15 April 2016

Dear Parents

Parents of Pupils in Year 9

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 summer term. A brief summary follows:

Art

Pupils will continue to develop animations using characters that they have created. They will design and create a set before carefully animating the clay figures in a digital animation package. Finally the pupils will incorporate sound effects.

Biology

Pupils will continue with the GCSE syllabus.   We will be covering adaptation and competition in plants and animals. We will concentrate on studying different habitats and how they affect adaptation. We will also look at how specific features of plants or animals are beneficial to their survival.

Chemistry

Pupils will apply their practical skills to the extraction of metals.  Pupils will independently plan a range of investigations and will begin to complete detailed risk assessments. During the practicals students will focus on working accurately, ensuring their results are reliable by increasing sample sizes.

English

Pupils will move onto preparing for their summer exam.  This will be a comprehension paper based upon a fiction reading source. They will also complete a creative writing task, which will require a particular style of writing, for example, writing to argue or describe. The exam paper will be in the same format as the new AQA GCSE English language paper and will act as a stepping stone towards the skills required for more advanced study of the subject. Pupils will also prepare for a test on SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar). A revision booklet will be given to all pupils to help them revise and practise their skills at home; this will be essential preparation for their English exam.

French

Pupils will continue to discuss holidays combining different tenses. They will then discuss what they are allowed to do, what is important to them and what makes them happy. They will also be introduced to new complex structures in preparation for their GCSE course.

Geography

Pupils will continue to study the GCSE topic ‘ice on the land’, with more focus being placed on them developing their exam technique to enable them to complete GCSE questions in their summer examination.  They will be learning about the glaciated environment in the UK, understanding how ice shaped the land during the last ice age, and how these areas provide different opportunities for economic activities such as tourism, farming and forestry.

German

This term pupils will look at a selection of Grimm’s fairy tales with the aim of writing their own ‘Märchen’.  We will also explore countries and look at laws and age limits.  Pupils will then have the opportunity to create their own country and legal system.  Grammatical topics such as tenses, word order, comparatives and superlatives will be covered in order to prepare pupils for the GCSE course.

History

We look at why World War Two broke out, including an analysis of the policy of appeasement, and then pupils do their own research on elements of the actual war, including an assessment of leadership, weapons, and key events and turning points during the war. We then move away from the 20th century and finish the year by looking at slavery, the slave trade and its impact in North America.

ICT

Pupils will be creating computer games using the GameMaker program. These will be fairly simple platform games but they will get the feel for the whole game development cycle as they have to research and design all of their own sprites. In the second half of the term pupils will take an in-depth look at databases using Microsoft Access and gaining insight into the SQL language of databases.

Maths

Pupils will focus on some of the key topics from the GCSE course.  For set one this will include trigonometry and the three main methods for solving quadratic equations.  Set two will be studying inequalities, further Pythgoras’ theorems and an introduction to trigonometry and simultaneous equations.

Music

Pupils explore the use of technology in modern compositions and performances. They hear and compose music using recorded sound samples and loops in club dance style. Additionally, film and TV music is used as another focus for listening and composing.

Physics

The properties and behaviour of transverse and longitudinal waves will be studied.  Pupils will then examine in more detail the different types electromagnetic waves and how the waves are used in communication.  Time will be devoted to investigative work in which pupils will practise analytical and evaluative skills.

RS

Pupils will examine the issue of suffering and the impact it has on belief in God. They will explore the causes of suffering, religious responses to suffering and how the existence of suffering may lead to atheism.

Spanish

Pupils will consolidate 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.  They will equally cover the topics of clothes, body and healthy lifestyles.

Systems Technology

All pupils will be working on a number of different modules this term, such as, Aerodynamics, Construction Tech, Basic Electricity, Research and Design, Robotics, Mechanisms, Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Materials and Processes, and Industrial control. There will be 3 advanced assignments.

Technology

Following an investigation into the work of a range of graphic designers, pupils will work on the promotion and packaging of a range of popular items. They will be rebranding their favourite CD, DVD or game, before investigating cinema advertising and creating a free standing cartoon character.

Boys Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered in the Summer term.  Pupils will be given the opportunity to play cricket and tennis.  The aim within these lessons will be to develop skills taught in the previous academic year and participate in activities with an enhanced level of understanding.  In athletics, pupils will engage themselves in a variety of individual events and their performances will be recorded and monitored.  There will also be some preparation work for sports day which takes place at Middleborough Sports Village this term.

Girls Physical Education

A range of sporting activities will be covered in the Summer term.  Pupils will be given the opportunity to play rounders and tennis.  The aim within these lessons will be to develop skills taught in the previous academic year and participate in activities with an enhanced level of understanding.  In athletics, pupils will engage themselves in a variety of individual events and their performances will be recorded and monitored.  There will also be some preparation work for sports day which takes place at Middleborough Sports Village this term.

PSHE

The following topics will be covered: You and the Law; young people and crime; Aims of punishment; Types of punishment; Crime reduction; How to reduce crime; Youth Pressure Groups; Human Rights; What are Human Rights; Human Wrongs; Freedom of thought; Freedom of Expression; Women’s Rights; The rights of Women; Women’s rights around the world; You and the world of work; Investigating careers.
I hope that this information will be useful to you so that you might support your child in their studies and revision for the internal examinations which begin on Monday 18th May.

Yours faithfully

M A Makin

Director of Studies

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