Year 7 at Tonbridge Grammar School

Year 7 at Tonbridge Grammar School
This booklet gives parents a broad overview of the learning that takes place in Year 7. In addition to the
learning that takes place within the eight subject groups, a focus for this year is to make connections
between subjects and to connect learning to the real world.
The Middle Years Programme at TGS
As a school we follow the IBO’s Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP provides a framework of learning
 encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers.
 emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies
in traditional subjects and the real world.
 fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global
engagement - essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders.
Why the Middle Years Programme?
We have chosen the MYP because it offers:
rigorous learning objectives
a student-centred approach to teaching
international perspectives
concern for the whole child
sustained teaching and learning in more than one language
a focus on learning how to learn
the development of flexible thinking that prepares students to evaluate information critically and
apply knowledge in complex, unfamiliar situations
The MYP’s focus on independent learning makes it the ideal preparation for the IB Diploma Programme
The MYP framework
The MYP is designed to develop the characteristics of
the IB learner profile shown in the profile on the next
There is a commitment to learning within global
contexts where students explore human identity and
global challenges.
Students are encouraged to develop conceptual
understanding through interdisciplinary learning.
Interdisciplinary learning seeks to develop
connections between and across subjects.
Approaches to Learning provides the foundations for
independent learning skills in all subject groups.
IB Learner Profile
Global contexts
Global contexts give a framework for learning through issues and ideas of personal, local and global
significance. These areas serve as "lenses" through which students explore ideas, investigate connections
across and between subject areas, and apply their knowledge to real world problems.
Who am I? Who are we?
Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and
Relationships spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and
cultures; what it means to be human.
What is the meaning of “when” and “where”?
Orientation in Students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in
Space and Time humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships
between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal,
local and global perspectives.
What is the nature and purpose of creative expression?
Personal and
Students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature,
Expression culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our
creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How is everything connected?
Globalisation Students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities;
the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the
Sustainability global; reflect on the opportunities and tensions provided by world interconnectedness;
the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.
How do we understand the worlds in which we live?
Scientific and Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and
the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the
Innovation impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the
impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their
What are the consequences of our common humanity?
Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities;
Development sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal
opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Global Contexts in action:
In Biology this year, students will learn about plants and photosynthesis. The unit is based on this
statement of inquiry:
Plants are vital to the survival of almost all species on the planet. They produce food and oxygen for
themselves and other organisms. How do they harness energy and chemical elements to make food
and oxygen?
The unit is viewed through the Global Context of Globalisation and Sustainability and asks the
Why is plant life essential to the success of the planet?
Subjects Groups in Year 7
The eight subject groups give breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding. Each subject is taught
as a discrete discipline. Subjects within a group share common assessment criteria.
Number of lessons for each subject in a fortnight:
6 Geography
3 Drama
2 French
3 Digital Design
6 History
3 Music
2 Spanish
3 Product Design
6 Religious Studies
2 Visual Arts
2 Latin
Skills development
All subjects develop skills described by the IB Learner Profile e.g. reflective and creative thinking, principled
approaches and open-mindedness. Students are prompted to explore and improve these skills in subject lessons and
through feedback on their work.
Learning Mentors also support students in looking at their skills development overall. Time with the Learning Mentor
each week provides an opportunity for the students to discuss and monitor their skills progress and set individual
Language acquisition
All about me: students learn to describe themselves, others and their school, including their
subjects, timetable and typical day.
My interests and town: students describe their leisure time including how they use technology,
the sport they play and extreme sports. They learn to communicate about their surrounding area
including facilities and activities that one can do.
Students begin to correspond by letter with pen pals in France.
All about me: Students learn to describe themselves and their family environment. They compare
their world and the world of other Spanish speaking children.
My education: Students learn about their school environment in the UK and other Spanish
speaking countries.
My town: Students describe where they live and what there is in their town. They compare their
environment to the environment of other Spanish speaking children.
Students begin their studies in Latin using the Cambridge Latin Course. As well as translating using basic
noun and verb forms, vocabulary and sentence structure, students study Roman houses, town life, the
theatre, slavery and gladiators!
The Spelling Bee in Term 3 gives the students a chance to increase their understanding of words across
languages and raise money for charity.
Language and literature
Students undertake a range of writing activities and study a variety of genres.
Story Writing: is an opportunity for students to write creatively and to experiment with different styles
and perspectives.
“I, Coriander”: is the novel that all Year 7s will be studying, considering the importance of character,
theme and structure.
Chaucer and “The Canterbury Tales”: is where extracts will be studied and students will write their
own modern version based on their interpretation of society today.
Poetry –making connections: is where students consider different types of poetry and the importance
of word choice and order.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: will be studied with a view to looking at conflict in friendship. This will
also involve a class performance.
Diary Writing: is a non-fiction unit where students look at diaries from the past and consider their impact
on present day readers.
All classes will have a reading lesson once a fortnight and will be expected to read at least one book each
Individuals and societies
The tools of the trade: this is a unit shared with History, it covers the skills required by a Geographer,
focussing on mapwork and fieldwork skills to collect primary data. There is a fieldtrip integrated into this
The Earth as a resource: this unit is partly shared with Science, it covers the many ways in which we use
the Earth’s resources and the unintended problems arising from this use.
Should we stay or should we go? The United Kingdom’s place in the EU and development of the EU. It
also covers migration and issues around migration.
How do we know? A short interdisciplinary module exploring historical and geographical skills with an
emphasis on map work. This links to a visit to Tonbridge later in the term. We also look at some mysteries,
How have cultures and societies influenced one another? An investigation of the Norman Conquest
and the impact of the Normans on England. Features include the development of castles and the Domesday
Religion in the Medieval World: an exploration into the role and importance of religion in the medieval
world, with case studies linked to the death of Becket, pilgrimages, the role of monasteries and the Church
in politics.
How could the world around us be explained in the past? An investigation into the causes and
effects of disease in the Middle Ages, with a central focus on the Black Death and its impact on Western
Europe and Scandinavia. This forms part of an interdisciplinary project with Biology, focused on the causes
and transmission of disease.
How could you change your world? Linking to the consequences of the Black Death, students
investigate the causes of the Peasants’ Revolt and its impact on life in England.
How has human curiosity changed our world? A focus on crusades, voyages of discovery: their
causes and effects on Europe and abroad.
Throughout the year, students develop their historical skills, language skills and reasoning through a range
of varied tasks and activities.
Religious Studies
How do Sikhs put their beliefs into practice? Exploring concepts of the Sikh community and worship
practices. Students will visit a Sikh Gurdwara.
What does it mean to live a moral life? This unit explores different approaches to moral and global
issues, including Sikh perspectives on these issues. What does it mean to live a good life as a Sikh?
Can one person change the world? This unit explores the life, death and impact of Jesus and their
project is a booklet focusing particularly on the events and significance of Jesus’ death for Christians.
Does our identity continue after death? This unit leads on from looking at the death of Jesus and
what it shows about religious beliefs in the afterlife. Students explore the philosophical question of what
constitutes human identity, looking at different perspectives on whether this could continue after death and
in what form.
Why fight for your beliefs? This question ties in with a trip to Canterbury with the English and History
department and the project is a presentation about Thomas Beckett which relates to their work in History.
Students learn how to use a microscope and make their own slides. They study cell structure and function,
and produce their own model of a cell of their choice. They learn about human reproduction and compare it
with reproduction in other animals.
In Movement and Health students consider what it means to be healthy and explore the ways in which
infectious diseases spread. They practise key skills in data presentation and analysis.
In the final unit they learn about the interactions between living organisms and their environment; this
culminates in students producing a report arguing whether or not a polar bear could survive in the Sahara
Students learn how to operate safely in the laboratory and build on this by exploring the basic techniques
used in Chemistry through the ages such as filtration and distillation. We look at certain reactions and start
writing equations to introduce the students to the language of Chemistry.
During the year the students will undertake projects where they plan and carry out experiments and then
evaluate how well their plan worked. These skills are necessary as they will be required all the way up to
Year 13 and at university if they take a science course.
Students study four main topics in Physics this year. Each topic involves the students working towards
answering a Big Question and contains a variety of practical and collaborative work.
Energy: students learn about the fundamental laws of the universe and combine Physics and Geography
to investigate renewable energy sources.
Forces: students investigate the different types of forces that govern our world.
Light: students are introduced to a variety of new equipment which is used further up the school. They
learn about the properties of light and about mixing colours.
Space: in this topic, they cover the Solar System, plan a mission to another planet and investigate what
we have learnt from Space exploration.
Number and Algebra: students develop their understanding of core number skills and of manipulating
algebraic expressions. They learn how number and algebra are used in communication by investigating
various codes and ciphers.
Patterns, sequences and proof: students investigate patterns, discover sequences and explore the
differences between evidence, demonstration and proof in Mathematics.
Geometry: students design a garden and calculate the cost of the materials used to construct it by finding
areas of complex shapes involving triangles, parallelograms and trapeziums and by finding volumes of
Proportion: students develop their understanding of percentages, fractions and decimals and their
knowledge of the area and circumference of circles by investigating whether or not it would be worth
melting our coins to extract the component metals.
Geometry: students investigate patterns and geometrical transformations using computer programming to
produce jewellery designs.
Algebraic proficiency: students learn how to solve linear equations and apply these skills by developing
equations to represent various real life problems and solving them.
Probability: students begin to develop an understanding of the mathematical rules underpinning
probability and aim to create and test their own game of chance.
Students explore Greek Theatre focusing on ensemble and choral work. They build their own Greek
amphitheatre, develop their use of voice and movement and perform scenes from “Troy 24.”
Students are introduced to the theatrical traditions of Commedia dell`Arte including slapstick, mime and
physical theatre. They make their own masks and perform scenes from “A Servant to Two Masters” and
“The Canterbury Tales.”
Students practically explore Shakespearean language and develop their characterisation skills. They build
their own model Globe Theatre and perform selected scenes from various comedies including “Macbeth,”
“The Tempest” and “A Midsummer Night`s Dream.” They also perform scenes from the play version of
“King of Shadows.”
Students complete six projects this year, working with Music Technology for 50% of the time.
Elements: students develop listening and performing skills to perform Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, using their
own or classroom instruments.
Drum and Bass lines: students use Music Technology to create a short sequence of pop music. These are
then played back.
Gamelan: students develop performing skills on classroom instruments looking at music from Indonesia.
Sinnerman: students use music technology to create an arrangement of a famous Gospel song, producing
the musical notation to be performed.
ToGs Factor: students develop their singing skills to perform songs to their peers.
Ground Bass: students use music technology to make a new piece from Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D.
Visual Arts
Students explore drawing, painting, colour, geometry and animation.
Identity: looking at the artist Hundertwasser and his idea of people having five skins to build you into the
person you are (epidermis, clothing, house, social and global). Students develop a Hundertwasser style
self-portrait based upon all these elements.
Changing Animals: based upon the illustrators Charley Harper and Eleanor Grosch, students will look at
how geometry shapes the way in which we draw animals.
Each project works through the key elements within Art of knowledge and understanding, developing skills,
thinking creatively and response.
Physical and Health Education
Physical Education
The aims of MYP Physical and Health Education are to encourage and enable students to use inquiry to
explore physical and health education concepts. Students experience a variety of activities, learning to
participate effectively in a variety of contexts. They also develop their understanding of the value of
physical activity and how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are given opportunities to work
collaboratively and communicate effectively to build positive relationships and demonstrate social
Activity Areas in Year 7 include:
Health Related Fitness
Health and Social Education
Health and Social Education is a key part of a young persons’ development, providing ways to cope with
the challenges of teenage years. It allows time to reflect on the quality interactions with others and the
importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
In addition students also follow a full Health and Social Education programme within their Learning
Communities in Years 7-9, completing one activity a fortnight each year.
The themes explored include:
Managing stress, worries, and anxiety
Peer-pressure and self-esteem
Managing relationships
Bullying, e-safety and cyber-bullying
Exercise, healthy eating and body image
Money management and charity contributions
Students complete two main projects this year, working with Product Design under the MYP umbrella of
Digital Design
Monsters: students develop digital design skills to create a cartoon character. These are then laser cut in
light reflecting acrylic.
Patterns: students combine mathematics and computer programming to produce patterns and designs for
jewellery making.
Product Design
Monsters: students develop textiles skills by making a “monster” soft toy and their resistant materials
skills to produce an LED lamp using their work from Digital Design
Patterns: students will create pewter jewellery printed fabric based on their work in Digital Design and