Lower Secondary News
Although we know that many pupils tell their parents all about what they having been studying and doing at school, not every child is so forthcoming. Therefore so that you all know what your child has been up to in the last term and what plans there are for next term, you can now visit this new page providing the latest news from the Lower Secondary Class. The page is updated each term.
If you have any specific queries concerning this class or your child please speak to or email the class leader Nicholas.
In term one we will be reading and studying Of Mice and Men. Linking this to our
studies of the Industrial Revolution we will be looking at key themes and symbolism,
as well as in depth studies into the characters and how we can use this analysis to
apply to essays and discussions about the book.
This term the emphasis in English Language is around conscious awareness of how both writers & students actually communicate their thoughts, ideas, feelings & knowledge. We will consider how writers shape their structures & convey meaning by using specific techniques.
This term we have been working together and independently to identify and review aspects of their Mathematics curriculum over the past two years. Each lesson students have been able to self select their focus and use resources to improve their understanding of key aspects of the foundation of GCSE Mathematics.
Next half term will see the class moving forward together on topics which begin to explore more complex concepts and skills.
Lower Secondary are briefly reviewing some basic aspects of chemistry - elements, compounds and different types of chemical reactions. Our other main topics for the term will be electricity, magnetism and energy resources in physics, and ecosystems in biology.
The Year 9 Fast Track group are getting started on the GCSE curriculum, initially focusing on the 'Air and Water' topic in Chemistry and then moving on to more advanced work on electricity, magnetism and ecosystems (working in parallel with the main Lower Secondary group). We're continuing the fortnightly Science Club on Mondays to help them extend their classroom learning through fun and engaging practical work.
In term one we will be looking in-depth at the Industrial Revolution. Having been
introduced to the basic ideas of the Industrial Revolution last year we will now deepen
our knowledge of the themes and impacts of the Industrial Revolution on politics,
economy, and every day life. By studying the Industrial Revolution, students will
develop a sound understanding of this vast period in History and how it has effected
us even today.
Our new project for this term is all about ‘Colour’. We will be identifying primary, secondary and tertiary colours and learning how to mix paint to produce a colour wheel. Looking at colour theory – colour association, warm /cool and complementary/ contrasting colours.
We will also be looking at how artists use colour to depict feelings and emotions within their work. Artists include Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Mark Rothko and the three dimensional work of Alexander Calder and Anish Kapoor.
This term we will be learning about Population & Migration. What makes us British? What's the real story with immigration? Where and why do people live where they do? What makes people migrate? How can countries control their population growth? Lots of interesting areas to examine!
In term one we will be looking at the Self and Attachment Theory. In the beginning of
the term we will study key concepts and theories around ‘Self’ and students will gain
an understanding of the idea of ‘free will’, Humanist theory, self esteem, and we will
look at what the applications of understanding the self are – such as for counselling.
In the second half of the term we will be looking at Attachment, students will gain an
understanding of key concepts around attachment such as – separation protest,
stranger anxiety, the different kinds of attachment, and how, theoretically, these effect
us in later life.
Philosophy & Ethics
In Philosophy and Ethics, our work will pivot around concepts relating to ’The Nature of Reality’ and the definition of ’truth’, ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’.
We are working in 3 groups again and as we have been invited back to sing at Ashleigh Grange Care Home, we are focussing on 3 songs to perform for them on Friday 18th October. After half term we will start working on Christmas songs.
Lower secondary will be working at:
Parts of the body
Food in the Spanish speaking countries.
Summer Term 2019
This summer we will focus on 'Communication and Expression' ...How do we convey our meaning in written and spoken communications? We will also experiment with the creation of humour and mystery in written pieces, seeking to extend skills in 'creating impact in writing'.
This term be will be focussing on poetry and how it is part of our every day lives. We will look at some classic poems by William Blake, Wilfred Owen, e. e. cummings, Benjamin Zephaniah etc... as well as how poetry is used in music. We will particularly be considering how poetry inspires us to look at life in new ways and challenges our pre-conceptions.
This half of term in Lower secondary we have been exploring geometry, looking at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes, Pythagoras theory and area. We have also been exploring sequences, paying particular attention to finding nth term using linear, Fibonacci, triangular numbers, and quadratic formula.
We are just finishing up our submissions for the RSA Pupil Design Awards. All three teams have worked hard on their research and development, coming up with some great ideas about how to help people make healthier choices about their diet. We're now turning our attention to 'Science and Diversity Fortnight' - thinking about the science of human diversity, and what it means for equality and inclusion, as well as diversity within Science itself.
Our Yr 8/9 fast track group is working on solubility, crystallisation and separating mixtures, with the practical work taking place in our after-school science club sessions. All the students are making great progress, as are our little beakers of growing salt and sugar crystals!
This term we will complete our study of the French Revolution and its immediate aftermath. We will then focus on the Industrial Revolution, considering its positive and negative impact during the 18th & 19th centuries. We will then reflect on the legacy of the Industrial Revolution on our lives and the planet today.
Following on from last terms design project we will be spending time practising our observational drawing skills. We will be working from still life in the classroom and going out into nature to draw trees and landscape. Students will have the opportunity to explore mark making through pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and paint.
Last term we started an important unit of work on Rivers which includes learning about the water cycle, drainage basin system and river features. We made use of our local environment by studying the nearby Beaulieu River where we completed some fieldwork. We are now looking at the issue of flooding, and pupils will be creating a presentation of a case study of a flood to show the rest of the class.
In Psychology we will be working on a couple of our own psychological studies / experiments to be decided upon and created by the students. The class will learn how to devise, conduct and record experiments. We will then evaluate the studies considering their strengths and weaknesses.
Philosophy & Ethics
This term we will be carrying out a number of ethical and philosophical formalised debates. The students have been researching their chosen topic and preparing their presentations. They have chosen some light debates to start with - the meaning or lack of meaning of life, abortion and social media!
We have our work cut out preparing for a big concert in the last week of the Summer Term, Wednesday 3rd July.
As both of these half terms are so short, we are focusing on our repertoire for the big day. As you may have noticed, we are working in 3 geoups on 3 different tunes. We have also been approached by a local care home to go nd visit them with music - and I want Lower Secondary to perfom their group tunes there.
1. Mama Mia (Medical room group, Ziza, Ollie and Chloe)
2. 7 Nation Arny (Classroom group, Orion, Felix, Alice and Sophie)
3. Don't Stop Me Now (Music room group, Angus, Poppy, Mabelle, Oscar, Max)
I have also asked Oscar to sing with Alice on 7 Nation Army too.
If you play your own instrument (Ollie and Orion) please remember it for EVERY FRIDAY LESSON.
We are looking at the topic of the house and the place we live. Donde vivo - We will talk about where we live using adjectives and the verb 'vivir' (to live); describe different types of houses and rooms in the house. Using the present, past and future tense of the verb 'vivir'. We will use vocabulary to describe our bedrooms and prepositions of place with the verb 'estar', and finally use of the conditional tense to express wishes for the future.
We are deepening our meditation/quiet sitting practice and sharing of gratitude. We will also be discussing child sexploitation.
Spring Term 2019
This term we continue to look at the application of technical knowledge into written form with the focus on the development of description and ways of articulating our thoughts and feelings in the creation of descriptive imagery.
This term be will complete our detailed study of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', Mark Haddon's classic novel about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome. We are very excited about our trip to go and see 'The Curious Incident' in London at the end of January. In the second half of the term we will begin reading and studying John Steinbeck's American tragedy 'Of Mice and Men'.
This term we will be working on sequences, 3D shapes, ratio and proportion, probability and applying maths to the real world.
Ash has just got back from a trip to East Africa, and will use some of the insights from his visit to start conversations about healthy diets and lifestyles. Throughout the term, we will be using our afternoon science lessons to work towards the 2019 RSA Pupil Design Awards - designing a product, campaign or service to help people make healthier choices about their diet.
From the 3rd week of term, we will be studying Earth Science and Evolution topics, in preparation for our exciting trip to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on Monday 11th February. (Letter to follow!)
This term we will complete our study of the American War of Independence and the subsequent Enlightenment influenced American Constitution. We will then turn our attention back to Europe with the French Revolution, considering both its positive and negative legacies.
This term we will be working on a 3D brief... to design and make a lighting feature. We will be looking at historical and contemporary examples of lighting and exploring ideas through drawing and maquette making. We will be investigating the properties of resistant materials like wood, metal, wire, plastic and non-resistant materials such as thin cardboard and clay. The final outcome for this project will be to make a functional lamp!
We completed our work last term looking at globalisation, fast fashion and the emergence of the Tiger Economies. This term we are learning about rivers and coasts.
We will continue our investigation into the topic of 'Sex and Gender', as we consider what factors contribute to the differences between gender. We will ask to what degree are these differences innate and to what degree are they influenced by culture, religion, history, education and parenting. In the second half of the term we will move onto a new topic - 'The Self' - where we will consider what makes individual personalities, are they an illusion or are they fixed?
Philosophy & Ethics
After considering the big philosophical questions concerning the nature of existence we will be moving onto ethics where we will explore a number of different ethical issues with a formal class debate at the end of each topic.
Creating a historical timeline of music; writing our own songs; promoting and designing a concert/gig and putting it on. (This will probably continue into the summer term too).
Hispanic Traditions (Dia de Reyes - 6th January); Revision on adjectives to describe people physically and their personality; Assessment; Hobbies - regular verbs - present tense; Sports - giving detailed opinion and justifying opinions; Talk about the weather and learn to use comparatives when talking about Spanish speaking musicians.
We enjoy staring our sessions with shaking and quiet sitting/body mind awareness and once termly we will do our sharing circle and work/play/home reviews. This term we will be learning about relationships, including sexual diversity and sexual health. The emphasis in these lessons is around empowered/consensual choices. Please talk to Ali if you have any questions.
Autumn Term 2018
Completing our music for film or game pitch pieces, and recording them. Starting a large scale class performance piece; learning the accompaniment to the main Christmas number.
The School Choir needs your support! We meet every Friday Lunchtime in the Studio 1.30-2pm. Anyone from Upper Primary upwards is more than welcome to join us - as well as parents and staff! We sing a great and fun mix of music in many styles. Please encourage your child to come and join us, and why not come along yourself?!
The Hispanic World. Talking about yourself. We will look at Spanish speaking countries around the world, greeting people, understanding verb endings, numbers 1-31, dates, months and days of the week, expressing likes/dislikes about colours and classroom items/phrases to follow instructions and ask questions used in the classroom.
We will be deepening our body/mind awareness/meditation practice at the beginning of each session, working on posture, breath and watching our 'mind movies'. We will be holding twice termly sharing circles and exploring addictions.
The class will work on their exploration of implicit meaning in tests, developing their ability to interpret and articulate thought and feeling in coherent written format.
This term be will be reading, discussing and studying in detail 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time', Mark Haddon's classic novel about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome.
A new timetable to navigate, which includes a double lesson on a Tuesday. The class remain extremely enthusiastic towards their studies. We have already looked at foreign currency and exchange rates and have completed a treasure trail outside to take advantage of the good weather we have had. Upcoming topics include graphs and 3D drawings from plans and elevations.
We are looking at cells and what's inside them, learning about useful and harmful micro-organisms, and finding out the conditions needed for bacteria to thrive by making their own live yogurt and examining it under a microscope. This will be followed by a refresher on the fundamentals of chemistry - solids, liquids and gases, atoms and molecules, elements and compounds - with a chance to make their own molecular models.
This term we will be studying the monumental change in human thinking that occurred in the Enlightenment. We will be looking at how the Enlightenment marks the moment when humanity stopped looking so much to the past for answers and turned its attention to the future. We will then see how this has profoundly effected modern history from the late 18th century onwards.
We begin the academic year with an exciting, new project that looks at the Latin American festival of the 'Day of the Dead'. We will be exploring the concepts, traditions and artwork associated with the festival. Producing a case study, illustrations, decorative 3D skulls, lino printing and having a go at making some of the traditional confectionery made during the celebrations.
We are embarking on an 'Emerging Asia' unit of work, looking at how the economies of Asia have grown rapidly in recent years - the reasons for this and the consequences.
This will be a new subject for this class and therefore we will be looking at the key concepts in Psychology such as the conscious and sub-conscious mind, and the debate between nurture and nature. We will also be looking at some of the key ideas of Freud and Jung.
Philosophy & Ethics
Another new subject for this class or rather an extension of Religion & Ethics that the class took last year. We will be focussing on the big questions such as 'Why do we exist?', 'Does God exist?' 'What is the nature of consciousness?' 'Do we perceive reality subjectively or objectively?' etc... We will be having many great discussions that will hopefully expand the student's minds and increase their self-awareness.