Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Students in years 7 to 9 follow a curriculum that includes:

• English
• Mathematics
Students are placed in sets according to their ability based on their Key Stage 2 results and our own testing.
• Science
• Modern foreign languages:
French and/or Spanish
• Physical education
• Computing/ICT
• Technology
Following an initial assessment period, students are placed in groups based on their ability and competency.
In Year 7 most students study two foreign languages. Before the end of the year they select which language to continue with in Year 8 and 9. Students not studying two languages receive targeted support to improve their performance in other subjects.
• Music
• Art
• Humanities: including history, geography and citizenship
• Drama
Students are taught in mixed ability groups. They currently choose to focus on either history or geography in Year 9.

Year 7 - Art

Autumn Term: Beach/Underwater theme

  • Formal elements of observational drawing: line, tone, texture, pattern, shape
  • Developing designs from drawings
  • Colour mixing: Primary, Secondary and Complementary colour schemes
  • Painting a composition
  • Clay sculpture.

Spring Term: Environment

  • Observational drawing: How to draw accurately from real trees/tree photos or landscape photos
  • How to analyse artists work using a variety of methods
  • How to plan own landscape/treescape composition
  • Painting- how to build on colour mixing from Autumn Term
  • How to paint in watercolour.

Summer Term: Collections

  • Mixed Media Art: Challenging existing thinking: developing higher order thinking skills
  • Research Joseph Cornell
  • Investigate ways of making art with unexpected media: found objects, personal ephemera and collage
  • Developing ideas for a personal museum based on self, journey or story.
Year 8 - Art

Autumn Term: Shoes

  • Small and large scale observational drawing from different shoes in a variety of media
  • 3D shoe design based on students choice of fantasy or horror
  • Artist analysis.

Spring Term: Mexican Art : Day of the Dead

  • Analysis of motifs/symbols/festivals from other cultures
  • Development of symbols into own design
  • Single colour block printing, 3D skull drawing developed into 3D design Clay modelling of a Festival Skull.

Summer Term: Pop Art Food

  • Students make drawings from real objects/photos of cakes, sweets etc.
  • Develop work into a design for painting influenced by Wayne Thiebaud
  • Design and make a large scale sweet/lollipop/cake 3D sculpture influenced by Claes Oldenburg
  • Re-visit colour mixing, and use subtle shading to show light/dark and to make objects look solid and 3D.
  • Purpose of images in the real world. Challenging existing thinking: developing higher order thinking skills.
Year 9 - Art

Autumn Term: Musical Instruments/Cubism

  • Small and large scale observational drawing from still life set ups in a variety of media
  • Focus on composition, light and shade and drawing cylindrical objects
  • Analysis of artists work in relation to students own
  • Comparisons between artists work from different times
  • Development of own work based on individual student choice.

Spring Term: Self Image

  • Challenging existing thinking: developing higher order thinking skills
  • Digital photography, Photoshop skills, analysis of pop images, understanding of popular culture, and concepts. Developing own work from these ideas
  • Acrylic painting: shading using paint.

Summer Term: Street Art

  • Analysis of work by Keith Haring and Banksy. Understanding of the development of the movement
  • Own composition work developed from artist study
  • Group work leading on from individual piece.
Year 7 - Computing
  • Visual Basic in Powerpoint
  • PC Basics
  • 2D Game Control and Algorithms (Scratch)
  • Web Awareness (HTML)
  • Modelling in Excel
  • 3D Gaming Kodu (TBC)
Year 8 - Computing
  • PC Basics (extended)
  • Grand Designs (Google Sketchup)
  • Animation Planning & Design (Flash or Fireworks)
  • Code Academy (Introduction to Coding) OR Web Awareness (HTML)
  • Python Magic (TBC)
  • 3D Gaming Kodu
Year 9 - Computing
  • PC Basics (extended) and 2D Game Control/Algorithms
  • Creating Sound/Video with project planning
  • Creating Apps

During KS3, the English department looks to offer a range of lessons in which students skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening are developed and assessed. As a department, we look to broaden the students’ interest in both literature and language through a variety of texts, including novels, plays and poems. In our study of these texts, ranging from plays depicting a modern interpretation of classic literature, to dialect poetry, the students are able to explore the themes and ideas through their own creative writing and dramatic interpretations.

The department offers regular homework tasks to students varying from 15 minute homework tasks to 4-week projects, which can take on a variety of mediums, including film. With literacy being a key focus at this stage, students are also regularly given spellings to learn at home. In English, your child’s own interest in reading will be encouraged and regular reading lessons are a feature of our curriculum.

Year 7 - English and Drama
  • Imaginary Worlds. Responding to various texts in literature, such as Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Descriptive writing using a range of figurative devices to create vivid descriptions.
    • The Novel. Responding to language, themes and character. Using drama to explore character.
      • Say It Again – a study of dialect poetry. Exploringidentity through poetry and writing poetry.
        • Tales of the Unexpected. Exploring how a writer creates tension and suspense through language and form. Employing various devices to create tension in fiction writing.
          • Cocoa Bean – a study of advertising and marketing. Exploring the impact of presentational devices. Creating and presenting a chocolate product in which students explore the use of presentational devices and language to persuade.
Year 8 - English and Drama
  • The Novel. To explore the social, historical and cultural context of a text. Essay writing skills and the close analysis of a short section of the novel, in which students develop reading for meaning and selecting evidence. Creative writing based on the reading of the text. Drama and role play that explore the concept of character or theme.
  • Telling Stories – a study of the spoken word. Examining the conventions of spoken language and how stories are told. Creating transcripts of students’ own anecdotes. Transforming the narrative of one form to another. For example, creating prose from poetry.

  • Frankenstein play. A reading of an adaptation of the popular classic novel by Mary Shelly. Exploring how language shapes character and theme. Development of performance skills and creating character through drama and role play.

  • Writing to argue: Should the monster be allowed to stay in the village?
  • Crime: an exploration of the crime genre. Study of a Sherlock Holmes story, The Speckled Band. Creative writing that demonstrates skills in writing to build tension and create specific characters, such as villains.
  • Love. The study of poetic form. A comparison essay exploring the similarities and differences between two poems.
  • Writing to advise: a leaflet that provides tips on how to have the perfect date.
  • Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.Exploring language, character and performance.
  • Fame. Exploring the presentational devices used on magazine covers. Creating a pop band that is then represented and promoted through various mediums, such as email and a television interview.
Year 9 - English and Drama
  • Dickens’ London. Reading of extracts from Oliver Twist. Responding to the ways that Dickens creates pace and fear through language. A piece of first person writing from Oliver’s perspective. Group drama, depicting a key scene from the text.
  • The Apprentice. Developing an invention and promoting it through various mediums, including a group presentation.
  • Letter writing: developing skills in writing specifically to suit purpose and audience. Persuasive speeches that employ a range of persuasive devices to influence an audience.
  • Shakespeare’s The Tempest. A study of language and performance, exploring how Shakespeare uses language to shape character and create effect. Analysis of the character of Caliban. Group performances demonstrating a student’s ability to adapt content to suit audience. Writing a missing scene to the play, employing the conventions of script writing.
  • Heroes – a novella. Presentation on heroes and role models in society. Persuasive writing that explores the protagonist’s character and his desire to seek revenge. GCSE-style exam, practising skills in language analysis.
  • Utopia/ Dystopia. The reading of fiction from the sci-fi genre. Story writing. Reading analysis. A parody drama that emulates well-known sci-fi films or stories.

Following the decision to change our Key Stage 4 curriculum to the iGCSE, our current schemes of work are under revision.

Year 7 - Geography

In Year 7 students cover humanities through the Opening Minds course.

Year 8 - Geography

In Year 8 students study Geography as an individual subject focussing on developing skills such as Knowledge and Understanding, Interpretation and Analysis of data and results, Research and Enquiry, Applying Information and Problem Solving.The content of the course is made up of the following units:

  • Being a European citizen and exploring Italy.
  • Changing landscapes - Looking at our local coastline and the processes that affect us, which incorporates the Newhaven trip.
  • Weather and climate - Looking at a local to global scale of how the planet's climate and weather is different and what makes our weather unique.
Year 9 - Geography

Students continue to build on the key skills which will prepare them for GCSE Geography. The content of the course in Year 9 is made up of these units:

  • A restless planet - Investigating natural hazards.
  • Poverty and Development - An unequal world.
  • Tourism and Globalisation - Incorporating a trip to our local tourist resort, Brighton.
Year 7 - History
  • The Norman Conquest
  • Life in medieval England
  • The Tudors and Stuarts
Year 8 - History
  • Slavery
  • A study of 20th century History – WWI and WWII, Holocaust
Year 9 - History
  • Medicine through time 1250 – present
  • Medieval medicine 1250 – 1500
  • Renaissance medicine 1500 – 1700
  • 18th & 19th century medicine
  • Modern medicine
  • A study of battlefield medicine

The KS3 Mathematics curriculum consists of four key concepts; competency, creativity, applications and the implications of Mathematics and critical understanding. These are all embedded within the 3 main topic genres; Number & Algebra, Geometry & Measures and Statistics. Whilst exploring these genres, students will become fluent and adept with the four mathematical processes; representing, analysing, interpreting and evaluating and communicating and reflecting. Students’ understanding and progression in these areas will be assessed through extended investigations, problem solving tasks and formal assessments every term.

Years 7, 8 and 9 will all follow aspects of the course appropriate for their level. National Curriculum levels range from levels 1 to 8. The national average for the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 9) is level 5.

Year 7 - Mathematics

Levels 3-6 (Level 2 and 7 in exceptional circumstances)

  • Place Value and Integers
  • Perimeter & Area
  • Sequences and Linear Functions
  • Fractions, Decimals & Percentages
  • Probability
  • Equations and Formulae
  • Coordinates and Geometrical Reasoning
  • Data Handling Cycle
  • Calculations & Calculator Methods
  • Squares, Cubes & Roots
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Transformations
  • Lines, Angles & Shapes
Year 8 - Mathematics:

Levels 4-7 (Level 3 and 8 in exceptional circumstances)

  • Fractions, Decimals & Percentages
  • Probability
  • Integers, Powers & Roots
  • Constructions
  • Equations and Formulae
  • Mensuration
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Data Handling
  • Sequences, Functions & Graphs
  • Transformations
  • Integers & Calculations
  • Measures
  • Geometrical Reasoning
Year 9 - Mathematics:

Levels 4-8 (Level 3 in exceptional circumstances)

  • Data Handling
  • Sequences, Functions & Polynomial graphs
  • Proportional Reasoning
  • Equations, Formulae & Identities
  • Geometrical Reasoning (including Pythagoras’ Theorem)
  • Calculations using Fractions, Decimals & Percentages
  • Probability
  • Mensuration(including circles)
  • Sequences & Graphs from Real-life Situations
  • Transformations
  • Maths in Context
Year 7 - Modern Foreign Languages

Give information about yourself

  • Describing yourself and your family and pets
  • School
  • Weather
  • Free time and hobbies
  • Saying where you live
  • Rooms in the house
Year 8 - Modern Foreign Languages

Paris/ Berlin/ Barcelona and aspects of French/ German/ Spanish life

  • Describing a town and what you would like to visit
  • Going out, finding your way
  • Tourist attractions in Paris/ Berlin/ Barcelona
  • Food and eating out
  • Using the Perfect tense
  • Planning your trip
  • Transport and reasons for choice
  • Where to stay
  • Shopping
Year 9 - Modern Foreign Languages

Media and the world of work

  • Future plans
  • Planning your holiday
  • Holiday activities
  • At a hotel / campsite (Hotel receptionist)
  • Describing your holiday in the past (Holiday show presenter)
  • Clothes (fashion designer)
  • Health and fitness (football coach)
  • TV/ film (critic)

The Music Department at Oakmeeds understands that music is a unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.

The schemes of work at KS3 encourage active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and ensemble, helping to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness. Music learning develops students’ critical skills: their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgements about musical quality. It also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.

The curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop individual performance skills, both vocal and instrumental, including the use of music technology. It develops listening and aural perception skills in practical activities, including composing and performing.

In addition to the timetabled curriculum lessons pupils are actively encouraged to join one of the many extra-curricular groups available at the college or to make full use of the well-equipped rehearsal rooms.

Year 7 - Music
  • Unit 1: Introduction to Music at Oakmeeds
  • Unit 2: The Elements of Music
  • Unit 3: The Pentatonic Scale
  • Unit 4: Rhythmic Notation
  • Unit 5: Party Piece
  • Unit 6: Popstars
Year 8 - Music
  • Unit 1: Party Piece
  • Unit 2: Techno
  • Unit 3: Music of India
  • Unit 4: The Remix
  • Unit 5: Introduction to Chords
  • Unit 6: Popstars
Year 9 - Music
  • Unit 1: Party Piece
  • Unit 2: Music for Film
  • Unit 3: The Blues
  • Unit 4: Let it Be
  • Unit 5: Popstars Showcase
Year 7 - Physical Education

Students are in mixed ability groups and participate in a broad range of activities: Athletics, Basketball, Cross Country, Cricket, Dance, Fitness, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rugby and Tennis.

There is a focus on knowledge and understanding.

Year 8 - Physical Education

Students are set in ability groups and participate in a broad range of activities: Athletics, Basketball, Cross Country, Cricket, Dance, Fitness, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rugby and Tennis.

There is a focus on acquiring skills.

Year 9 - Physical Education

Students are set in ability groups and participate in a broad range of activities: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cross Country, Cricket, Dance, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rugby, Table Tennis and Tennis.

There is a focus on developing skills and game play.

Year 7 - Religious Education

Religious Education (RE) is taught through a number of modules in Opening Minds.

Year 8 - Religious Education

RE is taught as a separate subject. The topics covered are:

  • Introduction to RE
  • Emotionally Intelligent RE
  • Sikhism
  • Asian Religions
  • Christianity.
Year 9 - Religious Education

Topics covered are:

  • Truth
  • Buddhism
  • The life of Gandhi
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Who moved the Body? An investigation into the claims Jesus came back from the dead.

During KS3 students follow a course that consists of a series of topics, each one of which is based on a Biology, Chemistry or Physics theme. There is an assessment at the end of each topic to provide evidence of student progress and to indicate any areas that may need further intervention. This intervention work is part of each student’s regular homework in Science.

Students also complete an extended practical each term that is designed to help them improve the skills required for scientific investigations. These are assessed formatively so that students will learn how to progress with these throughout KS3. The skills developed will support future controlled assessment at GCSE level.

Year 7 - Science

Autumn Term topics

  • Cells
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Energy resources
  • Year 7 Autumn Term investigation

Spring Term topics

  • Reproduction
  • Chemical reactions
  • Electrical circuits
  • Year 7 Spring Term investigation

Summer Term topics

  • Ecology and classification
  • States of matter
  • Forces and their effects
  • Yea 7 Summer Term investigation
Year 8 - Science

Autumn Term topics

  • Food and digestion
  • Water
  • Heat transfers
  • Year 8 Autumn Term investigation

Spring Term topics

  • Respiration
  • Elements and compounds
  • Forces and magnetism
  • Year 8 Spring Term investigation

Summer Term topics

  • Microbes and disease
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Light and Sound
  • Year 8 Summer Term investigation
Year 9

Autumn Term topics

  • Inheritance and selection
  • Metals and metal compounds
  • Energy and electricity
  • Year 9 Autumn Term investigation

Spring Term topics

  • Fit and healthy
  • Patterns of reactivity
  • Gravity and space
  • Year 9 Spring Term investigation

In the summer term of Year 9 students revise for and complete a final end of KS3 assessment. After this they begin studying their GCSE courses in Science.


A carousel system operates in Design & Technology KS3, with students rotating around the various subjects within the Department. These subjects are Resistant Materials, Graphics, Food Technology and Textiles, and the projects covered in each subject, in each year are as follows:

Resistant Materials:

  • Year 7 - Wooden Animals / Keyring Design / Structures and Forces Project
  • Year 8 - Jewellery Design / MP3 Speaker Project
  • Year 9 - Trophy Project / Container Project


  • Year 7 - Recycling Project
  • Year 8 - Perfume Packaging
  • Year 9 - Festival Poster Design

Food Technology:

  • Year 7 - Muffins
  • Year 8 - Pizza
  • Year 9 - Healthy Food


  • Year 7 - 'Oddbods' Childrens Toy Project
  • Year 8 - Cushion Cover / Magic Lanterns
  • Year 9 - Fleece Hats