmitted infections: AIDS: attitudes.

Anorexia nervosa: eating disorders; bulimia.

Drug taking: dangers; solvent abuse; drug problems; emergency action.

Choices: Decisions for Year 10 and 11.

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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