The sections below detail the curriculum for Year 9 students at QEHS.

Please use the following guide to help you decide the appropriate point of contact for any curriculum-related issues:

Nature of EnquiryContactPhone/Email
General questions about your child's work, progress, or homeworkSubject teachersBy note via your child or by contacting the main switchboard on 01434 610300
A concern about your child's progress or experience in a particular subjectCurriculum/Subject Leaders (see Meet Our Staff)Contact the main switchboard on 01434 610300
General enquiries related to the curriculum, options, higher education applications or complex academic issues involving more than one subjectThe Curriculum TeamTelephone the Curriculum Office on 01434 610312 or email curriculum@qehs.net
Other matters not listed aboveReceptionPlease phone 01434 610300 and we will direct your enquiry to the appropriate person

In Year 9 the three areas of study (Art, Graphics and Textiles) will be taught in a rotational basis, not necessarily in the order listed below.

Autumn Term

Students will develop a culture inspired project with a focus on drawing, painting and mixed media. Students will analyse and evaluate through contextual studies, referencing the work from artists and designers. Homework will be set as an integral part of the unit of work and will support the student’s creative journey.

Spring Term

During this term students will produce a range of work in response to a textiles and fashion brief. They will they will focus on fashion illustration producing work inspired by nature. Homework will be set as an integral part of the unit of work and will support the student’s creative journey.

Summer Term

During the course of this term students will experience a range of graphics skills and processes. Students will analyse and evaluate through contextual studies, referencing the work of designers and typographers. Homework will be set as an integral part of the unit of work and will support the student’s creative journey.

Autumn Term

Students will be looking at the two linked topics of inheritance and evolution.

In the inheritance topic we will look at the causes of variation and practice showing data in both bar charts and histograms. We will then look closely at the role played by the nucleus during inheritance. 

In the evolution topic we will discuss competition and adaptation. We will learn about Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and look at several examples. Leading from that, students will also look at extinction, conservation, and biodiversity.

Assessment – 35-minute written test (in assessment week)

Spring Term

Students will begin studying GCSE material, learning about the structure of animal, plant and bacterial cells. They will develop their skills in observing cells using the light microscope and using mathematical techniques to determine the magnification of the cells. Students will then start to investigate specialised cells in animals and plants.

Assessment – 35-minute written test (in assessment week). 

Summer Term

Students will be learning about communicable (infectious) diseases. In particular, how these diseases are spread and methods of prevention. We will also be investigating the role of the immune system, vaccinations and antibiotics in fighting pathogens. This work includes a research task in which students will be finding out about specific diseases from their specification.

Assessment – End of Year 9 test in May (to coincide with assessment week).

Autumn Term

Topic – Metal Reactivity

  • Reactions of metals, metal oxide, metal carbonate reactions with acids
  • How to test for gas products and how to isolate some of products of the reactions
  • Neutralisation reactions, pH
  • Reactivity series and Equation writing

Topic – Useful Metals

  • Displacement reactions
  • Making electricity using metals
  • Reactivity series
  • Making copper and Equation writing

Spring Term and part of Summer Term: start of GCSE Chemistry (AQA)

GCSE Chemistry has two exam papers, which encompass the following topics:

Paper 1: Topics 1 – 4
Paper 2: Topics 5 – 8

Topic 1 – Energy Changes

  • States of Matter
  • Distillation
  • Exothermic and Endothermic Reaction
  • Bond Energy Calculations

Summer Term (after Summer Half Term): roll up to Year 10 

Topic 2 – Periodic Table

  • History of the Periodic Table
  • Atomic Structure and Ion Formation
  • Group 1 and Group 7 Chemistry
  • Transition Metals and Noble Gasses

Autumn Term

Students will begin by working on a series of workshops where they will develop their Street dance skills.

The second half of the term will involve learning about Contact Improvisation.

All work conducted this year will enable students to develop their fitness, creativity, choreographic skills and technique.

Spring Term

In the spring we move on to learning about Contemporary and Jazz styles.

Choreographic skills continue to be a focus as students are encouraged to develop their own work.

Summer Term

Students complete their work using Contemporary and Jazz styles.

In Year 9 we use the opportunity to start teaching content from the Edexcel GCSE specification.

Autumn Term

Half Term 1 (September – October)

On arrival to the school, the students undergo a baseline test to establish previous knowledge of design and technology. Students are then involved in a four week focused practical project working with either acrylic or mild steel. Finally, this term the students get the opportunity to perfect their design and presentation skills. They are involved in an 8-lesson creative design-based project to design a sustainable product for a toy manufacturer. During this topic, the students also learn about issues of sustainability in design and technology.

Internal Common Assessment: Baseline test. Practical work assessment. Design work assessment.

Half Term 2 (November – December)

This term consists of a five-lesson module covering smart materials (e.g., shape memory alloys, reactive glass, piezo electrical etc.) The students will discover the unusual and interesting properties of a group new materials, known as smart material, and will consider how these unique materials can be put to use in modern design. There is also a second focused practical task working with either acrylic or mild steel. During this half term, all students will be formally assessed. This takes part in assessment week and covers on all of the topics covered to this point. Finally, pupils are involved in a four-week topic about engineered structure in which students work in design teams to solve engineering problems.

Internal Common Assessment: Formal assessment during assessment week.

Spring Term

Half Term 3 (January to February)

In this half term, students are involved in an electronic products project that comprises of a focused practical task and theory lessons. Pupils will learn about electronic components and their functions as well as being taught a range of practical skills needed in order to manufacture a functioning electronic circuit board.

Internal Common Assessment: Knowledge and understanding of electronics. Practical assessment.

Half Term 4 (February to March)

This term, students are introduced to a number of different natural timbers and manufactured boards in order to learn about the properties, characteristics and uses of these materials. Students are taught a number of timber joining techniques including rebate joints, dowel joints and mortice and tenon joints. Students will make a wooden coat hook using the knowledge and skills taught.

Internal Common Assessment: Knowledge and understanding of timbers and manufactured boards. Practical assessment. Isometric drawing assessment.

Summer Term

Half Term 5 (April to May)

In the final half term in Year 9, students investigate and analyse the work of a number of influential designers of the past and present. Additionally, pupils learn about the developments in more modern materials to understand the properties, applications and characteristics of composite materials and textiles.

Internal Common Assessment: Design assessment. Knowledge of composites and textiles assessment.

Autumn Term

Introduction to Drama: students will explore a variety of group working skills needed to be successful on their drama courses and a number of different workshops designed to get them used to making drama from a range of stimuli. Students will learn how to target their work to a number of different audiences.

Bugsy Malone: students will learn about the style of the musical, Bugsy Malone. Students will perform various scenes in different styles, including slapstick, vaudeville, comedy gangsters, etc.

Spring Term

Darkwood Manor: a series of lessons all based around one story. Students will create their own character and work imaginatively and collaboratively to explore the mysterious story of the strange Darkwood Manor.

Evaluating Theatre: students will have the chance to watch some drama work made by older students as part of their GCSE or A Level courses. Students will then learn how to evaluate live theatre and create a review.

Summer Term

Scripts: students will work with a range of different pieces of script, learning lines and developing scenes and characters.

Autumn Term

Students will undertake the study of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. During this module, students will become familiar with the characters and ideas found in the novel, and examine the ways in which Steinbeck uses language to create this memorable and thought provoking work. Assessments will focus on language (a written, empathic response to a character situation) and literary ideas (an extract-based character study). Both assessments are rooted in the new linear GCSE frameworks.

Following this, students will study a selection of non-fiction texts on the themes of travel and science/discovery. Writing in a range of forms will springboard from these texts and be transactional in nature. Comparative assessment will look at understanding the language of different writers on the same topic.

Spring Term

Students will conclude the non-fiction topic, and then begin to study nineteenth-century fiction with an emphasis on Sherlock Holmes. Summative assessments will consist of creative writing of an opening to a detective story and a literary examination of the ways in which Arthur Conan Doyle makes his stories interesting.

Summer Term

Students will study a range of poetry on the theme of journeys, which progresses from the earlier non-fiction texts on this theme. A selection of texts will interpret journeys in a broad sense, both literal and metaphorical. The selection will be taken from different eras, in order to consider how travel/journeys have meant different things to people at different times. A language assessment will be to write a poem about a journey and provide an accompanying commentary.

Autumn Term

Topics covered include: family, pets, descriptions, present tense, gender, possessives, avoir and être, negatives, perfect tense, sport, hobbies, likes and dislikes, adverbs of frequency, comparatives, perfect tense with avoir for regular and irregular verbs, festivals and celebrations (Christmas and New Year).

Spring Term

Topics covered include: TV, cinema, invitations and excuses, vouloir and pouvoir, simple future, food and drink, shops, negatives, perfect tense, food and eating out, shops, quantities and containers, interrogatives, partitive article, festivals and celebrations (Easter).

Summer Term

Topics covered include: house and home, furniture and prepositions, daily routine, reflexive verbs, household jobs, Les Choristes film project.

Please note: Due to the reforms in Geography and the increased content in the new specification, we have decided to start covering the content of the Edexcel B GCSE course from Year 9 onwards. We are in a period of transition from a two year course to a three year course which is why there appears to be some duplication in the teaching of topics between the year groups.

Autumn Term

Tropical cyclones: Students will explore the causes of these hazards, where they occur and the impacts that they have on people and the environment. They will track a hurricane and make important decisions about when to evacuate. Students will assess the factors affecting vulnerability through the case studies of Hurricane Katrina which hit the USA, and Cyclone Aila which hit Bangladesh.

Climate change: Students will develop an understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere and our changing climate. The natural causes of climate change will be explored along with the evidence, such as ice cores, tree rings and historic sources, to prove our climate was different in the past. The human causes are then studied along with the evidence and possible consequences for people and the environment

Challenges of an urbanising world: Students will investigate the causes and challenges of rapid urban change. They will explore the reasons behind why the world is becoming increasingly urbanised and identify differences between developed and emerging economies.

Spring Term

Challenges of an urbanising world (continued): Students will focus on Mumbai and learn why it is growing so rapidly and the opportunities and challenges the city faces.

Coastal landscapes: Students will explore why there is a variety of distinctive coastal landscapes in the UK and will learn about the processes which have created them.

Summer Term

Development: Students will learn about the scale of inequality which exists in the world and how it can be reduced. They will apply what they have learned to India which will be the main case study for this topic. Students will explore the factors which have allowed the country to develop and investigate the positive and negative impacts of such rapid growth.

Autumn Term

  • Greetings
  • Numbers
  • Colours
  • Countries
  • Classroom language
  • School and school items
  • Days of the week
  • Time, dates, months
  • Opinions, adjectives
  • Food
  • Clothes

Spring Term

  • Family
  • Pets
  • Descriptions
  • Hobbies, sport, free time
  • Arranging to meet
  • House and home

Summer Term

  • House and home continued

Autumn Term

The first topic, the assassination of JFK, allows students to develop further their historical evaluation skills and the use of evidence to support their arguments. The second topic focuses on social and cultural developments in post-war British society and involves students studying in depth the murder of Stephen Lawrence and its impact upon British society. This topic allows students to develop their historical explanation through the use of evidence.

Spring Term

Students will study the USA in the twentieth century – focusing on the experience of African Americans and comparing this with the experience of minority groups in Britain. This will allow students to focus on their use of sources and evidence to support their arguments. Students will then study the Holocaust and Genocide in the twentieth century. This topic will allow students to gain a greater understanding of one of the key events of modern history and what lessons have been learnt from this event.

Summer Term

Students will study the impact of the Second World War on Britain’s world status by exploring varying interpretations from contemporary accounts and historians who have studied the period. Students will use a variety of historical sources in order to further develop their historical interpretations skills which will be key to success at GCSE. This topic will also give those students who go on to study GCSE History an excellent contextual understanding for their first GCSE topic on the Cold War.

Autumn Term

Students will be introduced to IT and Computing at Queen Elizabeth High School including the professional side of e-Safety as they become more digital-savvy citizens. They will learn about the importance of design accuracy as well as a selection of new software tools covering a range of applications, including coding. We will also look at a series of encryption techniques and data security issues. Students will maintain an online resource to track their learning.

Spring Term

This term will focus on the world of games design, from initial ideas through to working prototypes. This will be an extension of the activities from Transfer Day.

There will be an on-going assessment of skills, including updating the online resource.

Summer Term

Students will get the opportunity to experience a selection of coding languages and coding tools, some of which are used in our KS4 courses. This will give them insight into the similarities and differences between tools and languages, and hopefully nurture their confidence when using a new language.

There will be an on-going assessment of skills.

Autumn Term

Half Term 1 

Cambridge Latin Course, stages 1-3

Culture: life in Pompeii, housing, business

Half Term 2 

Cambridge Latin Course, stages 4–6

Culture: drama, slavery, food

Spring Term

Half Term 3 

Cambridge Latin Course, stages 7–9

Culture: spectator sports, public baths

Half Term 4 

Cambridge Latin Course, stages 10–12

Culture: education, political life, the disaster at Pompeii

Summer Term

Half Term 5 

Increasing breadth and depth of knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through history, mythology and Roman culture.

Half Term 6 

Transition to Year 10 using Cambridge Latin Course, book 2.

Autumn Term

To give students a firm mathematical grounding we will start by studying number and algebra topics. Pupils will be doing small bi-weekly assessments and half termly tests.

The foundation classes will cover:
Basic number, estimation, multiples, factors, powers and roots, indices, prime factors, percentages and fractions.

The higher classes will cover:
Basic number, factors and multiples, rounding, basic percentages, calculating with percentages, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, basic algebra, sequences, equations, indices, upper and lower bounds and standard form.

Spring Term

Pupils will continue their preparation for their number and algebra test after Easter. Alongside this they will continue with their bi-weekly tests and larger half termly tests.

The foundation classes will cover:
Decimals, standard form, upper and lower bounds, proportion, ratio and basic rules of algebra.

The higher classes will cover:
Surds, basic rules of algebra, equations, quadratic equations, formulae, functions and kinematic equations.

Summer Term

This term pupils will sit their number and algebra test. There will be a revision period in lessons and feedback lessons after the test has been marked. Students will do a problem solving week at the end of the summer term.

The foundation classes will cover:
Using brackets, equations, algebraic indices and formulae.

The higher classes will cover:
Quadratic equations, sequences, proof, linear graphs, simultaneous equations and all non-linear graphs.

Autumn Term

Students will follow a varied programme of study within the GCSE categories of Performing, Composing and Listening/Understanding. They will look at melodic writing and the generation of ideas through improvisation. Through listening to their own ideas they will learn Music vocabulary used to describe their ideas. They will revise and be assessed in keyboard and notation skills, and be introduced to the rudiments of guitar and drum kit playing. They will perform within class and group ensembles. Assessments will take place just prior to the half term holiday.

Later in the term they will focus on African drumming skills. They will also learn the basics of the history of Western music, the stylistic traits of distinctive periods and be able to distinguish aurally between them.

Spring Term

Students will revise material learned last term and be assessed through a written listening test during the first two weeks. In the next practical project students will take responsibility for their own learning in a ‘Musical Futures’ project in which they pick their own group, song, choose their instrument, learn their part and eventually perform it in front of the class.

In the latter half of the term, they will learn to use computer programmes to manipulate music, generating their own ideas.

Summer Term

In the final half-term of Year 9, they will write their own composition, employing skills learned earlier in the year.

They will then develop these ideas within a group, rehearsing for a recording and/or performance at the end of the half term.

Autumn Term

As part of the Core PE Programme students will complete units of work in the following activities:

Girls

  • Cross Country
  • Netball
  • Trampolining
  • Hockey
  • Badminton

Boys

  • Cross Country
  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Football
  • Trampolining

In these activities students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the rules of the activity, as well as refining their level of skill. Students will complete an internal assessment at the end of each unit of work.

Spring Term

As part of the Core PE Programme students will complete units of work in the following activities:

Girls

  • Exercise to Music
  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Fitness
  • Orienteering

Boys

  • Badminton
  • Fitness
  • Basketball
  • Long Ball
  • Orienteering

In these activities students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the rules of the activity, as well as refining their level of skill. Students will also learn about health and fitness, major muscle groups in the body and the importance of warming up and cooling down. Students will complete an internal assessment at the end of each unit of work.

Summer Term

As part of the Core PE Programme students will complete units of work in the following activities:

Girls

  • Rounders
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Athletics

Boys

  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Athletics
  • Cricket

In these activities students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the rules of the activity, as well as refining their level of skill. Students will also develop their leadership skills by leading warm-ups and cool downs and adopting the role of an official in game situations. Students will complete an internal assessment at the end of each unit of work.

Autumn Term

Students will study the remaining Key Stage 3 topics of speed, pressure, density and friction. They will also develop their investigative and practical skills through a series of experimental tasks.

Spring Term

Students will begin their study of the GCSE Physics course. This begins with the topic of waves, including transverse and longitudinal waves, the wave equation and electromagnetic waves.

Summer Term

Students will continue their study of the topic of waves, including light, reflection, refraction and lenses.

[Y9 PSHE content]

Autumn Term

Students will study two topics: Life after Death and Crime and Punishment. In both topics the focus will be to develop their skill in making judgements based on evidence and arguments.

Spring Term

This term they will study Animal Ethics and An Introduction to Philosophy.

Summer Term

During the final half term of Year 9, students investigate the way Jesus is portrayed in various forms of the media and then present their ideas in groups to the rest of the class.

Autumn Term

  • Greetings
  • Numbers
  • Colours
  • Countries
  • Classroom language
  • School and school items
  • Days of the week
  • Time, dates, months
  • Opinions, adjectives
  • Food
  • Clothes

Spring Term

  • Family
  • Pets
  • Descriptions
  • Hobbies, sport, free time
  • Arranging to meet
  • House and home

Summer Term

  • House and home continued