Year 8

The Year 8 curriculum for 2020-21 will be as follows, delivered across a two week timetable:

English Maths Science PE MFL Humanities Computing Technology Art Performing


6 6 4 3 2 4 1 2 1 1

Each lesson will be either 90 or 100 minutes long. The curriculum above is the same curriculum that was praised by Ofsted for being broad, ambitious and demanding. More detail about what they will learn in each subject can be found on the Year 8 curriculum section of the school website. All teachers, in particular English and Maths teachers, will first address any gaps in essential knowledge and skills from the Year 7 curriculum. Therefore, although the content described on the website will remain the same, the order in which it is taught might be different in 2020-21. 

The Year 8 curriculum is designed to ensure that all students gain the necessary knowledge, experiences and skills to become curious, reflective and resilient learners who are ready to reach their potential in a complex, rapidly changing world. Through our curriculum we take pride in all that we do, respect the thoughts, beliefs and personal qualities of others and seek to be the best we can be both personally and academically. 

What will all students learn in Year 8?

English (4 lessons per week)

Stories, plays and novels chosen will vary according to your child’s set:

Unit 1: Relationships poetry (seen and unseen poems)

Unit 2: Comparing political speeches (Martin Luther King and Barack Obama or Colonel Tim Collins and Winston Churchill)

Unit 3: Narrative writing (novel openings including pre 20th century literature)

Unit 4: Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Tempest or the Merchant of Venice)

Unit 5: Novel (race and prejudice)

Maths (4 lessons per week)

Half-term 1: Sets 1&2: Factors and powers; Working with Powers. Sets 3&4: Number; Area and Volume

Half-term 2: Sets 1&2: 2D shapes and 3D solids; Real life graphs. Sets 3&4: Expressions and Equations; Real life graphs

Half-term 3: Sets 1 & 2: Transformations; Fractions, Decimals and Percentages. Sets 3&4: Decimals and Ratio; Lines and Angles.

Half-term 4: Sets 1&2: Constructions and Loci. Sets 3&4: Calculating with fractions

Half-term 5: Sets 1&2: Probability; Scale Drawings and Measure. Sets 3&4: Straight line graphs; Percentages, decimals and fractions

Half-term 6: Sets 1&2: Graphs. Sets 3&4: Statistics, graphs and charts

Science (4 lessons per week)

Unit 1: Which forces make objects float, sink or cause damage?

Unit 2: How do cells get energy and how do plants grow?

Unit 3: What happens when substances warm up and cool down?

Unit 4: What are light and sound and how are they different?

Unit 5: How do magnets work and what can they be used for?

Unit 6: How can using the earth’s resources affect our atmosphere and cause pollution?

Unit 7: How do we arrange the elements in the periodic table?

Unit 8: How did life evolve from single cells?

History (1 lesson per week)

In all units, students will learn how to make chronological and thematic links, assess change and continuity, evaluate significance, and analyse and evaluate primary and secondary evidence, including different interpretations

Unit 1: The making of the UK (Tudors and Stuarts)

Unit 2: Mysteries of the new world

Unit 3: Sugar, empire and slavery

Unit 4: Crime and punishment in Whitechapel

Unit 5: Revolution: French, Russian and industrial

Geography (1 lesson per week)

In all units, students will learn map skills (including OS maps and compass directions) numerical skills including data analysis, how to analyse graphs and how to use case studies and carry out investigations.

Unit 1: India

Unit 2: Global warming

Unit 3: The equator

Unit 4: Challenges facing the UK

Unit 5: Antarctica

Unit 6: Enquiry into the community of Wallsend

Religious Studies (1 lesson per week)

Across these units, students will learn the key beliefs and practices of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism as well as considering their responses to philosophical and ethical dilemmas.

Unit 1: Why is life so special?

Unit 2: Why is there evil in the world?

Unit 3: How do religious people express themselves?

Unit 4: How do religious people celebrate?

Unit 5: What has religion got to do with personal relationships?

Modern Foreign Languages

(2 lessons per week)

On a carousel basis, students will study the following topics in both French and Spanish across Year 7 and 8:

  • Greetings and introductions
  • Alphabet and numbers
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Descriptions
  • Town and directions
  • Ordering food and drinks
  • Sports and free time
  • Shopping
  • Holidays
Business and Computing

(1 lesson per week)

Unit 1: Computer systems: hardware and software

Unit 2: Programming – Scratch

Unit 3: Databases

Unit 4: Modelling – spreadsheets

Unit 5: Programming – Microbit – Python

Unit 6: Introduction to networks


(1 lesson per week)

Unit 1: Pop Art (monoprinting, repeat patterns, watercolour, oil pastels and Andy Warhol)

Unit 2: Insects (observation drawings, peer critique, collage, oil pastels and watercolour)

Unit 3: Portraiture (artist research, proportion and scale, drawing and sketching)

Design and Technology

(2 lessons per week)

Resistant Materials

  • Isometric drawing (advanced techniques)
  • Cam theory (the Cam Challenge)
  • Prototypes (Mechanical toy)
  • Plastics and acrylics (memo board)


  • Sewing by hand and with a machine (applique)
  • Embellishment and embroidery (fabric skulls)

Food Technology

  • Hand-held pastry products suitable for a child’s packed lunch
  • Foods of Italy (fresh pasta, bread, pizza dough)

(2 lessons per week)






Fitness Suite


Table Tennis



Tag Rugby 


Summer Games 


(1 lesson per week)

Over the course of the year, students will develop their skills in musical theory, performance and composition.

  • Remembrance Day ensembles
  • World music
  • Dance tracks
  • Samba Music
  • Solo performance
  • Composing film music

(1 lesson per week)

  • Devising based on a theme (Friendship)
  • Characterisation through researshal
  • Character development
  • Using a script
  • A Christmas Carol, Monologues, Chicken, Romeo and Juliet
  • Acting styles: naturalistic, verbatim and classical