Geography Year 7
Students in Year 7 will study one of the most contentious issues of the modern day population. They will investigate how the population increase affects everyone today and what the future holds if nothing is done about it. Students will look at the case study of China and investigate what extreme measures were put into place to try and slow population growth. This country will then be compared to the superpower of the United States of America. Students will study its place in the world and whether it warrants the label “superpower”. Students will also investigate the movement of people from Mexico to America and why this movement is so influential for both countries. Students finish the year by exploring the world of Natural Disasters, including how and why they occur and the destruction and benefits they can bring.
Geography Year 8
In Year 8 pupils study the less economically developed country of Kenya in Africa. Students study both physical and human aspects of this diverse country before focusing on, and contrasting two tribes. Students in Year 8 are involved in a field trip to Henley River and Rowing Museum to gain first-hand experience of rivers and flooding. This triggers an independent project on a case study of their choice. The majority of the year is dedicated to the study of deserts, forests, and grasslands otherwise known as Biomes. There is a focus on Tropical Rainforests, Hot deserts and Savanna regions. Each Biome is investigated in groups then presented to the class. The final topic of the year is a country study of Italy in Europe. Students explore its landscape, cities, trade and tourism industry.
History Year 7
Students commence Year 7 by studying the six key skills of History; causation, chronology, diversity, evidence, interpretation and significance. Each skill is looked at in detail and forms the basis of every lesson studied. Once the skills are gained students apply this to how towns and society have changed from AD40 – 1100 before studying the Normans and their conquests, and significant characters of this era. Pupils undertake an independent study on the formation of castles before looking at the English Crusades which took place across Europe. The year is concluded with students examining the Kings and Queens of the Middle Ages.
History Year 8
In Year 8, pupils acquire knowledge of 16th and 17th Century British History including Queen Elizabeth and the politics that linked to her reign. Following this students cement their skill of chronology by exploring how towns in Britain changed since 1750 until the modern day. The formation and importance of the railways is discussed and the use of children as a workforce scrutinised. This theme links closely to the following topic of the British Empire and the slave trade, where students have the chance to make a documentary about the trade and its abolition. Students complete Year 8 by looking at the history of Emigration including how this process has established Britain into the country that it is today.
Science Year 7
In Year 7, pupils learn about cells, reproduction, acids and alkalis, chemical reactions, separation techniques, particle theory, the rock cycle, the solar system, energy resources and sustainable living forces. Throughout each topic, pupils will carry out investigative work and are encouraged to research and evaluate the information they need to supplement their learning.
Science Year 8
In Year 8, pupils study the digestive and respiratory systems of the body, the action of microbes, the interaction of organisms within ecosystems, the transfer of energy as heat, light and sound, the effects of levers and pressure, the periodic table and the formation of compounds as described through word and symbol equations. In preparation for beginning their GCSE courses at upper school, we continue to develop and refine investigative skills, especially the evaluation of data and research.
Music Year 7
Year 7 pupils start by revisiting the main elements of music. They learn about how these elements are used as a means of providing interest and contrast in the works of established composers and also develop a more critical approach to their own music-making. Composition work is developed through an emphasis on the importance of having a clear structure and through the use of chords and harmony. Pupils learn how to use chords and learn about musical impressionism with its emphasis on chromatic discords. The Gamelan music of Indonesia is introduced as an example from another musical culture of how sounds can be put together in unusual ways to create atmospheric effects.
Music Year 8
In Year 8 pupils build on the knowledge they have already acquired by working with more extended musical structures. They learn about the music of other cultures – notably the music of the Caribbean and Afro-American Blues music. Through these topics they develop their improvisational skills and work at developing more sophisticated compositions. A range of musical styles and genres is also introduced with the aim of encouraging appreciation of a wider musical spectrum. Singing skills are also developed, including a greater emphasis on part-singing, and through practical and listening tests at the end of the year pupils are assessed before moving on to prepare for exam courses in their Upper Schools.
Art Year 7
In the Autumn term Year 7 study Pop Art focusing on the artist Andy Warhol. They use their knowledge and understanding to produce a large Pop Art painting based on Liquorice Allsorts. During the Spring term pupils will study wartime art, researching the artist Henry Moore and discovering what conditions would have been like during an air raid. Pupils will explore a range of different media and learn to experiment in the style of Moore. During the Summer term pupils will experience technical drawing, working with both two and single point perspective to create a fantasy city looking at the idea of Utopia. They will also learn about historical animation creating their own Zoetrope animated sequence. Pupils refine and improve skills in painting, drawing, mixed media and technical drawing.
Art Year 8
In the Autumn term Year 8 study illustration, focusing on a selection of poems including the Jabberwocky. They explore a range of different media and illustrators to create an exciting final illustrated painting. Pupils will also have the opportunity to look at Pop-up techniques to make their final piece more challenging. During the Spring term pupils will research the artist Ben Nicholson and the Cubists discovering layering techniques within collage and painting. Pupils will refine their ability in observational painting and drawing to produce a large scale mixed media still life. Once completed in the Summer term pupils will focus on abstracting their work to create a Cubist final piece. Selected pupils will also research philosophy in art reading Plato’s Republic. They will create a final response using their knowledge and understanding developed from their readings. Pupils will refine skills in observational drawing, collage, painting, oil pastel, chalk, ink, sculpture and illustration.
Design & Technology Year 7
In Year 7 pupils design and make two products; a Cushion Cover in Textiles and a Trinket Box in Resistant Materials. Their Cushion Cover includes the technique Reverse Applique based on the Mola work by the Kuna Indians; this develops pupils’ skills on the sewing machine and enables them to construct a product from a pattern piece. In Resistant Materials the pupils’ work with both natural and manmade materials and use a variety of skills including measuring and marking out accurately and finishing techniques.
Design & Technology Year 8
In Year 8 pupils design and make two products; a Beanie Hat in textiles and an Abstract Clock in Resistant Materials. In Textiles they work with a variety of fabrics and techniques including Applique and Computer Aided Design to produce their final product. In Resistant Materials the pupils use a wide variety of tools and equipment to complete their Abstract Clock based on the work of Piet Mondrian. Their design work includes Isometric drawings and modelling.
Life Skills in KS3
Pupils have the opportunity to develop self-understanding, a healthy lifestyle and an understanding of the society in which they live. They explore the social and emotional aspects of learning, friendship, values, management of money, drugs awareness and speaking skills. Life Skills contributes to citizenship: understanding about becoming informed citizens, developing skills of enquiry, communication, participation and responsible action.
During Anti-bullying week the whole school takes part in the same activities and learning.
Windsor Youth Talk will deliver sessions on the subject of self-esteem and a project on smoking in Year 7 and sessions on the subjects of bullying, domestic violence and self-esteem in Year 8.
Pupils are taught mostly in single gender groups and receive 180 minutes of Physical Education per week. During this Key Stage pupils are taught a range of subjects which enable them to develop their interest in a range of activities, encouraging their involvement in extra-curricular clubs in school and later in life:
They will develop:
- Tactics and strategies in individual and team games as well as techniques across a range of activities.
- Ability to perform in Dance and Gym.
- Ability to work individually and as part of a team when solving problems.
- Ability to self and peer assess in order to move their learning forward independently.
All pupils will take part in a number of activities during the Key Stage; these include Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby, Gymnastics, Dance, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Fitness, Cross Country, Athletics, Rounders and Cricket.
All students take part in House Matches.
Pupils in Year 8 are also given the opportunity to become Sports Leaders developing leadership skills such as organisation, communication and teamwork. This helps build confidence and self-esteem as they take on the responsibility of leading their peers and younger pupils within our family of First Schools.
RE Year 7
The topics covered by Year 7 pupils are answering the following questions: What is RE? How and why do people worship in a Christian Church? How can they move forward in a modern society to draw new members in? As Christian Churches have been seen as centres where the community can gather in the past, is this the way forward, and if so, why? What would a new Church Community look like? What facilities would it need to have to draw everyone in? Can churches still maintain some traditional forms of worship and still provide these new facilities?
Pupils try to design a place of worship for themselves that encompass some of their ideas including designing a church building for all Christians. During the summer terms they look at the question; ‘can one person make a difference?’ They choose to study one of the great religious or cultural leaders who have brought about a huge change in society through selfless acts. People like Mother Teresa, Ghandi or Martin Luther King.
RE Year 8
Year 8 study Buddhism throughout the first two terms looking at the Eightfold Pathway, Three Universal truths, Four Noble Truths and finally the Five Moral Precepts. They are asked to compare some aspects of what they have learnt with some moral teaching from other religions. Why was Gotama Buddha so special? What is a Buddhist goal in life? What are we doing to the environment? Is it right to eat animals? This leads pupils on to other ethical issues to do with the planet and forming opinions about basic human rights.
Pupils make informed responses to questions of identity and experience. In some topics they will explain how some forms of religious expression are used differently by individuals and communities; they will explain how selected features of religious life and practice make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities. Pupils make informed responses to people’s values and commitments (including religious ones) in the light of their learning. In Year 8 we consider what we really value in life and what it means to be “fully alive” and evaluate a range of guidance in order to enable pupils to form their own personal views. We examine the difference between going on a journey as a tourist or a pilgrim; whether one person can save the world, and whether prayer or meditation can work for us. Pupils develop their citizenship skills through study of some religious law, values and moral responsibility.