Year 7 Teaching and School Life
Everyone (even the potential scholars) follows a carefully structured curriculum which leads to Common Entrance in the June of Year 8. The object is to provide each child in the year with the kind of teaching they need in order to transfer successfully to their senior school; there is always the opportunity to move between forms should this be thought appropriate. The timetable itself is very similar to the one which the children have been used to in Year 6; prep is slightly longer in Years 7 and 8, finishing at 5.30 p.m. each evening. The children find that they are now nearing the top of the school, with all the responsibility and opportunity which this entails.
The following notes give a brief insight into the subjects taught in Year 7.
Art and Design
Many of the skills and work practises learnt in Year 6 are reinforced during Year 7 and drawing continues to be the foundation of both 2-d and 3-d projects.
More demanding and extended work will be introduced during the course of this year. The concept of the “Design Loop” is explored and pupils will be asked to develop a more considered approach to a process that includes research, design, planning, making and evaluation. The pupils will explore a range of materials and techniques that will develop their handling skills and extend their working knowledge. Painting, Textiles, Ceramics and Model-making projects are all included in the Year 7 curriculum.
Studying the work of Artists and Designers has always been an important part of the curriculum and Year 7 pupils will have an opportunity to develop a more rigorous understanding of the style, culture and historical context of selected Artists and Art movements. Past projects have included investigations into the work of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet and Pop Art.
Lunch time and After-school clubs are available to all those who wish to further their interest in the subject. Art scholarship classes for talented and able pupils continue throughout year 7.
Pupils follow a Common Entrance syllabus, which is both demanding and interesting. It is designed to provide the tools necessary to move forward within English through the development and revision of skills, reading strategies and writing for different audiences. This involves detailed comprehension work; reading and responding to fiction and non-fiction texts; the study of poetry; a study of language and advanced essay writing skills. Importance is given to reinforcing drafting and proof reading. A novel and a Shakespeare play are also studied and pupils are expected to read for pleasure and be prepared to discuss their books.
Spellings are set regularly to support each unit of work and as needed to improve word knowledge. Speaking and Listening tasks are integral to all units of work.
In this pre-C.E. year the aim is to consolidate previous years’ work in all four areas – listening, speaking, reading, writing. Any remaining new material is covered to complete the requirements of the Syllabus. Varied resources are used to cover the ground required. This includes I.C.T.
Games and Physical Education
P.E. and Games in the Year 7 follows the requirements of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 in the following areas of study: Games, Gymnastics, Dance, Swimming and Athletics. All boys and girls in this year are able to take part in fixtures against other schools in all the major sports. Games training concentrates on the development of inpidual skills, but more emphasis is placed on team tactics involving attack and defence. The Year 7 pupils do 2 afternoons of games and 1 P.E. lesson per week. Groups for these are dependent on age and ability.
Colours are awarded to team players who represent the School over a number of matches, who play with the correct attitude to their own team, the opposition and officials. They are awarded to players who play to the best of their ability and who represent the School with pride and effort
Over the year the children will study: river processes, coasts, tectonic processes (earthquakes and volcanoes) and energy generation and the environment. The work will include the completion of an extended Common Entrance fieldwork project. This is an important piece of work which counts towards the children’s final C.E. result in Year 8 (contributing 20% of the final mark).
In Year 7, pupils will explore historical skills in the context of the ‘dark ages’ of Britain and the time of the Anglo Saxons. Pupils will study Alfred the Great and use sources to question whether his title is deserved. Pupils will then study life in Saxon England and the struggle for the English throne in 1066 culminating in an in-depth investigation about the battle of Hastings and the challenges William the conqueror faced as a foreign ruler. Pupils will go on to explore themes in medieval England and whether medicine, warfare, crime, and punishment improved from the early to late medieval period. Pupils then look at a local case study of the War of the Roses and the reign of Richard III, culminating in a case study on the excavation of Richard III, using and developing archaeological skills. Pupils will then begin to explore the early Tudor period and the reigns of Henry VII & Henry VIII.
In Year 7 children in the top sets begin to work specifically towards Common Entrance. This involves translating a passage of Latin into English, answering questions on comprehension and grammar and writing briefly about Roman life and mythology. Vocabulary learning is an important aspect of the work this year and children are expected to continue with the regular habit of weekend learning, which by now should have become a firm habit. The Trojan War and the story of Ulysses are covered in detail. In Year 7 the foundation is laid for success in Year 8.
The 7th Year sees the beginning of a two-year programme leading to Common Entrance or other senior school entrance exams. It will build on the foundation laid over the last three years but much of the work will be new and present a fresh challenge. The approach will be more flexible and inpidual as the topics taught become increasingly complex.
The foundation of the Year 7 course consists of Listening, Performing and Composing. Pupils listen to music from a wide range of styles and historical periods, learning about the instruments, structures and traditions. Performance work is done through classroom instruments such as keyboards, guitars, drum kit, tuned percussion and, of course, singing. Composing projects include: writing a Christmas song and composing keyboard pieces using binary form structures.
Next year, we will be using Music Technology to help with composing, enabling students to store and develop their own ideas during the year.
At this level performance becomes more important, and in addition to vocal training, mime and improvisation, the children study television technique and work on a film with two contrasting dramatic themes. They are shown the importance of team work within theatre and work together in groups on excerpts from plays.
Children begin working towards Common Entrance. The exam is predominantly Christian-based and aims to test their knowledge and understanding of specific Bible stories from the New Testament, which we study in detail. We regularly practise Common Entrance questions during lessons and preps. The relevance of the Bible and Religious beliefs to modern thought and living is an important aspect of the course. We study specific case studies such as Mother Teresa, Jackie Pullinger and the Salvation Army to help children consider the issues raised by the Bible story being studied. Children will begin to write discursive essays to demonstrate their understanding of the issues, using their knowledge of case studies to evidence their thinking. Having an awareness of the wider world is very beneficial - reading the newspaper and watching the News will help children to relate their understanding of the Bible to modern issues with greater confidence.
This year involves lots of interesting and exciting practical work studying various areas of Science such as pressure, energy, light, prisms, chemical reactions and a section of study about how their own body functions.
Information and Communication Technology
I.C.T. lessons in Year 7 have a slightly more academic approach, consolidating skills learnt in previous years, i.e. word processing, spreadsheets, Power Point presentations and the internet.
Arrival and Collection
Staff are present from 8.15 a.m. and pupils should arrive by 8.20 a.m. A register is taken at 8.35 a.m. Year 7 children finish school at 5.30 p.m. unless they attend after school clubs, or you have made arrangements for them to leave earlier.
If your child is to be collected by anyone other than parents a note should be given to their form teacher.
In order to prevent infecting other children, we would ask that parents keep their children at home for at least 48 hours if they have sickness or diarrhoea.
Food and Playtime Snacks
Sweets (including chocolate) and chewing gum are not allowed but fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks are acceptable. The only drinks that should be brought into School are fruit juices and water (no fizzy drinks) and should be in a non-spill, non-glass container. Break time snacks should not be too substantial as this might impair the child’s appetite for lunch!
It is imperative that any snacks brought into school do not contain nuts.
Absence from School
In the case of absence, please ring the office or email your child's Form Teacher with a reason for the absence. It would be appreciated if you could let us know if the disease is infectious. Please try to arrange dental appointments etc., during the holidays. Children cannot be excused from games lessons unless they bring a note from their parents/guardians.
Parents are always very welcome to watch their children playing matches. Fixtures are listed in the School calendar which will be sent to you separately. Home netball and rounders matches are played on site and start between 2.15 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Home cricket fixtures are played at Kibworth Cricket Ground. Market Harborough Rugby Club is the venue for home Rugby matches and soccer matches are played at Aylestone Boys’ Club, South Wigston.
Your attention is drawn to the School uniform list (see below for link). Specific uniform items must be purchased from our uniform provider www.schoolblazer.com. It is essential that the correct uniform is always worn as it helps the child to feel part of the School. All items of clothing and belongings must be clearly named. Sewn on tapes are preferred (schoolblazer provide this service). Please note that trainers should be white.
All games kit should be brought on the first morning of each term.
The School cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage, however caused, to property and personal belongings brought on to School premises by the children. It is therefore the responsibility of parents to make sure that adequate insurance is in force to guard against such loss or damage. It is important that children are instructed to take particular care of any articles of value whilst articles are on school premises. Watches should have a name or number engraved on them. Electronic devices should not be brought to School.
Please note that mobile phones are not permitted in school.
All children should have a copy of the Good News Bible. This will normally be given to new pupils and the price added to parents’ accounts.
Children should look after their bible. If, however, they lose or mistreat it so that the condition becomes unacceptable, a new copy will be given out and will be charged to parents’ accounts.
We hope that you will find us to be friendly and approachable. All queries should initially be addressed to your child’s form teacher before approaching the Headmaster.
A full school report is sent to parents at the end of the autumn and summer terms. There will also be a Parents’ Day to discuss your Child’s progress. You are always welcome to make an appointment to talk to your child’s teachers.
Year 7 children have the opportunity to join a variety of clubs. Further details will be given at the start of term.