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The Charter School

North Dulwich

Course Descriptions


Academic Year 2012 - 2013



Course Description


In Year 9 pupils have continued to develop skills in recording observations and 3D design.  They will also explore printmaking portraiture and study the decorative arts.  Each module allows pupils to select visual information, investigate, make, explore and develop their own ideas.  They analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of other practitioners.  Knowledge and understanding of artists, crafts people and designers informs this process.


Year 9 pupils began the year by studying the Media, its power and influence over our lives, and Media Regulation, the extent to which the behaviour of the Media is limited.  Currently in Module 2 pupils are investigating Global Children’s issues focusing on Children’s Rights.  This is a joint module with Geography exploring the topics of Child Labour and Child Soldiers around the world.  In Module 3 pupils look at public finance and government decision-making, including taxes and public spending.  In Module 4 students will research the issue of immigration and consider the merits of an earned amnesty for illegal immigrants. In Module 5 pupils consider the purpose and role of the European Union and its relationship with the UK (this module coincides with the optional joint trip to Brussels with the MFL department.).  Module 6 allows pupils to choose a citizenship issue which interests them, and produce a project and presentation on their learning.

Design & Technology

During Year 9 students build on the Design and Technology work done in previous years to help prepare for choosing a DT subject at GCSE.  This work covers the National Curriculum requirements for Design & Technology, and includes the following subjects:

  • Resistant Materials – Making a jewellery box with computer aided design for a pattern;
  • Textiles – logo design and appliqué techniques on a drawstring bag;
  • Electronics – MP3 amplifier;
  • Food Technology – Exploring food for special diets.


During year 9 pupils create drama through response to a wide variety of stimuli such as music, text and film.  They have worked on using text in performance as well as using a theme to create drama.  They explore a variety of topics learning how to communicate a message and explore themes through practical drama whilst at the same time developing sensitivity and understanding of the issues explored.  They will have had an opportunity to use lighting and sound to enhance their performance work.  They will have strengthened and developed planning and structuring skills.  They continue to develop communication and co-operative skills.


In English, pupils are taught to speak fluently, listen attentively and participate cooperatively in group, pair and individual activities.  When writing, they compose in all the major literary and non-literary forms.  They are taught to plan, draft and proofread.  They are taught spelling, punctuation and the principles of grammar.  They learn to appreciate and analyse texts from the literary heritage and from different cultures and traditions, as well as non-fiction and media texts.  They will have an opportunity to engage with a Shakespeare play as well as contemporary fiction.  We also work on the development of independent learning and research skills in preparation for the demands of GCSE.


Pupils are building on their knowledge of the language to speak, read and write in French.  They are becoming familiar with sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing confidence and competence to express themselves in role-plays, conversation and writing.  They improve their understanding of French by listening to people talking about a range of different subjects and by using a variety of forms of writing and tenses.  Topics explored during year 9 include daily routine, food and drink, hobbies, travel arrangements, hotel accommodation, the rights of young people, school, friendship and home.  Using material from a range of French speaking countries increases their cultural awareness.


Pupils develop their understanding of the five key concepts - cultural diversity; physical processes; human processes; environmental interaction and interdependence.  They begin year 9 Geography studying globalisation in football. In module 2 they develop their understanding of the differences in development and the impacts of child labour in Ghana.  They develop their understanding of physical processes in module 3 looking at natural hazards of volcanoes and earthquakes in particular the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.  Module 4 provides an opportunity for pupils to investigate topical issues of urbanisation, Mega-cities and our sustainable urban future.  Module 5 considers ‘Climate chaos and management’.  Finally in Module 6 students embark on an investigation project looking at the rising super power, ‘China’.


In Year 9 History we focus on teaching the pupils to analyse and explain the major events, individuals and conflicts of the 20th Century, which we feel is vital for understanding society today.  The key skills taught include assessing significance, causation, chronology and different interpretations of the past.  We focus on key enquiry questions such as: What caused World War I?  Is the Battle of the Somme film an accurate source of information about World War I?  Did the German people benefit from Nazi rule?  Why do we study the Holocaust?  Our challenging and lively course is an excellent introduction to the immensely popular GCSE course we offer in Year 10.

Information & Communication Technology

During Year 9, students will develop their knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of topics, including: Robotics and Control Technology; Computer Game Design; Algorithms, Coding and Programming; and Presenting Information.  The work undertaken as part of this course will help prepare students for transition to Key Stage 4, whether they opt to study a GCSE in Computer Science or the Cambridge National Certificate in IT.  Students will also sit the Functional ICT examination in July of Year 9, which is worth the equivalent of half a B-grade GCSE.


In Year 9, students follow the KS3 National Strategy and work from the MathsLinks Scheme of Work for the first 2 modules.  We use a variety of teaching methods to build upon work on number, algebra, shape and space, and statistics. All pupils have access to extension work and support.  In the spring term this KS3 knowledge is consolidated and built upon through the year 9 Extended Project which follows the format of an architecture assignment.  Students sit an end of key stage 3 exam in May before commencing the GCSE Mathematics course.  Students can revise from home using the website, for which each student has a personalized login and password.  Pupils are expected to complete functional mathematics tasks and investigative projects to demonstrate their ability to use and apply mathematics.


During Y9 pupils study The Blues, Jazz, Theme and Variations, West African Drumming, Music ICT and Melody/Song Writing.  Within these styles they review all KS3 material in preparation for KS4 and beyond.  Pupils listen to and appraise music within these traditions, improvise and compose music in these styles in addition to using new scales, chords, rhythms, forms and structures, cyclic patterns and appropriate notational forms.  They perform with an increasing degree of musical interpretation, phrasing, expression, use of dynamic control and sensitivity to the specific style.

Physical Education

During modules 1 and 2 pupils have been assessed on their attainment and effort in Football, Fitness, Gymnastics, Hockey, Dance and Basketball.  Some classes that have been assessed in Dance and Basketball were taught by a qualified coach and PE staff during both modules.  Emphasis is placed on an individual’s level of skill acquisition in both a practice and competitive situations, on top of developing a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the respective sports.  During the Spring and Summer Terms, pupils will experience sports such as Table Tennis, Cricket, Athletics, Softball and Rounders.  There is also a possibility that the students will play Tennis during this time.  Pupils are encouraged to work independently and collaboratively to enhance traits of teamwork and communication throughout the programme.  To experience a variety of sports is essential for a student’s development and discovery of various opportunities for them to perform in a sport that they not only enjoy, but can excel in.

Religious Studies

In Year 9, pupils start the year by studying key beliefs and practices of Hinduism and Buddhism.  They then explore the relationship between religion and science with reference to key issues such as evolution, artificial intelligence and medical ethics.  Finally, they complete modules on Philosophy and Ethics in which they examine topics such as the human soul, the way we perceive the world and the right way to live our lives.


Pupils start the new OCR 21st century Core Science GCSE this year.  The course is comprised of three units of biology, three of chemistry and three of physics, as well as two controlled assessments, covering scientific writing skills and experimental investigation skills.  Pupils will sit a practice exam on the first three units of the biology in January.  Students will also complete two controlled assessments before the end of the year called the Case Study and Data Analysis.  This contributes to 25% of their final grade which will be awarded at the end of year 10.  The content of these units covers a wide array of science, from the nature of infection, the causes of air pollution and Earth history to the theories of the universe, materials and stem cell research.  Pupils will also develop argumentative and analytical skills through the study of the course.


Pupils are building on their knowledge of the language to speak, read and write in Spanish.  They are becoming familiar with sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing confidence and competence to express themselves in role-plays, conversation and writing.  They improve their understanding of Spanish by listening to people talking about a range of different subjects and by using a variety of forms of writing.  Topics explored during year 9 include modes of communications, school, health, earning a living, home, work the Spanish-speaking world and learning about a Spanish region Using material from a range of Spanish speaking countries, pupils are given opportunities to increase their cultural knowledge and understanding.