Year 8 Teaching and School Life
Year 8 offers many opportunities for girls and boys. It is the culmination of their career at Stoneygate and during this year they can achieve success academically, represent the School in various teams, and develop their particular skills in extra-curricular activities.
Children are expected to show themselves responsible and considerate to others. Recognition of these qualities is demonstrated in the awarding of prefects’ ties.
This is an important year during which children can learn to become more self-reliant and to organise themselves and their work in such a way that they will be able to make an easy transition into their G.C.S.E. studies in Year 9.
During Year 8, some children choose to sit entrance examinations to a wide range of senior independent schools. Stoneygate has an outstanding record of success in preparing pupils for these tests.
The following notes give a brief insight into the subjects taught in Year 8.
Art and Design
The projects undertaken by Year 8 pupils are designed to help them think more critically and to develop a deeper understanding of the subject.
Drawing continues to be the foundation for much of the work and specific projects looking at Perspective and Tone are designed to aid knowledge and develop confidence in their ability. The study of relevant Artist, Designers and Art movements continues to inform and add background to the pupil’s artwork.
There are further opportunities for the pupils to explore a wide variety of 2-d and 3-d materials, learn new processes and to develop their skills effectively and with confidence. Pupils have the opportunity to develop their own particular techniques and specialities and they are able to take their ideas in a very personal direction.
We have high expectations and all pupils are able to achieve a good standard whatever their ability.
The children are working towards their Common Entrance examination in June. This consists of two papers which test such skills as comprehension, literary awareness and creative writing. There is practice in writing in different styles and great emphasis is placed upon accuracy in spelling and punctuation. The children are encouraged to read a wide range of fictional and non-fictional material and to develop their own private reading.
This is a year of revision. Past C.E. questions are studied regularly. All four areas of the exam, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing receive equal consideration.
Expectations are high and many resources are used.
The aim is to give a general introduction to the language. This is pursued with the academic rigour that learning a modern foreign language necessitates. A contemporary course book is used, together with recordings of different native speakers.
In their final year the children study the new topics of weather and climate, environmental damage and conservation. The remaining time is devoted to revision of the key topics covered in previous years, looking towards their C.E. examination in June.
In Year 8, pupils will continue their studies within the Tudor period assessing religious change and the impact of the English reformation culminating in an in-depth case study on Elizabeth I’s religious settlement of 1559 and the Spanish Armada. We will then explore the union of England and Scotland under the Stuarts and will explore the controversy of the execution of Charles I in the aftermath of the English civil war. Students will then develop their knowledge of medieval life to assess thematic change in the daily life of the Stuart era including events such as the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague. In Trinity term pupils will look at Britain within the wider world in a breadth study surrounding the building of Empire and the history of the slave trade. Pupils will look at the life of slaves in America, followed by a local case study on slavery in Leicester, based on records from the local archive centre in Wigston.
Information and Communication Technology
I.C.T. lessons in Year 8 continue to build upon skills learned previously, and aim to equip pupils with a good knowledge of computer skills, which they are likely to need at their next schools.
Topics covered include further work on databases, spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, graphs and graphics.
In Year 8 children complete the C.E. syllabus which includes further grammar and syntax. Syntax already covered is reinforced and Common Entrance papers are practised. The exam has three levels of increasing difficulty. Each child is entered for the Level best suited to his or her ability.
Much of the work in Year 8 is revision and extension of areas studied previously. However there are also new and demanding topics, which will challenge the pupils. In the Autumn term, those youngsters taking a senior school entrance examination in January/February or Scholarships, will be thoroughly prepared.
The Common Entrance examination, taken in June, comprises of a non-calculator paper and a calculator paper. There is a choice between levels of difficulty, so each pupil will sit either Level 1, 2 or 3, depending on his/her ability. There is also a Mental Test.
Students use keyboards, voices, classroom instruments and their own instruments to create performances and compositions. Topics include Music and Media, Song writing and using Music Technology to write a layered composition using loops.
Students perform as a class and individually for a live audience where possible. They study music from many eras and countries and continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of music in an enjoyable and stimulating way.
In addition to vocal work and mime and improvisation, the children work on a Shakespeare play and act out scenes from plays by modern playwrights. They are also trained in Reading for Performance. Where possible visits to London's West End and local theatres are arranged.
After school drama clubs take place at School.
Games and Physical Education
P.E. and Games in the Year 8 follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 in the following areas of study: Games, Gymnastics, Dance, Swimming and Athletics. Nearly all boys and girls in this year are able to take part in fixtures against other schools as a member of a first, second or even a third team, in all major sports. Games training concentrates on the development of individual skills, but increasing emphasis is placed on team tactics involving attack and defence. The Year 8 pupils have 2 afternoons of games per week. Groups for these are dependent on age and ability. Those not involved in team squads take part in a selection of activities on a rotational basis.
Colours are awarded to team players who represent the School over a number of matches and 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.
In Year 8 children build on the foundations laid in Year 7. They continue to study set passages – we study the Old Testament during this year and we continue to practise Common Entrance questions. Children will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of work covered in this year, and that covered in Year 7. The children will produce a project about an aspect of one of the major World Religions. They spend two mornings here at school in the ICT room when they research and write their project. It is an important piece of work as it counts 30% towards their Common Entrance mark. Further details of the Common Entrance curriculum can be found on the ISEB website.
Further study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics involves theory and plenty of practical work. Topics this year include work on the environment, energy, space, chemical reactions and scientific investigation.
Work continues as in year 6 but at a much more advanced level. The children are given timed test papers, and are expected to show the thinking behind their written answers.They are encouraged to discuss their answers and reasons for these with other children within the class.
Arrival and Collection
Staff are present from 8.15 a.m. and pupils should arrive no later than 8.25 a.m. The register is taken at 8.35 a.m. Year 8 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. A note should also be brought if a child wishes to leave School early.
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. It is imperative that any snacks brought into school do not contain nuts. 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. Breaktime snacks should not be too substantial as this might impair the child’s appetite for lunch!
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.
A School uniform list is attached below. 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, and any books that have been taken home for the holidays.
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 now banned throughout the 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 them so that the condition becomes unacceptable, new copies 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.
Parents are encouraged to take an interest in their child’s work and progress and to bring any concerns to the attention of the form teacher. You are always welcome to make an appointment to talk to your child’s teachers. A full School report is sent to parents at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms. There is also a Parents’ Day during the year.
The children have the opportunity to join a variety of clubs. These are entirely optional. Some clubs are free and for others an additional charge is made. Further details will be given at the start of term.