Year 7 themes cover a wide variety of exciting and engaging topics. Below you can find a short description of each of the themes in Year 7.
Each theme is delivered over a period of 3 or 4 weeks and incorporates group work and audienced learning around a Driving Question.
Review and Exam Weeks will be held twice during the year, in January and in the Summer term.
DRIVING QUESTION: How do I shape my community and how does my community shape me?
The intention of this theme is to expand students’ awareness of what it means to be part of a community. This is explored at local, national, and international levels as well as secular and religious community structures. Students will consider the benefits of pluralism, diversity, and British values. As the idea of community is brought into focus, students will also consider how politics is a tool for change and how MPs are an integral part of this. Students will learn about inspiring people and will contemplate the qualities of a person who is an inspiring global citizen. Finally, students will work collaboratively with their peers to complete a class-agreed ‘Citizen’ project.
DRIVING QUESTION: Is the Earth Alive?
The intent of the theme is to use the mystique that has intrigued mankind throughout history about what goes on beneath the Earth’s surface to spark students curiosity. The theme focuses on a fascinating mix between scientific explanations, religious beliefs and key literary pieces with the centre of the Earth as a common link. The theme borrows its name from Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel of the same name. The book introduces the students to the theme with a clear focus on inference as a literary skill when studying the text. Students will also explore the religious and scientific ideas of how the universe came into being. As the theme progresses students will discuss the impact of important scientific figures and discoveries on how, as humans, we understand our position in the universe.
DRIVING QUESTION: How did events in the medieval period shape our society today?
The intention of this theme is to provide an in-depth study of the political, military and social history of the Middle Ages. We will work towards answering the driving question by considering events that took place in Britain and the wider world during this time. We will explore the events surrounding the Norman Conquest in 1066 and investigate the way in which the Norman invaders maintained control of England. To do this, we will use and analyse sources and interpretations. Significant emphasis is placed on the role of religion and its impact on Medieval Britain. By the end of the theme, students will be expected to explore some of the more complex aspects of history such as significance and importance. The journey of lessons in the theme alongside the supporting resources allows students to explain how events in the medieval period helped shape our society today.
Find out more about In Days of Old
DRIVING QUESTION: Are Fairy Tales relevant today?
The intention of this theme is to complete a depth study of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students will complete character and language analysis with a focus on being able to cite specific textual evidence. Furthermore, students will need to use their creative skills to create fairy tale settings and perform to an audience. Students will then need to use this knowledge to explore fairy tales around the world and to assess their relevance today.
Find out more about Fairy Tales
DRIVING QUESTION: Why do people go on journeys and how do they change the people who embark on them?
This intention of this theme is to enable students to consider a range of reasons as to why people undertake journeys, and the effects that embarking on these journeys may have on them. We begin the theme by looking at the map skills that enable travellers successfully to get from one place to another. Building on these skills, students are able both to plan a journey and to write about a journey they have previously undertaken. The theme enables students to demonstrate their place knowledge of the Middle East, and the importance of this region to many of today’s major world religions. Taking Christianity, Islam and Sikhism in turn, students explore religious pilgrimages that followers of these religions undertake, the reasons they take these journeys and what the lasting effects of these journeys may be. Students can contrast religious pilgrimages and poetry of today with those from the Medieval period: have pilgrims’ reasons for undertaking these journeys changed over the centuries?
Find out more about Journeys
DRIVING QUESTION: Could robots ever have the same rights as humans?
The intention of this theme is that students will consider both philosophical ideas and mathematical principles. iRobot connects two very different learning strands. The core of the theme, as suggested by the Driving Question, considers the future of robots from a socio-political point of view. In order to answer the driving question, students will first consider what it means to be human. Students will explore abstract concepts such as the soul, human rights and, to a certain extent, freedom. Underpinning the more philosophical ideas is the study of concrete concepts relating to the mechanics of both robots and humans. Students will explore programming by first considering key mathematical principles and relating these to control. By the end of this theme students will have a greater sense of the driving forces behind human ingenuity as well as a respect for the principles that underpin what it means to be human.
DRIVING QUESTION: Does water always win?
Many of us take water for granted. In the UK, we can turn a tap and clean water flows from it instantly. But have you ever stopped to consider what it is exactly? Where it comes from? And just how important is it?
In this theme students will be encouraged to consider many of the processes on Earth in which water is involved. They will examine water in its role as:
- A chemical that is recycled and supports life
- A physical force that shapes landscapes and impacts life
- A source of comfort and aid
- A link between all aspects of the natural world
Life would not exist without water. But there are many instances where human activities can affect the quality of water. Students will examine the causes and effects of pollution on the quality of water and the impact that this has on ecosystems. They will question which has the most power – water, or the life that it supports – by considering the driving question: Does water always win?
DRIVING QUESTION: What factors affect growth?
This intention of this theme is to explore the variety of ways ‘growing’ can be applied to life. Students will study plant and human growth through investigating the conditions that allow growth to take place. In addition, they will study population growth and factors that contribute to this with a particular focus on comparisons of high income countries and low income countries. Furthermore, students will consider personal issues around ‘growing’ such as peer pressure and friendships.
DRIVING QUESTION: What techniques do silent movies use to communicate a narrative?
The Silent Movies theme aims to integrate many of the competency strands into a fun, interactive and creative theme. To answer the driving question, students must undertake a great deal of analysis, exploring the movies themselves as well as the era. The theme sets the scene for the understanding of silent movies by asking students to undertake historical research on the silent movie era and one of its most famous stars – Charlie Chaplin. Students are introduced to many of the acting and directing techniques and will learn about direct camera address, miming, comedy and how these techniques were used in the silent movies.
Students will work together in ‘production’ teams to create their own movies using the same techniques as the silent movie stars. There are opportunities for achieving progress in speaking and listening literacy during initial scoping sessions and rehearsals, written literacy in creating scripts and reading literacy in taking a script and bringing it to life on the screen as well as creating an Oscar speech. Science competencies are covered when students discover what sound is and the different properties of sound. This links into the end of the silent movie era when ‘talkies’ all but killed off silent films. Students will use technology to shoot, edit and ‘post-produce’ their films. Taking a ‘standard’ video, making it black and white, ageing it, adding appropriate music and intertitles are all new techniques that students have to master in order to create an authentic looking silent movie that originally may have been shot over 100 years ago.
DRIVING QUESTION: Did life in England turn upside down between 1485 and 1685?
The intention of this theme is for students to investigate the development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745 and focuses on the history of the Tudor and Stuart periods. Students learn about the history of England, beginning with the reign of Henry VII, then progressing through the Tudor monarchy, including Henry VIII, Edward VII, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Students are posed with problems faced by various Tudor monarchs and through research and source enquiry are asked to offer solutions. Students’ progress into the Stuart monarchy by studying the Gunpowder Plot; the Civil War; the execution of King Charles I; the Interregnum and restoration of the monarchy. Throughout the theme, students develop their historical skills through examination of sources and interpretations, considering their reliability and utility. They consider the impact of key individuals and events on society. They make judgments on the effectiveness of rulers, supporting their analysis with historical evidence. They consider different interpretations through a consideration of Oliver Cromwell as a hero or a villain.