The Art course aims to build upon the areas of Art understanding, investigation and making. A range of new skills are introduced that support the knowledge and skills that Year 10 GCSE pupils will cover.
Drama in year 8 seeks to enhance the skills developed in year 7, but also develops technical and acting skills that would be required for GCSE. students work on developing characterisation techniques, enhancing their understanding of the demands required in key stage 4. Technical skills in lighting, sound, costume and make-up are explored through developing devised and scripted pieces. Students have the opportunity to present ‘Theatre in Education’ performances linking to the primary feeder schools.
The course aims to build upon the skills of research, analysis, designing and practical application. New skills are introduced that reflect the knowledge and skills introduced at GCSE. These help prepare students who wish to continue in a Technology subject at year 10.
In English in year 8, we cover the following assessed areas:
- Short story
- Response to reading – analysing an advert (at least 500 words)
- Response to reading – Shakespeare and poetry link – this is a significant piece and can take 3 months to complete and prepares for GCSE.
- Formal letter
- Poetry comparison – another significant piece to prepare for GCSE
At the end of year 8, students complete a considerable assessment so that a final level can be awarded and sent to the Welsh Government. They need to perfect their use of the present tense and learn how to use imperatives and the past tense. They study the topic areas of Health and Holiday in great detail. Topics are taught through the language skills areas; Oracy (Speaking and Listening), Reading and Writing. On completion of each topic, they are assessed using GCSE-style questions.
In year 8 students continue to develop key geographical skills, they focus on explaining world issues and providing sustainable futures. The topics covered this year are Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Wild Weather, Population and Global Issues.
In year 8 students develop their historical skills, conducting enquiries into historical topics and evaluating sources of evidence. The topics studied have followed a chronological coverage from 1750 to 1950. Studying the changes made to Britain during the Industrial Revolution to the two World conflicts of the Twentieth Century.
In ICT, students follow several topic areas which aim to cover the realities of modern Information and Communication Technology industry demands. These include advanced use of Office software, graphics and web part manipulation, animation and interactive control products. Students also study Database development and manipulation. Modules are in blocks of 6 weeks of study.
The work covered in year 8 builds on the work covered in year 7 following the National curriculum. Tasks are tailored to suit students’ ability but also add challenge. Topics covered include: ratio, indices, sequences, equations, area, measures, fractions, percentages, probability and averages. Students are also given opportunities to develop their mathematical reasoning skills in preparation for the Welsh numeracy tests and the new style GCSE.
All students continue to follow the KS3 music syllabus through one hour or tuition per week.
In year 8 students start to explore music in a more individual way by having a greater degree of freedom and choice. This freedom and choice is designed to foster candidates’ musical sensitivity, creativity and aural perceptions, through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding and the exercise of the imagination. It promotes candidates cultural development, involvement in and enjoyment of music as performers, composers and appraisers through the study of a wide range of music. The course supports students’ personal and social development through making music with others.
During this academic year there is a broadening of the activities undertaken in this subject. In the Autumn and Spring terms students follow units of work from Gymnastics, Dance, Fitness Training/Health and Well Being, Netball, Rugby, Basketball, Football and Badminton. During the Summer term students follow units of work in Athletics, Tennis, Rounders and Cricket. An increasing emphasis is placed on equipping students to understand the need to maintain personal fitness and to achieve this through a healthy active lifestyle. The work covered prepares the students for their end of Key Stage assessments and provides a good platform for future GCSE and Core PE programmes on Key Stage 4.+
In year 8 students have been engaging with fundamental questions, exploring religious beliefs, teaching and practices, as well as expressing personal responses. The students learnt about rites of passage in Christianity and Judaism in the first term. Since then they have been studying a unit about suffering, including the Holocaust.
In year 8 students consolidate and deepen their scientific knowledge in preparation for their GCSE years. Students are taught by subject specialists and currently study three biology units, two physics and two chemistry units. Each unit is taught by a different teacher on a rotation basis, allowing students a varied and stimulating learning experience.
Students are assessed at least once every four weeks; this allows the faculty to track and monitor the students regularly. the faculty assesses students on their scientific, numeracy and literacy skills in addition to their scientific subject knowledge.
In year 8, students at Darland study language patterns through the following topic areas –
- Term 1 – Holidays/School
- Term 2 – Hobbies and Interests/Wales and the Area
- Term 3 – Media/People and the Environment
Homework is set as detailed in the School Homework Timetable by the class teacher. This can be various activities such as, learning vocabulary, writing tasks or research.
Students are assessed each half term by way of a formal test. This tests each skill area (speaking, reading, writing and listening). Students spend time analysing their results and noting areas where they need to improve.