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Key Stage 3

Art & Design

At KS3 student’s experiences a wide range of activities that develop skills in the Formal Elements of Art which are built into all projects. Students will study a range of artists, designers and craftspeople from across the world and a range of eras. They will explore a variety of  different media, techniques and processes throughout the two years in 2D and 3D materials .Students are encouraged through experimentation, research, and practice to respond to a variety of media and skills including:-

  • Drawing -pencil, pen, charcoal, chalk, pastel, crayon.
  • Painting and Collage - powder, watercolour, poster, mixed media.
  • Printmaking - mono, lino, wood, impress, reduction.
  • 3D Studies - ceramics, model making, sculpture, construction.
  • Creative Textile Design – decorative, fashion skills and fabric dyeing
  • Critical Appraisal - including self-appraisal and historical studies in context with units of work set.
  • Computer-Aided Art & Design - Use of a computer to research, develop units of work.
Design Technology

Year 7

The modules of work in cooking and nutrition and product design allows students to learn basic design techniques and manufacturing skills, including researching and exploring ideas, recording their decisions both graphically and in a written form, as well as planning their making stages.

Students are also introduced to a range of basic tools and processes in order to make final products.

Evaluation skills are taught throughout the modules.

At the end of the year, all students should be familiar with the design and make process and health and safety considerations so that they are able to complete projects.

Progress made is assessed using the projects submitted at the end of each model.

Year 8

The design and Technology curriculum allows students to develop ideas in relation to a set breif and move on through the planning and making stages to create a final product.

They will do this in food with a brief on the healthy feeding of an athlete, studying the eat well guide, with a multi-cultural slant.

In product design the briefs will be on plastics and designer movements of the 20th Century.

Students will also have experience of the use of a computer to aid designing.

Progress made is assessed using the projects submitted at the end of each model.

Drama

Year 7

Students in year 7 will study many different and exciting units of work in their first year of Drama lessons. Each unit is designed to build key drama skills and allow students to explore different types of theatre whilst building their confidence and creativity. Within the first year students will build the two key skills needed for creating theatre: working with script and devising their own theatre. Units are as follows:

Autumn 1 - Introduction to Drama

Creating Drama, teamwork and imagination, proxemics, voice, body language, gesture.

Autumn 2 - Pantomime

Comedy, characterisation, voice and body language.
Pantomime Performance & self-evaluation.

Spring 1 - Evacuee

Empathy, use of stimuli, devising, basic drama strategies.
Devised performance based on stimuli & self-evaluation.

Spring 2 - Macbeth

Introduction to script, introduction to Shakespeare, blocking, directing, delivering lines.
Scripted performance of one scene from a choice of three & self-evaluation.

Summer 1 - Terrible Fate

Anti-Bullying, team work, empathy, analysing script, consequences and role play.
Devised performances from a scripted stimulus & self-evaluation.

Summer 2 - Stage Combat

Correct physical technique for moves, directing, health and safety, proxemics, plot and structure of scene.
Devised choreography of own fight sequence relevant to storyline of scene & self-evaluation.

Year 8

Students in year 8 will study many advanced and intriguing units of work designed to build upon the key drama skills gained in year 7, and allow students to explore different types of theatre whilst building their confidence and creativity. Within this second year of Drama students will start to be stretched and challenged to get them ready for the GCSE years ahead, the skills learned in Drama can also be very useful in many other subjects. Skills such as teamwork, creativity, time management and public speaking will be invaluable in later academic and personal life. Units are as follows:

Autumn 1 - Introduction to Drama Strategies

Narration, still image, cross-cutting, thought track, marking moment.
Devised scenario based performance & self-evaluation.

Autumn 2 - Mask and Mime

Movement, gesture, mime, mask performance skills, proxemics, comedy.
Devised masked performance from 3 title choices & self-evaluation.

Spring 1 - Story Telling – Sparkle Shark

Intermediate script skills, storytelling basics, voice, projections, audience address, imagination, team work.
Scripted & devised extract/creation & self-evaluation.

Spring 2 - Titanic

Intermediate stimuli skills; empathy; social, cultural, historical, political research skills; drama strategies.
Devised mini drama’s based on stimuli & self-evaluation.

Summer 1 - Warden X

Improvisation skills, confidence, imagination, team work, problem solving
Continuous assessment of in lesson skills & student evaluation

Extra Curricular

There are many exciting opportunities for involvement in extra activities for students including lunch time clubs, school production and many concert/performing arts evenings throughout the year. These activities are an excellent way for students to get involved in the school community, make friends and improve their theatre skills.

English

A wide range of texts are studied at KS3 to ensure students are provided with a broad and challenging English curriculum.

Prose, plays and poetry are all studied across the key stage with text including pre-1900 works such as Sherlock Holmes and A Christmas Carol in addition to more modern material.

Students complete two formal pieces of work per unit.

Year 7

The English course includes work on different forms of reading and writing. These forms include information, explanation, description, narrative and persuasive texts.

Spoke language activities are carried out in a range of contexts: paired work, group discussion and individual presentation.

Formal assessment is by assignments within each unit of work.

There is a focus on all aspects of literacy and spelling tests are regularly set. In addition, all students take part in the Accelerated Reader Scheme.

Modules in year 7 include: A Christmas Carol and an introduction to Shakespeare.

Year 8

The English course includes work on a range of different forms of reading and writing. These forms include information, explanation, description, narrative and persuasive texts.

Spoke language activities are carried out in a range of contexts: paired work, group discussion and individual presentation.

Formal assessment is by assignments within each unit of work.

There is a focus on all aspects of literacy and spelling tests are regularly set. In addition, all students take part in the Accelerated Reader Scheme.

Modules in year 8 include: creative writing based on the film Up, a detective unit based on two Sherlock Holmes tales by Arthur Conan Doyle and Poetry.

French

Year 7

In year 7 students are taught to understand, speak and write their foreign language over a range of everyday topics. They are encouraged to find out about the people and culture of the countries whose language they are studying. Students learn some grammar, such as important present tense verbs.

Assessment in each of the 4 language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) takes place once each term. Students also have vocabulary tests.

Students learn to talk and write about themselves, their friends and their family, where they live, the time, school, describing their area, daily routine and snacks.

Year 8

In year 8 students continue to use a range of everyday topics to practise understanding speaking and writing their first foreign language. They are encouraged to find out about the people and culture of the countries whose language they are studying.

Assessment in each of the 4 language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) takes place once each term. Students also have vocabulary tests.

Students study leisure activities, the weather, holidays, food and shopping and buying clothing.

In grammatical terms they cover the present, past (perfect and imperfect) tenses as well as the future tense (ALLER with the infinitives)

Geography

Year 7

The units of study include case studies from all around the World looking at issues associated with the population within human geography, also physical geography including rivers and flooding.

Investigations include:

  • The one child policy in China
  • Formation of river landforms
  • The effects of flooding on people and the environment

Year 8

The units of study are based on current events as well as weather and climate, global warming and medical geography.

Investigations include:

  • Global warming and our World
  • What factors effect micro-climates?
  • How can AIDS effect development?
History

Year 7

The history course in year 7 covers the Medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods and also looks at the history of migration in to the United Kingdom.

The students are taught how to develop their historical skills such as chronology, use of evidence and historical interpretation.

Students are encouraged to develop their investigative skills and to use a wide range of historical terminology in their writing.

The students are assessed through regular marking of exercise books and a series of assessments.

Year 8

During year 8 students study Britain from 1750 - 1900 through the themes of ordinary lives and empires.

The students also study the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Finally the students study important events, people and changes across the twentieth century including World War II, the Holocaust, the Cold War and their impact on Britain, Europe and the wider world.

The students are assessed through regular marking of exercise books and a series of assessments.

ICT

Year 7

The students complete a series of units of work which cover; e-safety, computer theory, models and modelling and object-orientated programming.

The students work is continually assessed through informed observations, verbal questioning and some unit tests on special activities designed to judge progress.

Year 8

The students complete a series of units of work which cover web site design, understanding how the internet works, programming, data handling and theory.

The students work is continually assessed through informed observations, verbal questioning and some unit tests on special activities designed to judge progress.

Mathematics

Key Stage 3 Mathematics is studied across Years 7, 8 and 9. We introduce Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Mathematics during the Summer term of Year 9.

Students are initially set according to their results at Key Stage 2 and continue to be assessed throughout Key Stage 3.

For more information please see:
www.kangaroomaths.com/kenny3.php?page=KassessKS3

Key Stage 3 is taught using a wide variety of resources and methods, with a strong emphasis on problem solving. Topics are often combined in order to help students gain a deeper understanding of Mathematics. At Townsend, the online tutorial system MyMaths is used for homework and revision purposes.
www.mymaths.co.uk/

Year 7

In year 7 students consolidate and develop their use of number skills, measurement, algebra, shape and space. They learn ways in which data is gathered and presented. They try to develop their problem solving skills. Students are assessed regularly followed by an end of year examination in the summer term.

Year 8

In year 8 students continue to expand and enhance their knowledge of number skills, measurement, algebra and shape and space. They begin to explore more complicated geometrical figures and associated properties. Students are assessed regularly followed by an end of year examination in the summer term.

Music

At Townsend we believe Music is something that should be accessible for all, and accordingly the Key Stage 3 curriculum provides students with the skills necessary for participation in music throughout their lives, as well as preparing students for further study in Music and Music Technology. Learning is largely practical, with students experiencing a range of instruments and computer software and, where possible, there is an emphasis on group work and independent working.

The course comprises a series of Units that are linked to the revised National Curriculum Programme of Study in Music. Each has a practical outcome, encouraging students to develop their performing and composing skills through a study of specific musical techniques, genres or traditions. Homework tasks are set to support the practical work done in lessons, with students expected to research and evaluate.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Year 7

In the first year at Townsend, students acquire the skills of performance, composition and analysis required for a study of music. Students sing and play a range of instruments including drums, percussion, guitar and keyboards, and learn how to use computers to create, record and edit sounds. Pair and group work is encouraged, with students acquiring the skills needed to work collaboratively and independently. Students develop these skills through exploration of a variety of music from different traditions, including Western classical and popular music, and music from Africa and the Caribbean.

Unit 1 - Keyboard Skills

Students learn to play and compose melodies using keyboard, exploring how music can be written down and how to keep in time with drum beats and other students

Unit 2 - The Elements of Music

Working in groups of varying sizes, students learn to control the elements of music in a series of composition tasks, concluding with an extended composition task where the elements are combined to create a piece titled “The Zoo”

Unit 3 - Ostinato

Students explore how repeating patterns can be used in music, composing pieces that combine rhythmic and melodic ostinatos with improvisations using the pentatonic scale

Unit 4 - Riffs, Loops and Sequencing

Students learn how riffs, loops and beats are used in popular music and create pieces of music using Garage Band software to combine several different parts in a collage structure

Unit 5 - Music of the Caribbean

Students learn how to perform and compose using chord sequences, through performance and composition tasks that explore Caribbean genres such as Calypso and Reggae

Unit 6 - African Drumming

Students use djembe drums and other percussion instruments to create group pieces inspired by the culture and musical conventions of traditional West African music.

Year 8

In Year 8 there is a greater focus on group work, with students learning about the roles taken by different performers in a variety of ensembles. Students continue to develop their practical skills through study of genres including Blues, Jazz and Latin American music, and start to apply these skills independently in order to work towards specific briefs, such as composing for film, computer games or adverts.

The second half of Year 8 is based on the principles of the national Musical Futures project, with students working in groups to perform, remix and compose music of their own choosing. This style of learning aims to give students an

experience of music that is as close as possible to the experience of working in the music industry, with access to the department’s full range of instruments and computer software on which to complete their work.

Unit 1 - Blues and Jazz

Students build on previous work using chords and improvisations to perform and compose pieces inspired by early 20th Century American popular music genres such as Blues and Jazz

Unit 2 - World Rhythms (Samba/Stomp)

Working in groups, students create two percussion compositions, the first using Samba instruments and the second, inspired by the show “Stomp” using everyday objects and sounds

Unit 3 - Film Music

Students use elements of music to compose music that depicts moods, places and characters, combining these skills to create a composition suitable for use in film, TV or computer games

Unit 4 - Popular Music

The first Musical Futures Unit - students work in groups of their own choosing to learn the song of their own choice, in the process exploring popular music conventions

Unit 5 - Dance Remix

Students select a pre-existing track and either sample or sequence this, using this as the basis for a remix, in the process exploring stylistic and technical conventions of Dance Music (EDM)

Unit 6 - Song Writing

In the final Unit students work independently to compose and perform a song, drawing on all the varied skills they have learnt in the last two years

Extra Curricular Music

In the Music Department we are fortunate to have a large and well-resourced Music department, recently opened in Autumn 2015:

  • 13 classrooms, ranging in size from smaller practice rooms to large performance spaces
  • Suite of 16 iMac computers with linked MIDI keyboards and Sibelius, Logic and Garage Band software
  • Full sets of keyboards, guitars, ukuleles and percussion instruments for use in classroom lessons
  • Eight drum kits
  • 25-piece Samba kit
  • A wide selection of orchestral instruments
  • Professional quality PA System, microphones and amplifiers
  • Digital DJ Deck

Students have access to this equipment in their weekly classroom lessons, and are also able to use the Music department for private practice/rehearsal at break and lunch times.

For specific projects other instruments and equipment can be loaned from Herts Music, recently this has included African djembes and Japanese Taiko drums

At Townsend we benefit from a unique partnership with Hertfordshire Music, who run the St Albans Music School on our site. This gives students access to a vast range of instruments, rooms, resources and first-rate instrumental teachers, with whom students are encouraged to take lessons (these are fully funded for GCSE and Pupil Premium students).

Instrumental lessons

Currently, students are able to learn any of the following instruments. If there is an instrument you would like to learn that is not on this list, let us know and we can make enquiries.

  • Strings – violin, viola, cello, double bass
  • Woodwind – oboe, flute, clarinet, recorder, saxophone, bassoon
  • Brass – trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn
  • Guitar – electric, acoustic, bass guitar, ukulele
  • Voice
  • Piano/keyboard
  • Drum kit/percussion

Funding of lessons

Individual lessons cost £148.50 a term for a 20 minute weekly lesson, or £220 for a 30 minute lesson. This entitles students to 11 lessons each term (or 33 annually). Where there is financial hardship Hertfordshire Music are able to subsidise the cost of these lessons (see attached). GCSE Music students receive lessons free of charge.

Purchase/loan of instruments

Many students choose to purchase their own instruments. The school is happy to give advice to parents on buying or hiring instruments. If this is not practical, some learners will be able to borrow an instrument from Hertfordshire Music. In some circumstances it is possible for students to borrow instruments from Townsend.

Reimbursement of fees

If you receive Pupil Premium funding you may be eligible to have your fees subsidised. If you feel this would apply to you please contact Herts music or speak to Mr Phelps.

Extra-curricular opportunities

Students at Townsend are able to take part in the following activities

  • Lunchtime clubs and activities: Harmonix vocal group, string group, school band and percussion group.
  • There are four services a year in St Albans Cathedral; Harmonix performs at these events
  • Termly school concerts
  • Bi-annual performance at Alban Arena (the next one is in Spring 2018)
  • Annual School Musical - the next one is scheduled for Summer 2018

The department is still expanding following the refurbishment, and future projects may include rock/pop concerts, performances at a range of other venues, and foreign tours

We also offer students the opportunity to form their own ensembles, and the department is popular at break and lunchtimes with students wanting to rehearse, record or use our Music Technology suite.

As a Church of England school we are closely linked with St Albans Abbey, and the Music department plays a large part in the school’s worship, with the choir leading the four services in the cathedral each year. The Music department is also heavily involved with the school’s biannual performance event at the Alban Arena.

We also collaborate with other departments in the school – particularly with Drama, with whom we put on fully-staged school musicals, giving students the opportunity to sing, act and dance on stage. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed in March 2017 and was a huge success.

We also are in the process of establishing links with other schools and with local music venues and societies, so we expect to be able to offer students and ensembles the opportunity to perform and compete in a wide range of venues and contexts as the department continues to grow and develop.

Whatever your interests are in music, we are confident you will be able to find exciting opportunities at Townsend that will enable you to develop these interests and be successful as a musician.

Townsend/SAMS Partnership

Outside of school hours, the Music department is the home of St Albans Music School (SAMS). Run by Herts Music, SAMS delivers instrumental and ensemble teaching. Because of the unique partnership between Townsend and Herts Music, many SAMS activities are free of charge to Townsend students (please contact us for more details).

Currently on offer are:

  • Monday - Music Theatre
  • Tuesday - Strings, Intermediate Strings, Orchestras (Philomusica and Sinfonia), Woodwind ensemble
  • Wednesday - Wind Band, Junior Wind Band
  • Thursday - Theory classes, Big Band 1, Big Band 2
  • Saturday - Rock School (morning), Music Theatre

For more information about Music at Townsend please speak to Mr Phelps (Director of Learning - Music)

Physical Education

Year 7

The physical education curriculum allows students to experience practical participation in the following activity areas:

  • Athletics
  • Dance
  • Fitness
  • Games - such as netball, football, rugby, basketball, tennis, table tennis, cricket, rounders, softball.
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Trampolining

Students develop their skills and techniques required in each activity and start to apply them in competitive games and events.

All students participate in inter-form competitions in several activities, developing personal qualities of team work and commitment.

They begin to understand what makes a performance effective and learn about the fitness requirements of different activities.

Students develop the ability to prepare for physical activity by warming up and stretching muscles.

Students will also begin to learn some of the basic theoretical knowledge required for GCSE throughout each activity, for example; learning the names of the major muscles and bones, understanding how we pump blood and oxygen around our body, knowing how we develop skills and how we can maximise performance.

Students are also able to progress their skills further through a wide range of extra-curricular sports clubs available at break, lunch time and after school, where they may also be selected to represent the school in fixtures against other schools.

Year 8

In year 8 students get to experience a range of activities similar to those covered in year 7, but the may differ slightly depending on the group.

Students will continue to develop all aspects of the PE curriculum covered in year 7, with more of an emphasis on developing their skills for competitive situations, preparing an understanding of how to improve their techniques and apply them tactically to be more effective in a game.

Students are also encouraged progress their skills further through a wide range of extra-curricular sports clubs available at break, lunch time and after school, where they may also be selected to represent the school in fixtures against other schools.

Religious Education

At KS3 we follow the Hertfordshire agreed syllabus covering the six major world faiths with an emphasis on Christianity.

Year 7

Students begin by considering the importance of Religious Education, before a short introduction to pilgrimage, the importance of Jerusalem and festivals of sacrifice. In the summer term, students examine aspects of faith and practice within Sikh and Hindu religions.

Each term students work is assessed in accordance with the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education

Year 8

Students follow an introductory course on the person of Jesus, his life and Christian beliefsre of religions, pilgrimage and festivals of sacrifice. These topics are addressed through the Abrahamic faiths. In the summer term we look at the beliefs and practices of Sikhism and Hinduism. into practise. They then go on to study the work of famous Christians and their influence on society. The year continues with a study of the life of the prophet Mohammed and Islamic beliefs and practices.

Each term students work is assessed in accordance with the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education

Science

Year 7

In year 7 students begin a broad and balanced study of the three sciences. They build on the knowledge gained at Key Stage 2 and develop this to include new areas of study.

Students will cover 12 topics throughout the year which consist of:

  • Cells and movement
  • Particle model
  • Separating mixtures
  • Gravity and contact forces
  • Reproduction
  • Electricity
  • Elements mixtures and compounds
  • Interdepedence
  • Periodic table
  • Energy, sound and light
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • The universe and variation.

Each topic is assessed when it is completed with assessments taking various forms; tracking sheets, traditional tests (4 each year) to teacher assessed extended writing tests and tracking sheets.

Practical activities sill form a major part of the course and students continue to build on their scientific investigation skills in a safe and appropriate manner.

Year 8

In year 8 students continue with the broad and balanced study of the three sciences they began in year 7. They build on the knowledge gained and develop this by revisiting some topics in greater depth or applying the principles learned to new areas of study. Students will again cover twelve topics throughout the year, which consists of:

  • Breathing and digestion
  • Metals and non-metals
  • Types of reaction
  • Pressure and speed
  • Respiration and photosynthesis
  • Chemical energy
  • Magnets and electromagnes
  • Inheritance
  • Earth's resources
  • Heating and cooling
  • Work
  • Evolution
  • Climate
  • Waves

Equally split between physics, chemistry and biology.

Each topic is assessed when it is completed with assessments taking various forms from traditional tests (4 each year) to teacher assessed extended writing tests and tracking sheets.

Practical activities sill form a major part of the course and students continue to build on their scientific investigation skills in a safe and appropriate manner.