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Box Hill School

Year 7-9 Curriculum

At Box Hill School, we treat every pupil as an individual, in every aspect of life. A combination of close attention, personalised learning, support, regular assessment and monitoring underpins the school’s academic tradition. The academic curriculum at Box Hill School is carefully planned to ensure that a breadth and balance of subjects are studied throughout the lower and middle school. Courses are constructed to suit the aspirations, abilities and interests of all our students.

Students are set by general ability for most subjects with further specific setting in English, Mathematics and Languages. Additionally, in Year 9 Science is also set according to ability and the disciplines are taught separately. To help with the learning of languages, additional literacy support is provided for small groups of students where a specific need has been identified through our Learning Support team.

Each year group is overseen by a Head of Year who is responsible for managing their academic progress and who is supported by a team of tutors. When it comes to making choices about GCSE subjects, we work closely with students and parents to provide comprehensive support and guidance.

Mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics covers a range of topics and skills designed to build a strong foundation for further study. Students will develop their understanding of number, algebra, shape and space, and statistics and probability through a combination of theoretical and practical lessons. The curriculum also includes problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills to help students apply mathematical concepts in real-world situations. By the end of Year 9, students will have a solid grasp of mathematical principles and be prepared to tackle more advanced topics in their studies.

English

English

The English Curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the English language. The curriculum covers a range of skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening.

In Year 7, students focus on building their reading and writing skills through the study of a range of texts. They learn how to identify and analyse the elements of a text, including its characters, themes and plot. They also develop their writing skills through the creation of their own narratives, persuasive texts and poetry.

In Year 8, the focus shifts to developing critical thinking skills and deeper analysis of texts. Students explore a range of literary genres, including Shakespearean texts, and learn how to analyse language and structure. They also develop their oral communication skills through class discussions and presentations.

By Year 9, students are expected to be able to analyse and interpret complex texts, including those from different cultures and periods in history. They also learn how to use language effectively to convey their own ideas and opinions, and to engage in debates and discussions with others.

Biology

Biology

Biology is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of life sciences. At this level, students will learn about the structure and function of cells, genetics, and ecology.

In year 7, students will begin by exploring the characteristics of living organisms and the basic needs of all living things. They will also learn about the different types of cells and their functions. Students will then move on to looking at the human body and the structure and function of muscles and bones. Then students will gain an insight into how reproduction works throughout the natural world, finishing the year with an introduction to ecology and its importance.

In year 8, students will continue their study of cells by exploring their structure and function in more detail. They will also learn about how plants reproduce. Students will then move on breathing and respiration, where the students will learn about these key processes and how they are interlinked.

In year 9, students will build on their knowledge of genetics by learning about the importance of enzymes in the context of nutrition. They will then go onto explore aspects of health and disease, before look at DNA and inheritance. Towards the end of the year students will learn about the biodiversity of the planet and explore the impact humans are having on it by looking at global warming and pollution.

Chemistry

Chemistry

The curriculum is designed to help students understand the properties and behaviour of different substances, as well as the changes they undergo.

In Year 7, students learn about the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including atoms, molecules, and compounds. They also explore the periodic table and learn about the different elements and their properties. From there, students will be introduced to acids and alkalis and how to separate solutions and mixtures.

Year 8 builds on this foundation and delves deeper into the principles of chemistry. Students will learn about the foundations of combustion, build upon their understanding of the periodic table. Students will end the year looking at metals and their uses, gaining an understanding of the common properties that metals have and their reactivity.

The year 9 course has been specifically created to mirror some key concepts at GCSE, to accelerate students towards an excellent grade in Chemistry. It provides a solid foundation as they are introduced to more complex topics such as Organic chemistry and the role of chemistry in everyday life. There is also a great focus on experimental and investigative skills, where students learn how to design, conduct analyse and evaluate investigations.

Physics

Physics

Physics is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of physics. Students will learn about the properties of matter, energy, and forces, and how they interact with each other. The curriculum is divided into three main areas: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and waves.

In the mechanics section during Year 7, students will learn about motion, forces, and energy. They will learn about the laws of motion, how to calculate velocity, acceleration, and force, and how to apply them in real-world situations. They will also explore the different forms of electricity, understanding the basics of electric circuits, magnetism, and electromagnetism. They will learn about the behaviour of charges, electric fields, and current, as well as the principles of magnetism and how they relate to electricity. Students will also explore the applications of electromagnetism in everyday life.

The fluids section in Year 8 introduces students to the basics of density, air pressure and drag. Students will apply this knowledge to real world problems and gain an appreciation for the importance of physics in our daily lives. Students will then go on to look at energy transfers and the 1st law of thermodynamics which underpins the foundation of energy. Year 8 students will then finish the year looking at Earth and Space where they will learn about gravity, seasons, the solar system and beyond.

In Year 9, in the waves section, students will learn about the properties of waves, including wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. They will explore the different types of waves, including sound and light waves, and their applications in communication and technology.

Geography

Geography

Geography KS3 is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the world around them. Students will learn about the physical and human geography of their local area, as well as develop an understanding of different regions and cultures around the world.

Throughout the curriculum, students will be introduced to key concepts such as sustainability, climate change, and globalisation, and will be encouraged to think critically about the impact of human activity on the environment. They will also develop important skills such as map reading, data analysis, and communication, which will be invaluable in their future studies and careers.

As students progress through the year 7-9 curriculum in Geography, they will build on their knowledge and understanding of the world, exploring more complex topics such as development, migration, and geopolitics.

History

History

The history curriculum for KS3 covers a wide range of topics, from the Roman Empire to the modern-day world. The curriculum aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the key events, people, and ideas that have shaped the world we live in today. Our focus includes women’s history, Black history and LGBTQ+ history where possible.

In year 7, students will typically study topics such as the Roman Empire, the Norman Conquest, the Black Death and the Tudors at times comparing these eras to other parts of the world. These topics provide students with a broad understanding of medieval England,  Europe and the wider world ways in which it was shaped by key historical events.

Moving on to year 8, students will typically study topics such as the Industrial Revolution, British trade and Empire. These topics explore the ways in which Britain developed as a nation, as well as the key social, economic, and political changes that took place during this period as well as the way in which they colonised many part of the world and the impact on those areas and peoples.

Finally, in year 9, students will typically study topics such as the First World War, the rise of Fascism and Communism, World War Two and the Cold War. These topics provide students with a more advanced understanding of the key events and ideas that shaped the modern world, and help to prepare them for further study in history at GCSE and beyond.

French

French

At Box Hill School, we utilize the EPI method to teach French. This stands for Extensive Processing Instruction. Essentially, we focus on fluency by repeating and interweaving vocabulary and structures, while eliminating unnecessary content. Throughout the curriculum, students will be introduced to various aspects of French culture, including traditions, customs, history, literature, and arts. They will also learn about the geography and society of French-speaking countries, and develop an understanding of the diversity of French-speaking communities around the world.

By using the EPI method We have seen considerable progress in listening skills, which previously posed a challenge. Additionally, homework often involves online activities that emphasise vocabulary, sentences, and structures, using a range of subscription websites. Every other week, students have a lesson in the ICT suite to engage with these tools.

Our lower school students enjoy a French and History trip to Normandy, while upper school students venture to Paris with the Art department.

Spanish

Spanish

The Spanish curriculum for KS3 is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the language. The curriculum emphasises the development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and includes topics such as basic vocabulary, grammar, and verb conjugation.

Students will learn to communicate about themselves, their families, hobbies, and interests, using different tense throughout the three years . The curriculum also includes cultural topics about Spanish-speaking countries, such as their history, traditions, and geography.

Throughout the course, students will have opportunities to practice their language skills through various activities, such as role-playing, writing exercises, and group discussions. By the end of year 9, students are expected to be able to communicate effectively in basic Spanish and have a solid foundation for further language study.

Every year there is a trip to Spain usually open to the Y9, Y10 and Y11. Students have already been to Valencia and this year they will visit Seville!

Art

Art

Overall, the KS3 Art curriculum aims to nurture students’ creativity and develop their skills in observation, analysis, and expression. Through the study of different artists and techniques, students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of art and its role in society.
Year 7 students will complete two projects throughout the year: Formal Elements and Botanicals. They will be introduced to photography skills, develop mono-printing skills using oil pastel & enhanced with watercolour painting, and produce realistic drawing skills further to illustrate 5 levels of tone & texture.
Year 8 students will explore Cultures where they will observe pattern, colour and symbols while being introduced to sculpture and clay work. They will use these techniques to create tiles that, when combined, will create a collaborative masterpiece. The other project is Identity which has an outcome of a self portrait. They will develop machine sewing skills to embellish a lino print.
Year 9 students will delve into the world of illustration and learn how to design their recipe cards. During their Food Illustration project, they will experiment with acrylic paint, pastels, and drawing to enhance their artistic skills whilst developing their presentation skills in their sketchbook. The other project is Architecture, where they will design and make a variety of textile-based experiments inspired by architectural structures.
By the end of Year 9, students will have developed a strong foundation in a variety of art mediums and techniques, preparing them for further studies in art and design.

Drama

Drama

The KS3 Drama curriculum offers students a comprehensive exploration of theatrical fundamentals, covering acting techniques, stagecraft, and various dramatic forms, including tragedy, comedy, mime, Shakespeare, naturalism, and physical theatre. In Year 7, students develop basic performance skills and delve into The Tempest, focusing on characterisation, speech delivery, physical theatre, theatrical conventions, and more. The Summer term involves devising drama inspired by Dragon’s Den, fostering teamwork and applying learned skills to create a compelling scene or “pitch.”
Moving to Year 8, the focus is on physical skills in term one, exploring gesture, facial expression, and body language, with a module on using mime. The Spring term delves into Romeo and Juliet, emphasizing detailed characterisation, language use, and relevance to a modern audience. The Summer term explores stagecraft in physical theatre through the Grimm fairy tales, engaging students in collaborative work with various physical conventions, rhythm, pace, and movements. Year 9 begins with voice exploration and understanding the biology of communication noises. Students then apply these skills to explore Konstantin Stanislavski’s naturalistic approach, creating performances using emotion memory, given circumstances, and the “magic if.” The Spring term introduces GCSE-level conventions, and the final Summer term focuses on script analysis, design, theatre roles, and the components of successful drama production.

Music

Music

KS3 music curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of music theory, history, and performance. This is achieved through a variety of activities, including listening exercises, playing instruments, and composing music.

In Year 7, students are introduced to the basics of music theory, such as rhythm, melody, and harmony. They also learn about the different types of instruments and their roles in creating music. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to play various instruments and participate in group performances.

In Year 8, students expand their understanding of music theory and history. They learn about different genres of music, such as classical, jazz, and pop, and how they have evolved over time. Students also have the opportunity to develop their composition skills, creating their own pieces of music using a range of tools and techniques.

By Year 9, students are expected to have a strong foundation in music theory and performance. They are encouraged to explore more complex styles and genres of music, such as world music and experimental compositions. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with others, both in performance and composition.

Computer Science

Computer Science

The year 7-9 curriculum in Computer Science is designed to introduce young students to the basics of computer programming, coding, and computational thinking. This curriculum aims to equip students with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to understand and solve problems using technology.

Throughout the years, students will learn about various programming languages and how to write code to create simple programs and applications. They will also learn about computer hardware and software, data representation, and algorithms.

Additionally, the curriculum also focuses on developing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They will learn how to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, and use logical reasoning to solve them.

Design Technology

Design Technology

The KS3 curriculum in Design Technology is focused on providing students with a strong foundation in design thinking and problem-solving skills. Students will learn the basics of design theory and apply these principles to create their own designs. They will also learn about different materials and tools used in the field of production. Throughout the course students, in addition to design skills, develop their communication and collaboration skills through projects and presentations. They will learn how to give and receive constructive feedback, as well as how to work effectively as part of a team. Throughout the course students study different design movements and different designers to influence their designs and sustainability underlines all the projects. 

Throughout the KS3 curriculum, students will have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including jewellery, product design and architecture. 

In Year 7 projects introduce 3D designing skills and students learn the difference between natural timbers and man-made board and how timbers are classed and their sustainability. They learn accurate marking out skills and use a range of machinery and hand tools. 

In Year 8 they learn about the importance of sustainability in design and how to create designs that are both functional and environmentally friendly. They create a sustainable light including reuse of home items and learn basic electronics and learn to solder their own circuit. They then go onto learn about the different types of mechanisms and create a product showcasing their learning. 

In Year 9, students learn about the sustainability and different types of metals. They cast metals, learn joining methods and presentation. They then complete an architectural project, learning about the different types of architecture and studying Daniel Liebeskind. 

Physical Education

Physical Education

Within the Physical Education (PE) KS3 curriculum, students are exposed to a range of sports activities that help to develop their physical abilities and overall health. Units that students complete in Y7-9 include cricket, cross country, climbing, touch rugby, table tennis, basketball, dance, volleyball, badminton, gymnastics, tennis, athletics and many more.

A Year 7, 8 and 9 students have 5 hours of PE lessons a fortnight.

PE lessons are held either inside our state of the art Sports Centre or extensive fields – you can learn more here.

PE lessons are separate to Team Sports within the co-curricular activity program, but ultimately students can have up to 10 hours of physical activity a fortnight.

In addition to physical skills, the curriculum also teaches students about the importance of teamwork, communication, and sportsmanship. Students are encouraged to work together and support each other.

PSHE

PSHE

The PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic education) curriculum for KS3 (and KS4) students is designed to help them understand and navigate through the challenges of adolescence. The curriculum covers a range of topics from mental health and wellbeing, relationships and sex education, online safety, substance abuse, and financial literacy.

Through the PSHE curriculum, students learn how to develop healthy relationships, manage their emotions, make informed decisions, and develop a positive self-image. They also learn about the importance of physical health and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The PSHE curriculum is designed to be inclusive of all students, regardless of their background or identity. It aims to create a safe and supportive learning environment where students can explore and discuss sensitive topics without fear of judgement or discrimination.

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