Christmas Jumper Day and Student Council Letter

Letter from Student Council - A letter from the Student Voice can be found here.

Christmas Jumper Day Friday 14 December - For a £1 donation to their house charity, students may wear a Christmas jumper over their shirt and tie and under their blazers. Full school uniform and equipment is expected.

KS3 Curriculum

English

In Key Stage 3 students study the Ark English Mastery programme which introduces them to a wide range of highly respected and popular texts.  Students also study ‘Expressive Writing’ which covers skills such as punctuation and grammar.  In addition, students enjoy reading a range of texts in ‘Reading for Pleasure’ lessons.

In Year 7 students study Oliver Twist, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a modern novel. Some students study Roald Dahl’s Danny, Champion of the World while others study The Daydreamer.  In the summer term students study metaphor poetry.

Poetry is a theme that runs throughout the whole of KS3 as students in Year 8 and Year 9 also study poetry.  Year 8 students also study some of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Tempest and Animal Farm. 

The Key Stage 4 curriculum begins in Year 9 and students study Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, Anthology Poetry and Non-Fiction reading and writing. These are not the GCSE texts but the Mastery programme develops and secures the students’ knowledge of the cultural contexts for the GCSE Literature examination texts in addition to helping them become critical readers. The non-fiction writing unit teaches students how to structure an argument (preparation for English Language Paper 2) as well as focusing on improving spelling, punctuation and grammar.

You will have noticed that in all year groups students study a 19th century text, a Shakespeare text, a modern novel and poetry. We introduce students to these types of texts in Key Stage 3 so they are well-prepared for their English GCSEs when they will study these types of texts.

Maths

At KS3 we teach Maths Mastery which is summed up in the quote below, directly from their website.
‘Our curriculum, is shaped by four underlying principles:

  • One curriculum for all
  • Deep understanding
  • Number sense underpinning all
  • Problem solving central

We believe mathematical intelligence is expandable, if we didn’t believe this, we wouldn’t be teaching. We believe that every child can learn mathematics, given the appropriate learning experiences within and beyond the classroom. Our curriculum map reflects our high expectations for every child. Every student is entitled to master the key mathematical content for their age, by receiving the support and challenge they specifically need. 

We also believe in the importance of deep understanding. Equating progress with knowing new procedures and rules means many students to miss out on a depth of understanding. Our curriculum map is sequenced with fewer topics each week, term or year, putting depth before breadth.’

Year 7

  1. Place Value.
  2. Addition and Subtraction methods of integers and decimals.
  3. Multiplication and Division of integers.
  4. Area.
  5. Multiplication and Division of decimals.
  6. Scale and Measures.
  7. Angle properties.
  8. Properties of Triangles and quadrilaterals.
  9. Symmetry and Tessellation.
  10. Fractions and operations with Fractions.
  11. BIDMAS and an introduction to Algebra.
  12. Percentages
  13. Working with Data

Year 8

  1. Prime numbers and Factors.
  2. Calculations with Fractions.
  3. Directed numbers
  4. Sequences, Expressions and Equations,
  5. Constructions and angle properties.
  6. Area and Length
  7. Percentages
  8. Ratios
  9. Rounding and Accuracy
  10. Circles
  11. 3D Shapes and Nets; Surface Area
  12. Statistics

Year 9

  1. Coordinates and Graphs
  2. Direct and Inverse Proportions
  3. Standard Form
  4. Sequences
  5. Expanding Brackets and Factorising
  6. Rearranging Formulae
  7. Constructions.
  8. Congruency and Similarity
  9. Triangles and Quadrilaterals
  10. Linear Equations and Inequalities
  11. Simultaneous Equations
  12. Quadratic Graphs
  13. Pythagoras’ Theorem
  14. Transformations
  15. Proofs
  16. Probability
  17. Data and Scatter Graphs

Science

Science is everywhere and plays a role in everything we do. A sound knowledge of science can enhance an individual's ability to make decisions essential for healthy living and to participate constructively in society. In terms of careers, there are a wide and varied range of carers that use science directly and most use science indirectly.

As a Science Faculty our key objectives are to provide our students with the opportunity to explore the amazing world around them and to develop enquiring minds. We endeavour to show our students how science is relevant in their everyday lives as well as their academic success, and also for their future careers.

Key Stage 3 Science
In Key Stage 3 lessons all students study a rotating carousel of the three Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Year 7 Science:
In Year 7, students study and complete core practicals for 11 fun topics that have a strong relation to science in the world and our everyday lives. Some of these include the Structure and Function of Body systems in Biology, Forces in Physics and Using Acid and Alkalis in Chemistry. 

Year 8 Science:
In Year 8, students study and complete core practicals for 10 interesting topics which will enable them to see science in the world and our everyday lives. Some of these include the Ecosystems in Biology, Electricity and Magnetism in Physics and Our Earth in Chemistry. 

Art

Year 7

Term 1 - Abstraction and Kandinsky

  • Students will be introduced to the use of colour theory and Kandinsky’s work and produce abstract paintings exploring the art Formal elements. They will produce responses to Kandinsky in a variety of ways. Students will research and analyse the work of Kandinsky and use writing frames to see how this is produced. Students will experiment with water colour painting and develop their painting skills focusing on block colour, blending and tinting.

Term 2 - Me Myself and I

  • Students will be introduced to the theme Identity. They will look at how portraiture is used by different artists - Chuck Close, Julian Opie. They will be introduced to the art formal elements - line tone and pattern and colour.
  • Students will be introduced to the proportions of the face and how this can be applied to a self-portrait. This will lead to students producing observational drawings using mirrors. Students will produce responses to Opie and Chuck Close. They will explore collage, photo montage plus using colour theory and paint.

Term 3 - Natural world

  • Students will be introduced to the formal elements in art through a variety of tasks.
  • Students will develop the importance of mark making, through experimenting with a range of 2D processes. They will be introduced to artists that are inspired by the natural world and use mark making within their work.
  • Students will also be introduced to tone and how best to use the equipment to demonstrate a range of tonal qualities.
  • They will produce observational drawings of natural forms and apply their understanding off mark making and tone.
  • Students will use the following formal elements: Tone, texture, line, shape, surface, pattern.

Year 8

Term 1 - Objects in Space

  • Students will be introduced to still life and the way artists explore the theme through scale, composition. They will explore the use of line colour pattern and composition based on Michael Craig martins work. The techniques used will be acrylic paint, water colour, fine liner wash/mixed media responses to Patrick Caulfield, Lichtenstein still life, Cheech Sanchez. The artists they will investigate will be Morandi, Michael Craig Martin, Clause Oldenburg. Students will produce acrylic paintings based on the work by Michael Craig Martin. Students will also produce press plate prints using card and wallpaper templates based on Morandi.

Term 2 - The Surrealist Perspective

  • Students will be introduced to surrealist artists and their themes within their paintings and concepts. They will create surreal drawings and collages using Juxtaposition. They will produce a series of tasks responding to the way surrealist artists manipulate objects within their work and the concepts behind this work. Students will also be re- introduced to perspective and develop this skill to create surrealist interiors based on Rene Magritte’s work Personal Values. They will produce a bedroom that has elements of their own room. They will experiment with scale and increase the size of objects that mean have a personal significance to them.

Term 3 - Cubism

  • Students will explore the importance of Cubism within the 20th Century. They will respond to Picasso and produce responses to his work. Students will undertake still life drawings from direct observation. They will explore the differences of Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism. Each student will produce water colour paintings experimenting with colour and composition. Students will explore cubist sculpture using card with painted relief elements.

Year 9

Term 1

Students will spend the term exploring the Art formal elements: Line, value, form, shape:

  • They will be introduce to local artist Gus Cummings and how the artist uses shapes and perspective to create dynamic paintings. Students will explore perspective and form by creating compositions that are inspired by Gus Cummings. They will use a variety of techniques from graphite, charcoal, pen and wash, dip pen, biro.
  • Students will apply what they have learned and draw from direct observation and use these skills and techniques to create a series of observational drawings. Mark making will be introduce and students will explore this through a variety of materials and understand how marks can be used to describe texture and the form of different objects.

Term 2-3 - Natural World

  • Students will record observations in a variety of 2D ways, pencil, ink paint. Students will be introduced to artists who respond to the natural world in a variety of ways. They will produce research and produce responses to the artists.
  • This will help develop the students own Idea’s for a final outcome.
  • They will continue with experimenting with print processes such as Mono printing, screen printing, cellulose printing and etching and lino printing.
  • Students will be introduced to artists who respond to the natural world. Students will develop ideas for a final outcome influenced by their research and explorations.

Food

At Key Stage 3 we offer a curriculum that is both skills and knowledge based and designed to progressively challenge students building on their previous knowledge. Through a variety of practical and theory activities, students are taught a range of topics and will demonstrate their understanding in; including food safety and hygiene, health eating and nutrition, factors affecting food choice (vegetarianism, dietary needs, special diets, religious and cultural) and food provenance (food miles, fair trade and organic). Students will further their learning by underpinning their knowledge during practical lessons, where they will also have an opportunity to work with a variety of foods and cooking methods. Students will be given regular opportunities to consolidate their literacy skills by using them purposefully in order to learn.

Year 7

  • Health and safety; identifying hazards and risk
  • Pizza toast; heat transfer (radiation), using grill safely
  • Keeping food safe; wise food shopping and storage
  • Pizza toast; heat transfer (radiation), using grill safely
  • Fried egg on toast; heat transfer (conduction/radiation)
  • Fruits around the world – Taste testing
  • Fruit salad; knife skills, presentation, enzymic browning
  • Vegetables; 5-a-day (nutritional value), seasonal, categories, storage
  • Lemon and herb fish/chicken goujons; heat transfer (convection), food safety
  • Food provenance; Food miles
  • Mexican bean soup; other cultures, knife skills, heat transfer (conduction/convection)
  • Food provenance; Fairtrade
  • Pasta salad; heat transfer (conduction/convection), recipe modification, knife skills
  • Sugar in the diet; history, dental health
  • Reduced sugar muffins; cake making method (all-in-one)
  • Eat well guide; food groups, nutrition
  • Apple cake; cake make methods (creaming method), use of electrical equipment (electric hand whisk)

Year 8

  • Health and safety; The 4C’s in food hygiene
  • Carrot cake muffins; cake making methods (melting method)
  • Nutrients in food; macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat)
  • Sweet and sour pork; knife skills, cooking methods, sauce making, high risk cookery
  • Food provenance; British meat farming methods, Red Tractor symbol, RSPCA Assured
  • Nutrients in food; micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  • Courgette muffins; recipe modification
  • Vegetarian diets; lacto, lacto-ovo, vegan
  • Vegetarian cottage pie; recipe modification, meat alternatives (Quorn)
  • Food provenance; Cereal/Maize, staple diets
  • Savoury rice; dish with rice as main ingredient, understand how rice is cooked
  • Food provenance; Flour and bread, where and how it is made, nutritional value, gluten
  • Bread; functions of bread making, recipe modification
  • Food provenance; British meat farming methods, Red Tractor symbol, RSPCA Assured
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise; dish using meat as the main ingredient, nutrition, cooking methods

Geography

Geography is a popular subject at Ark William Parker.We study many different topics and the curriculum is always developing.This year we are studying:

  • Year 7: Map Skills, Fantastic Places, Rivers and Flooding, Water, Volcanoes and Earthquakes, The UK
  • Year 8: Migration, Coasts, Global Threats, Africa, Population, Development

The Geography curriculum at Key Stage 3 gives students the opportunity to explore the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments

During Key Stage 3 the main concepts that structure the curriculum include:

Locational knowledge

  • Extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world.

Place Knowledge

  • Understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography of a region within Africa, and of a region within Asia.

Human and physical geography

  • Understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in:
  • Physical geography relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts
  • Human geography relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources
  • Understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • Build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge.
  • Interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs.

Geography is a vital foundation subject providing a broad basis of knowledge for the other GCSE courses. There are many cross curricular links and it is an important Ebacc subject.

History

History at Ark William Parker aims to add to our students’ ability to understand themselves and the world they inhabit. A good history education should leave students with the ability to see the world in a different way; to appreciate where we came from and where we could be headed. Along the way our students will also develop many skills that will benefit them in all subjects and in whatever walk of life they choose. History teaches precise communication, the ability to structure arguments and the habit of substantiating claims with evidence. It also helps develop a sense of perspective.

In order to facilitate our vision, we do not teach history in traditional periods such as ‘Tudors’ or ‘Victorians’. Rather we teach in broad themes which help students to identify patterns throughout time, develop a strong sense of chronology and appreciate how we are connected to our past. Once a year students also engage in a depth study which allows them to examine a short period of time in more detail – adding depth to their broader ‘big picture’ of history. Assessment in history is based on regular extended writing tasks which are often completed as homework. In this way we ensure students are prepared for forthcoming changes to Key Stage 4 and for A level.

Year 7

  • Autumn 1: Medieval England - Battle of Hastings
  • Autumn 2: What impact did the Norman Conquest have on Britain?
  • Spring 1: Who had the most power in the Middle Ages?
  • Spring 2: What was life like in the Middle Ages?
  • Summer 1: The Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt
  • Summer 2: England at War.

Year 8

  • Autumn 1: Industrialization and The British Empire
  • Autumn 2: The Slave Trade
  • Spring 1: Causes of WW1
  • Spring 2: Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
  • Summer 1: Turning points of WW2
  • Summer 2: The Cold War

Music

All students at Ark William Parker Academy have Music lessons as a regular part of their curriculum at Key Stage 3, during which time a variety of projects are studied, from Classical Music, Blues and Jazz, Djembe drumming through to Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop and Dance music. There are many opportunities for practical music-making during lesson time, using percussion instruments, keyboards, ukuleles and our suite of iMacs.

Year 7

  • Rhythm – Stomp
  • Finding the Voice
  • The Djembe
  • The Power of the Pentatonic
  • Being in the Band

Year 8

  • Finding the Voice
  • The Beauty of Baroque Music
  • Garageband sequencing
  • Being in the Band

Photography

  • KS3 photography - Represents an introduction to the basics  of photography - picture taking and editing to support study at KS4.

Physical Education - Years 7 and 8

The overriding aim of the Physical Education curriculum is to educate students by providing a wide variety of different practical experiences. The Department seeks to develop the individual student’s opportunity to participate in range of different sports and activities, improve and develop their physical competency and skills, general fitness and understanding of how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. By providing a broad and balanced curricular and extensive extra-curricular programme, we hope to encourage the students to become lifelong participants in sport and physical activity, whilst developing independent thinkers who are confident young people.

  • Year 7: Students will participate in a variety of activities including gymnastics, out invasion, basketball, net games, athletics and cricket.
  • Year 8: Students will participate in a variety of activities including rugby, basketball, net games, athletics and cricket.

Spanish

Spanish is the only language currently delivered at KS3.

During their lessons, the students will be familiarised with the language and grammatical aspects of it, but also the culture of the Spanish speaking world.

All four skills are assessed : listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Year 7: Personal details, family and description, school, free time  and home environment (house and town)

Year 8: Teenage life, Sports and leisure, holidays and tourism, food and shopping.

All the topics studied at KS3 will be revisited in more depth in the Spanish GCSE course. The basic grammar will have been learnt and the students will be ready for further studies and development in the language knowledge at KS4.