Key Stage 3 Curriculum

YEAR 7 and year 8

In September 2018, Chepstow House welcomed our first students into year 7 and expanded our provision to provide pupils with a mature and stimulating education in key stage 3. The size of these year groups depends on each cohort as the majority of children move to their senior school at 11+ (the end of year 6).  We do not have a year 7 and 8 every year. Our key stage 3 provision allows us to teach students until they enter their 13+ school if the need arises. We offer a balanced curriculum that extends the love of learning and allows students to prepare for Common Entrance if required.

The core subjects are complimented by art, computing, drama, French, geography, history, Latin and music, which are taught by specialist teachers. Chepstow House offers expert and targeted support to students whilst ensuring they are provided with opportunities to learn in larger environments through senior school links, particularly in the STEM subjects.

At Chepstow House we take creative subjects incredibly seriously. We are proud to host whole school events that raise the profile of art and design as well as termly whole school music, drama and dance productions. Years 7 and 8 continues to provide students with the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings, ensuring their confidence and passions grow as they move towards their senior school.

Art:  Art is taught by a specialist teacher who develops students’ creativity and imagination through drawing, painting and sculpture. Art lessons explore the use of colour, shape, space, pattern and texture and study the work of a range of artists. Click the link to find out more about the art lessons.

Design & Technology:  Through project work students undertake background research, review design criteria, plan and create prototypes of products, make products to develop their practical skills and techniques and finally evaluate their work. In year 7 and 8, students develop detailed design specifications, use mathematical modelling to indicate likely performance, produce costings for their design, use a broad range of materials and joining techniques to create the product including stitching, mechanical fastenings, heat processes and adhesives, evaluate their products in use and modify them to improve performance.

Digital Literacy & Computing:  Digital literacy is embedded throughout school life and teaching. All teachers teach students to become digitally competent and develop IT skills. The computing curriculum is varied and constantly adapted to meet new technology. Using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly is a common theme across the school. Children learn computing skills through key concepts: Citizenship (e.g. understanding malware, benefits and limitations of online commerce), Interacting and Collaborating (e.g. publishing online), Producing Digital Content (e.g. using a range of text, image, sound and animation software) and Data and Computational Thinking (e.g. algorithms, variables, process outcomes). Microsoft SharePoint and Teams are used to link work in school with homework and to celebrate great work across the school. 

Drama:  A part time Drama teacher works with the children to enhance their performance skills. In key stage 3, more explicit links are made between the English curriculum and drama, giving the students an opportunity to work with and develop scripts, often based on classical drama and literary classics. Click the link to find out more about our drama lessons.


Literary Prose:  Students will explore a range of prose for example from a novel, a play, a biography or travel writing. The prose will be analysed to develop a range of skills including: comprehension, inference and vocabulary, evaluation of style, language and purpose, delivery of opinions/judgements/arguments based on given material, awareness of how grammar, syntax and punctuation affect meaning and the capacity to make comparisons and evaluate contrasts

Poetry:  Students explore different poetry styles, this may be an entire poem or an extract. Poetry skills will be developed so students can show awareness of how language is used within the poem, to articulate their opinion by reference to the text, poetic devices will be explored such as metaphor, simile, personification, symbol, irony, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, rhythm and metre.

Writing:  Both creative and non-fiction writing opportunities are provided to allow students to consider the purpose of the text, to persuade, to explain or to provoke imaginative. Students develop writing skills including: creating moments of drama, transition within the plot and contrast to characters, settings, plots. Texts studied will range across genre and period.

Reading:  Throughout Chepstow House we encourage all students to have a passion for reading, this continues in year 7 and 8 where class novels are explored and individual reading opportunities provided both at school and at home.

Humanities:  These lessons encourage student to use a range of geographical and historical skills to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world. In geography the curriculum focuses on: mapping skills, rivers and flooding, population and development, urbanisation, weather, climate and microclimates and physical landscapes. In history students explore The Battle of Hastings, Medieval Kings Power and Problems, King John, The Crusades and Medieval Peasantry, The Black Death, The Tudors & Reformation, The Stuarts and the Gunpowder Plot, The British Empire and the Industrial Revolution.

Languages (French and Latin):  French builds on the children’s learning from key stage 2 and continues to be taught by a specialist teacher. Students study sound-spelling in order to transcribe words and short sentences with increasing accuracy, grammar in more detail and practise initiating and developing conversations. In addition to French, children in year 7 and 8 continue to learn Latin which they were introduced to in year 6. Click the link to find out more about the language lessons. 

Mathematics:  Our aim is for all students to develop a mathematical mind and be able to tackle real life problems. In year 7 & 8 students need to move fluently between mathematical concepts. The programme of study for key stage 3 is organised into distinct strands and builds on key stage 2. The mathematical strands cover: number, algebra, ratio, proportion and rates of change, geometry and measures, probability and statistics. Students should apply their mathematical knowledge in science, geography, computing and other subjects. More detail on the year 7 maths curriculum can be found here, year 7 maths scope and sequence.

Music:  Students are taught music by a specialist teacher, in which they perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. Students explore how music is created and produced including: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and musical notations. Many students also have individual instrument lessons. Click the link to find out more about the music lessons.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE):  Through the PSHE curriculum children learn how to live in the wider world, develop health and wellbeing and relationship skills. Students are given the opportunity to explore attitudes, values and beliefs to develop the skills and strategies to manage issues that may arise in their lives. The lessons promote resilience, courage, core values, understanding emotions and relationships, the ingredients for success, explore attitudes, values and understanding and tackling bullying. Opportunities to develop a sense of the value of money are also created outside the classroom with real life scenarios, such as charity fundraising events and the school fair.

Physical Education:  All PE lessons are taught by specialist trained teachers, in a co-educational environment encouraging the students to enhance their physical skills and knowledge of the sports they play. There is an emphasis on competitive sporting activities and all our children have the opportunity to put their learning into practice in our weekly fixtures. The pupils are taught a variety of sports which help to develop different skills. Sports include athletics, cricket, dance, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby, swimming and tennis. Educational visits are organised by the sports department to support and further enhance the children’s learning and experiences in sport. Click the link to find out more about our PE lessons.

Relationships & Sex Education (RSE):  RSE is delivered as part of the PSHE curriculum to promote pupil wellbeing. Students develop a variety of skills including the value of respect, love and care, self-respect and empathy for others. It is taught in the context of trusting, stable and loving relationships and at appropriate stages. In year 7 and 8 children are taught explicit RSE lessons to understand the value of respect and love, manage their emotions and learn about physical development, including puberty and reproduction, sexuality and consent and contraception (as appropriate).

Religious Education:  We recognise that learning about, promoting tolerance for and respect of different faiths is important. The religious education curriculum extends student’s knowledge and understanding of world religions. The curriculum includes: belief and values, comparison of religions, philosophy, exploration of the six main world religions and religion and science.

Science:  Students will be taught a balanced range of topics across biology, chemistry and physics. Science lessons will develop students investigation skills and the methods used by giving accounts of findings, reasoned explanations of data in relation to hypotheses and reasoned conclusions through written reports and electronic presentations. Students will evaluate risks, consider the validity of experimental results in terms of fair testing and use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work. Click the link to find out more about the science lessons. 

Biology topics include: cells, nutrition & digestion, gas exchange systems, the circulatory system, plant reproduction, human reproduction, health, photosynthesis, respiration, variation, classification & inheritance, feeding & ecological relationships.

Chemistry topics include: particle nature of matter, atoms, elements and compounds, pure and impure substances – physical changes and separation techniques, chemical reactions – combustion, decomposition, reactivity series, acids and alkalis, metals and non-metals oxides, environment.

Physics topics include: energy, motion, forces, space, sound and hearing, light, electricity, magnetism, electromagnetism.