Dartford Grammar School for Girls

Year 8

Further information can be requested from the relevant Faculties.


Term 1: Flowers for Algernon’ (as a play script)
Term 2 & 3: Comparative Literature: ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘War Horse’ and war poetry written pre and post 1914
Term 4&5: ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare and AQA KS3 Language papers
Term 6: A Change is Gonna Come: short story collection by various writers

  • Understand the literary forms of drama, poetry and prose
  • Understand and analyse the methods used by prose writers to create characters and present themes in a variety of literary forms
  • Plan, structure and write a short story, poetry, letters, articles, persuasive, narrative and descriptive pieces by accurately using a range of sentences, punctuation, language and literary techniques as appropriate to the task
  • Compare texts, make connections and write comparative essays
  • Develop contextual awareness
  • Respond successfully to unseen material
  • Know, understand and follow rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling, helped by fortnightly SPAG lessons
  • Present ideas on wider reading, verbally, to the whole class through a formal presentation
  • Develop speaking skills through directing and performing
  • Ratio
  • Fractions and Percentages
  • Expanding and factorising Algebraic Expressions
  • Powers and roots
  • Solving equations
  • Area, Volume and Surface Area
  • Probability
  • Line graphs
  • Rounding and estimating
  • Numbers in a Standard Form
  • Drawing plans and elevations
  • Sequences
  • Pie charts and scatter graphs
  • Constructions
  • Angles and bearings
  • Averages
  • Pythagoras Theorem
  • Transformations
  • Respiration Vs. photosynthesis
  • Mixtures
  • Waves & sound
  • Muscular skeletal system
  • Earth & atmosphere
  • Magnets & electromagnets
  • Breathing
  • Materials
  • Waves & light
  • Science skills


  • The Rock n Roll Years: investigating the causes of tectonic movement and the impacts that earthquakes and volcanoes have on the areas they are found in
  • Crimewatch: investigating the geography of crime and the impacts of international crime
  • Streets Apart: investigating a contrasting HIC and LIC and the ways in which people’s lives differ
  • A Whole New World: investigating the causes and effects of climate change and the solutions to it
  • The Holiday Programme: investigating the physical processes that act on the coast and the pressures facing the coastline including erosion and sea level rise, along with the defences that can be used
  • World at Risk: investigating the current real threats to the world that we live in including the issues with plastic, destruction of wildernesses, conflict etc.
  • Events of the Agricultural Revolution
  • Causes and Consequences of the Industrial Revolution
  • Dangers of the Cotton Mills
  • Election System in the 1800s
  • Suffragettes and Suffragists
  • Role of Women in World War One
  • Women and the Vote
  • Transatlantic Trade and the Middle Passage
  • Abolitionists and the end of the Empire
  • Slavery and the American Civil War
  • American Civil Rights Movement
  • World War One and World War Two
  • The Holocaust
  • Cold War relations
  • 21st Century World


  • Beliefs about Allah and Muhammad
  • Islamic Art
  • The 5 PillarsChallenges of following Islam in the UK
  • Challenges of following Islam in the UK

Philosophy - Ideas of God:

  • Different views of God
  • The Design Argument
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Pascal’s Wager

The Bible?

  • Are some parts of the Bible more important than others?
  • Does living biblically mean ONLY following the Bible?
  • Situation Ethics


  • Passover and Remembrance
  • Torah and the Covenant
  • Origins of Persecution
  • Origins of Anti-Semitism
  • Where was God? Different Jewish reactions

Spirited Arts (National Competition):

  • Introduction to competition themes, e.g. Holy Words or God’s Good Earth
  • Creating a piece of artwork


Revisit Year 7 - key grammar points and vocabulary.

Unit 1 - Holidays: where I went and how, what I did, describe a visit to a theme park, describe disastrous events, use the perfect tense.

Unit 2 - Festivals and celebrations: describing these, talking about my favourite one, buying food at a market, using transactional language, talking about a future trip, writing about New Year.

Unit 3: Leisure - celebrities and tv programmes, digital technology, arranging to go to the cinema.

Unit 4 - My world: describing my region and what I can do there, daily routine, talking about moving house.

Unit 5 - Sports: giving opinions on these, asking the way and giving directions, talking about injuries and illnesses. 

Key skills:

  • Phonics
  • Grammar
  • Listening/Reading for gist
  • Listening/Reading for detail
  • Communicating in Speaking: Seeking and giving information
  • Communicating in Writing: writing longer paragraphs of increasing complexity and accuracy
  • Translation from and into French

Unit 1: Friends and leisure
Unit 2: Talking about TV and films: Invitations and excuses
Unit 3: Holidays and travel
Unit 4: Food and shopping
Unit 5: Shopping for clothes
Unit 6: Health and diet

Skills covered:

  • Listening/Reading for gist
  • Listening/Reading for detail
  • Communicating in Speaking: Seeking and giving information
  • Communicating in Writing: writing longer paragraphs of increasing complexity and accuracy
  • Translation from and into Spanish

Topics covered:

  • Leisure activities (hobbies/favourite things/going out/adventure centre)
  • My house (type of house/location/rooms/furniture)
  • My town (geographical location/buildings/transport)
  • Weather and Seasons
  • Holidays (countries/weather/activities/accommodation)
  • Directions
  • Shopping for food at the market
  • Snack bar (ordering food/drink/prices)
  • Shopping in the town

Skills covered:

  • Phonics
  • Listening/Reading for gist
  • Listening/Reading for detail
  • Communicating in Speaking: Seeking and giving information
  • Communicating in Writing: writing longer paragraphs of increasing complexity and accuracy
  • Translation from and into German
  • Grammar and Syntax

In Year 8, we continue to follow the NCCE programme of study.The students will learn a variety of skills to prepare them for moving onto a GCSE in Computer Science. Skills will vary from understanding how the computer works, to coding in a variety of languages.

The Year 8 topics are:

  • Topic 1: Computing Systems, in which we learn about memory, storage and the processor
  • Topic 2: Developing for the web, in which we learn how to use HTML to create webpages
  • Topic 3: An introduction topProgramming with python 3
  • Topic 4: Media and the use of vector graphics
  • Topic 5: Mobile App development, in which we use Applab to create mobile applications
  • Topic 6: Data representation, in which we look at how different types of data can be stored on a computer by using the 0s and 1s of the binary number systems
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY (Food Technology)


  • Build on the principles of the Eatwell guide, the 8 Tips for Healthy Eating and the 5 a day campaign to understand the links between them.
  • Students will have the opportunity to prepare and cook a range of predominantly savoury dishes that build and extend the skills introduced in Year 7. Students have an opportunity to use more equipment and follow more complex recipes to create composite dishes.
  • Build on their food science knowledge, undertaking experiments surrounding chemical processes of bread making, starch gelatinisation, and gluten formation. 
  • Develop sound understanding of health related illnesses, allergies and develop a clear understanding of vegetarian diets and reasons these are preferred.
  • Students will learn about sources of protein, factors affecting our choice of foods, focussing on food choices in different countries and including novel foods such as insects as a source of protein.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY (Graphics & Resistant Materials)
  • Use their health and safety knowledge and extend knowledge of the workshop from Year 7
  • Following steps in a sequence to create a final quality product. Be able to identify and recall key terminology based on these processes.
  • Research cultural patterns and use them as an inspiration to design their work.
  • Taking the router as an example, understand how it can be set up for batch and mass production and highlighting advantages and disadvantages of industrial processes.
  • Extending and deepening knowledge from year 7 in regards to Acrylic and MDF and the reason materials are selected for projects
  • Understanding the demands on natural resources and using the 4R’s to evaluate the use of materials and processes
  • Expand on knowledge from year 7 to create a specification for their project based on conducting primary research that is realistic, measurable and justified that includes views of their user and not just their own.
  • Be able to identify different types of paper and card and learn to select which one is most appropriate based upon physical characteristics.
  • Learn about paper sizes and why standardisation is important.
  • Learn about a systems thinking approach to design ideas, using input, process, and output and being able to create a flowchart.
  • Learn about the iterative design process.
  • Expand on the knowledge gained in year 7 using 2D Design to add realistic textures, fills and effects.
  • Use 2D design to operate the CAMM-1 machine.
  • Create a circuit to make a working light up greetings card and learn the basics of electronics, including circuit symbols and diagrams.

The Y8 Art and Design course is split into two courses: Fine Art and Textiles

Art: Portraiture “Identity”

  • Students will learn practical techniques and build upon observational skills with a focus on drawing
  • Through learning about facial proportion, students will learn portraiture with a focus on self-portraits
  • Students will study symbolism in the work of Cindy Sherman and Frida Kahlo
  • Students will study the work of African-American artist Bisa Butler
  • Students will design a ceramic outcome inspired by the artists studied

Textiles: Hand-embroidery, tie-dye and printing

  • Students will build upon the hand-embroidery skills used in Year 7
  • They will learn tie-dyeing and printing techniques
  • They will explore a range of mixed-media techniques through experimentation and collage
  • Students will study the work of contemporary textile artists to inform their own work
  • Through design work they will learn how to develop ideas and compositions to create a felt panel embellished with hand-stitching
  • West African Drumming
  • Jazz and Blues
  • Film Music
  • Reggae - Bob Marley
  • Song Writing - National Anthems
  • Music Theory

  • Students develop skills in:
  •  Performing - mainly piano, vocals, percussion (djembe drums)
  • Composing - writing your own pieces
  •  Appraising - listening and analysing music using the elements of music
DRAMA (taught on a termly rotation with Dance)

Students in Year 8  continue to develop their skills and appreciation of Drama as an Art form.  Students explore more complex strategies such as:  Chorus, Analysing Text, Staging, Semiotics, Physical Theatre and movement to create meaning . They are encouraged to demonstrate an awareness of language and tone of voice when creating believable characters, proxemics in staging and energy and commitment in all group work.

Units covered are:

Unit 1. Abstract Theatre

Unit 2.  Verbatim

Unit 3. Ensemble.

Creating, performing and evaluating others work, takes place every lesson. The ability to reflect and further act on feedback continues to help to raise the standard of performance in Drama.  At the end of each Unit, students will take part in an assessment where they are marked on their creating and  performing skills, as well as their written evaluation and analytical skills. 

DANCE (taught on a termly rotation with Drama)

Unit 1 – Rock ‘n’ Roll

  • Understand key characteristics of a contrasting Dance style.
  • Historical context alongside modern changes and development.
  • Understand how historical events have impacted on the development of Dance.
  • Understand key choreographic devices used within the style.
  • Wider cultural understanding of the world in which we live.
  • Understand how to use action, space, dynamics and relationship effectively to demonstrate Dance style.

Unit 2 – Narrative Dance

  • Understand key characteristics of successful Musical and Physical Theatre.
  • How to use stimulus to create status between dancers
  • Understand how physical and expressive skills make Dance successful.
  • Understand how performance skills, including focus, assist in communicating choreographic intent.
  • Understand the choreographic process, including key choreographic devices used within to communicate a narrative; complex canon, counterpoint, contrast.
  • Understand types of staging. Using text as a stimulus.
  • Understand how to use action, space, dynamics and relationship effectively to demonstrate stimulus and style, alongside expressive and performance skills.

Unit 3 – African Gumboot

  • Understand key characteristics of a Dance style.
  • Experience new style of Dance and create performance work.
  • Developing cultural understanding of Dance in a broader sense.
  • Make work using props, using body percussion and vocals.
  • Consider different types of aural settings, including performing work in silence.
  • Swimming
  • Trampolining
  • Netball
  • Football
  • Cross-Country
  • Athletics
  • Cricket
  • Tennis
  • Careers Education – Self-assessment of skills, decision making activities and thinking about the future.
  • Citizenship – Multicultural society, rights and responsibilities and the British Law and Court system.
  • The causes and solutions to crime in Great Britain
  • Health Living and Drugs – Purpose of drugs education, tobacco and alcohol and the role of peer pressure.