Parents of Pupils in Year 9

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:


This term pupils will study typography.  They will learn about different fonts and their uses. They will then design and create a letterform in order to make a nameplate based upon their own hobbies and interests.


The pupils will follow topics from the GCSE specification. They start by examining coordination and control of the body which results in a study of the nervous system and hormones. We then move onto diet and health and study legal and illegal drugs. The pupils will complement this study by refining their practical and investigative skills.


The pupils will use their knowledge of atoms and electrons to predict the type of bonding in compounds and try to explain how these compounds would react with each other. Pupils then develop their ability to form and balance chemical equations. In the second half of the term pupils focus on the use of limestone as a building material. They will also develop their practical skills to independently test the properties of materials.


The pupils will study a full length literary novel/ play likely to be studied at GCSE. They will also study media and nonfiction texts including topics such as bias, objectivity and emotive language. There is an emphasis on preparing pupils for controlled assessments and a comparative task to analyse two poems. This exercise is very much like GCSE Literature and will be part of the teaching and learning after half term. Studying how a poem uses style for effect is a key part of this study.


The pupils will study the following topics: learning how to talk about Facebook; expressing opinions about other people; arranging to go out; and describing a date and a musical event.  Pupils will also be introduced to direct object pronouns and will revise all three tenses.


Pupils will study topics that form part of the GCSE course and will introduce them to the level of knowledge and skills required at key stage 4.  They will start with globalisation; studying the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation through case studies from the fashion and chemical industries.


Pupils will look at the topics ‘Media’ and ‘School’. Through these units they will use a variety of tenses and more complex structures to talk about computers, music, television, film, German, English and dream schools. Opportunities will be given to read more challenging and extended texts.


We will start by looking at the suffragette campaign in Britain, including the life and death of Emily Wilding Davison. We then move onto the causes of the First World War and look at the early stages of the war.  We will study trench warfare on the Western Front.  We also look at life on the home front, conscientious objectors and the role of women in the war. We aim to be studying the end of the war by the end of the term.  There will be further emphasis on history skills such as source analysis and communication.


This term the pupils will be creating an e-safety video. They will also find out how to report an incident to CEOP.   An e-safety quiz will conclude this topic.


Pupils will study number topics: fractions, percentages and ratio. Algebra work includes sequences, equations with fractions and trial & improvement. The geometry units involve regular polygons, loci, circles and volumes of prisms. Pupils will also study two-way tables, scattergraphs and data sets from the statistics module.


Pupils will learn how to vary a melody by changing aspects of its rhythm, pitch and accompaniment. They will listen to military band music by Gustav Holst that is composed making use of these techniques. An Oscar-winning film theme will be used as another way of structuring a longer melody.  Pupils will sing in a variety of popular styles and also learn some musical pieces in preparation for our Christmas events.


The key topic throughout the term is energy and will incorporate kinetic theory, the transfer of energy by heating as well as its conservation.  It will also include the methods by which energy can be used efficiently together with ways of reducing energy consumption.  Skills will include the construction and interpretation of Sankey diagrams.


Pupils will cover two units this term; ‘Where can young people find wisdom by which to live?’ and ‘Can conflict ever be justified?’ Pupils will study different examples of ‘wisdom’ and they will investigate two key leaders or founders of religions and examine a controversial issue in current affairs. Pupils will then study the causes of conflict and different ideas on the morality of war from religious and non-religious perspectives.


This term pupils will cover the following topics: talking about likes and dislikes; expressing opinions and giving more detailed reasons; describing friends using multiple adjectives and connectives; use of comparatives and superlatives within descriptive speech and writing; use of reflexive verbs and sequencers; talking about places in town; invitations and making excuses; saying what someone else likes and dislikes; use phrases with infinitives. These themes will allow for further consolidation of prior knowledge and a review of grammatical concepts.

Systems Technology

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


Pupils will develop their design technology ICT skills by using and experimenting with a range of technologies. The emphasis in year 9 starts to move away from working with hard materials and into the area of promotion and packaging in readiness for year 10.

Boys Physical Education

Pupils will be given the opportunity to play hockey, rugby and badminton. The aim within these games lessons will be to refine skills taught in the previous academic year and to engage in activities with an enhanced level of understanding. During single PE lessons, pupils will be involved in smaller units of work involving indoor hockey and health related fitness.

Girls Physical Education

Pupils will be given the opportunity to play hockey, netball and squash. The aim within these games lessons will be to refine skills taught in the previous academic year and to engage in activities with an enhanced level of understanding. During single PE 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 being assertive, ‘You and your family’ exploring what it means to become an adult, ”You and your decisions’ pupils will look at how to make decisions and the consequences of decision making, ‘You and your achievements’ reviewing progress and setting targets and finally ‘You and your money’ pupils will explore banking, ways of saving and being a consumer.

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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