Key Stage 3: Years 7 – 9
With the changes to KS 2 SATs, we will be working closely with our primary colleagues to ensure that new Year 7 students are placed in the appropriate groups for their ability.
In Years 7 and 8 students spend more time studying English and Mathematics. We believe that these subjects are vital in developing skills students need in other subjects and for life outside and beyond school.
On entering the school students are taught in a mixture of form group or sets. Subjects such as Mathematics have learning sets in Year 7 and teaching by ability increases so that by Year 9 most students are placed in groups that match their learning needs. During Years 7 & 8 students study the following National Curriculum subjects:
English • Mathematics • Science • Modern Foreign Languages • History • Geography • Religious Education • Art • Music • Drama • Food • Textiles • Graphic Products • Product Design • ICT • Physical Education and Games • PSHE
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, craftsperson 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, craftsperson 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, craftspeople and designers work to inspire and link to ideas for example Aboriginal Dreamtime 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, craftsperson 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, craftsperson, 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 roc media
- Artist link and research – developing practical work through inspiration from other artists, craftspeople 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
Students learn to cook a variety of dishes using the grill, hob and oven. Students are introduced to safe working practice in a kitchen including knife skills, operating the cooker, safe food storage and other food hygiene issue. The focus is on ‘Healthy Lunch Boxes’ and students explore a variety of healthier options that could be incorporated into their everyday diet through looking at the requirements of the eatwell plate. Students will build their awareness of taste, texture and smell of ingredients through sensory analysis and evaluating their products.
Students learn to cook a variety of dishes based around different carbohydrate groups. Students learn baking skills and learn how to make nutritious meals aimed at a variety of target audiences. In addition to this students learn to combine and adapt simple dishes using their own recipes. Students also develop a deeper understanding of the nutritional qualities of ingredients as well the function of ingredients through investigation tasks.
Students learn to cook a variety of dishes from around the world. They learn to use a variety of electrical equipment as well as hand tools to create high quality products. They social, moral, environmental and ethical issues surrounding the food industry as well as the seasonality and provenance of ingredients.
Students are introduced to traditional hand sewing and machining skills as well as e-Textiles to create a Textile LED keyring. 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 work with a wider range of materials and a variety of decorative techniques. They broaden their knowledge on industrial practices through using a wider range of CAD/CAM processes including the use of 2D design, laser cutting technology, dye sublimation printing and CNC vinyl cutting.
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
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 naturistic 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.
Year 9 Product Design Module: Natural sustainable mobile amplifier. The aim of this module is to develop design and manufacturing skills, encourage team work and learn about sustainability. This is the last KS3 project in Y9 prior to students opting for which D&T GCSE they wish to take/start half way through Y9. This is a fast, fun project aimed at encouraging students to take Product Design at GCSE and beyond with a high quality outcome and increased confidence for all. Student’s recycle an obsolete product into a desirable product: A mobile phone amplifier. Students have complete creative control in applying branding, packaging and working in a team to produce a stand for the product. Students study the designer Paul Cocksedge as inspiration.
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 a whole novel, 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, 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. At this stage students will also begin to read and analyse 19th Century literature texts in order to familiarise themselves with the type of text they will need to study at GCSE. Also in year 8, students will begin to concentrate their attention on persuasive writing and speaking and will produce a range of texts which are effective. At the end of this year students will study an entire Shakespearean text.
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 an entire classic text, The Hound of the Baskervilles. 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. Toward the end of the year students will begin the GCSE course and will focus on using 19th century textual extracts as a stimulus for creative writing. They will also study a modern play, An Inspector calls.
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 & settlement, fluvial systems and a place study of Brazil and the local Black Country area.
Here we build the level of detail slightly. They will be using the P.E.E.L structure to help to create linked points and developed responses to questions posed. Earth processes such as weathering and erosion are covered alongside looking at the UK coastline and tourism. We will also touch upon the climate change and sustainability debate.
The level of work in here is upped another level again, with the level or work becoming more GCSE in style. Globalisation and TNC’s are looked at with case studies on companies like Apple. Students will also look into natural hazards, both tectonic and atmospheric events. We will also look at a case study of Las Vegas and discuss the sustainability issues surrounding economic development in such harsh desert conditions.
The study of Religious Education (RE) 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 RE, study 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 mosque. Students complete a year 7 exam on the subject of Holy Week (the last week of Jesus’ life).
Students begin by studying their local churches, complete a module on Buddhism and the importance of thinking, look at the foundations of Judaism and finish by discussing how Jews were/are affected by the Holocaust. There are exams on the church, Buddhism and Judaism.
Most students begin a 3 year study of GCSE RE (see KS4). Those who are not doing the GCSE engage in an interesting and lively study of racism in the USA and how Christianity reacted (Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King), study the natural world through the eyes of religious and non-religious people and finish by assessing the key to Muslim life that are the Five Pillars of Islam.
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 aspects of the Roman Empire including public health, entertainment and war so that they can make a judgement about how great the Roman Empire really was. 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. Throughout the year, students learn how to structure PEEL paragraphs and learn how to write good introductions and conclusions in History.
Students learn about the reign of 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 delve into the causes of the English Civil War in the 17th Century investigating problems such as religion, power and economics. Students make judgements about the significance of factors and link ideas together to write more complex extended writing pieces. Students begin to question the role of the monarch both past and present, and understand the rise of parliamentary democracy, giving them an introduction to modern politics and the ideologies of democracy and dictatorship. Students also learn about another hugely significant event in our country’s history – the Industrial Revolution. Through independent research and presentations, students gain knowledge and understanding of how this time period changed the landscape of Britain forever.
Students start this academic year by exploring contemporary issues such as conflict and warfare. Once students have a secure understanding about these concepts, students study WW1, WW2 and the Holocaust in depth. Students study the social aspects of soldiers living in trenches in WW1 through the satirical trench newspaper – The Wipers Times, a unique record from the front-line. Through this study, students must learn to recognize satire and propaganda and understand their purpose and limitations. The military aspects of WW2 are covered, and students learn about the significant events and identify key turning points which led to the allies’ victory. Lastly students sensitively study the Holocaust and the events that led up to it. They explore the Holocaust through individual case studies and exploring whether there was any resistance to the Holocaust and how the survivors coped with coming home.
The KS3 Mathematics programme is essentially a 5 year GCSE course. We develop the numeracy skills learned at primary and build upon them in an accessible way for all students. The scheme of work encompasses Algebra, Number, Handling Data and Shape. Our course has been structured to suit the students’ mathematical abilities from SEN to gifted and talented. Year on year we build upon students’ prior knowledge and develop the essential mathematical skills needed for GCSE’s and functional skills to solve real-life problems. Our department is passionate about Mathematics and we share expertise in numerous engaging and challenging ways. Year 7’s and 8’s have iPads which access fun and exciting resources, all year groups can enjoy the use of computer suites and class sets of laptops to learn, research and embed concepts taught in class.
Due to the nature of Mathematics, the syllabus is based on prior knowledge/understanding and students will follow one of the three different pathways through KS3: Pi, Theta or Delta. These pathways have been developed by Pearson and further details can be found by clicking on this link, http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/Secondary/Mathematics/11-14/KS3MathsProgress/FreeResources/FreeResources.aspx.
Mathematics - Reflection Tutorial
Year 8 iPad Use - Live in Lesson
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 refine their skills whilst studying the topic areas of travel and holidays, the media, the environment, relationships and the world of work.
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 a trip every year to the Frankfurt Christmas market in Birmingham. These trips are always very popular. Students are also offered the opportunity to train to become a Language Leader, working with students from local primary schools.
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 – see links to extra-curricular programme.
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, photosynthesis, reproduction, interdependence, simple reactions, elements and the periodic table, acids and alkalis, waves and magnetism.
Students study units including: Survival, Plants, Reactions, Heating and cooling, changing earth, Forces, light and sound.
Students begin their KS4 GCSE curriculum, information can be found in the Year 10 and 11 area.