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Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9

11-13Age: Usually between 11 – 14 years old

Stage of learning journey:  Key stage 3.

Curriculum:  National Curriculum 


Years 7 and 8 are an introduction to secondary school subjects.  Your child will be developing skills and ways of thinking which set them up and prepare them for GCSE’s in years 10 – 11.

Math and science

  • By KS3, children should be able to use probability, reasoning with algebra and geometry.
  • By age 11, children should know the importance of diet and exercise and the effect of drugs.
  • By age 14, children should be familiar with human reproduction, the periodic table and climate change.


  • Spoken English has a greater emphasis, and children will be taught debating and presenting skills.
  • Students will study two Shakespeare plays (only one at present) as well as pre-1914 literature and two authors each year.
  • By KS3, children should be able to write accurately, fluently and effectively for the purpose of planning, drafting, editing and proof-reading their work.

 Design, technology and ICT

  • By KS3, children will have a more sophisticated use of design equipment, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics and robotics.
  • They will have the ability to code and solve practical computer problems.


  • By KS3, children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the foreign language.

Progress and Assessment

Children enter year 7 with a predicted GCSE grade.


  • Year 7 – Teacher assessments
  • Year 8 – Teacher assessments
  • Year 9 – Teacher assessments

At the end of each year they will be assessed by their teachers in all subjects.  You will receive a report at least once a year. The report will cover the results of any tests your child has taken, if they’re at an appropriate Key Stage, and teacher assessment levels for their attainment.

At the end of Key Stage 3, you’ll also receive the results for all children in your child’s age group in the school, and the national results for the previous year

From year 8 your child should have access to careers advice in school.

How you can help

You may not be reading with your child as you did at primary school but you can still support good reading habits. Talk to your child about the books you're both reading. 

Encourage your child to read or watch the news online and find news stories that connect to lesson topics.

If you’re planning a day out, visit a museum or gallery that will tie in with work your child is doing in subjects such as Art, English, History, Geography or Science - this can be a fun way to add depth and interest to your child's learning.

Find out what careers advice is being offered in school and make sure it meets the statutory requirements.

Helping with homework

  • suggest doing homework as soon as it is received so that the information is fresh in your child's mind from classes
  • encourage your child to speak up when in difficulty, as you may be able to help find the answers
  • make sure your child has a good work-life balance, and doesn't spend too much time either going out with friends, or sitting and doing homework
  • find out about educational programmes on radio or television
  • find out if there are any study support or homework clubs that may help

Choosing options 

Year 9 GCSE options

During Year 9, your child will choose which subjects to study in Year 10. Depending on their school, they will be able to choose from GCSEs, diplomas and vocational qualifications.

There's lots of help available to support with making these choices (see useful links below). 

Think about their future study or career plans: is there a subject they are sure they want to do at A-level or college that they need to continue with now at GCSE?

  • Consider what they enjoy and are good at.
  • Seek their teachers’ advice on which subjects will play to their strengths.
  • Balance quality and quantity - too many GCSEs might mean lower grades.
  • Focus on keeping options open for now rather than specialising

Useful Links

https://www.entrust-ed.co.uk/Resources/youngpeople/Pages/Choose-your-options.aspx   Advice about choosing options

www.bbc.co.uk/education/levels/z4kw2hv Link to resources for Key Stage 3

www.plotr.co.uk/ A game to help you find careers that suit you 




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