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Year 8 information for Parents
Assessment Overview >>
Curriculum content – what is taught and when?
At Lawnswood School we follow the national curriculum in Year 8. This means your child will study the following subjects:
Core subjects include:
- English (4 hours perweek)
- Maths (4 hours perweek)
- Science (3.5 hours perweek)
Humanities subjects include:
- Geography (1.5 hours perweek)
- History (1.5 hours perweek)
- Spanish (1.5 hours perweek)
- Ethics, Philosophy and Religion (1 hour per week)
Foundation subjects include:
- Art (1 hour perweek)
- Drama (1 hour perweek)
- Computer Science (1.5 hours perweek)
- Music (1 hour perweek)
- Design Technology*(1.5 hours perweek)
- Physical Education (2 hours perweek)
*Throughout the year your child will study Food, Textiles and Product Design under the Design Technology curriculum.
Your child will also have 1 hour a fortnight with their tutor group in which time the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum will be delivered.
Furthermore, some students will study French as a second language. The decision to offer a second language is based on prior attainment. (KS2 results and CATs scores)
For further details about what will be covered in each subject in Year 8 please refer to the assessment journeys, which can be found in the Year 8 section of the website. These will also be stuck in your child’s book and will allow you to track their progress throughout each unit of learning.
Class groupings – what is the rationale for how classes are chosen in each subject?
In each year students are split into two halves. When students join us in Year 7 we split the year group equally into two halves with a mix of gender, ability and ethnicity; this split is necessary to aid timetabling.
Tutor groups are created to again, ensure a mix of gender, ability and ethnicity – these run across both sides of the year group. Generally, in Year 8 students are set in mixed ability classes apart from English, maths, humanities and Spanish, which are set by ability. These ability sets are based on prior attainment (we use KS2 results and CATs testing as our baseline). Our decision to teach science in Year 8 in mixed ability was led by our subject leaders, who based their decision on research. There are many individual pieces of research that look at the impact of setting on student progress, however the piece of research which shaped our subject leaders’ decision the most was based upon the findings of a review of educational research carried out by Durham University and the Sutton Trust. This review paper, entitled 'What makes great teaching', states that:
‘Evidence on the effects of grouping by ability, either by allocating students to different classes, or to within-class groups, suggests that it makes very little difference to learning outcomes (Higgins et al, 2014). Although ability grouping can in theory allow teachers to target a narrower range of pace and content of lessons, it can also create an exaggerated sense of within-group homogeneity and between-group heterogeneity in the teacher’s mind (Stipek, 2010). This can result in teachers failing to make necessary accommodations for the range of different needs within a supposedly homogeneous ‘ability’ group, and over-doing their accommodations for different groups, going too fast with the high-ability groups and too slow with the low.'
All our teachers and subject leaders constantly monitor students’ progress and ensure that students of all ability are being stretched, challenged and supported as appropriate.
Timetables – where can I find my child’s timetable and home learning timetable?
Your child’s weekly timetable will be stuck into the front of his/her planner. You will also be able to find his/her home learning timetable on page 4 of the planner. We encourage students to organise their home learning by using the planner to record what was set for home learning and the deadlinedate.
You can also use this planner as a means of communication between home and school. To this end, we ask you to sign your child’s planner each week to help support them in the completion of home learning.
Progress information - when and how will I receive feedback on my child’s progress?
In Year 8 you will have an opportunity to receive verbal feedback on your child’s progress at Lawnswood School when you meet with each of your child’s subject teachers later in the year, as well as receiving three progress reports throughout the year. For further detail about the dates of the above, please refer to the Year 8 timeline at the end of this booklet.
Assessment – how do I find out when my child will have assessments?
Your child will be continually assessed throughout Year 8 to ensure we have a rich data set on which to base our progress reports to you. You will be able to see your child’s progress and much of this assessment in their subject books. We encourage students to take their books home and discuss their learning with you. You will be able to see their self, peer and teacher assessment which includes clear next steps to support their progress. For details of internal and external assessment, please refer to the Year 8 timeline at the end of this booklet.
Exams – when will my child have exams?
We believe it is important to ensure students are used to formal examinations so that when they sit their GCSE and A-level exams, they do so with confidence. This is even more important given the recent changes to two year linear courses at GCSE and A-level. Therefore we timetable in formal end of year exams for each year group in the summer term. We will communicate with you prior to these exams to remind you and provide you with tips on how to support your child with their revision. For further details of whenYear 8 exams will be, please refer to the Year 8 keydates.
Contact – who do I contact for what and how do I contact them?
We are fully aware of the importance of working in partnership with parents/carers and aim to ensure there are excellent lines of communication at all times. Should you have any concerns about your child or wish to get in touch to ask questions or clarify anything, then please do so. You can either email or contact us via telephone, some information aboutwho to contact about what can be found below. Please note, most of our staff have timetables which mean they are often with students all day, to this end, please allow 24 hours from them receiving your email/telephone call to respond to your specific request.
Pastoral/wellbeing question/concern please contact:
Year Manager – Ms Nota (email@example.com) or via telephone on the mainschool number (01132844020)
Head of Year – Mr Morrissey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via telephone on the main school number (0113 2844020)
If you have a concern about progress in general please contact your child’s Head of Year but if it is a subject specific concern, please contact the relevant subject leader. Subject leaders’ contact details are available on our website (our staff tab).
Key Dates for Year 8
Tuesday 6 September Start of term
Week beg. 12 September Cognitive Ability Tests catchup
Week beg. 3 October Proposed trip to University of Leeds(tbc) Week beg.10 October Progress in English and maths tests
24 – 28 October Half Term
Week beg. 28 November Progress Report sent home
Proposed trip to University of Leeds (tbc)
Week beg. 5 December Year 8 Commitment Week Week beg.12 December Christmas concert
19 December – 2 January Christmas holidays 13 February – 17 February Half term
Week beg. 20 March Progress Report senthome
Wednesday 29 March Parent Consultation Evening 5pm –7pm Wednesday 8 MarchTutor period – revision strategies
3 April – 14 April Easter Holidays
Week beg. 8 May Year 8 Exams
29 May – 2 June Half Term
Week beg. 19 June Progress Report sent home
Friday 21 July – End of term