Year 8

Art

Through our Art curriculum we aim to provide students with an experience that is non-Eurocentric and which challenges racial, cultural, religious, homophobic and gender-based prejudice. The students at Batley Girls’ High School have the right to an arts experience that extends knowledge and understanding of themselves, the wider arts community and the social, political, cultural, economic and historical context in which art traditions have evolved.

Each student experiences in each year a variety of media and techniques. In KS3 students will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into Key Stages 4 and 5.

Our syllabus meets with the requirements of the New National Curriculum and is designed to lead to excellence in GCSE with Fine Art, Textile Design and Graphic Design disciplines providing many of our students with a strong foundation from which to excel in further arts-related studies.

The curriculum in Key Stage 3 is taught to Years 7 and 8 only and is organised with an emphasis on building an understanding of skills and concepts in art. Students work with different process and materials and have an opportunity to discover, through the different ways of working. Process areas will be revisited during the Key Stage, and the teaching of concepts will develop from a basic exploration of colour, pattern and texture to an understanding of the dynamics of composition and art across the world. Through a strategy of progression the syllabus is designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to excel at GCSE and A level.

Year 8 Project List
1. Street art – art and politics, the role of art within the world and painting.
2. Wearable art: sculpture, construction and cultures.
3. Wearable art: myself – art as self-expression, drawing and painting.


Computer Science

The curriculum for Computer Science has been developed to give our students foundation skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will use across the school, at home and in their future careers. Through this programme of study, students will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, they will develop their ideas using technology, and create a range of digital content.

Students will learn:

– The hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems.
– How data of various types (including text and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits.
– How algorithms can help plan and create a complex project using Scratch.
– How to plan and create a website using html and css.
– How to use python to solve a variety of computational problems.
– How to use several different applications to create digital content, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Office packages and Google Documents


Design Technology

Design Technology is taught in Years 7 and 8 only. Students follow a carousel programme in each year, completing projects in four material areas: Food, Graphics, Product Design and Textiles.

Students are set briefs designed to encourage them to: analyse, investigate, develop, reflect, plan, test, and evaluate. Each brief requires students to produce outcomes of good quality.

Over the two year course, students will consider the needs of different consumers, look at relevant environmental issues and impacts, and investigate the working properties of a range of materials.

Each student will be introduced to using a range of new materials and equipment safely and correctly. The use of new technologies is encouraged. Projects set allow use of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture, the laser cutter and sublimation printer.

All projects are structured to enable spiral learning. As they progress across the projects, students are expected to develop their ‘design and make’ skills and understanding with increasing complexity and sophistication. They should also be able to work with increasing independence. Students are expected to act on feedback and make improvements from one project to the next.

Design Technology is a part of the STEM subject offer at BGHS. We take part in STEM week activities each year, as well as offering drop in lunchtimes for students to complete tasks or develop skills further.

Design Technology courses are not currently offered beyond Key Stage 3, however students are able to study Textiles and Graphics as part of the GCSE Art & Design offer.

Year 8 students are taught in sets. Each set will complete an approximately 9 week long project in each of the material areas, as detailed below.

– Food – Marvellous Meals.
– Graphics – Kew Gardens Event Poster.
– Product Design – Architectural Clocks.
– Textiles – Happy Banners.


English

Our English curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed to allow students to enjoy reading and creating a range of different texts. Students in Year 7 and 8 devote one lesson per week to reading and skills and follow the Accelerated Reader programme. Students are encouraged to read widely and their progress in reading is closely monitored and recorded.

In Term One of Year 8, students will study an introduction to the Victorian Novel and Dickensian England. Students will have an introduction to Dickensian England where they will study famous Victorian women, extracts of prose and poetry, letters, literary non-fiction and the contextual factors of the time. This will then link to the study of a complete, substantial text and literary non-fiction. Students will focus on writing to describe and present a viewpoint, language analysis, structure and essay writing.

In Term Two of Year 8, students will study Modern Drama. Focusing on narrative and descriptive writing, comparison, synthesis and structure as well as Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Students will focus on viewpoint writing and discussion, summary, structure and language analysis.

In Term Three of Year 8, students will study a non-fiction, journalism style unit to explore how language is used for different purposes and audiences as well as War Poetry – focusing on language analysis, comparison, and structure. Students will be introduced to some poems as unseen.

At the end of Term Three, students will sit a progress test which will test their comprehension of a non-fiction text and their ability to write for a specific purpose.

NB: Term One and Term Three (The Victorian Novel and Shakespeare) assessment will focus on an extract and then broaden out to the text as a whole. Term Two (Drama) will not have an extract but will focus on character or theme.


Geography

Geography at Batley Girls’ High School has been designed to help students widen their understanding of both human and physical geography. Topics are designed to provide an opportunity for all students to understand more about the world and the challenges it faces.

Over the course of their learning, students will deepen their understanding of geographical processes, the impact of change and of complex people-environment interactions. They will also explore the interrelationships between places and environments at local and national scales.

Year 8 students are also given a range of opportunities to visit places of geographical interest and regularly take part in fieldwork to help develop their geographical skills.

Topics studied in Year 8 include:
– Geographical Skills.
– Into Africa.
– Weather and Climate.
– Britain’s Coastline.


History

In History we have designed a programme that covers content from ancient history through to the modern day. We have also developed a scheme of assessments for Key Stage 3 that will enable learners to develop the skills that are needed for success in both Key Stage 3 and 4. Students will complete regularly assessed work but there is a formal assessment at the end of each unit.

Key Stage 3 History is based around a series of enquiry questions that are designed to encourage analysis of change, continuity, cause and consequences.

In Year 8, students will complete a series of enquiry based investigations that are designed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of chronology and the experience of thematic studies and depth studies.

The first unit of study investigates the Industrial Revolution and is based around the question ‘What were the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution?’ In this unit, students will look at the changing state of Britain 1750 -1830 and also look at how close Britain came to a revolution during the 19th century. They will investigate the local area and further afield and discover why the cities were so unhealthy.

This is followed by a unit that focuses on World War 1. Students will look at the increasing tension before World War 1 and they will investigate four main themes: Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism and Nationalism to determine which one they feel had the greater impact on the war. Students will also look at the impact of war on Britain and Germany and determine the real cost of war.

In addition to this, students will study a modern world enquiry that focuses on Russian history entitled, ‘From Revolution to Cold War – How did Russia change from 1917-1945?’ This will enable students to investigate the nature of dictatorship and understand different forms of government as well as learning important historical terms.

This leads on to a European depth studies entitled, ‘What was it like to live in Germany under the control of Hitler?’ In this unit students take a comprehensive look at different groups in society from the years 1933-45. Students study the Holocaust as part of this unit.

We end Year 8 with a unit that is designed to bring History up to the present day. It is entitled, ‘How did WW2 change the World?’ and we look at a number of impacts including:

– The changes to the British Empire.
– The changes to British society brought about by the war.
– The changes to American society including the FEPC and the fight for greater civil rights inspired by the fight against fascism in Europe.
– European changes brought about after the Yalta and Potsdam conferences.


Mathematics

As students enter KS3 our initial focus in Maths is to ensure that every student has a real understanding of number. We are spending a considerable time within lessons on numeracy skills, times tables and all the key concepts that need to be in place before students can begin to make real progress.

Our aim is to develop mastery, which is a deep understanding, as opposed to surface knowledge or just rote learning. We want them to understand ‘WHY’ they are doing something, what it really means, rather than purely learning a procedure. We are achieving this through a variety of strategies including websites such as Mathematics Mastery Program, Numeracy Ninjas, MyMaths, MathsWatch, BBC Bitesize KS3.

Half termly assessments are used to identify areas for improvement, so that we can incorporate this into our teaching.

Maths is a subject in which progress frequently relies on the understanding of previous key topics, therefore it is essential that your daughter attends all lessons. On the unavoidable occasions that they are absent, it is crucial that they catch up on any work missed. Homework is set on a weekly basis and is recorded in their planners.

Areas covered in KS3:

– Number
– Algebra
– Geometry and Measures
– Statistics
– Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change


MFL

In French, pupils follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study.
The aims of the course are to use the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing to equip pupils to cope with everyday situations in French.
As they progress through the two year course they will become increasingly proficient in their use of spoken and written language and be able to understand spoken and written French in a variety of contexts. The knowledge and application of grammar is interwoven through all tasks.

Course Content Summary
(Year 8) List of topics studied:

Term 1
– Talk about usual holidays and preferred holidays.
– Talk about items you take on holiday.
– Talk about dream holidays.
– Describe past holidays and past activities.

Term 2
– Talk about sports and leisure activities.
– Name parts of the body and injuries.
– Talk about where you live.
– Talk about daily routine.
– Talk about what you did yesterday.

Term 3
– Talk about what you are going to do to help others.
– Identify and locate francophone countries.
– Talk about Africa.
– Reflexive verbs.
– Perfect tense with avoir and être.
– Reflexive verbs.
– The near future tense.

Language lessons require pupils to be actively involved in their learning. There are many opportunities to practise the four skills using a variety of techniques and materials, such as pair work, group work, role-play, films, songs and ICT as well as more traditional work from the textbook.
We use a range of materials. Translation skills will be a focus in writing also.

Homework
Homework is set once a week, usually a learning vocabulary homework.


Performing Arts

In KS3, Music and Drama are taught under the umbrella of Performing Arts. Students learn both Music and Drama discreetly and also combine them to create multi discipline performances. Students are given many opportunities to learn a wide range of different skills as well as explore different historical, cultural and contemporary themes and issues. Students work individually, in pairs and in small groups developing their confidence and communication skills. The two-year programme culminates in a commission where students create a performance piece to be shown to Year 6 students on Common Transfer Day.

Topics include:

– African Drumming.
– Samba.
– Keyboards.
– Singing.
– Basic Drama skills such as mime, freeze frame and vocal projection.
– Advertisements and Jingles.
– World Music.
– Storytelling.
– Pantomime.
– Soap Opera.


Physical Education

A high-quality Physical Education curriculum inspires all students to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. The curriculum in Year 8 provides opportunities for students to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Students have the opportunity to compete in sport and other activities that build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Activities include: Badminton, Netball, Gymnastics, Dance, Fitness, Rounders, Cricket, Athletics and Tennis.


PSHE

The core aims of our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme are:

– Building resilience.
– Developing our students’ skills and awareness so that they are able to keep themselves safe.
– Knowing how to build healthy relationships.
– Promoting humanitarian and British Values.

In Year 8, students follow the Teaching Future Leaders (TFL) programme. Students are introduced to the idea that throughout their lives, each of them must take responsibility for leading their personal development. Students explore the concepts of leadership, working collaboratively and also individually and students explore the qualities and leadership skills they must need to develop to prepare for the outside world. Students will receive a nationally and internationally recognised TFL qualification for the work that they produce.

This course promotes personal responsibility for learning and development.


Religious Education
In Year Eight, students spend a term and a half studying Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Students consider the beliefs and practices of these faiths which includes looking at key beliefs, religious worship and religious festivals. Students are given the opportunity to reflect upon these faiths and consider how their beliefs will affect the life of the believer, and also their community.

The rest of the year is spent studying the ethical issues of peace and conflict. Students are given the opportunity to study this topic for the point of view of different world faiths as well as considering and developing their own view points.


Science

In Year 8, students will be taught in 2 blocks.

Term 1, Block 1 will concentrate on consolidating knowledge from Year 7 into Year 8. Topics covered are:
– Organisms 2 – Breathing, Health and Digestion.
– Matter 2 – Periodic Table and Elements.
– Waves 2 – Wave effects and Wave properties.
– Reactions 2 – Chemical Energy and Types of Reactions.
– Energy 2 – Work and Heating/Cooling.

Term 2, Block 2 will consist of the following topics:
– Earth 2 – Climate and Earth Resources.
– Genes 2 – Evolution and Inheritance.
– Ecosystems 2 – Respiration and Photosynthesis.
– Electromagnets 2 – Magnetism and Electromagnetism.
– w/c 11th March STEM WEEK Enrichment Activities.
– Year progress test – 9th November.

Term 3 will focus on revision skills and Progress tests followed by Working Scientifically focus lessons.
– w/c 29th Apr Revision Activities focus.
– w/c 6th May Y8 Progress Exam Friday p4 – reflection time.
– Directed Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT).
– Consolidation of learning so far and the transition to KS4.