Year 8

The Year 8 curriculum for 2023-24 will be as follows, delivered across a two week timetable in three 100 minute lessons per day:

Over a two week cycle, students will have the following number of lessons per subject area:

English Maths Science Spanish Technology PE Computing
6 6 5 2 2 2 1
History Geography Religious Studies Music Drama Art
1 1 1 1 1 1

The Year 8 curriculum was praised by Ofsted for being broad, ambitious and demanding. It 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. 

More detail about what students will learn in each subject can be found below. All teachers, in particular English and maths teachers, will ensure that they address any gaps in essential knowledge and skills from the KS2 and KS3 curriculum that were caused due to periods of school closures in Year 6 and Year 7. 

What will all students learn in Year 8?


  • Unit 1: Comparing political speeches (Martin Luther King and Barack Obama or Colonel Tim Collins and Winston Churchill)
  • Unit 2: Love poetry (seen and unseen poems)
  • Unit 3: Narrative writing (novel openings including pre 20th century literature)
  • Unit 4:  Play (Philip Pullman’s stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)  
  • Unit 5: Novel (race and prejudice)


  • Half-term 1: Algebraic Thinking: Sequences; Understand and use algebraic notation; Equality and equivalence
  • Half-term 2: Place value and ordering; Fraction, decimal and percentage equivalence; solving problems with addition and subtraction
  • Half-term 3: Solving problems with multiplication and division; Fractions and percentages of an amount
  • Half-term 4: Operations and equations with directed number; Addition and subtraction of fractions
  • Half-term 5: Constructing, measuring and using geometric notation; Developing geometric reasoning
  • Half-term 6: Developing number sense; Sets and probability; Prime numbers and proof


  • Unit 1: Which forces make objects float, sink or cause damage?
  • Unit 2: How do organ systems work? 
  • Unit 3: How are chemical elements organised in the periodic table?
  • Unit 4: What are light and sound and how are they different?
  • Unit 5: What happens when substances warm up and cool down?
  • Unit 6: How do magnets work and what can they be used for?
  • Unit 7: How do cells get energy and how do plants grow?
  • Unit 8: What are the different types of chemical reactions?
  • Unit 9: How did life evolve from single cells?
  • Unit 10 How can using the earth’s resources affect our atmosphere and cause pollution?


All Year 8 students will, through the following topics, develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing and translation skills:

  • School and future plans
  • Food and drink
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Holidays


Resistant Materials

  • 3D Container Architecture: Using the work of others as inspiration to influence design. Technical drawing skills to communicate ideas effectively. Creating nets to produce 3D structures. Problem solving and innovation to create a final outcome. 
  • Playing Games (NEA): Understand a contextual challenge and analyse and evaluate existing products. Develop technical drawing skills by generating innovative designs to meet a users wants and needs. Creating a final prototype. 


  • Skills: hand-embroidery; sewing machine; fabric printing; research into the work of Ellie Hipkin for inspiration
  • Empower through embroidery: research into Victoria Villasana for inspiration; hand-embroidery; fabric printing; sewing machine

Food Technology

  • Food safety, food spoilage & high risk foods – scientific links
  • Hand-held pastry products: various pastry-making methods including shortcrust, rough puff pastry and filo; making of pasties, sausage rolls and sweet mince tarts; written evaluations; nutritional labelling; scientific principles e.g laminating 
  • Multicultural food (Italy): practical skills including sauce-making (reduction and starch) introducing gelatinisation, fresh pasta including lasagne and ravioli and the scientific function of strong flour. Introduction to bread and biological raising agents; written evaluations to promote reflection and evaluative skills.

Physical Education 

  • Rugby
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Handball
  • Gymnastics 
  • Fitness Suite
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Hockey 
  • Dodgeball 
  • Tag Rugby 
  • Athletics
  • Summer Games 


  • Autumn term: layers of computing systems
  • Spring term: data representation 
  • Summer term: Lego Spike Prime programming


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- the Tudors
  • Unit 2: The making of the UK- the Stuarts
  • Unit 3: Sugar, empire and slavery
  • Unit 4: Crime and punishment in Whitechapel
  • Unit 5: Dying for the vote: Women’s rights


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: Climate Change
  • Unit 2: The Equator
  • Unit 3: Antarctica
  • Unit 4: Challenges facing the UK
  • Unit 5: India
  • Unit 6: Enquiry into the community of Wallsend

Religious Studies 

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: How do religious people express themselves?
  • Unit 2: Why is there evil in the world?
  • Unit 3: Why is life so special?
  • Unit 4: Do animals have rights?
  • Unit 5: How do religious people celebrate?
  • Unit 6: What has religion got to do with gender and sexuality?


Over the course of the year, students will develop further and embed skills in musical theory through listening to Music, performing and composing. 

  • Apply knowledge of the elements of music through appraising Music
  • Composing music of different genres using Keyboards and Computer software
  • Perform multiple pieces using keyboards and ukuleles in an ensemble and as a solo
  • Study Hooks, Riffs and Blues, Music for Special Occasions, Music tech, Variations in Music and Heroes and Villains in Film Music


  • Writing and performing a monologue
  • Characterisation through rehearsal – A Christmas Carol
  • Understanding roles within the performing arts
  • Devising based on a theme (friendship)
  • Deepening character development skills
  • Responding to and using a script
  • Developing rehearsal skills – Chicken
  • Acting styles: naturalistic, verbatim and classical
  • Developing acting and performance skills


  • Topic 1: Pop art. Students will explore the movement through artist analysis with the use of media and techniques. Within the project students will explore repeated pattern, typography, tonal drawing, mark making and then will plan and make a final piece.
  • Topic 2: Insects. Students will explore a range of media and techniques including printing, pointillism, collage, sgraffito and watercolour painting to produce insect inspired art pieces. 
  • Topic 3: Portraiture. Students will learn how to draw realistic facial features and convert a 2D portraiture image into a 3D cardboard relief.