At Great Barr Academy the vast majority of Year 7, 8 and 9 students study a 3 year broad and balanced curriculum model.

Click the link to download a copy of the KS3 Curriculum overview →The KS3 Curriculum – An Overview

Please click the icon below to download the complete Year 7 Curriculum Information Booklet

Click the link to download a copy of the Year 7 Revision Booklet →Year 7 Revision Booklet

Click the headings below to find out more about the subjects we offer:

Year 7 – The Core Subjects

The Key Stage 3 curriculum enables students to build on aspects of Mathematics covered at Key Stage 2. Students explore topics including; Number, Algebra, Shape and Statistics, through a mastery approach enabling them to extract a conceptual understanding of Mathematics. A resource-based curriculum allows for an enjoyable and accessible experience for students at all levels. Students will have an end of topic review test (ETR) at the end of each topic studied, a milestone test at the end of each term and an exam at the end of year 7. Home learning supports the work covered in lessons, through a mixture of online and paper based work, each student is given a homework booklet. Students have access to Mathswatch. There is an expectation for all students to complete homework each week in order to reinforce their learning. After school Maths club is available on Monday and Thursday 3.15 until 4.15 in room 33.

For further information, please contact Mr J. Uddin (Lead for KS3 Mathematics) by email: j.uddin@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

The jump from KS2 to KS3 can often be a challenging time for Year 7 students. The English team have developed an introductory unit of work focused on the idea of ‘Identity’ that makes the transition as seamless as possible.  During this unit of work, students are assessed and monitored before being set into class groups based on their ability.  This ensures each student receives the correct level of support and challenge to ensure his or her progression is maximised.  Students then move on to studying topics such as: gothic fiction, Macbeth, poetry and contemporary fiction.  For each topic, students will complete a ‘cold’ assessment at the start, to allow staff to tailor their teaching to the students’ strengths and areas for development whilst they complete the topic. Students then complete a ‘hot’ assessment in which they showcase the progress they have made over the course of the topic.

If you require any further information regarding English, please contact your child’s English teacher or Miss E Stenhouse (Lead for KS3 English) by email: e.stenhouse@greatbarr,sch.uk

This academic year, Year 7 Science students will be completing Biology, Chemistry and Physics units from the Activate 1 scheme of work. The Biology topics that will be studied are cells, structure and function of body systems and reproduction. The Chemistry topics that will be studied are: particles and their behaviour, elements, atoms and compounds, reactions and acids and alkalis. The Physics topics that will be studied are: forces, sound, light and space. Each of these topics will have an end of topic test and there will also be an end of year test in June which will assess all of the topics studied throughout the year. All students have access to the online resources via www.kerboodle.com which includes additional materials to support work at home as well as an electronic copy of the text book.

If you require any further information regarding Year 7 Science please contact your child’s science teacher or Miss J McDonnell (Lead for KS3 Science) by email: j.mcdonnell@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

Year 7 – The EBACC Subjects

Geography at Key Stage 3 is taught thematically. The themes are taken from the main areas of the GCSE Geography course in order to prepare students for Key Stage 4. The themes are physical geography, sustainability, demographics, culture and society, global interaction and geographical enquiry. In Year 7, students are taught one topic from each of these themes as outlined in the table below. Each scheme of work is planned with high challenge in mind to develop the students’ ability to describe, explain, justify and assess. Each scheme incorporates the main geographical skills required to be successful in Key Stages 4 and 5 as well as Key Stage 3. The aim of the programme is to spark student interest in the world in which they live and to challenge stereotypes. Each topic taught will have an end of topic assessment and there will be an end of year exam in June/July 2018.

If you require any further information regarding KS3 Geography then please contact your child’s Geography Teacher or Mr D. Bourne (Assistant Director of Geography) by email: d.bourne@greatbarr.bham.sch.ukGeography Y7 2018

History at Key Stage 3 is taught using resources created by the department’s teachers. The topics covered are as follows:

  1. Immigration nation – focus dark ages

Introduction to history skills, Saxon invasion, Viking raids

  1. Norman Conquest 1066

Contenders for the throne, Battle of Hastings, Norman Conquest of England

  1. Medieval Life 1066-1485

Medieval church, crusades, village life, plague, challenges to the throne.

  1. The Tudors

Religion, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I

History at key 3 is NOT taught from a textbook. However, there are some websites that provide excellent supporting information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zk26n39  – for all topics

http://spartacus-educational.com/ – covers all topics and provides primary evidence from the past.

Please remember that any information gathered from a website needs to be in the student’s own words and presented in a manner that they can understand.

If you require any further information regarding KS3 History then please contact your child’s History Teacher or Mr S. Price (Assistant Director of History) by email: s.price@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

In Year 7 all students initially study one language.  For students beginning at Great Barr in September 2018, the language is German.  During Year 7, able linguists are selected to take up a second language at the start of Year 8. Students will use the Stimmt 1 course book throughout the year and cover the following topics: greetings and description of yourself, family and pets, free-time and school.  There will be a short assessment at the end of each topic and an end of year exam covering all topics studied in Year 7.  Home learning will be set routinely to consolidate progress in the classroom.  Students can use the following websites to support their studies:





If you require any further information, please contact your child’s German teacher or our German specialist teacher: Miss S Foxall by email: s.foxall@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk  or the Director of Subject: Mrs M Lines by email:  m.lines@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

During Year 7, students have one lesson of Computer Science weekly. During Key Stage 3, students will study a variety of aspects of Computer Science and IT skills to prepare your child for further studies and the world of work. The topics studies in Year 7 include: Unit 1 – Networks and Communication 1: Staying Safe, Communicating Online and the Internet. Unit 2 – Algorithms and Processing: Sequencing, Flow Charts and LOGO. Unit 3 – Hardware and Processing: Hardware, Software and Networks and Unit 4 – My Digital World.

To support learning, the following websites are recommended:




If you require any further information regarding Key Stage 3 Computer Science, please contact your child’s Computer Science Teacher or the Lead Teacher of Computer Science – KS3: Mr S. Dutton by email: s.dutton@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

Year 7 – All other subjects

At Great Barr Academy, we have a variety of exciting and engaging topics for our Year 7 students.  They will develop thinking skills and begin to formulate and support their own views.  They will cover the following topics.  Who am I? Here, students will be looking at the religious demographic of the school as well as our community.  Creation – where they will look at the different religious, non-religious and scientific beliefs about how the world was created.  Students will also begin to learn how to present opposing arguments by sharing their own opinions with others.  The Life of Moses, Five Pillars of Islam, and Buddhism will give them an insight into other religions, their beliefs and practices. Beliefs in Action will cover inspirational figures who have made a difference to the lives of others because of their beliefs.  There will be 3 assessments over the year ending with a final exam in the summer term.

If you require any further information regarding Religious Studies, please contact your child’s Religious Studies Teacher or the Director of Religious Studies: Mrs L. Simpson by email: l.simpson@greatbarr.sch.uk.

In Design and Technology, students will cover the subjects of Textiles, Food and Resistant Materials. We follow the National Curriculum to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and diets that meet human needs. Students learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments. They learn to think creatively and intervene to improve the quality of life, solving problems as individuals and members of a team.

Throughout key stage 3, students are introduced to the design process and develop the use of hand tools and equipment during practical classes. They will make solutions for their own needs, as well as the needs of others. They will use a range of woods, metals and plastics (in Resistant Materials), fabrics (in Textiles), and ingredients (in Food Technology).

If you have any questions regarding the KS3 Design and Technology course, please contact the Director of D&T: Mr S. Nugent by email: s.nugent@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

This academic year, all Year 7 students will be introduced to the foundations of drawing skills.   They will explore a range of project themes throughout the year and they are expected to present both practical and written work in sketchbooks.  The themes that will be studied are the visual elements, still life, Paul Cezanne, Keith Haring, City life and portraits.  Each topic will be researched in an A4 sketchbook and then a final piece presented on A3 paper.  Home Learning is very important for student progress in Art.  Home learning will also be mounted into sketchbooks to show various drawing skills.  At the beginning of the year a base line drawing test will take place during lesson time in order for teachers to identify strengths and areas of improvement.  Your child will be provided with a sketchbook and other art materials but will be expected to bring a pencil to every lesson.  It is very important that your child is working extremely hard to ensure progress every lesson and improvements in their drawing skills.

If you require any further information regarding art in Year 7, please contact Mrs V. Williams:  KS3 Lead for Art, via email: v.williams@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

Students will spend five weeks each on six different activities. The list of activities comprises: netball, football, rugby, handball, dodgeball, trampolining, badminton, fitness, cricket, rounders, athletics, basketball, table tennis, and dance. The first 5 weeks are spent doing several different activities designed to test fitness, coordination and general aptitude in PE to ensure students are then put in the correct ability sets. At the start of each activity, students will be told what they need to do in order to achieve each of the levels 1-9 and then at the end of each activity students will be given a grade 1-9. If a student excels in any one activity then they can be awarded a badge to go on their blazer in that individual sport. Several lunchtime and after school clubs are available for students to attend. If students attend a certain amount of extra-curricular activities there are rewards to be won!

If you require any further information regarding Physical Education in Year 7, please contact your child’s PE Teacher or Miss C. Hayes: Director of Physical Education by email: c.hayes@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

In addition to the exciting and engaging curriculum offered for our learners within Performing Arts, pupils will have the opportunity to attend a wide range of sessions across Performing Arts, with lots of fun and engaging opportunities to support them in developing a wider knowledge of Dance, Drama or Music.

Learners in Year 7 are able to participate in Dance lessons as part of their experience within Performing Arts. They will learn the basics of movement through fun and engaging theme based units of work. ‘Cartoon Capers’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ or ‘Around the World’ where they will learn about Creating movement for performance, Dynamics, Motif creation, and choreographic formation. The sessions are highly practical learners must wear their PE kit and bare feet for safety reasons.
If you require any further information regarding Dance, please contact your child’s Dance teacher or the lead teacher of Dance and the Director of Performing Arts: Miss K. Tucker by email:  K.Tucker@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

Our learners will be introduced to Drama as a subject in Year 7. They will be exploring fictional stories to introduce the basic skills of drama, Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, explore the issue of bullying through a play script ‘The Terrible Fate Of Humpty Dumpty’ and finish the year combining their new skills in the genre of Silent Movies.
They will develop and apply theatrical skills by presenting their work to an audience. It is crucial that your child is working hard all year to build their communication and social skills.
If you require any further information regarding Drama, please contact your child’s Drama Teacher the lead teacher of Drama: Miss B Fear by email: B.Fear@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk or the Director of Performing Arts: Miss K. Tucker by email: K.Tucker@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

Year 7 pupils will complete four topics in Music during this academic year: African drumming, keyboard skills, Vocal skills, and theme and variation. The African drumming topic incorporates the musical elements and an introduction to percussion instruments. There will be mini compositions and performances throughout the year in addition to composition and listening tests. The keyboard skills topic contains an introduction to the functions on the keyboard, how to find the notes and use the correct fingers to start playing well-known tunes on the keyboard. Students then progress onto playing more difficult keyboard music, including the introduction of chords. This leads onto a mini singing project at the end of the topic.
If you require any further information regarding Music please contact the Lead teacher of Music: Mrs C. Hill by email: c.l.Hill@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk or the Head of Performing Arts: Miss K. Tucker by email: K.Tucker@greatbarr.bham.sch.uk

At KS3 your child will be given a Home Learning Booklet every half term.  It contains home learning for each subject that your child studies.  The home learning offers different levels of challenge with coloured tasks; green, pink and purple.  We encourage our pupils to complete all home learning to the best of their ability to help them secure expected progress and aim towards good and outstanding.  Your child’s teacher will set the homework and set a deadline which each student writes in their planner.  We ask for your support in ensuring your child meets the deadlines.  Pupils who complete all of their home learning with be rewarded with Vivos.  Those who complete it to a good or outstanding effort will receive other awards as well as Vivos.  Home learning completion is essential for your child to be included in rewards activities over the academic year, and is an excellent way for them to progress and be the best that they can be.

Please refer to the subject overviews for specific information about individual subjects and contact information for Directors of Subject.  The Great Barr Academy Curriculum is overseen by:

Mrs M Hunt – Assistant Head Teacher – Curriculum
Mrs Georgia Gough – Timetable and Systems Manager