Curriculum Year 8


Course Details


At KS3 students study Art and Design as part of a carousel in a total of eighteen lessons per year. They have the opportunity to work on two distinct projects informed by a wide range of contemporary, historical and cultural sources, reflecting the diverse field of Art and Design from Fine Art to Graphic Design. Themes currently studied in Year 8 include ‘Sweets – Brand Identity and Fauve landscape’.

A streamlined and skills-based curriculum is offered at this stage where students learn to use 2D and 3D media such as painting, drawing, paper construction and collage. Students also gain an understanding in the basics of Art and Design such as colour theory and composition, and are encouraged to use their own ideas and imagination.

The curriculum is designed to build confidence in students making skills as well as enjoyment when engaging with all areas of visual culture.


Students extend their knowledge of dramatic genres such as melodrama, explore different dramatic forms and techniques including physical theatre and enhance their role play skills through more developed characterisation and the introduction of non-naturalistic techniques. Stimuli and topics explored range from issues based drama around current themes through to exploration of scripts for performance. Students continue to develop their rehearsal process, performance and evaluation skills; both of their own work and the work of others.


Year 8 follows the same broadly chronological structure as year 7, but this time we begin the year with fairy tales. Students then study Shakespeare’s Hamlet, ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe and the Victorian detective fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle. Students also benefit from a fortnightly lesson dedicated to writing.


Students build on their food preparation skills and their knowledge of nutrition and make dishes that are more skilful and contain all the basic nutrients for a healthy diet. Risotto that looks at different protein foods, pizza that involves bread making, stir fry that focusing on variety of carbohydrate foods, brownies that uses the melting method and muffins that help create design skills. The main focus of this year is to learn about the functions and sources of all the main nutrients that the body needs to have a healthy and balanced diet. Diet related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and obesity are researched and analysed to informed  help food choice


Six topics are covered throughout Year 8. Each topic adopts an enquiry approach with an overall key question that the students will be able to answer by the end of the topic. A range of human and physical geography concepts are taught which encourage students to develop their geographical awareness and basic geography skills; both on a local, regional and international scale. Difficulty and depth of understanding is increased in Year 8.

Students complete a baseline assessment within their first week at London Academy, followed by subsequent end-of-topic tests to assess their level of geography mastery.

Topics taught are:

Aut 1: Can the world cope with more people?

Aut 2: Should I care about the tropical rainforest?

Spr 1: How has Geography shaped History?

Spr 2: How can we conserve our planet?

Sum 1: What are the costs of globalisation?

Sum 2: Which way should India develop?  

An end of year exam is completed in the summer term to allow students to identify the brilliant progress they will have made.


In year 8 students build on key skills as historians such as causation, historical interpretations and the use of evidence. Students study six units, one per half term, starting with Medieval Africa and resistance to the Atlantic slave trade. Then they study the First World War, the African-American civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Second World War and the Holocaust. Students are assessed throughout the year in an enquiry question each half term, and these questions can be found inside the cover of each student's exercise book.


DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is daily reading from 8.15 – 8.41 using a wide range of quality texts (fiction and non-fiction). For those students with a reading age of less than 9 years 6 months, Lexia (a semantics, grammar and phonics computer program) is delivered in the library through small group withdrawal.


Students are already set based on the end of year 7 summative assessment. Students continue to cover the five main areas of the Mathematics Curriculum; number and algebra, shape and measure, ratio/proportion and handling data. Through the curriculum design, students extend their knowledge as skills from Year 7 to prepare them to move into KS4. Students use Pearson text books to support learning in lessons and students are provided with a work book to complete homework that is tailored to the level the student is working at in lessons. Homework is set via the Show My Homework system twice per fortnight and either peer assessed or marked by the class teacher. Students are tested using a pre learning and post learning test and given a mastery percentage, highlighting any areas of strengths and weakness. At the end of the academic year students sit a summative assessment. This assessment is compared to their assessment at the end of Year 7 and progress is measured. Subsequently, students are set for the next academic year.


In Year 8 students develop their knowledge of the language and use more complex grammar and vocabulary. Schemes of work cover the following topics: ‘School Routine’, ‘Hobbies’, ‘Work and future plans’, ‘Health’, ‘Holidays’ and ‘Tourism’. Students continue to explore cultural themes and use authentic resources such as magazines and videos. Assessments take place every half term, and are based around the four key language skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. By the end of the year, students are able to give a range of justified opinions on the various topics they have studied and discuss events in the past, present and future tenses. 


In Year 7 and 8 students have one 100 minute music lesson each fortnight. In Year 8 students continue to learn keyboard, notation and musical language. During keyboard lessons the students work individually and progress at their own rate. They are assessed frequently so that we can monitor progress and set targets for improvement.

Year 8 students cover four schemes of work over the year; Blues music, Songwriting, Popular Song and Keyboard skills. Through these schemes the students develop instrumental and ensemble performance skills, listening and analysis skills and composition skills. The students work in groups to develop performances inspired by the schemes. They are then encouraged to showcase their work at our music department concerts.

Year 8 students are invited to attend lunchtime music clubs and choir. Peripatetic instrumental lessons are available for all students. Students who learn orchestral instruments can also play in our orchestral ensemble.


The Years 7-9 PSHEE course is designed to enhance students’ understanding and awareness of the personal, health, social, and economic issues important to the development of young people. Areas of study include Sex & relationships education, Drugs and alcohol awareness, Assessing & managing risk & personal safety,   Personal identities, Prejudice & discrimination, Stereotyping, Personal finance. Debate and discussion, group activities, workshops, extended assemblies and independent reflection are important elements of the course.


In Year 8 students are taught a wide variety of different activities/sports. Including team games such as Football, Netball, Rugby, Cricket, Rounders and Basketball. As well as individual activities such as Tennis, Trampolining and Athletics. Pupils will also receive a block of both fitness training and swimming. Outside of lessons pupils will also have the opportunity to participate in an extensive range of after school activities and represent the school in borough, county and national competitions


Year 8 follow the OCR Religious Studies curriculum where they explore 1 philosophical topic of Good & Evil in their 1st carousel. In their 2nd carousel, Year 8 look at an ethical topic of Religion & the Media.

Resistant Materials

In year 8, students create an MP3 amplifier project. They start off by soldering a circuit which is significantly more complex than the one undertaken in Year 7. As such, they must refine their skills to ensure that their soldering is as neat as possible. Again, they use their CAD and CAM skills to create the shape and design of their speaker as part of a slot together chassis. They also explore vacuum forming as they create holders for their speakers. 


In Year 8, students continue with the new KS3 science programme of study. Students study Biology (genetics and evolution, photosynthesis, respiration and circulation and ecosystems) Chemistry (reactions, The earth and atmosphere and Materials and everyday chemistry) and Physics (waves, levers, moments and pressure and space) over the year. There are several extended investigations carried out over the year, involving developing their skills including collaborating with peers, applications and implications of science and their enquiry and practical skills. Students are assessed through written tests.


Year 8 students are reminded how to set up and maintain a sewing machine. Students are then set a brief which is to design and make a waistcoat for a child. Each student is taught how to pattern cut the waistcoat pieces from Denim and the lining pieces from lining fabric. By step by step method and practical demonstrations students are shown how to assemble the waistcoat and stitch it together using the sewing machine. Students decorate and customise their waistcoats with fabric painted logos and characters, pockets, sequin trims, applique and other various techniques they have learnt. Towards the end of the project once students have attached the lining and stitched the shoulders some students are shown how to add button holes and buttons to the front of the waistcoat.