The Ashcombe School

  Stuart: 14078 Tudor: 13522 Windsor: 14274 York: 12887

Curriculum summary for Year 8

Year 7 | Year 8 | Year 9 | Year 10

Art

Students will work on three projects: A) Narrative Composition - Studying a selection of narrative works of art, devising a story line based on given themes, posing and producing a photograph of the figures and finding background images, drawing and painting the final composition. B) Still-life of Shoes - Decorate a found shoe, make shaded drawings of shoes, study the genre of still-life and in particular studies of Wayne Thiebaud, produce a still-life from an arrangement of a group of shoes. C) Decorative Project - make studies of decorative art and designs from a range of sources and produce their own design and produce a print.

Drama

Throughout Year 8, students have been introduced to a variety of Drama techniques which they have applied within both improvised and text based work. They have been given opportunities to experiment with new concepts and ideas, while developing their group work and speaking and listening skills, drawing upon their natural creative abilities. The schemes of work explored, such as Silent Movies, Stage Combat and Blood Brothers, have opened opportunities for students to learn how to constructively evaluate work and analyse Drama as a form, a key skill required for the transition into Year 9.

DT

Over the course of this year, students work on one of three projects. The Board game Project focuses on graphics and students work in a team to produce a board game which they design and develop using CAD. They develop their design skills both by hand and by using CAD and apply these designs to CAM using the vinyl cutter. The nightlight project allows students the opportunity to develop their making skills, with a focus on plastics and electronics. They gain an understanding of electronics theory, the construction of circuit boards and the properties of plastics. For the bridge project, students develop their making skills and gain a knowledge of woods and structures, which they then apply in the design and construction of a bridge. This is a team project where students must manage a budget, consider the environmental and social impacts of their bridge and must work as a team to complete the project successfully.

English

Students study a range of topics in Year 8: a choice of texts (either Black Book of Secrets or Stone Cold), the play Frankenstein, literature that focuses on London, one of two novels (either Alone on a Wide Wide Sea or Private Peaceful), as well as taking part in an Apprentice scheme and we will finish the year with a short project on China. At the end of each half term students are assessed. Students are taught through directed reading activities, modelled writing and class discussion, and a mixture of independent and group work. Key skills that are developed during the year are independent reading, technical accuracy and fluent written expression, and clear and confident use of Standard English.

French

Students cover six modules of work, including Family, Home Life, Free time and Leisure Activities, Making Arrangements, Food and Drink, Going on Holiday and Friendship. Students practice four attainment skills, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, and are encouraged to set their own progress targets, based upon their teacher's advice. They receive at least one lesson per fortnight in the Multi Media room, where students are encouraged to work independently whilst using a variety of software programs. Homework is a vital part of the learning process and students are required to complete one written and one learning homework per week. Each student is assessed twice per year in a variety of attainment skills, following which students are offered individual feedback as to what they need to do to improve.

German

Students cover six modules of work, including Going on Holiday, Food and Drink, Media, Health, Making Arrangements and School Exchanges. Students practice four attainment skills, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, and are encouraged to set their own progress targets, based upon their teacher's advice. They receive at least one lesson per fortnight in the Multi-Media room, where students are encouraged to work independently whilst using a variety of software programmes. Homework is a vital part of the learning process and students are required to complete one written and one learning homework per week. Each pupil is assessed twice per year in a variety of attainment skills, following which pupils are offered individual feedback as to what they need to do to improve.

Humanities

The first Geography unit, 'Diverse World', allowed students to study the ecosystems of the Amazon and Savannah, considering environmental issues as well as sustainable development and uneven development. In the second unit, 'Shrinking World', students study global population change, problems, policies and the impacts of globalisation. The first unit of RS explores the beliefs and practices of Islam. Students then explore Martyrdom in Christianity, looking at people from the past and today. The second unit involves understanding beliefs and practices in Hinduism and Sikhism. Finally, students evaluate the role religion plays within society as a whole. In the first History unit students studied the Tudors and Stuarts and how power changed and the impact of religious changes. In the second unit, they studied the Slave Trade and the road to freedom, considering why slavery took place, how and why it was justified and whether Black Americans were really free after emancipation.

Maths

Students in Year 8 will be taking increased responsibility for planning and executing their work. They continue to advance their skills with fractions, percentages and decimals, and see the connection between the three. They use algebraic techniques and symbols with increasing confidence. Students solve simple equations and study linear functions. Some students advance onto more complex equations. Students develop their understanding of shape and space using definitions and reasoning to understand geometrical objects. They discover and learn formulae to find volumes and areas of simple shapes and figures. They study handling data through practical activities, testing hypotheses and using diagrams to help calculate probabilities. Throughout, students communicate mathematics in speech and a variety of written forms, explaining their reasoning to others and applying their mathematics in unfamiliar contexts.

Music

The Music Curriculum is divided into Instrumental and Music Technology strands. Practical performing and composing activities are integral to the lessons and students' skills, knowledge and understanding is assessed in these as well as listening and appraising skills. An understanding of conventional music notation is also part of the curriculum.

PE

Year 8 students follow a rotational curriculum based on the following activities: gymnastics, football / netball, basketball, badminton, rounders / cricket, athletics, dance / fitness and tennis. The principle is to develop and build on the core skills acquired in Year 7 and incorporate these into mini games and structured competition / performances. In addition, students also develop their officiating, coaching and leadership skills.

Science

Year 8 cover a wide variety of topics this year. In Biology they look at how the human body works with Respiration and Digestion and how living things live together in Microbes and Ecology. Chemistry gives them a basic understanding of Atoms and Compounds and also looked at how the Rock Cycle functions and has also covered other geological process such as plate tectonics. In Physics they look at Earth in Space, and also covered the Heating and Cooling, Light, Sound and Magnets topics. All these topics build on concepts covered in Year 7 and will be revisited as the students progress up the school. Their attainment grade is based on their average performance across assessments based on these topics.

Spanish

Students cover six modules of work, including Family, Home Life, Free time and Leisure Activities, Making Arrangements, Food and Drink, Going on Holiday and Friendship. Students practise four attainment skills; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, and are encouraged to set their own progress targets, based upon their teacher's advice. They receive at least one lesson per fortnight in the Multi Media room, where students are encouraged to work independently whilst using a variety of software programmes. Homework is a vital part of the learning process and students are required to complete one written and one learning homework per week. Each student is assessed twice per year in a variety of attainment skills, following which students are offered individual feedback as to what they need to do to improve.