Curriculum Year 9


Course Details

Art & Design

GCSE Art and Design consists of two units of work. Unit 1 is the Portfolio that consists of 2 distinct projects, worth 60% of the final marks. During year 9 students will complete the first of the two portfolio projects. Students are required to work in a range of 2D and 3D media, including drawing and painting, printmaking, ceramics and digital media. Themes studied will be based on Natural forms and Man-made objects for the first project, developing design work from primary and secondary sources.

Business Studies

The GCSE Business studies course enables students to actively engage in the study of business and develop as effective and independent learners. Students use an enquiring, critical approach to build argument and make informed judgements. Students complete three units of which unit one and three are externally examined units. Unit two is a controlled assessment which is internally assessed.

The skills that will be developed will include: teamwork, independent learning and research skills through class and homework, oral and written presentation skills, analytical, evaluative and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to relate to people in a business environment with confidence and self-assurance. This course lays an appropriate foundation for A-Level Business Studies or Economics as well as other related subjects.


Students in Year 9 will learn the following concepts of computer science. They will explore programming languages, syntax and pseudo code. There will be in class quizzes to prepare the students fully for GCSE computing.

Students will learn about computer systems including hardware, software, input & output devices, storage, binary logic, data representation, networks, databases, the Internet and programming (Python language). Students will learn to apply knowledge to a practical investigation.

Students will be given opportunities to practice programming skills 
and use the Internet to research tasks



Year 9

Unit 1 Safety and Security in Construction

Students will examine safety and security in the construction industry the content of which include; the responsibilities of employers and employees along with an over view of health and safety legislation. The students gain an understanding of the different types of health and safety signs, the use of fire extinguishers for different situations and how develop and implement control measures to minimise risks.

Unit 2 Practical construction Skills

Students learn to interpret symbols, conventions and terminology as well as Specifications, drawings and design briefs, they will also be able to calculate materials required to complete construction tasks. Year 9 students will develop carpentry and joinery skills learning to make a range of joints in preparation for future construction projects.

Unit 3 Planning Construction Projects

Students will outline the activities of those involved in construction projects including, the client, architect, engineer, quantity surveyor, trades people and specialist contractors. Students will outline the processes of planning, construction, hand over and maintenance.


Students begin their GCSE Studies following the new Edexcel Specification. All GCSE skills, knowledge and understanding as outlined in the Edexcel Programme of Study are explored.

The course is broken down into the following components:

Component 1: Devising (40%)

Students create a piece of drama from a stimulus.

Component 2: Performance from text (20%)

Students perform in two key extracts from a performance text.

Component 3: Theatre makers in practice (40%)

Written exam.

Design & Technology

Students in Year 9 will be working towards the new Design and Technology GCSE qualification. This qualification comprises of a 20 A3 Page project portfolio with an accompanying resistant materials / engineering/electronics based project as well as a two hour exam. The coursework and examined elements are both worth 50%. Students will be primarily completing the coursework in year 10 and exam preparation in year 11. Year 9 will consist of giving students an overview of Design and Technology and the main points covered within the subject including modern technologies, design methods, SMART materials, advances in production and environmental issues. The year will also consist of a number of skills based mini practical projects which will provide students with a strong understanding of relevant technical aspects as well as equipping them with technical skills.


Year 9 begins with a unit on Biblical stories, designed to build cultural capital and introduce students to some of the stories that underpin our literary tradition. Students then follow a chronological curriculum, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest through the Romantic and Victorian eras, ending the year studying a modern (post-1900) novel. Students also benefit from a fortnightly lesson dedicated to writing. The aim is to prepare our year 9s for the rigours of the new GCSEs, which require students to read and analyse a range of previously unseen texts and write both creative and non-fiction texts.


In Food preparation and Nutrition GCSE students learn high level culinary skills that they apply to making dishes for their controlled assessments, such as bread dough products, short crust pastry, sweet short crust pastry flaky pastry and choux pastry. All the 4 cake making methods are used to make high quality dishes such as Victoria sponge, Swiss roll, scones and flapjacks. Sauce making skills using the roux sauce making and all-in-one methods are used to make macaroni cheese and lasagne. Handling high risk foods such as cutting a whole chicken into 8 pieces and filleting fish to make fish cakes teach students to use knife skills and be aware of food safety and food hygiene. Students will learn the theory of all nutrition needed for different groups of people.


Year 9 is the start of the GCSE Geography course at London Academy. Students study the GCSE Edexcel Geography specification which is split into 3 distinct units:


Component 1: Global Geographical Issues

Component 2: UK Geographical Issues

Component 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions


In Year 9 students will cover Component 1 topics. They will begin by exploring the topical issue of climate change in the first 5 lessons. Students then investigate the causes and impacts of tectonic hazards and tropical storms in developed and developing countries. In the Spring term our Y9 students will delve in to study modules such as: Development Dynamics where they will investigate the reasons for disparities in levels of development and will spend some time studying India as an emerging country. Students also investigate the challenges of urbanisation during the module called Urban Challenges in the Summer term. Assessments are a regular and integral part of the GCSE course with students being assessed after each module is completed. Practice question form a fundamental part of the learning both within lessons and for homework.

Graphic Communication

GCSE Graphic Communication consists of two units of work. Unit 1 is the Portfolio worth 60% of the final marks, where students are required to work in a range of media, both hand produced and digital. The course focusses on text, image, illustration, layout, and the development of skills in Photoshop. Students will develop a range of graphics work for different communication purposes and produce a set of work for magazine cover.

Unit 2 is the Externally Set assignment worth 40% of the final marks, where students choose a theme set by the exam board to demonstrate their skills and areas of interest developed in the first unit. A more independent and individual approach is expected at this stage.

Health and Social Care

In KS4 students follow the OCR Cambridge National certificate Level 1/2 in Health and Social care. The course comprises of four units. Three assignment based units which are marked using Pass, merit and distinction and one examination. The examination unit is 1 hour long and is taken in Year 11.

All units have equal weighting and are marked out of 60.


Students who have chosen History GCSE begin their course with a breadth study of Crime and Punishment through time, beginning with England in 1066, and then working through Medieval, Early Modern, Industrial and Modern time periods. This unit is designed to help students study the development of one aspect of History across 1000 years, and to understand the nature of change. Students will be assessed throughout the year by practising exam questions, and their marks and progress will be recorded in exercise books and assessment folders. There will be end of unit and end of year internal exams too.


In Year 9 students start an intensive transition period whereby they start the GCSE syllabus. Students are taught in sets based on their assessment at the end of Year 8. The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between content and skills covered in KS3 to KS4. Students follow the Edexcel Linear specification at one of two tiers; students can achieve a 9-4 on the Higher tier or 5-1 on the Foundation Tier. Students use CGP Mathematics text books and homework books to support work completed in lessons. Homework is set via the Show My Homework system two times per fortnight and either peer assessed on marked by the teacher. Each half term students are assessed based on content covered that half term and given a G.C.S.E grade. At the end of Year 9, students complete a non-calculator and calculator Edexcel past paper internally in order to set students for the following year


DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is daily reading from 8.15 – 8.41 using a wide range of quality texts (fiction and non-fiction). Stride Ahead, a one-to-one structured phonics program, is delivered by TAs during Form Time.


In Year 9 students start the GCSE AQA course. The topic areas studied at Key Stage 3 are revisited in greater detail and are condensed into three themes. Each theme is split into four sub topics. In Year 9 students work through the first six sub topics. Units are broken down into ‘Me, my family and friends’, ‘Technology in everyday life’, ‘Free-time activities’, ‘Customs and Festivals’, ‘Home, town, neighbourhood and region’ and ‘Social issues’. The broad range of topics covered allows students to develop a much wider vocabulary and deepen their cultural understanding of the language. Students are examined each half term on a different skill, either Reading and Listening or Speaking and Writing using past paper questions to start familiarising them with the final exam requirements. 


In Year 9, 10 and 11 students follow the Edexcel GCSE Music course. This course tests students on their Performing, Composing and Listening and Analysis skills. We complete at least one Component 2 Composition and both a Solo and Ensemble Performance for Component 1 in Year 9. These are assessed and targets are set for how these pieces of coursework can be improved and developed in Years 10 and 11.

We spend time analysing the best Performance option for our Year 9 GCSE students to ensure they then spend as much time as possible developing their Performance skills on their chosen instrument. This means that they can reach their potential in the Performance unit by the end of the course.

We build on the language and theory learning from KS3 and continue to develop Listening and Analysis skills in preparation for the Unit 1 exam. The Edexcel Unit 1 paper explores set works from a wide variety of different genres and styles, ranging from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto to Killer Queen by Queen. Within these set works, students analyse the music at a deep level looking at the core components of great works. We encourage Y9 students to audition to perform at our regular “Open Mic” performances. We showcase Y9 Performances and Compositions at our music department concerts. We ensure that GCSE students attend at least one live orchestral performance during the GCSE course. GCSE Music students are entitled to a discount in Peripatetic music lesson fees.


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.


All pupils will receive a broad balance curriculum of activities/sports. New additional sports such as Volleyball, weight training and handball are introduced to the students.  Pupils will continue to receive the opportunity to attend an extensive range of after school clubs. The school will also continue to enter teams and individuals into a variety of inter-school tournaments/competitions as well as county and national competitions


Students learn to ‘make sense of other people’.  Students should be able to find some of the answers to questions which have intrigued non-psychologists for years. For example: Why do I forget things?  How can I read body language?  What causes prejudice in the world? Students work independently and in groups. Through carrying out experiments they will understand why it is important that Psychology is based on evidence and not common sense.


At London Academy we deliver core and options RS in Year 9.

Core RS follows the OCR Religious Studies specification J621 where the students study philosophical units looking at deity, end of life, good and evil and religion and science.

The option class study the new OCR specification GCSE 9-1 J625 which alongside philosophical and ethics units, also encompasses Christian and Islamic theology.


In Year 9, students begin their key stage four programme of study which focuses on developing practical skills, scientific thinking and scientific literacy and numeracy.   Key concepts from all three science specialisms are studied. The students practical skills are assessed during core practicals carried out over the year. Students are assessed through written tests covering the key concepts and core practicals. There will be an internal end of year examination which will be used to decide which GCSE pathway students will follow.


Year 9 Sociology students begin the GCSE course with the topic ‘Studying Society’ which provides a solid foundation to Sociology, exploring key ideas and concepts that are present in all areas of Sociological study. Students investigate social processes, such as socialisation and social control and social structures, such as gender, ethnicity and social class. Students also learn the different research methods used by sociologists and have an opportunity to carry out their own sociological research into an area of society. Students are introduced to the theories of Marxism, functionalism and feminism and are encouraged to use competing arguments from each perspective to explain divisions within British society.


In textiles students learn basic construction and decorative techniques in Year 9 and they add examples to a skills book. They complete a variety of design and make projects using the skill and techniques they are learning.