In the first part of the term Year 8 will be looking at Roald Dahl’s work and focusing on a particular text. They will study themes within the story and consider how reading for enjoyment makes them feel.
Later in the term they will look at Personal Writing in the form of diary entries. They will consider several types of diary entry and the purpose of these.
In Year 8, the same view to the students’ education is taken as it was in Year 7, whereby the staff will differentiate the topic in line with the students’ abilities and appropriately challenge them. Although the topic may be repeated (as we understand this is necessary for the majority of our students), the students learn different aspects to progress them with the mathematical and real-life skills required for adulthood.
The Autumn term sees the students learning about money, banking, coin and note recognition, online security, debit and credit cards in the first half of the term and time, including 12/24 hour clocks in the second half. As with all year groups, these topics are related to the Functional Skills qualification specification with our Learning for Living ethos layered into most lessons. Online independent work continues with Mangahigh. We are lucky enough to have double lessons once a week, which gives us a great opportunity to go out in the community and put what we have learnt in the classroom, into practice.
Elements, mixtures and compounds – In this theme we will explore the range of materials that exist and will carry out practical activities to develop an understanding of what is meant by the words mixture, element and compound. To enhance this understanding we will spend time separating different mixtures and exploring the reactions of some of the metal elements.
Looking at Light – During this theme we will carry out practical activities that will lead to an increased understanding of light and the way in which it behaves. We will make devices that use mirrors and lenses and we will use what we learn to see how our eyes work.
Environmental Studies incorporates work from History, Geography and practical outdoor learning. This outdoor learning provides the students with opportunities to learn and enhance their horticultural and animal care skills.
This term in History the students will explore how the rights of women have changed over time, looking closely at how the right to vote was given to women and more recently, the HeforShe campaign to support gender equality.
In Geography we will be working together to research how we can look after each other, even if we live in separate places. This will give the students an opportunity to look closely at organisations such as Dens and One Can.
RELIGION AND ETHICS (R AND E)
The Religion and Ethics balanced curriculum is designed to help pupils begin to explore and engage with the six main religions from a spiritual and ethical perspective to stimulate their interest and understanding. The subject naturally is geared towards discussion, debate and a variety of opinions when exploring a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues. Pupils are encouraged to appreciate and respect the British values of tolerance and freedom of speech when exploring their own beliefs and that of others.
Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and consider what it means to be a Christian in modern society. They will focus on the life of Jesus Christ and look at a range of special stories and parables from the bible. Pupils will also explore the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus.
In year 8 the Autumn term project is ‘Animated Art’ and pupils will be looking at moving images in art. They will learn about cartoons, illustrations, model making techniques, and photography. They will learn of how to create a character in a number of ways and produce a stop motion film. Pupils will also explore the Op Art movement with artists such as Bridget Riley- which helps pupils learn to create Art mindfully and relax as they express themselves.
Design Crafts is aimed at developing the design and practical skills in young Designer Makers across the student pathways. Promoting a culture of creativity that will provide opportunities for engagement in the community and encourage skills to support wellbeing and independence (appropriate to student pathways) into adult life. The projects change yearly as we take current opportunities and respond to design briefs as they occur.
The skills and knowledge developed through the KS3 Design Crafts programme feeds directly into the Social Enterprise programme in years 11, 12 and 13 where as part of the work related learning offering, students run a small crafts business that funds a range of community arts projects where students engage with and support local organisations, schools and community groups.
In Design Crafts this term, year 8 students will be exploring product development. Working to a set brief, students will work together to create a marketable product, packaging and promotional materials for an item that will be sold at the Christmas Fayre. They will participate in a range of skills development and materials focused workshops relevant to the theme of their project.
The music curriculum at Alfriston has been carefully designed to be therapeutic, and to promote confidence and a growth mindset for all our girls. We aim to be absolutely inclusive and to meet our girls whatever their level or need. Our Learning for Living skills of Engagement, Independence, Risk Taking, Resilience and Social Interaction are promoted in every lesson, and in some of our topics, Organisation will be an important focus.
We begin with more Rhythm work, concentrating on Brazilian Samba. We promote teamwork and leadership skills alongside Rhythmic skills, because each student will be part of a “team” playing different rhythms against 2 or 3 other teams. This polyrhythm encourages musical ensemble, listening and independent performance, as well as our LfL goals of full engagement, social interaction and risk taking.
We move on to more of the Alfriston Singing Course – and will learn more complex pieces of music ready for performances at Christmas. Students have opportunities to sing solos and lead groups alongside improving their own technique.
Elements of dance – This term, pupils will be focussing on the four key elements of dance, Action, Space, Dynamics and Relationships. Pupils will need to bring their PE kit to lesson as they attend lessons exploring these key words, studying and taking inspiration from professional work and choreographing their own routines.
The physical education programme for this term is Health Related Fitness, Swimming, Fundamentals and Invasion Activities. A large focus will be on developing pupils’ independence and organisation when preparing to participate in a range of physical activities. Pupils will also develop a better understanding with regards to the importance of taking part in regular activity and developing a basic physical skills set. Invasion activities will encourage pupils to become more creative with the skills they apply when under pressure. During swimming lessons, pupils will continue to develop stroke technique and efficiency in the water.
Lessons will be delivered on a rotation of theory, discussion/circle time, and practical activities to allow for learning and practice. During the first term pupils will be developing their Self-awareness. This will begin by building group cohesion and establishing group rules and expectations, followed by helping the group learn about themselves and each other. This includes being able to identify what I am good at, but also what I would like to improve on. Then pupils explore emotions, thoughts and behaviours of themselves and others.
PSHE at all key stages aims to promote positive well-being and mental health enabling pupils to take responsibility for their learning and future life choices.
Pupils willhave opportunities to understand and reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally, emotionally and socially, encompassing many of the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and health issues in their lives and that of others in wider society. This will enable them to be have a deeper understanding of themselves, others and the world they live in while building meaningful relationships. It will also enable pupils to develop leadership of themselves and others and develop personal and transferable skills related to the Learning for Living skills such as confidence and resilience.
There will be opportunities for pupils to find out what the school is like, how it functions as well as its rules. They will then think about friendships and relationships and begin to consider their future challenges and choices.
In year 8 pupils start to examine how to manage their friendships and relationships with others including how they utilise social media. Pupils are encouraged to think about how they may deal with negative situations surrounding bullying, stereotyping and peer pressure.
Autumn 1: Pupils will develop their knowledge of self-awareness and examine a variety of related topics. Pupils will identify their personal strengths and areas of development, positive friendships, people who are special, describe what it means to treat others in an unkind way, recognise changes in their body and the influence of media representations and employ strategies to cope with pressure, and be aware of how stereotyping can be harmful encouraging prejudice. They will also explore emotional and mental health. Pupils will also explore diversity as part of Black History Month.
Autumn 2: Pupils will explore the various changes and challenges that young people face in the wider world as they gain independence. Through the concept of self-care, support and safety pupils will gain knowledge, information that will equip them for the experiences and challenges of living in a digital world to make informed decisions, learning to manage their minds, bodies, relationships, online lives and the influence of their peers and social media platforms. They will have lessons which will focus on the following: Pupils will explore the concept of: Taking care of ourselves, Keeping safe, Feeling frightened and worried, Trust, Online Safety and Public and Private.
Opportunities may arise when a community police officer visits the school to discuss how to keep and feel safe at all times and in groups pupils will consider bullying, what it is, how it can be prevented as well as coping strategies.
In Home Economics the pupils will focus on basic cooking and food preparation skills. Pupils will learn how to work safely in the kitchen as well as developing, an understanding of what Home Economics is and learn the important hygiene and healthy eating rules. They will learn about basic nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet. Pupils will cook a wide range of dishes from a variety of simple recipes. Pupils will gain independence in the kitchen and begin to discuss the skills they are learning.
Pupils will understand the importance of being active and looking after themselves. They will learn that a variety of food is needed in the diet because different foods contain different substances that are needed for health. They will learn that all food and drink provide nutrients and understand that energy is provided by the different nutrients groups.
The pupils working in Forest School will be outside in the woodland area having a hands-on opportunity to learn about the natural environment through directed tasks and exploration. They will be guided to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. The students will be given a large amount of freedom in their learning.
In Year 8 pupils will continue to develop and build their relationships with each other and the natural environment. Team work and co-operation continue to be the main focus. Alongside this the students will also be introduced to using tools such as knives, loppers and saws.