Key Stage 3: Years 7 – 9
Key Stage 3: Years 7 – 9
At Crestwood we currently offer a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9).
When students start with us in Year 7 we use information passed on from their primary schools to initially group students. All subjects will be assessed in all areas during the first part of the Autumn Term and from there students in most subject areas will be setted. This ensures that all students are in the right groups for their ability.
We place a strong focus on English and Mathematics as we believe that these subjects are vital in developing the skills students need in other subjects and for life outside and beyond school.
During Years 7 and 8 all students will have the opportunity to study the following subjects:
English Language and English Literature • Mathematics • Science • Modern Foreign Languages (French or German) • History • Geography • Religious Education• Art • Music • Drama • Food and Nutrition • Textiles • Product Design • Computer Science• Physical Education and Games •
In addition to this students will also receive tailored Careers and Personal, Social and Health Education.
In Year 9 some subjects will start their GCSE programmes, ensuring better preparation and learning at greater depth in preparation for Key Stage 4.
For further information on specific curricula please look at the pages of individual subject areas and departments.
For further information on specific curriculums please see our departments page for contact details.
Art & Design
Skills and Imagination
- Drawing workshops to show how to draw with confidence and understand tone and shading techniques.
- Developing new skills using a variety of 2D media, techniques and processes.
- Baseline Test – worksheet task- observational drawing section and understanding how the work of an artist, crafts-person or designer links to our own work.
- Colour theory and understanding of the colour wheel using a variety of 2D materials including watercolours, pencil crayons, and block paints.
- Assessment – worksheet task – colour theory section – understanding how the work of an artist, crafts-person or designer links to our own work.
- 3D sculpture or Construction/Printmaking /Painting using acrylic and watercolours.
- Exploring 2D & 3D elements of Art and a variety of media, techniques and processes.
- Consider artists, crafts-people and designers work to inspire and link to ideas for example Aboriginal Dream-time paintings, Bosch, Goldsworthy and Klimt.
- Development of a small art and design project to secure skills– describing and evaluating our work and the work of others.
Skills and Cultural Links
- Interim 2D test – consolidate skills learned.
- Developing more sophisticated skills in drawing, pattern and colour. Demonstrating a good understanding of tone and shading techniques.
- Developing new skills using a variety of 2D media, techniques and processes for example 3D sculpture or Construction/Printmaking /Painting using acrylic or watercolours and basic ceramic processes.
Terms 2 and 3 extended project
- Project based tasks linking the work of an artist, crafts-person or designer to our own work including the study of various art genres and styles as inspiration for our own work including for example Manga, Si Scott, Kandinsky, Escher and tribal art, Blossfeldt and Milhaze.
- Describing, analysing and evaluating our work and the work of others.
- Start of year drawing and competence in Art and Design test.
- Developing the ‘Formal Elements’ of line, tone, shape, scale, texture through drawing workshops.
- Exploration of light and dark using 2D media and developing contrast techniques to create the illusion of 3 dimensions and accuracy.
Terms 2 and 3 extended project
- Thematic (mini GCSE style) approach to project based artwork.
- Drawing, designing and making craft i.e. further skill development in 2D and 3D explored through various materials, techniques and processes.
- Artist, crafts-person, designer and ‘Spiritual Moral Social Cultural’ links explored through a critical understanding of art, cultures, art genres and art movements including Pop Art, African Art, Mexican Day of the Dead, M.C.Escher, Millhaze, Moore and various portrait artists.
- Researching ideas through the collection and response to a theme and including analysing, evaluating and justifying outcomes using themes such as Heroes and Identity.
- Transposition from drawing based design into 3D using ceramics/ paper mache or mod rock media.
- Artist link and research – developing practical work through inspiration from other artists, crafts-people and designers.
- End of year practical examination and consolidation of KS3 skills.
Our aim is to provide students with a broad and balanced Computing curriculum which not only prepares them for GCSE’s, but also provides valuable life skills which can be transferred to other subjects and used outside of school.
In Year 7 students will complete projects based on local attractions; they will complete a range of products designed to meet a specific purpose or target audience. The projects include e-safety, Sea Life Centre, BMW and NASA Space Centre.
In Year 8 students will continue to develop as creative and independent learners through the completion of project-based work. Students will expand and develop their skills from Year 7 and become competent users of technology. Projects in Year 8 include Social Networking, App4That, PC World and Python Programming.
In Year 9 students will complete modules of work which relate either to GCSE Computer Science or Cambridge Nationals Creative iMedia; this provides students with the skills or experience required at GCSE level and also educates students into the best option for them under the Computing umbrella.
D & T
In Design and Technology we strongly believe in ‘learning by doing’ and students are encouraged to be creative and find solutions to problems through experimentation and independent enquiry. In KS3 students have 13 weeks in each of the three areas of Design & Technology.
Food and Nutrition
Introduction to the Eatwell Guide, with emphasis on the foot groups and key nutrients. The development of preparation and cooking skills to create healthy dishes.
Functions of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients to develop nutritionally balances recipes. Investigate the impact of foods high in fat and sugar on the health of teenagers. Experience a more complex range of preparation and cooking skills.
Students develop recipes that meet the demands of specific dietary needs. Study food trends – Street Food. Plan, prepare and cook and range of dishes to show case high level skills.
Students are introduced to traditional hand sewing and machining skills as well as e-Textiles to create a Textile LED key-ring. This project also incorporates some CAD/CAM in the form of designing their print design on Grid Magic then printing it onto fleece using the dye sublimation printer. Students also learn to test and evaluate their product, analyse properties of fabrics and explore sustainability issues related to the Textile industry.
Students build on skills learnt in Year 7 to produce a fleece hat. This project builds their skills on the sewing machine by introducing various decorative techniques including applique. In addition, students learn simple pattern cutting skills and learn how to work to a specification. Students learn to communicate their ideas through annotated sketches and explore properties of a range of fabrics.
Students learn to use a wider range of materials and equipment and get to sample a number of traditional and modern (CAD/CAM) techniques. These currently include: dying, Patchwork, Batik, Free Machine Embroidery, Repeat Pattern Design using Grid Magic and Dye Sublimation Printing. The Year 9 assessments are focused on preparing students for GCSE requirements with more emphasis being placed on developing practical skills. Product outcomes range from bags to home furnishings to children’s clothes.
Students are introduced to key materials, techniques and processes through two projects in Year 7. They will make a pewter pendant based on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and a wooden box to house the pendant. Students learn graphical drawing skills as well as a working, practical knowledge of the product design process.
Product Design Module 1: Mobile phone docking station project. The aim of this module is to develop design and manufacturing skills, following a scaled down GCSE format. The 3d isometric skills and CAD/CAM skills from Year 7 are built on in this module to enable students to take greater responsibility for their learning. Students produce a phone dock that holds up a phone/tablet of their choice and enables charging. Using 2D design and laser cutting top plates/template should lead to high quality outcomes and increased practical skills. This is the KS3 introduction to GCSE style design methodology and modelling skills.
Product Design Module 2: Japanese tea light holder. Students are asked to design, develop and make a packaged Japanese lantern tea light holder to be sold in the Design Museum Shop in central London. The designs must following the naturist theme of ‘Biomimicry’ as design inspiration. This module focuses on developing computer aided design outcomes suitable for computer aided manufacture (CAD/CAM). These designs are then laser cut from plywood, assembled and packaged to ‘shop bought’ quality.
In Year 9 students do shorter rotations bu do more complex projects in order to prepare them for KS4 work. We aim to broaden their knowledge of industrial practises through a wider use of CAD/CAM processes which include 2D Design, Laser Cutting and CNC Vinyl Cutter and expand their workshop skills by using more hand tools and machinery.
Drama enables pupils to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which will help them make sense of reality. Drama is a life skill and a creative art form. The students learn how to be effective team members, develop their confidence when speaking to and performing in front of peers as well as how to empathise with others.
At Key Stage 3 all students in Year 7,8 & 9 have one lesson of drama a week. In these lessons the students will learn about key drama strategies, styles, genres, how to approach both scripted and devised performances and are also introduced to a range of theatre practitioners. Pupils will study a different topic every half-term, which therefore ensures a broad and varied drama curriculum.
In year 7 pupils are introduced to the subject of drama with a skills base scheme of work focusing on the story of Alice in Wonderland. This is then followed by text work studying ‘Our Day Out’ by Willy Russell in which they will learn how to both read and perform a script. The remainder of the year will explore the genre of Melodrama, the theme of war, the character of Mr Fox and the specialised manner in which to use Trestle Masks.
In year 8 pupils will build upon the techniques and skills learnt in year 7. They will begin the term exploring the origins of storytelling which will start in the Medieval period and progress into modern day. This is then followed by a scheme which considers and tests societies perceptions towards the homeless. In the second term student’s will be challenged with William Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’ and will also be introduced to the most influential theatre practitioner, Stanislavski, who created naturalism. For the final term pupils will learn the style of tradition Greek Theatre and use theatrical skills to aid the solving of a murder mystery.
In year 9 pupils will be prepped for the transition into GCSE drama is they so wish to continue with the subject in KS4. The year begins with the placing key historical civil rights figures into theatre and using this medium to empathise with a vital moment in the worlds history. After being introduced to the practitioner of Stanislavski in year 8, pupils will learn the methods Brecht’s Epic Theatre which directly opposed the ideas of naturalism. In the second term students will delve into the ancient Italian art that is Comedia Dell’Arte and utilise Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tell Tale Heart’ to perform the genre of horror. The student with complete their final year of KS3 studying ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller and will explore the progression of comedy from Charlie Chaplin to 21st century black comedy productions.
English within Key Stage 3 is used as a foundation to build upon the skills required for success at GCSE English language, literature, and beyond. The curriculum emulates the GCSE programme of study, and enables students to build gradually upon the skills required to access GCSE English language and literature. All assessment is skill-based and uses GCSE specification terminology to assess each individual student. This allows for a seamless transition across key stages.
In Year 7 students study the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell and gain a comprehensive understanding of how to analyse every aspect of the writer’s craft; this is then used as a stimulus to create imaginative writing of their own. As well as fictional writing, students explore a range of non-fiction texts and learn to comment analytically on the purpose of the texts, as well as evaluating the success of the text itself. To foster creativity throughout the year students will also study poetry linked by theme, extracts from 19th Century fiction, and have the opportunity to learn and perform extracts from Shakespearean texts.
Throughout Year 8, students will build upon skills acquired in Year 7. Students will study Of Mice and Men to build upon their already existing knowledge of novel exploration; through this novel they will be able to comment on a wider range of themes and techniques in a more detailed manner. Students will then develop their comprehension, and speaking and listening skills through an active approach to non-fiction texts. At this stage, students will begin to draw comparisons and make links to texts, including poetry and use subject specific terminology. All students will study a complete Shakespeare play. 19th Century extracts will also be explored, with a focus on language and structure, in order to familiarise themselves with the type of text they will need to study at GCSE. At the end of the Summer term all students will be formally assessed by an external examiner to gain a speaking and listening qualification.
This year serves as a GCSE preparation year. Students will be assessed using exam style assessment and will become familiar with the GCSE courses as a whole. Students will study pre-20th Century non-fiction and develop their transactional writing skills. They will also analyse poetry with a related theme, commenting on the use of language and structure; this will also involve comparing poems of different styles. Towards the end of the year students will study GCSE set texts, Macbeth and An Inspector Calls in preparation for their literature GCSE exam.
The study of Geography in KS3 is designed to open students’ eyes to the wonder that is the world around us both abroad and at home. Alongside this, the curriculum also helps build the foundation knowledge and skills that will underpin GCSE level work if students choose to follow the geography option. Key cartographic and graphical skills will be learnt and practiced throughout all topics in KS3.
Students will firstly learn the key skills to describe and interpret ‘Place’, these atlas and map skills will enable students to be adept at discussing location, patterns and place within other topics. Students will also study a mix of human and physical geography topics including; population & migration, rivers and a place study of Africa.
Students in Year 8 will learn about Weather and Climate in the UK, Natural Hazards to include Volcanoes, Hurricanes and Extreme Weather, and the Globalisation of Fashion. Key skills learnt in Year 7 will be embedded throughout the topics, as well as practising core skills in preparation for GCSE Geography.
Throughout Year 9, students will study the GCSE topic of the Living World, to include ecosystems, rainforests and hot deserts. Within this, students will learn about the causes and impacts of deforestation, as well as how to sustainably manage the rainforest for future generations. This is followed by the study of Resource Management which involves exploring energy, food and water and their unequal global distribution. By the end of Year 9, students will have a sound knowledge and understanding of key human and physical Geography; as well as skills to successfully prepare them to study at GCSE, if chosen as an option.
The study of History in KS3 is designed to equip students with a coherent knowledge and understanding of the past on an international, national and local scale. The program is designed to inspire students’ curiosity about the past and equip them with the necessary skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgment. The KS3 program of study is designed so that students will have all the necessary skills and experience within the subject to access the GCSE History course at KS4.
Students enquire into the Battle of Hastings, including the crisis of the claimants to the throne, the Battle of Stamford Bridge and why William won the Battle of Hastings. They will enquire through evidence both primary and secondary and question the utility of sources in finding out about the past. Students also enquire into the Norman Conquest and the impact this had upon our country. They will understand and challenge the interpretations of contemporary Historians on the extent of the impact the Normans had on Anglo-Saxon Society in the middle ages. Students will also study the Black Death and whether it was really was a “blessing in disguise” for our country, including an introduction to public health and investigations using evidence to find out about symptoms of the Black Death as well as what medieval people thought cured and caused the epidemic. Throughout the year, students learn how to structure PEEL paragraphs and learn how to write good introductions and conclusions in History, as well as completing exams reflected upon GCSE questions to ensure students have a solid base of assessment before moving into Year 8. In the summer term of Year 7, students will have the opportunity to visit Kenilworth Castle – an example of a Norman Castle developed through the Tudor times, and learn about the history of a pinnacle piece of local history; how it changed over time, major influences over the site and key events that happened there. Students study the history of Bournville at GCSE so introducing local history in Y7 and investigating a local site is invaluable.
Students learn about an influential female monarch; Elizabeth I and the problems she faced throughout her reign. For example marriage, foreign affairs, religion. They do this by weighing up the evidence of how well Elizabeth dealt with her problems: as a strong queen, or a weak and feeble one. Next, students will delve into the slave trade: the slave triangle, conditions on the ships, slave plantations and the development of these in the Southern states of America. This is a key topic we have recently introduced at Crestwood as not only are students learning about an element of Black History but also the foundations of the history of prejudice and discrimination. This also lays a foundation if students wish to choose History at GCSE as they will study the Making of America and the influence of the slave trade. Students also learn about another hugely significant event in world history towards the end of Year 8; the Holocaust. Staff have been trained by the Holocaust Education Trust to ensure that this is taught sensitively and factually. Students will learn about individual stories and case studies of Jews who were effected by Nazi rule within Germany and other countries within the Reich, experiences of these people and their stories of their journeys and families, as well as experiences of persecution and discrimination. Students will also explore whether there was any resistance to the Holocaust and how the survivors coped with coming home.
Throughout this academic year students learn a part of the GCSE course; the People’s Health 1250-present, as part of the OCR SHP Spec B. Students will investigate how public health has developed over time and key influences in its changes. Students will practice GCSE skills throughout this year – the causes and consequences of impacts on public health, significance of laws and changes as well as knowledge and understanding of living conditions throughout the medieval period, Early Modern, Industrial Revolution and the Modern period. Students will also learn examples of epidemics such as the Black Death and AIDS and also what people at the time believed caused these diseases and what they did to try and cure them as well as key individuals that impacted the development of public health. Government responses and attempts to change, develop and improve living conditions are also investigated and their impact assessed. Students will end Year 9 with a solid base of GCSE skills to be able to move into GCSE History with, if chosen as an option.
The scheme of learning in Religious Studies (RS) during KS3 at Crestwood is designed to develop knowledge and understanding of the different beliefs and opinions that exist amongst the religions of the world and Christianity in particular. Students then discuss the validity and logic of these beliefs and opinions and use this to reflect on what they think themselves. We follow the Dudley Locally Agreed Syllabus.
Students are introduced to the key skills of RS and then study a module about Celebration. They continue on to Buddhism and the importance of thinking (also studied at GCSE), the life of Jesus, how Easter is celebrated, the Resurrection, what God might be like, Guru Nanak, Muhammad and finish with a study of the key parables (stories with a message) of Jesus. Students complete year 7 exams on Buddhism and the subject of Holy Week (the last week of Jesus’ life).
Students begin by studying their local churches and then look at the foundations of Judaism. They next study how Jews were/are affected by the Holocaust. They then think about the key issue of “Looking for God” and finish with the Natural World and how we use its resources. There are exams on the church, Judaism and the Natural World.
Students first engage in an interesting and lively study of racism in the USA and how Christianity reacted (Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King). They then start the GCSE course and study two modules within it. They are the themes of Relationships and families and Religion and life. There are exams in racism, Relationships and Religion and life.
Our KS3 schemes of work are based on a model of progression which is part of a wider picture. They are designed to be used according to the prior attainment of students at primary school. We develop the numeracy skills learned at primary and build upon them in an accessible way for all students. Our scheme of work encompasses Number, Algebra, Ratio and Proportion, Shape, Handling Data and Probability. Units delivered are organised to ensure any instance of prerequisite knowledge within a year are covered in the first term. All stages closely align throughout the year. Objectives delivered are critical in developing conceptual understanding and essential for students to make progress to the next stage. Our key concepts have been taken from The DfE National Curriculum Programme of Study and DfE GCSE Subject Content and Assessment Objectives.
Each maths set is taught a particular ‘step’ defined by their ability and not defined by age. Students move through the ‘steps’ until KS4. We assess every half term based on the content of that half term plus the content from previous terms for retrieval practise. Our course caters for all mathematical abilities from SEN to gifted and talented.
Our department is passionate about Mathematics and we share expertise in numerous engaging and challenging ways. Year 7 – 10 have IPads which access fun and exciting resources and are also used to research and embed concepts taught in class.
The syllabus is taught in 4 different steps at KS3. Each student will follow a particular pathway. Further details can be found by clicking on these links.
Modern Foreign Languages
Our philosophy is to equip all of our students with the essential language skills they need to become successful citizens of Europe and function effectively in the working world. We are a dedicated team of teachers, committed to ensuring that all students enjoy their learning and achieve their full potential.
All Crestwood students start their study of either French or German in Year 7. In Year 7 topics studied include self, family and friends, school, sport and hobbies, house and home life, town, and daily routine.
Students continue studying their main language and further develop their skills. Topics studied in Year 8 are typically local area, food and drink, holidays, health, and fashion.
During year 9 students continue their language studies following the GCSE framework, practising the skills and topic areas which will enable them to succeed at GCSE.
We organise annual residential trips to Paris and Cologne for Years 7 and 8, which offer students the chance to experiment with their language skills and immerse themselves in another culture. We also run trips to the Frankfurt Christmas market in Birmingham. All of these trips are always very popular. From time to time opportunities also arise for us to take students on language themed days at local universities.
Students will develop their solo and ensemble performing skills through African drumming, percussion, keyboard and singing. Students will improve their knowledge of the musical elements within African Music and Blues Music, and learn how to respond using the correct vocabulary.
Students learn how to structure their compositions. Composing in theme and variations and learning about the culture of the Hip Hop movement helps students to compare and contrast different musical styles and techniques of composition.
Students will focus on performing and composing. Students learn how to compose to a stimulus within the film Music genre and how to perform as part of a Reggae ensemble. As well as composing Music, students get to create lyrics that show their understanding of the Reggae style.
We aim to develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, to be physically active for sustained periods of time, to engage in competitive sports and activities and to encourage pupils to lead active, healthy lifestyles.
During KS3 (Year 7, 8 &9) Students are taught to:
- Use a range of tactics and strategies to overcome opponents in direct competition through team and individual games.
- Develop their technique and improve their performance in other competitive sports.
- Perform dances using advanced dance techniques within a range of dance styles and forms Street – (We are currently developing this area of our curriculum, watch this space).
- Take part in outdoor and adventurous activities which present intellectual and physical challenges and be encouraged to work in a team, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems, either individually or as a group – Duke of Edinburgh Award & SOW for Outdoor Orienteering.
- Analyse their performances compared to previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best – half termly assessments in all sports & end of key stage targets set.
- Take part in competitive sports and activities outside school through community links or sports clubs.
The study of Science in KS3 is designed to open student’s eyes to the wonders of Science, students follow a broad and balanced science curriculum which covers elements from the fields of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As well as developing knowledge of science facts, students also develop their practical skills that they will need for their GCSE studies.
Students will cover a wide range of units including: an introduction to lab skills and safety, cells, reproduction, simple reactions, acids and alkalis, energy and forces.
Students study units including: atoms and elements, photosynthesis, ecology, magnetism, electricity and chemical analysis.
Students begin their KS4 GCSE curriculum, information can be found in the Year 10 and 11 area.