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The Charter School

North Dulwich

Course Descriptions


During Year 7 pupils learn to draw and paint from imagination and observation using a range of personal belongings and other objects as starting points.  They also develop skills using collage, mixed-media, sewing and 3D sculpture. Each module enables pupils to build on and improve their practical and critical study skills and to extend their knowledge and experience of materials, processes and practices.  Pupils examine art, craft and design in the contemporary world and from different times and cultures. They are given opportunities to use visual language and to communicate their own ideas, feelings and meanings. All pupils keep a sketchbook throughout the year.


In Year 7 pupils begin to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in Citizenship Studies.  In Module 1 students are introduced to the 3 main concepts within Citizenship Studies: Democracy and Justice; Human Rights; Identity and Diversity in the UK and around the world.  Module 2 develops the concept of Diversity, by investigating how Britain became a diverse society and the issues that arise from living in diverse communities.  This is assessed though a piece of group drama.  In Module 3 students then learn about the relationship between local communities and local government, creating a campaign proposal for the local council to improve our local area.  Module 4 encourages pupils to examine the role of charity and philanthropy in our society by representing and advocating for their favourite national charity.  Finally, Module 5 is The Charter School North Dulwich Project through which pupils develop ideas, to present to the Charter School North Dulwich Council, on how to improve our school community.

Design Technology

During this year pupils have been introduced to KS3 national curriculum technology through various modules.  This is designed to equip them with a variety of design skills such as research, sketching, development of ideas, Computer aided Design, workshop and practical skills and evaluation.  Pupils also gain knowledge of specific materials.  Projects include :

  • Electronics – Making a night light
  • Resistant Materials – bookend and casting a pewter medal
  • Textiles – machine embroidered wallet
  • Food Technology – 5-a-day, designing with fruit and vegetables

All students have also done the Winter Wonderland Mini-enterprise project.


During year 7 pupils have worked to develop a wide range of co-operative learning skills - listening, concentration, trust, cooperation.  To strengthen these skills throughout the year they have worked in a wide variety of groupings - solo, pairs, small groups and whole class.  Pupils have studied a wide range of topics, including Mime, Shakespeare and Physical Theatre and explored characterisation through historical events such as the mystery of Flannan Isle.  They have explored the subject of Moral Tales through role-play and improvisation and used dramatic techniques to explore the conflicting sides of a moral dilemma.  They have learnt about the role of the spectator and the importance of positioning on stage in relation to the audience.


In English, pupils learn to speak fluently, listen attentively and participate cooperatively in group, pair and individual activities.  Students learn to write in a range of forms, from poetry and fiction to persuasive and informative texts.  Students learn to plan, draft and proofread their work independently.  Students learn spelling rules, punctuation and the principles of grammar.  In addition they learn to appreciate and analyse a range of texts from the literary heritage and from different cultures and traditions.


Year 7 pupils begin Geography by learning map skills and applying them to their local area.  Module 2 focuses on geographical enquiry with a project studying the Weather and Climate around the school site enable pupils to build research and reporting skills.  In module 3 pupils study Resource Conflicts such as Blood Diamonds.  The next module uses a study of ‘fantastic places’ to begin to evaluate the impact of humans on their environment. Module 5 focuses on human consumption of food and where food comes from.  Finally, the year is rounded up with a look at the geography Energy its sustainable future.



In year 7 pupils are provided with an introduction to the skills required in the study of history through an examination of familiar myths and legends and how they differ from the historical past.  Pupils follow the national curriculum for history at Key Stage 3 through the examination of questions such as : How did William gain and maintain control of Britain? Who murdered Becket? What makes a good story about the Black Death? Why did Henry VIII break from the church in Rome?  Pupils will be expected to present their knowledge and understanding in a variety of way including the use of ICT.


During Year 7, students are introduced to Computer Science and ICT, and this will build upon their experiences from primary school, extending their knowledge, skills and understanding in the following areas:

  • In Module1, students learn how to use the Internet safely, including how to search for information and judge its reliability.
  • In Module 2, students work as part of a team to market and sell a product at Year 7 parents evening.
  • In Module 3, students prepare to present the results of their mini-business activity to a group of external businesspeople in our Dragon’s Den event
  • In Module 4, students learn how to program using BBC Basic
  • In Modules 5 and 6, students learn how to program computer games using Scratch.


Pupils in year 7 work from the Maths Links scheme.  This scheme provides three different text books, covering national curriculum levels 2 – 8; we also use support workbooks for those working below level 4.  We use a variety of teaching methods to build upon work on number, algebra, shape and space, and data handling.  A particular emphasis has been placed on algebraic techniques, as algebra underpins much of the mathematics learned in secondary school.  All pupils have access to extension work within this scheme.  Pupils are also expected to complete an investigative task - this will take place in the summer term and will provide an opportunity for pupils to demonstrate their ability to use and apply mathematics.


The Mandarin Chinese curriculum and content covers the 4 different modules that are tested in the exam (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking).  

The reading of both pinyin (the phonetic version of Mandarin Chinese) and Chinese characters is tested extensively in the course material but also online through our ‘testy tones’ and ‘character chaos’ section online. The writing module is tested through separate character books as well as a new online area called ‘Stroke of Genius’ which enables them to write the characters online.

The topics taught are  aligned to what students  NEED TO KNOW at breakthrough level including Greetings, Names, Numbers, Age, Family, Countries of the World, School, Pointing to items, Parts of the body, Food and Drink, Time, Clothes, Adjectives, The House and the contents therein, likes/dislikes + more modal verbs, negatives, sports and hobbies, time in the day.


Pupils have begun to understand, speak, read and write in French and 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 the languages by listening to people talking about a range of different subjects and by using a variety of forms of writing.  They improve their literacy and numeracy knowledge with a series of class and homework tasks.  Topics explored during year 7 include introductions, family and home, school, free time and  my  area.  Using authentic material from a range of French and Spanish speaking countries increases their cultural awareness.


During Y7, pupils have studied The Elements of Music, Singing, Chords and Arrangement, Brazilian Samba, Indian Music and Intro to Music Technology.  Each module includes a range of listening, analysing and appraising tasks against specific criteria.  Pupils improvise, compose and perform individually, in small groups and as a whole class, expanding their repertoire, knowledge and practical skills.


Throughout the year pupils have been taught the fundamental skills, tactics and rules within a range of activities.  Pupils have been assessed across four strands : Developing Knowledge of Understanding of Fitness and Health; Evaluating and Improving Skills; Selecting and Applying Skills and Acquiring and developing Skills.  Pupils have had the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of these disciplines within practice and competitive performances.


Pupils start year 7 with an introduction to philosophy and ultimate questions, before going on to learn about the ingredients of religion.  In module 3 they learn about the beliefs and practices of Judaism.  Module 4 focuses on religion and art and Module 5 builds on this theme by looking in depth at different representations of Jesus and what they tell us about him as a religious figure.


Pupils have covered topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  They have studied fundamental concepts about our world such as the particle nature of matter, cellular structure of living organisms and the importance of energy.  These concepts have underpinned their further explorations into the working of our universe.  They use practical equipment to support and develop their learning and have learnt to use a range of scientific apparatus accurately and safely.  Through investigation work they have developed skills of planning, reporting and evaluation.  They have considered the work of scientists to see how others have explored scientific questions.