top of page

Year 8 & 9 Curriculum 

In many areas of the curriculum, students will begin studying the GCSE curriculum in Years 8 & 9. If they then chose this subject as a GCSE option in Years 10 & 11 they go into greater depth, in line with the GCSE specification. The exception to this is Maths where numeracy skills are built up over the years.
Studying towards their GCSE’s from Year 8 allows students more time to explore areas of interest. In keeping with the school ethos of giving students responsibility over their learning, it also enables them to see the curriculum coverage expectations for obtaining each GCSE so they can plan their study schedules to meet this requirement.

The curriculum ouline below serves as a guide. An emphasis is placed on skill development and key learning principles in these years rather than simply content knowledge. Not all students will cover all of the outlined curriculum in Years 8 and 9 and some will explore topics to a greater depth. Others may start exploring the topic from a different angle and bring new content to the group. Studies in Year 8 and 9 aim to provide students with a broad and balanced curriculum, as well as a solid foundation for those wishing to then take the subject at GCSE. These academic studies are supplemented with the real life learning experiences provided in the farm work and student enterprise. Through those two important avenues a cross curricular and practical application to learning is developed.

Students in Year 8 and 9 must all attend lessons in the subjects of: Maths, English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Ethics, PE and Business studies. (Exceptions may be made where it is deemed a student would struggle to manage the volume of work).
Students are also encouraged to take part in lessons for: Art & design and Drama, but these lessons are not compulsory. Music and Spanish lessons are optional.


Topics of study include:  

Cells and movement across membranes
Respiration and the respiratory system in

Plants and photosynthesis
Circulatory system in humans
(Kidneys and homeostasis)

Ecosystems, nutrient cycles and human impact on
the environment
Digestion and the digestive system in humans

Classification and biodiversity
Variation and evolution
Micro-organisms and their applications

Cell division and stem cells
DNA and inheritance
Kidneys and homeostasis

Response and regulation
Disease, defence and treatment


Topics of study include:  


Electric circuits
Generating electricity
Making use of energy

Domestic electricity
Features of waves
The total internal reflection of waves

Seismic waves
Kinetic theory

Distance, speed and acceleration
Newton's laws
Work and energy

Further motion concepts
Stars and planets
The Universe

Types of radiation
Nuclear decay and nuclear energy


Topics of study include:  

The nature of substances and chemical
Atomic structure and the Periodic Table
The ever-changing Earth

Rate of chemical change

Bonding, structure and properties
Acids, bases and salts

Metals and their extraction
Chemical reactions and energy

Crude oil, fuels and organic chemistry
Reversible reactions, industrial processes and
important chemicals


Please ask for details of topics


Topics may vary depending on the needs of the group. Themes are explored giving views of the main world religions as well as non-religious
beliefs. Below is an example outline:


Peace and War
Reasons for war
Protests- peaceful & violent
Arms trade and gun laws

Life and Death
The World
The origin and value of human life
Beliefs about death and the afterlife

Drugs and Alcohol
Steroids and performance enhancing drugs
Addiction & Alcoholism
Legalisation of drugs / prohibition

Human Rights
Human Rights and Social Justice
Prejudice and discrimination
Issues of wealth and poverty

Good and Evil
Crime and punishment
Good, evil and suffering

Issues of equality: gender prejudice and


Topics of study include:  

Global history:
A timeline of history across the world

History with a European / world focus:
Changes in South Africa, 1948-1994

Thematic studies from a broad historical
● Changes in Crime and Punishment, c.1500
to the present day
● Changes in Health and Medicine, c.1340
to the present day
● The Development of Warfare, c.1250 to
the present day
● Changes in Patterns of Migration, c.1500
to the present day

Austerity, Affluence and Discontent,


Topics of study include:  

Landscapes and Physical Processes

Distinctive landscapes in Wales
Landform process and change in two
different and distinctive landscapes of
Wales or the wider UK
Drainage basins of Wales and the UK

Rural-Urban Links
The urban-rural continuum in Wales
Population and urban change in the UK
Urban issues in contrasting global cities

Tectonic Landscapes and Hazards
Tectonic processes and landforms
Vulnerability and hazard reduction

Coastal Hazards and their Management
Vulnerable coastlines
Managing coastal hazards

Weather, Climate and Ecosystems
Climate change during the Quaternary
Weather patterns and process
Processes and interactions within
Human activity and ecosystem processes

Development and Resource Issues
Measuring global inequalities
Water resources and their management
Regional economic development

Social Development Issues
Measuring social development
Contemporary issues

Environmental Challenges
Consumerism and its impact on the environment
Management of ecosystems


Topics of study include:  



Description, Narration and Exposition

Argumentation, Persuasion and Instructional

Reading Continuous and non-continuous texts:
Analysis of writer's technique and

Multiple choice questions, summary and editing

Synthesis and comparison

Oracy skills

Studying a variety of literature texts

Business Studies

In year 8 and 9 topics studied will vary depending on the business needs of the student enterprise. The topics below therefore are provided as a guide only:

Business activity
The nature of business activity

Business planning
Business aims and objectives

Business enterprise

Revenue, costs and profit

Providing goods and services

Influences on business and marketing

Identifying and understanding customers
Market research


Ethical influences on business activity
Environmental influences on business activity

Sources of finance

Revenue and costs

Cash flow

Profit and loss accounts (income statements)
Financial performance
The interdependent nature of business

bottom of page