Blog: 2nd October 2020 – A Focus on Key Stage 4

The chords of Mon Precieux by Soprano flowed through the Key Stage 4 zone this week as linguists listened to this pop music to develop and apply new high-level vocabulary to describe the importance of mobile phones in our everyday life! Over in DT, students were diligently working on their own coursework for the exam, developing their drawing skills and including new and emerging technologies in production.

Geographers have mentally zoomed across to Brazil to complete their extended case study of Rio de Janeiro as an example of a city in an emerging economy. They have explored the reasons for the growth of the city, the opportunities and problems this creates and how they are improving the quality of life for the urban poor in Rio. Closer to home, they’ve also taken a virtual tour of the River Tees to investigate how it changes from source to mouth.

Following the global theme, in Business, students have been looking at globalisation and the impact of competition on UK firms as well as consumer and employee laws. They have their chance to demonstrate their knowledge in their topic test next week.  PE students will have a similar opportunity as, having just finished studying their first theory topic, their end of unit test will not only capture knowledge but also how well they can apply this to sporting contexts.

In English, students in Year 10 have been learning about the Gothic movement, from Lord Byron to Edward Scissorhands, before getting stuck into Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Year 11 students have started studying Macbeth. They’re using the text itself and two productions of the play: Rupert Goold’s version from 2010, which was based on his stage adaptation for the Chichester Festival Theatre and Justin Kurzel’s 2015 big screen version.

Percentages (increase, decrease, change, reverse) have been a focus for some Year 11 students in Maths, following a great start on Trigonometry. Others have been solving quadratics of all varieties and understanding the geometric links to the graph of a parabola and, it’s reported, doing particularly well at it too! Year 10 have been rounding values to different degrees of accuracy and re-establishing good study skills for Maths.

In Science, Year 10 have been studying the timely topic of pathogens, including viruses and how they cause disease, whilst also grappling with the particle theory of gases, looking at how particles move and what causes pressure. Year 11 have been revising for their first Science mock. Binary data and binary shifts have been the focus in Computer Science along with how to represent negative binary numbers.

Historians have been learning about the weaknesses in the Weimar Constitution and the flaws in the Treaty of Versailles whilst, in Core RE, students have been exploring the social history of gay rights in the UK and the various responses of the Church to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Meanwhile in GCSE RE, students have been exploring the causes of the human proclivity to sin and falling victim to temptation as well as the way in which Christianity claims to be able to offer salvation from an eternity in hell.

Art & Design students have been excelling in a painting skills workshop based on Van Gogh’s ‘The Sunflowers’ and a mark making workshop using personal possessions. You can see how

they’ve been getting on. They’ve also started their GCSE coursework project based on the theme of Disguise.

It’s very apparent watching students and teachers at work that much is being learned and that there is a clear shared understanding that every minute of learning, every lesson, every single day, matters.

Have a lovely weekend.