Year 7 students have spent the day taking part in taster lessons to help them to choose their Key Stage 4 options.


Students selected subjects of interest to them and enjoyed a full day taking part in a series of sample lessons. The day had been organised ahead of Year 7’s option decisions which will need to be made during the next academic year before their start their Key Stage 4 courses at the beginning of Year 9.


Students who opted to take part in a music taster session were tasked with learning a section of a piece of music in small groups and then bringing the whole piece together as a class. Year 7 Logan said: “This taster session has been interesting as we spent some time learning how different instruments work before playing them.”


Over in Spanish lessons students were looking at the world of work and taking part in a game which gave a description from which pupils had to guess the type of job it related too. During the Geography taster session students learnt about the impacts of earthquakes and how societies can reduce them. Pupils were then given the role of a town planner with the task of reducing impacts in a Mediterranean city using 'stopdisastergame'- a role playing problem solving game on their chromebooks. Once all of their quake proofing was in place they could watch the earthquake hit their city and then read a newspaper report to see how successful they had been.


The students who wanted to find out more about the GCSE DT Timbers and Polymers took part in the ‘buggy challenge’ which involved designing a vehicle, to carry a weight, over the furthest distance. Meanwhile in History classrooms, pupils were covering the Battle of the Somme, and discussing if General Haig should or shouldn’t have been blamed, as well as discovering more about medicine through the ages.


Those pupils who picked Dance GCSE as a taster option had the chance to try out the 'Dance by Chance'- a dance technique. Pupils created a series of movements based on their mobile phone number. Year 7 Liv said: “I’m a gymnast so I’m keen to take the Dance GCSE as I think the two will go well together. The taster session has been really different to what we have learnt in Year 7 and I’ve really liked it.”


Pupils choosing Business Studies as a GCSE option were being challenged with a logo quiz including well-known brands before finding out more about the marketing mix and producing a marketing plan for a product of their choice.  Elsewhere the Food and Nutrition lesson involved investigating the effects a lack of vitamin and minerals in your diet can have. Over in the Health and Social Care classrooms pupils were discussing dementia and the impact it can have on not only a person’s life but also all those people linked to that person including everyone from family and friends to medical professionals. Pupils also took part in a practical test which involved placing a tea towel over a tray of objects and being asked to remember all those items.


Those students interested in taking the PE GCSE course spent their lesson looking at performance enhancing drugs (PEDS). Year 7 David said: “I’ve enjoyed this lesson as we’ve covered a lot more theory which has been interesting.”


Pupils taking part in the Photography taster sessions were tasked with capturing a number of images from a list of topics including ‘perspective’, ‘close-up’ and ‘movement’ and over in Art classrooms pupils were creating their own bug drawings using the artist Poul  Beckman for inspiration. Meanwhile, pupils in the Drama were getting familiar with the concept of physical theatre and creating their own performances in pairs.  Those students interested in Engineering were asked to research intellectual property and patents during their taster session whilst those in ICT lessons had the chance to develop their Photoshop skills.


Assistant Headteacher Ms Hilton- Peet said: “The Taster Day has been a huge success. Teachers have put on a wide variety of lessons designed to give Year 7 an idea of what to expect should they choose to study that subject at Key Stage 4. I hope our students have finished the day feeling more informed ahead of their options decision and excited about the Key Stage 4 curriculum opportunities.”


Year 9 Options 2018