Key Stage 3 Subjects

For an overview of our curriculum offer across all Key Stages, view our Curriculum Map 2016-17.

Key Stage 3

Five Ways to Help Your Child at Key Stage 3:

Five Ways to Help Your Child – Key Stage 3

 

KS3 Curriculum Summary

We follow the National Curriculum and organise our teaching through the following subjects: English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, RS, French, German, Religious Studies, Art, Dance, Drama, Music, P.E, Design and Technology and Food Technology. The SEN Faculty provides a range of support which can be in-class or in the Teaching and Learning Centre. In addition in Year 7 we offer Route 67 which is a course aimed to bridge the transition from primary to secondary for some of our students. Citizenship is also taught mainly through Religious Studies and History although this is supplemented by some cross-curricular days. Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are also taught within each subject and we also have an alternative curriculum week in the Summer term where we concentrate more specifically on these skills and run activities aimed to promote more independent learning.

Generally students embark on GCSE courses when they enter Y10. However with the removal of SATs, several core subjects now prepare for GCSE from Year 9. Within the Arts, students have the opportunity to take the prestigious Trinity Exam Performance Arts exams.

KS3 Courses

KS3 Art

KS3 Art and Design at Bridgewater High is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. Over the three years we ensure pupils learn the formal elements (line, tone, texture, pattern and form) while producing 2D artwork, 3D sculptures and textile outcomes. Pupils will gain knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary artist, crafts people and designers and use their understanding to create individual and creative artwork.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Our highest ability students are encouraged to:-

  • Attend KS3 art club to extend projects and help with the school production set design.
  • Enter externally promoted competitions responding to design briefs.
  • Visit galleries and museums.
  • Self-reflect on their artwork in order to encourage confidence and independent thinking.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

The art course allows pupils at Key Stage 3 to access all aspects of the curriculum through:-

  • Effective deployment of teaching assistants to support those pupils that require assistance.
  • An after school art club for all abilities.
  • A differentiated scheme of work across the key stage.
  • All pupils will reflect on their work and the work of other people, making judgements that can be articulated in verbal and written terms with the aid of annotation and evaluation guideline sheets.

KS3 Dance

Dance at KS3 enables pupils to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of dance through choreography and performance. Pupils follow a programme of study that includes different styles of dance, such as: street dance, capoeira, contemporary, lindy hop, musical, theatre and country dance. Pupils have the opportunity to work individually and in groups and through choreographic tasks develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as developing their overall bodily skill and fitness level.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

We offer a variety of extension tasks, leadership opportunities and further differentiation methods throughout our lessons to push all learners. Learners can also attend one of our extra-curricular opportunities which include:

  • Performance Art Trinity and Guild graded Exam Course
  • Y7 Dance Clubs
  • Y8 & 9 Lower site dance Company
  • Boys Parkour Club
  • Rehearsals for all school productions
  • Lion King transition performance
  • School production opportunities
  • Dance Oscars 2018-19
  • Workshops with Dance practitioners/artists/companies
  • Winter wonderland showcase

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

We use of pupil voice adapt the curriculum to suit our learners, as well as providing lots of extra-curricular opportunities as previously mentioned.

 

KS3 Drama

Students explore a variety of themes during schemes, giving them opportunity to put themselves in the position of others. They develop a range of drama skills, which are built upon and utilised throughout KS3.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

  • Given ‘jobs’ when devising – such as ‘Director’ to get the scene started. These roles can then be changed during a lesson to enable others to take on more of a key role once the process has started.
  • Teacher selection of groups – works two ways. One is to have a strong group to enable a benchmark, or two, to split up high ability in order to build skills of others through using their leadership skills.
  • Given extra techniques to put into work – for example they have to include thought tracking, narration, or multi role play which takes extra thought than just acting one role.
  • Encouraged to join the drama enrichment (school play, or lower/upper school drama clubs) to further develop their skills, and work with others from outside their lessons, or with friendship groups.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

  • Support – through talking to students. We always pride ourselves in Drama with knowing our students, and how they work within the classroom; they know what we expect to happen. We feel therefore we can talk with those who need support, without having to see it as a negative approach. Parental contact can be made, or through PAL/PAM regarding emotional issues that are being raised or having an impact in lessons.
  • Engage – we have varied topics in KS3 to ensure something will be of interest to everyone. We find that it is expected within Drama that you participate, and it is rare that people refuse to. So for the less able, or less confident who don’t engage with the work, it’s trying to get them to do something, anything. Even performing in front of others in a challenge for some, so if they start saying nothing, then one thing, and gradually adding dialogue to build confidence.

 

KS3 Design and Technology

In Design and Technology students gain understanding of the job of Product, Graphic and Textile designers. They undertake a range of design and make projects where the focus is on improving their practical skills to create high quality outcomes in wood, metal, plastics, fabrics, electronics, paper and card. They will also understand how CAD/CAM can be used to design and manufacture items. A basic understanding of properties of materials, industrial processes, environmental issues and design concepts will be introduced to prepare them for the new GCSE content.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Higher ability students are challenged by encouraging them to work independently on practical projects, adding higher level, challenging skills to these pieces and also, acting as experts to others in the class by demonstrating techniques and key skills.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

All students are provided with high quality worksheets and information and teacher demonstrations showing the correct use of various hand and powered equipment plus, examples of work to be completed. Students are encouraged to read around the subject. Lunch time sessions are available to get help with homework or spend extra time on practical work. There is also a DT club offering students the opportunity to construct more complex items than time in class allows. Past projects have included a sweet dispenser, puzzle games and construction of an ‘ Eiffel Tower’ garden sculpture. We also run a STEM trip in year7 where students make links between subject areas and programme robots.

 

KS3 English

Within English lessons in Years 7 and 8, pupils are taught to develop their skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. They will study a variety of texts, including poetry, plays and novels as well as producing work in contrasting styles for a variety of purposes and audiences. This work will include both imaginative and non-fiction based writing. At all stages, the technical accuracy and sophistication of pupils’ writing is taught explicitly. Close reading skills are developed throughout the Year 7 and 8 Programmes of Study, focusing on reading for pleasure but also skills of retrieval, inference and deduction. Pupils are also assessed on their spoken work, which will be produced in groups and individually. In Y9, pupils begin work on their GCSE English Literature course by studying ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as well as a selection of poetry from the EDUQAS Anthology.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3)

All pupils, including the most able, are given opportunities to further develop their skills through their responses to marking and individual feedback. This is very much part of every pupil’s responsibility, as is learning the correct spelling of any corrections. More able pupils will also focus on the ability to comment on writers’ language choices using appropriate, technical terminology.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

Pupils are taught in ability-related sets (3 broad sets in Y7; 4 sets in Y8) which provide varying levels of differentiation, support and independence, appropriate to pupils’ needs. The lower sets are kept deliberately small in order to provide pupils with maximum opportunities for individual help from the class teacher and available support staff. Those pupils in Y7 with the greatest needs, follow our ‘Fresh Start’ phonics programme, which develops literacy skills through explicitly taught lessons as well by addressing misconceptions.

KS3 Food & Nutrition

Pupils study Food &Nutrition throughout the whole of key stage 3 at Bridgewater. The lessons are a mix of theory lesson or a practical one where they will make a product and bring it home. The focus is on developing their practical skills, learning about choosing a healthy diet and the importance of Food Hygiene. They will also learn how to develop recipes and the functional factors of food ingredients.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Higher ability students are challenged by encouraging them to work independently on practical projects, adding higher level, challenging skills to these pieces and also, acting as experts to others in the class by demonstrating techniques and key skills.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

All students are provided with high quality worksheets and information and teacher demonstrations showing the correct way to produce the practical products. Students are encouraged to read around the subject. Lunch time sessions are available to get help with homework or spend extra time on practical work. There is also a food club offering students the opportunity to cook more elaborate recipes and ones that are not covered in the curriculum.

 

KS3 Geography

Year 7: Year 7 start off the year with “What is geography?” This is followed by map skills so students can use OS maps and access atlases. Students then investigate units on weather, globalisation of the fashion industry and urbanisation.

Year 8: Starting the year with world sport, students consider this global industry and its impact. Students then produce a project on Brazil, as well as investigating rivers, coasts and development.

Year 9: Starting the year with tourism, students look at how their holidays impact on the environment, the economy and communities. Students produce a project on China, investigate volcanoes and earthquakes, gain justified opinions on environmental issues.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Independent investigations and project work along with thought provoking essays and reports and debates on topics such as child labour and ethical working practises, China’s changing population policy, rainforest destruction and environmental issues.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

The subject uses video, role play, summary diagrams and summary lesson notes all integrated into the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) with every lesson online for either reading ahead, independent learning or lesson reinforcement.

 

KS3 History

Year 7: Students start the year by being introduced to key historical skills through a study of Roman Britain. Pupils will then study a variety of medieval topics including; why there was a crisis in 1066, how far England changed under the Normans and the Crusades. Students will finally study the different culture and lifestyle of the Native American tribes.

Year 8: Year 8 begins with students understanding the key features and events of the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. An investigation into slavery and the British Empire will then be undertaken to determine to what extent the empire was a force for good. Students will then study the Victorians; the actions and significance of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King; before finally learning about the First World War.

Year 9: The twentieth century is the main focus of Year 9, starting with women fighting for the right to vote. This is followed by an in-depth study of the two sides of World War Two – Hitler and Churchill. Students will then assess how far JFK met his promises before deciding which turning point of the modern period was the most significant. Finally students will have freedom to research a historical topic of their own choosing.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Beyond the teaching and learning in the classroom, students are challenged by;

  • SMHW: Students have to undertake an independent piece of work three times of year. Students will have to resource, research and produce a final piece on a varied selection of historical topics.
  • Students have to engage with different historical interpretations and be able to argue how and why they differ
  • Students have to be able to explain the significance of events or be able to identify turning points in a period of time as opposed to just describing a narrative.
  • Students work with more challenging source materials and are asked to be more analytical in their work
  • Students will present their ideas or work with other students within the class.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

Beyond the teaching and learning in the classroom, we aim to engage and support all students as follows;

  • On three occasions throughout the year, the students will be given a SMHW task which will provide them with an opportunity to research an aspect of History and present it in a manner that they wish.
  • History enrichment will further student interest and understanding. There will be two sessions, ‘Creative History’ and ‘History in the Media’ on a rotational basis which all students can join in if they wish
  • A number of competitions will be held throughout the year to develop student engagement with History and focus on different skills – one competition will be focused on photography, one focused on literacy and one focused on multi-media.

 

KS3 ICT

Year 7: In year 7 students study fundamentals of computer science, including problem-solving skills, developing algorithms and logic. Students also study the practical applications of computer science, including develop code, database & spreadsheet design. While many students will have seen some skills or applications before, the emphasis is on the depth of understanding. Students also cover the core office skills that they will require in their other subjects.

Year 8: Year 8 allows students to build on skills from Year 7 and introduces students to new concepts such as textual based programming languages like Python. The focus is on building confidence when writing code and solving problems so that students are free to develop their own programs. Students also cover the basics of HTML and software & hardware design.

Year 9: Year 9 is a preparation for study at GCSE level. Students will continue to develop their programming skills and creative talents through a variety of projects designed to help them decide which route they wish to follow at KS;, including studying the development of game design and the more advanced elements of programming in Python. The emphasis is on extended project work, bringing together a range of skills and tools for a specific business purpose. In particular, students will be required to test and evaluate their work regularly to guide their progress.

Note that e-safety is a core part of each year and is addressed both within ICT / Computing lessons and through whole-school events.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

  • E-Portfolio style schemes of work allow for rapid independent progress at the students own pace.
  • All Key Stage 3 units of work have assessment style activities at their core. Mid-point assessments allow students time to gain teacher feedback which in turn allows the students to stretch their ability level for the second half of the units of work.
  • Peer to Peer feedback form fundamental parts of students units of work again these given assessment points allow students to stretch their ability level from feedback.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

  • Student Study from E-Portfolio based projects: Detailed E-Portfolio style schemes of work allow the students to progress at their own speed and ability level.
  • Detailed Formative/Summative Assessment & Feedback: Detailed feedback from class work, in-class assessments and mock examinations are communicated to students with key areas for improvements highlighted and fully explained.
  • Use of new technology during lessons
  • Encouraging students to independent learners

KS3 Maths

At KS3 students develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in 5 main areas: ‘number’, ‘ratio, proportion and rates of change’, ‘algebra’, ‘geometry and measures’ and ‘statistics and probability’. Students are given opportunities to apply their skills to a range of problems and are encouraged to develop their communication skills and give full reasons for their solutions.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Our highest ability students are challenged through complex problems and more open ended tasks that require students to think for themselves and develop their problem solving strategies. We enter pupils for a variety of individual and team competitions to showcase their talents.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

We aim to engage pupils by delivering a differentiated curriculum that pupils move through at their own pace. Pupils who require support spend longer on objectives until they master them whilst more able pupils are extended through problem solving. Where possible we make links to maths used in ‘real life’ in addition to equipping pupils with the Mathematical skills needed to access other areas of the curriculum. Pupils can receive additional support at enrichment after school or by using the resources attached to the VLE.

 

KS3 Modern Foreign Languages

Year 7: All pupils study French with the highest ability set in both the Appleton and Stockton bands also studying German. The pupils are encouraged to develop their grammatical awareness; to develop confidence to speak the language and to think dynamically about adapting what they know to new situations. Topic areas include self, family, where you live and school.

Year 8: All pupils in the Appleton band study French and all pupils in the Stockton band study German. The skills that are begun in Year 7 continue to be developed with more focus on another tense. Topic areas include hobbies, your local town and preparing for holidays.

Year 9: All pupils in the Appleton band study French and all pupils in the Stockton band study German. The skills worked upon in years 7 and 8 continue to be developed, with an increasing focus on the tasks required by the upcoming GCSE course. There is a focus on using past, present and future tenses. Topic areas include talking about past visits, personal tastes and festivals in the target language country.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Pupils are expected to deal with a range of tenses and to expand on sentence structures to develop a greater sense of expression in their work. They are also expected to learn and remember a lot of vocabulary, with the help of both paper and online resources.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

Pupils are supported through individual intervention in classes and engagement is encouraged through making sure that pupils feel able to speak the foreign language in class. There is also the use of www.memrise.com to support and engage vocabulary learning and www.pearsonactivelearn.com which has online homework that gives the pupils immediate feedback.

 

KS3 Music

Throughout the Key Stage 3 Music course, students study a variety of different topics and genres relevant to modern day music. These follow three strands linking to GCSE Music; they are performing, composition and listening and appraising.

Year 7: Students study African drumming, singing and ukulele performance, music notation and musicals and music of the orchestra.

Year 8: Students study dance music through technology, keyboard skills, rap music and music for adverts.

Year 9: Students study popular music listening and composition, film music, popular music performance and the music industry.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

High ability students at KS3 are challenged through differentiated resources. Most performance pieces at Key Stage 3 have a more difficult option and students are encouraged to work towards this. When composing, students are expected to expand further upon their ideas by including more complicated rhythms, varying dynamics and textures. Some students are also encouraged to bring their grade material with them to their lesson, if this is relevant to the topic that they are studying.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

All KS3 students are supported with differentiated resources to allow music lessons to be accessible. Students also learn to improve their performance technique and approach to generating initial ideas for composition. Students develop their use of vocabulary through class discussions and listening and appraising exercises.

 

KS3 Physical Education

Physical Education at Bridgewater High School develops pupils’ competence and confidence, enabling them to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. Pupils develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. They are encouraged to think about what they are doing, analyse and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others performances and find ways to improve them.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

  • Pupils are placed in ability groups ensuring the most able work together and are pushed and challenged accordingly.
  • Pupils are challenged by giving them a different role to undertake other than performing. Pupils are often asked to lead or coach a group.
  • Pupils who show a particular strength in a certain sport, are sign-posted and encouraged to attend extra-curricular activities.
  • Pupils are selected by the school to attend regional trials for their sport.
  • A number of local, regional and national competitions are entered allowing our more able pupils to compete against a high standard of competition.
  • Pupils who show a particular strength in a certain sport that we don’t offer extra-curricular provision for, are signposted to local community clubs.
  • Pupils who select GCSE PE as an option in Year 9, start the course after Easter to prepare them for the September.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

  • A variety of activities delivered within the curriculum
  • A flexible approach to activities allowing staff to deliver activities which meet the needs of all the group
  • A fully inclusive curriculum with additional sessions of PE and Sport provided (swimming etc)
  • A rich and varied extra-curricular programme
  • Attendance at Warrington School’s Partnership Inclusion events
  • A thriving intra-school competition programme allowing opportunities for pupils to take part in competitive events (inter-form football, netball, swimming, etc.)

KS3 Science

In Years 7,8 and 9, the curriculum is covered in subject topics (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). In Y7 pupils are taught the following units:
Biological topics are Cells; Classification; Ecology and Reproduction. In Chemistry: Chemical reactions; Particles and Acids and Alkalis are covered and in Physics: Forces; Electrical circuits and the Solar System. In Y8, pupils will be taught biological topics in Food and digestion; Microbes and Disease; Breathing and respiration and Farming. In Chemistry, Elements Mixtures, Compounds and Metals; Rocks and Weathering and Heat transfers are covered and in Physics: Sound; Magnets ; Light and Pressure and Moments are also taught. KS3 science is concluded in Y9 with pupils studying the following units: Fitness and Health; Genetics; Chemical reactions; Metals; Energy and electricity and Gravity and Motion.

Pupils are formally assessed during each term and complete assessed tasks throughout the year. This continual assessment of progress is used when students are set the following year.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

1 Provision of extension work both during lesson and for homework
2 Challenging questions and discussion is common
3 The offer of science STEM club
4 The offer of various science enrichment trips
5 A consistent differentiated scheme of work on ability across the key stage

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3): 

1 Effective deployment of teaching assistants to support those pupils that need it
2 The offer of science STEM club for all abilities
3 The offer of various science enrichment trips to engage and support
4 A consistent differentiated scheme of work on ability across the key stage
5 Effective deployment of teaching staff to maximise the impact in teaching and learning

 

KS3 Religious Studies

At Bridgewater, students follow the Lancashire Agreed syllabus for religious education. The aim of this syllabus is “to support pupils’ personal search for meaning by engaging enquiry into the question ‘What does it mean to be human?’ – exploring answers offered by religion and belief.”

Teaching and Learning in RS aims to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of religion and world views and to explore challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality and moral issues. By exploring issues within and across faiths, pupils learn to understand different religions, beliefs, values and traditions and their influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures.

Year 7 – Enquiry – Where do we belong? – Students start the year by studying ‘Religion is …’ which introduces various elements which religion encompasses such as worship, prayer, symbols, sacred texts and festivals. The spring term is spent looking at what it means to belong to the Christian faith through studying different denominations and sacraments such as baptism and Eucharist.  Finally in the summer term students complete an independent project on the 5 Pillars of Islam with guidance from their teacher.

Year 8 – Enquiry – Where can we find guidance? – Year 8 starts with a study of the Bible looking at topics such as Creation, the Fall, the life and teachings of Jesus including birth, crucifixion and resurrection and finishing with the early church. The spring term covers important religious leaders such as Muhammad (pbuh), the Buddha and Guru Nanak and how they provide guidance to their communities and people today.  In the summer term students will examine the nature of God and how this ties in to the problem of evil and suffering evaluating reasons why people may or not believe in God.

Year 9 – Enquiry – What matters most? RE in Year 9 takes a more philosophical approach and following an introduction to ultimate questions and belief we examine two of these in more detail: Is this life all there is? – This enquiry looks at religious beliefs about life after death as well as developing students own response to this ultimate question through creative tasks and their own research. How should we treat other people? – This enquiry covers issues such as human rights, social justice, prejudice and discrimination.

The summer term in Year 9 is spent ensuring all of our students are prepared for the GCSE in Key Stage 4 by looking at the basics of Christianity and Islam. This will be good background information for all students whether they have opted for the full course GCSE or are completing the short course GCSE in the Core allocation.

Ways in which our highest ability students are challenged in this subject (KS3):

Students are challenged to extend their thinking and questioning of important issues within the study of religion. Students are expected to fully develop their own reasoning, giving valid reasons for their opinion whilst exploring the views of others.  We also challenge students to look beyond what they think they know and see how religion influences individuals, societies, communities and cultures.

Key ways in which we aim to engage and support all students in this subject (KS3):

In RE, students are participants in not simply recipients of learning. This means that enquiry is at the heart of teaching and learning in order to actively develop curiosity, investigative and questioning skills and an enquiring mind. Learning is varied and pupil-centred and RE is made relevant to the lives of our students by utilising current events from the media, where appropriate.