Learning Intentions

English Year 7:

An introductory year into Secondary English, the aim is to stretch students; build and develop their love for English. In order to ease the transition from primary school, the term begins with a reading and creative writing unit based on The Gothic. For example, the gothic twist on fairy tales. The idea of “analysis” is established whereby students begin to identify techniques and begin to create inferences. This is further reinforced in the second term through the teaching of Animal Farm. A complex text to teach, but one which sees the students rising to the challenge. Students begin to understand how social, political and historical context impacts the plotline. The Island Project follows thereafter, which provides students with a chance to engage with transactional writing: students write newspapers; blogs; leaflets etc. Shakespeare’s plays are an important part of our curriculum, whether it is Twelfth Night or Macbeth, students learn to put their critical hats on and also begin to appreciate the playwright as a national treasure.

English Year 8:

Over the course of the year group look at various genres and texts through a critical lens. They start the term by analysing numerous short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. The purpose of this module is to introduce the conventions of Gothic literature in order for them to analyse ‘The Woman in Black’ in Y9. In the second module, they look at nineteenth century texts. This year, it was hugely successful in developing and building their knowledge about life in the C19th and undoubtedly will support their understanding of a C19th text later on. Both modules provide the opportunity for creative and analytical writing. ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was selected for this particular year group (cross curricular: last year many watched the play in theatres), a Shakespearean comedy whereby students examine the social, political and historical context in which the play was set in order to link it to the plot line and attitudes of different characters. Prior to the end of the year exams, students will review extracts and practice questions in order to complete their examination. This will provide an opportunity to refine the skills they should have learnt and developed over the year.  Finally, the year will end by looking at several poems which will be used as a stimulus to develop creative and transactional writing skills.  

English Year 9:

This is a transition year for the students where they make the change between KS3 and KS4 without having a hard drop from one to the other. As well as studying ‘legacy units’ such as ‘Of Mice and Men’, students are exposed to a first reading/study of some of the texts that they will encounter at GCSE in order to give them a foundation of knowledge; these include ‘The Woman In Black’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ As well as this, the cohort are exposed to a range of 19th, 20th and 21st century extracts – both fiction and non-fiction – in order to immerse students into the requirements outlined in GCSE English Language.

Maths Year 7 and 8

At Wapping High School, we have shaped a key stage 3 curriculum to take our students on a learning journey which embraces curiosity and develops a depth of understanding using the principles learnt from Shanghai teaching.  Students encounter twelve chapters each year, taught through concrete / physical representation, pictorial, and finally abstract processes.

The curriculum blends fluency with reasoning and problem solving, with a true emphasis on providing micro-steps to support students making connections and building long-term memory for them-selves.  Lessons are formed through a combination of independent, paired and collaborative work, delivered with a broad mathematical vocabulary. 

Our mission is that by the end of year 8, all students are ready for the exciting challenge of the GCSE curriculum, confident in the application of number, proportion, shape, algebra and statistics. 

Maths Year 9: 

Following a rich learning experience in KS3, students move onto a three year GCSE curriculum in year 9.  We choose to use three years to allow our students to explore mathematical concepts in greater depth, layering up all of their prior experience to make new discoveries.

GCSE Mathematics is currently tiered into Foundation (Grade 1-5) and Higher (Grade 3-9).  Students will start on a pathway towards their end goal, however there is flexibility within the first year to move across bands due to the quantity of common topics.  Students will start their journey with Number skills, moving through algebraic manipulation, the use of proportion, shape and statistics.

STEAM Year 7 

In year 7, pupils begin to develop their foundation knowledge of science and the essential skills required for later years of study at GCSE level. Pupils cover a wide variety of topics including cells, forces, the periodic table, chemical reactions, organisation of the body, the solar system and others. 

The course is designed to equip students with the needed practical skills and knowledge of the scientific method which will be built upon further in key stage 4. Students will have the opportunity to develop crucial scientific skills such as research methods, analysis of data and drawing sound scientific conclusions to inform further work in class.   

STEAM Year 8

In year 8, pupils continue to build upon their knowledge acquired in year 7. Students begin to apply their understanding to other topics including electricity, reproduction, variation in organisms, atomic theory and the structure of the earth. Students take time in year 8 to deepen their understanding and begin to identify underlying key concepts that will ease the transition from key stage 3 to key stage 4. Moreover, the practical work in year 8 is designed to mirror the required practicals at GCSE. This ensures key stage 3 pupils enter year 9 with  secure and stable knowledge that will allow them to excel in the latter years of study in science.

Science Year 9: 

In Year 9 Science pupils begin their GCSE course of study.  This begins with looking at cell biology where pupils will learn about how cells are controlled and how differences between cells allow them to perform specific functions within an organism.  Pupils then learn about the history of the Periodic Table and our ideas about the atom, at the same time they will learn about the structure of the atom and why different elements have differing chemical and physical properties.  In physics pupils learn about different types of energy and electricity. These ideas are then used to learn more about how our own use of energy and electricity links to global systems of energy supply and usage.

REAL: The RL curriculum is based on Bruner Spiral Curriculum . This is where we take GCSE content and embed it at entry level so that students have an opportunity to build on existing knowledge so that moving into year 9 in Humanities creates the necessary bridge in the curriculum. Introductory topics include the study of democracies over time, global development and sustainability as well as the significance of the British Empire and exploration of extreme environments and how we cope in these challenging places. Each unit has a home learning project attached to it where students have a chance to go beyond the learning objective and create models, write poetry, booklets and extracts for to extend their learning.

History Year 9:

The first year of History GCSE focuses on the development of Nazi dictatorship in Germany. The course starts by investigating the social, political and economic landscape of Germany before World War One and the methods through which the Nazi party gained and consolidated power. Students develop their historical skills of assessing significance and analysing the causes and consequences of key events. Additionally, pupils learn to critically assess various interpretations and develop their own judgments; building skills that go beyond the History GCSE curriculum to benefit them in wider life. By the end of Year 9, students should be prepared to apply their learning to a range of exam questions and substantiate their opinions verbally and through extended writing.

Sociology Year 9:

Sociology in Year 9 provides students with the foundational skills of sociological research; including the methodology, ethical implications and key case studies which they will go on to use and develop through their GCSE curriculum. In addition, pupils complete a unit on the Sociology of the Family, within which they are able to identify and describe wider trends and patterns of fertility, marriage, divorce and family types. Students will consider a wide range of political perspectives on the family and begin to form their own opinions on a number of key current political debates.

Geography Year 9:

Learners are given the opportunity to explore challenges of the natural world through the course of year 9. They begin by delving into plate tectonics and there are great links made to science here as we then also move onto look at global atmospheric patterns. Learners consider how development has an impact on how societies cope in living in challenging environments. This then leads onto exploring the living world starting with rainforests, their global importance as a carbon sink and moving onto other challenging environments like deserts. Finally we explore in the final term rivers and coasts. Globally, millions of people rely on these features and we have the opportunity to explore the challenges of living in these areas and gain first hand understanding on how to carry out field work in coastal areas supporting what they will do in the residential in year 10.

PE Year 7/8:

Students develop the knowledge and understanding of why exercise and physical activity is important to long-term health and the benefits that exercise provides. Students build on their practical skills and become more competent in their performance and techniques across different activities (outwitting opponents, accurate replication, working safely and effectively and working at maximum) . Students learn how to analyse their own and others practical performance and how to give effective feedback in order to improve a practical performance. 

BTEC Tech – Sport, Activity and Fitness: 

The Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on the knowledge and understanding of skills in health, fitness, activity and sport. Learners will develop: 

  • knowledge of the body systems, common sports injuries and technological advances that impact on sport and activity
  • key skills that support their theoretical understanding of the training, nutrition and psychological factors that influence and impact on engagement in sport and activity 
  • an understanding of the underpinning principles of leadership and the physical and psychological benefits for session participants. 

Learners will investigate methods of planning, delivering and reviewing sessions for a range of target groups. The qualification builds on and uses the knowledge and skills learned in GCSEs. It has a broad focus on building knowledge and skills, including exploring the impact of technology and psychology on sport and activity. It will complement some aspects of the theoretical approach offered by GCSE Biology and GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition, by allowing learners to apply their knowledge and skills, for example by learning how nutritional habits can impact sport and activity.

Design and Technology Year 8:

Students experience and develop core designing and making principles through the making and designing of a chocolate bar or bath fizzer along with packaging and promotional materials. Students experiment with paper, card, thermoplastics and computer-aided design in order to realise and test their ideas. The design skills that are developed to include the communication of ideas through drawing skills such as isometric projection and annotation. The development of an idea from concept to a prototype or final product provides the opportunity to explore developing an idea, as well as building resilience and creativity to problem solve. Students are also given the opportunity to experience food ingredients as materials, should they wish to pursue food as an education option.

Design and Technology Year 9:

Students build on the foundational designing and making principles of Year 8 by completing a series of short designing and making projects such as Urban Wildlife Hotels and Wands of Identity. Student’s designing and making skills are further challenged through the use of more complex and sophisticated materials as well as developing ICT skills to produce a professional e-portfolio to compliment and support the development of their product.