Alsager School

Curriculum – Year 7 and 8

Our mission statement “an achieving school, a caring community” is reflected in the curriculum which enables students to pursue and develop their talents, academic interests and skills.

At KS3 (Year 7 and 8) the curriculum is broad and balanced. Students will study a range of creative, practical, scientific and academic subjects. They will also develop cross –curricular skills, explore issues of identity and value and in Year 8 will receive careers education, information advice and guidance to prepare them for choosing their options (the subjects they will choose to study in Years 9, 10 and 11).

Explore our curriculum further by clicking on the subject links below.




Co-operative Learning



Design & Technology



ICT & Computing




Modern Foreign Languages

Year 7 and 8 Curriculum Outline 2019/20

Year 7 Year 7 is designed to help students transition smoothly from KS2 to KS3. They will develop their English skills through the study of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts from different time periods. Throughout the year students will study: War Literature, Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest, poems from other cultures, British and Greek mythology, Sherlock Holmes and the Crime genre, and oracy skills. Students also develop their writing skills, including the technical aspects of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Year 8 Students build on their successes in Year 7 by tackling a variety of challenging texts from a range of time periods, including the 19th, 20th and 21st Century. Students study: Dystopian Literature, a variety of Dickens’ works including ‘Oliver Twist’, Gothic Literature, Travel Writing, Diversity, and a class novel (either ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, Maggot Moon’ or ‘Holes’). Students continue to refine their creative writing and technical skills throughout the year.

Year 7 Students will develop their ability to problem solve as Mathematicians. They will build on the basic number and algebra skills learnt previously and work through Mastery levels to become more proficient.

They will also study areas such as: Proportional reasoning, “pattern sniffing” measuring space, “mathematical movement and “calculating space”

Year 8 Students will further develop their ability to problem solve as Mathematicians. They will build on the basic number and algebra skills learnt previously and work through Mastery levels at stage 8 and 9 to become more proficient.

They will also study areas such as: Visualising and constructing, solving equations and inequalities, “conjecturing”, and “understanding risk.”

Year 7 Students will complete a range of practical experiments and begin to develop their scientific thinking. They will study: Tissues and transplants; Sex & science; Ecology matters; Classified; Acids and alkalis; Bubbles, bangs & burning; What a waste; Materials from Earth; Energy & sustainable living; Electrical circuits; Forces & their effects & The Solar System & Beyond.
Year 8 Students will develop as scientists, planning and carrying out practical experiments. They will also study: Food, glorious food; Going for gold; Doctors & diseases; Way of the dodo; In the drink; Materials & recycling; All that glitters; Explaining the Earth; Heat transfers; On the move; Light fantastic & Sound & hearing.

Year 7 Students will take part in a variety of sports through Year 7 which develop their skill level, knowledge and understanding across the range of sports. The sports that girls will cover are; gymnastics, dance, hockey, netball, swimming, athletics, rounders and tennis. Whilst the boys sports will cover; gymnastics, basketball, hockey, rugby, swimming, athletics, cricket and tennis.
Year 8 Students will further develop and build on their skills and knowledge in a variety of sports throughout Year 8 to a higher level. The sports that girls will cover are; gymnastics, dance, badminton, netball, swimming, athletics, rounders and tennis. Whilst the boys will cover; gymnastics, football, fitness, rugby, swimming, athletics, cricket and tennis.

Co-operative Learning
Year 7 Students will study a range of topics and issues following our schools Citizenship and PSHE programme. They will study: Issues of Identity, Identity and Values, Community, Health and Personal Wellbeing and Environment issues.
Year 8 Students will continue to be challenged through exploration of: Citizenship, International Relations, Options and Identity, Personal Finance and Enterprise.

Modern Foreign Languages
Year 7 In French, German and Spanish, pupils will develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, with a focus on learning and retaining vocabulary and expressing their opinions on a variety of topics. By the end of the year, students will be able to use more than one tense in written tasks. Topics covered include talking about school, talking about hobbies, talking about the weather, talking about sports, describing their town, and describing themselves and other people. Opportunities are made available for pupils to write and send letters to pupils in other countries, and we look at typical French, German and Spanish festivals.
Year 8 Students will develop their skills, looking at extracts from literary texts to enhance their reading skills, using translation to drill grammatical structures and writing spontaneously on a variety of topics. By the end of Year 8, pupils will be able to talk and write in the past, present and future tenses. Topics covered include food and drink, fashion, making suggestions for activities and giving excuses, talking about celebrities and talking about what I would like to do in the future. You may also have the chance to take a trip to one of the countries who speak these languages to put it into practice. Recent trips have included Cataluña and Rheinland.

Year 7
  • ‘How have the Humanities changed the world?’ Pupils learn about the importance of plastic waste, human actions and will consider how they can also change the world.
  • Where are we in the World? Pupils learn where in the World we live and complete a Town Trail into Alsager.
  • Too many people. Pupils learn about the population of the UK and why people move from one country to another.
  • Map Skills. Pupils learn a range of map skills in preparation for their Independent Learning Assignment (ILA) in Geography.
  • Active Volcanoes. Pupils learn about different types of volcanoes, make models and complete experiments.
Year 8
  1. Perilous Plate Tectonics. Pupils learn how the Earth’s plates move, about the different plate boundaries, contrasting earthquakes and mega disasters such as tsunami.
  2. Pupils learn about Tropical Rainforest environments and developments taking place in the Amazon.
  3. Incredible India. Pupils learn about the Human and Physical Geography of India.
  4. Raging Rivers. Pupils learn about famous rivers, flooding and how people respond to flooding in different parts of the World.
  5. Rising Asia – Region Study. Pupils learn about the rise of Asia with a particular focus on China, the human and physical Geography of China, how it is changing now and how it will change in the future.

Year 7 Year 7 History is exciting! We study History in a series of breadth studies so that our students have an excellent understanding of change and continuity across time. We start with ‘How have the Humanities changed the world’ where students will study inventions and discoveries through time, ranging from chocolate to electricity. We then move onto study The Romans, The Middle Ages, The Tudors and Stuarts and the Industrial Revolution.
Year 8 In Year 8, students will study depth units, refining their historical skills such as dealing with sources and different interpretations of the past. We start by looking at the impact of the Slave Trade and link this to the development of Civil Rights in America. Students will go onto investigate the assassination of JFK and to develop their own theory by looking at a range of evidence. We also look at the History of terrorism, how people won the right to vote in Britain and finish with a WWI creativity project, where students will design their own museum.

Year 7 Year 7 RE is a varied look at religion in the world. After starting the year with a joint Humanities project called ‘How the Humanities Have Changed the World’ students begin look at what RE is and why we study it. This then leads into looking at three modules on Sikhism, Islam and the Abrahamic Religions. Towards the end of the year students have the opportunity to investigate ideas surrounding religion and art.
Year 8 In Year 8 students begin by looking at the beliefs and practices in Judaism, including Kosher food, festivals and beliefs about God. They then look at the Holocaust and the impact it had on Jewish lives. Students then take an in-depth look at both Buddhism and Hinduism and are able to look at different beliefs around their origins, beliefs and practices.  Around Easter students begin looking at a module which prepares them for starting the GCSE in Year 9, they look at important Christian and Muslim teachings, parables and people and how they have influenced the lives of believers.

Year 7 Year 7 art students will investigate and learn the foundation skills of art.  They will creatively explore, colour theory, drawing for different purposes and needs and respond to the work of other artists to develop their own personal ideas.  We will support and guide students to skilfully use their sketchbook to creatively record and evaluate their art journey.

Year 7 Art Projects include: Kandinsky Drawing to Music, LEGO Portraits and My Year 7 Collage

Students in Year 7 can access their own KS3 Art Digital Hub via the Art Department page on the students KS3 + 4 SharePoint area.  The KS3 Hub contains the Sway presentations we use in lessons and examples of the exciting artwork students create.

Year 8 Year 8 art students will continue to work in their Year 7 sketchbook allowing them as artists to reflect upon the progression they have made.  We expand upon the key skills taught in Year 7 giving the Year 8 students the opportunity to develop thematic projects in preparation for the Year 9 GCSE course.  Students will explore different themes and art movements and will be taught how to develop their skills and understanding of a broad range of exciting techniques.

Year 8 Art Projects include: Fauvism and Colour, Experimental Drawing and Image and Text

Students in Year 8 can access their own KS3 Art Digital Hub via the Art Department page on the students KS3 + 4 SharePoint area.  The KS3 Hub contains the Sway presentations we use in lessons and examples of the exciting artwork students create.

KS3  Pupils build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness; and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. They listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians. They use technologies appropriately and appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.

Pupils learn to:

  • play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression
  • improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions
  • use staff and other relevant notations appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions
  • identify and use the inter-related dimensions of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices
  • listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians

Develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history.

 Year 7 Projects include: African Music, Blues, Dance Music, Minimalism, Band skills 1
 Year 8 Projects include: Samba Music, Reggae, Sampling, Band skills 2 Taiko Drums

Year 7 Intro to Drama

Wax works – Students develop basic performance skills from characterisation to improvisation.

Drama Techniques –In this unit you will be looking at stage craft in order to create tension along with elements of technical theatre

Greek Theatre– Explore the traditions and history of theatre Greek Style!!!

Darkwood Manor House– Story telling unit focusing on creating mood, tension and atmosphere in a performance

Silent movie– Exploring movement, mime and gesture skills to create your very own silent movie!

Guernica– Explore how you can create drama from paintings and historical events in a stylised/ non-natural way,

Year 8 Recap year 7 skills

Physical Theatre –Working as a group to use your body to story tell by creating location and props.

Pantomime– Exploring the tradition of Panto! Looking at the different characters and comedy which will equip you with the skills to produce your very own Panto

Trestle masks- You will develop your skills in the use movement mime and gesture to create the famous Trestle mask characters.

TIE– Theatre in Education. You will become your very own theatre company create a piece of drama which is issue based – ie; Bullying, homeless – in order to educate an audience.

Shakespeare Shorts– Explore the greatest works of Shakespeare in a modern way! Each lesson focuses on a different play and the different conventions that Shakespeare used to write it!

Tech theatre – Learn about theatre design including lighting, set, costume and sound. Create your very own theatre set and explore all the tricks of the trade!

ICT & Computing
Year 7 Students will follow a program which covers Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computing.

They begin by learning about online safety; passwords, computer etiquette, Office 365 & E-mails, understanding targets, correct use of files and folders, online safety including cyber bullying, effective search techniques, game creation in Scratch, spreadsheet modelling, movie creation, a graphics project and an introduction to programming using Python.

Year 8 Students continue to build their knowledge of Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computing.

They will work on; a database project, programming concepts including physical computing using BigTrak robots and BBC Microbits, using online coding systems, tools, podcasting, web design and the Internet of Things.  There is a trip to Barclays to explore careers in technology.

Pupils have to opportunity to enter the following competitions;

  • BAFTA young games designer
  • Animation with Manchester University
  • Cyber Discovery
  • Esports.

Design and Technology – Tech RM
Year 7 Year 7 Students complete an induction task on Health and Safety during the first two weeks in the department and then go on to complete two tasks in Resistant Materials and Graphic Products focussing on garden tools and Fair Trade cartons. During the garden tool project, they are introduced to hand tools and machinery working in mild steel and pine. In Graphic Products they design and manufacture a Fair Trade drinks carton. This project develops their design drawing skills and modelling in card with opportunities to use CAD/CAM through laser cutting and stika cutting. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology involving Electronics and Control pupils develop a critical understanding during focus tasks of its impact on daily life and the wider world. The Year 7 Disassembly ILA asks students to take a product to pieces to investigate materials, manufacturing processes and design. They also look at simple mechanisms and electronic components.
Year 8 Year 8 In Resistant Materials students develop teamwork skills by designing and building, in a team of two, a structure in wood using conventional wood joints. The structure is then tested in a competition to see which one will hold the most weight. During this task, pupils learn to manufacture housing, cross halving, bridle, corner lap and half lap joints. Mechanisms are also built into the task through the use of a ratchet and pawl system. The Graphic Products project sees students designing and making a swatch watch with all its packaging. Students work with card, foam board and plastic to produce a watch prototype and again experience more advanced graphic skills, including CAD/CAM giving them a good foundation for KS4 courses. The Year 8 Structures ILA requires that students complete an investigation on a structure or building that focuses on design, materials, cost and model making.

Design and Technology – Food and Textiles
Year 7 Students complete an induction task on Health and Safety during the first two weeks in the department and then go on to follow courses at KS3 in Food Technology and Textiles Technology. In Food Technology students complete a range of food practicals which introduce cooking, baking and preparation skills including; fruit crumble, spaghetti bolognaise, layered desserts and a healthy snack. Students also learn about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. In Textiles the students have the opportunity to design and make their own drawstring bag based on the theme of graffiti. We study the artist Banksy as inspiration and students develop their designing, machine sewing and hand embellishment techniques whilst being creative with their own ideas.
Year 8 Year 8 In Food Technology students develop and build upon their practical knowledge and skills by cooking dishes such as chicken curry, decorated cakes, chilli and cookies. At the same time they will study safety and hygiene as well as exploring micronutrients and different/special diets including the vegetarian diet. In Textiles the students apply their skills and design and make their own felt monster being wacky and creative with their ideas. Students make their own templates and focus on decorative techniques that can be applied to their monster product.