Yr 8 Curriculum

As part of the KS3 Art & Design curriculum students are engaged in developing confidence in using a variety of creative skills through a varied programme of cross curricular study that encourages breadth and depth in the development of students’ creativity. Students have opportunities to generate ideas and research from primary and contextual sources, record their findings, experiment with media and processes and develop and refine their ideas towards producing a portfolio of their learning journey.

The art department encourages our students to create specifically commissioned art works based on a cross curricular project brief given by the various subject departments in OBA.

Year 7 and 8 students will participate in one unit of dance within the PE curriculum. Dance allows students to create, perform and appreciate each others work through physical tasks and evaluation.

In Year 8, students will continue to build on skills they have learnt the previous year through a further unit of work. This unit will challenge students to be creative through working in larger groups and by exploring a variety of choreography tasks leading into GCSE dance work.

Dance Assessment Levels

GCSE Assess-ment

New GCSE Grade

Current GCSE Grade

NC level

I can show consistency in my dance work

I can show more complex moves

(Just) sound ability




I can show originality in my choreography

I can show expression in my performance



I can show leadership when working in groups

I can show independence during tasks



I can show fluency within my dance

I can show precision within my dance

(Clear) limited ability




I can create and perform longer dances

I can perform having focus



I can add lifts into my dances

I can show safety when rehearsing and performing



I can show creativity in my choreography

I can show co-ordination in my performance

(Just) limited ability




I can show clear timing with the music

I can show control with my moves



I can follow basic rules

I can create and perform basic moves





WT (Working towards)


Below 3

Drama is offered for all year groups at OBA and it provides an exciting, practical, challenging and inclusive exploration of a range of themes, issues and topics through the medium of drama.

Half Term Unit
1 Scripts *Projection
2 Physical Theatre *Music/Sound effects
3 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night *Lighting
4 Shakespeare Mash Up *Projections
5 Devising Theatre * Combination of the different technical elements
6 Technical Theatre in Practice * Combination of the different technical elements

English is a subject area designed to strengthen pupils’ literacy skills through a variety of highly interactive schemes of work. In Year 8, pupils develop their ability to analyse plot, character and themes within a number of text types and use PEE technique (Point, Evidence and Explanation) to respond to questions. In order to broaden pupils’ knowledge of texts they study work from other cultures and historical works. Through this, we aim to develop their awareness, understanding and enjoyment of challenging texts.

Every term, students will complete writing and reading assessments which will be based on a range of fiction and fiction texts. This will strengthen their reading comprehension as well as familiarise them with transactional writing tasks (letters, reports, articles).

In term 1, students will study a scheme on ‘Horror’ texts by reading a range of extracts from Gothic texts such as ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’. Also, there are creative writing opportunities for students to write their own horror story. In term 2, students will have the opportunity to read William Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ and appreciate how the writer conveys meaning through language. In the last term, students study an ‘autobiography’ scheme by reading Roald Dahl’s text ‘Boy’. 

In Year 8 students will study 5 key topics exploring both physical and human geography from the following themes:

8.1 Rapid Rivers (River Landscapes) – students will explore how rivers are shaped by physical processes, how distinctive landforms are created and the different management strategies used to protect the river landscape.

8.2 The Blue Planet (Water resources) – students will investigate how the global distribution of water and energy resources is uneven, how the demand for water resources is rising globally, the different strategies used to increase water supply and how the future of water security is dependent on its sustainable use and management.

8.3 Impossible Places (Deserts) – students will discover how hot deserts are formed, their distinctive characteristics, how landforms are created and how the development of hot desert environments create challenges and opportunities.

8.4 Independent Investigation – students will conduct a geographical investigation looking at how to design enquiry questions, understanding fieldwork techniques, processing and presenting fieldwork data, describing, analysing and explaining fieldwork data and reaching conclusions and reflecting on the aim of the investigation.

8.5 – An Uneven World (Development) – students will investigate the different ways to define and measure development, how development varies, the impacts of uneven development on people, the strategies used to tackle uneven development and an in-depth case study of development in one developing country.

n Year 8 History, pupils focus on British, European and American history. Students begin by examining the Industrial Revolution and the impact it had on society. The next topic is an investigation of the role of Britain in the transatlantic slave trade. Pupils then pursue their enquiry further with a study of slavery in America. This topic explores moral, cultural and ethical dilemmas and equips students with the skills to tackle mature themes. In addition, students explore Britain and Europe from 1914 to 1945 examining the campaign for Women’s suffrage, the two World Wars and the persecution of the Jews. The theme of persecution is continued by the exploration of the Civil rights movement in America. Throughout the year pupils build on their year seven experience developing their skills including source analysis, assessing significance, evaluating interpretations and explaining cause and consequence.

At KS3 pupils will develop their ICT skills in a variety of ways. Units in both year 7 and 8 focus upon different ICT and Computing strands. Pupils in year 8 work on a half termly basis on each topic and complete one assessment. Pupils complete a topic assessment sheet which shows their progress and documents their learning using both narrative and screenshots. Pupils experience a variety of topics and use different technologies. Pupils study a unit of work which involves looking at the hardware of a computer system and work on building a computer to make it fully functional. Pupils develop their programming language using Python and Raspberry Pi’s and pupils take on a music challenge with the use of Sonic Pi’s. Another unit also looks at the use and application of binary and towards the end of the year pupils design develop and make an app using specific software.

Mathematics is the means of looking at the patterns that make up our world and the intricate and beautiful ways in which they are constructed and realised. Numeracy is the means of making that knowledge useful.

Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ abilities to calculate; to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically; to solve problems and to handle data. Mathematics is important for pupils in many other areas of study, particularly Science and Technology. It is also important in everyday living, in many forms of employment, and in public decision-making. As a subject in its own right, Mathematics presents frequent opportunities for creativity, and can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a problem is solved for the first time, or a more elegant solution to a problem is discovered, or when hidden connections suddenly manifest.

It enables pupils to build a secure framework of mathematical reasoning, which they can use and apply with confidence. The power of mathematical reasoning lies in its use of precise and concise forms of language, symbolism and representation to reveal and explore general relationships. These mathematical forms are widely used for modelling situations; a trend accelerated by computational technologies.

The subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. Mathematics helps us to understand and change the World.

Term Unit Assessment
1 1. Number
2. Area and Volume
3. Expressions and Equations
4. Real-Life Graphs
End of unit test for each unit
End of Half Term Assessment
End of Term assessment
2 5. Decimals and Ratio
6. Lines and Angles
7. Calculating with Fractions
End of unit test for each unit
End of Half Term Assessment
End of Term assessment
3 8. Straight-Line Graphs
9. Percentages, Decimals and Fractions
10. Statistics, Graphs and Charts
End of unit test for each unit
End of Half Term Assessment
End of Term assessment

In year 7, pupils study areas that are designed to help nurture and grow confidence both as an individual and within a team. During this first year they develop a Japanese poem, using the elements of music, into fully-formed musical composition and performance. They also learn about the culture of Latin America, through Samba, and build independent learner skill through popular songs played on the keyboard. Students also develop a cultural awareness of Africa, linked to the Kenya expedition and perform a pop song as a large ensemble.

Term Unit Assessment
1 Samba Composition/group
2 Keyboard skills Individual/ paired
3 Group performance Composition/group

Oracy is a subject area designed to strengthen pupils’ speaking and listening skills, providing them with the ability to improve their critical thinking through a variety of highly interactive schemes of work.

In Year 8, pupils continue to use the Philosophy for Children programmes of study to assist in discussions about moral and ethical situations. Pupils acquire the ability to follow a line of reasoning through to its logical conclusion. In addition, they should now have developed the skills to lead enquiries by themselves and have the ability to discuss situations within a real life context. Pupils should also be making links between Oracy and the subjects they study, assisting in their cross-curricular progress and achievement.

In Physical Education, students experience a breadth of activities and also gain knowledge and understanding of various sports, coupled with the principles of leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Students are taught through the OBA philosophy of ‘Play, Coach, Referee’ – an internally designed teacher toolkit aimed to increase coaching and leadership opportunities in lessons which has been constructed from the National Curriculum for Physical Education.

In year 8, students build on their programme of study from year 7 and experience a wide range of skills and activities that are designed to improve their fitness and coordination. The students also experience coaching and leading others in new and unfamiliar activities. This aims to develop confidence and self-esteem, coupled with an affinity for lifelong learning in sport.

Pupils acquire Science knowledge and skills through a range of topics and themes from the three disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course aims to give students a sound understanding of the fundamental principles of Science.

During Year 8 students build on prior learning from KS2 and develop their scientific skill set through investigations, independent research and brilliant teaching.

Key Stage 3 science includes the study of:  

  • Ideas and evidence in science
  • Investigative skills
  • Cells and cell functions
  • Humans as organisms
  • Green plants as organisms
  • Variation, classification and inheritance
  • Classifying materials
  • Changing materials
  • Patterns of behaviour
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Forces and motion
  • Light and sound
  • The Earth and beyond

In Year 8, pupils develop their communication skills in the foreign language. As well as learning how to give personal details and talk about their daily routines, they also develop the ability to express their opinions in the language. At the end of each term pupils are assessed in the four attainment areas; listening and responding, reading and responding, speaking and writing. The skills that they develop prepare students to continue on throughout GCSE study.

The Design and Technology curriculum allows pupils to learn how to think imaginatively and to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. A range of technology subjects are studied including food technology, graphics, resistant materials and textiles. Pupils develop their skills in designing, problem solving and evaluation along with a range of practical skills in each of the subject areas. They gather research to inspire their design, learn methods to develop an idea and move it through the planning and making stages to create a final product.