Key Stage 3


KS3 Art

At Friesland we are passionate about art. Art is not just about drawing and painting, it is about questioning, thinking, analysing, creating, problem solving and self-expression. We have four specialist staff, so our students are able to develop a really broad range of skills and use a variety of 2 and 3D techniques over year 7, 8 and 9.

In year 7, all students complete a Foundation module which provides them with basic skills and understanding of the formal elements of Art and Design. They then complete projects developing skills in handling paint, clay and textiles. During year 8 and 9, skills are developed further by investigating and responding to the work of different artists, architects and designers in a series of more sustained theme-based projects which lead to some exciting and individual outcomes.

Students are provided with sketchbooks which are used for class and homework. They will need a basic kit of pencils, pens and pencil colours to complete homework and access to the internet will be helpful for research tasks, although students are always welcome to use the computers and printers in the art rooms at break time or after school.

Computer Science

KS3 Computer Science

Computing has now replaced the old ICT curriculum and gives students a chance to learn and engage with skills that are highly in demand by the IT industry.

Students will learn communication skills, how computers work, computational thinking skills and how to make things happen using code. Students will use a range of hardware such as Raspberry Pi’s and PC’s as well as software such as Scratch, Python and the Adobe Creative suite.

Design and Technology

KS3 Design and Technology

Years 7/8

Design and Technology in KS3 at Friesland offers our students the opportunity to explore their creative side through a variety of subject areas. During years 7/8 students will experience:

Food: Students learn about the importance of food hygiene and safety, as well as preparing and making a variety of quality food products ranging from Pizza to designing their own biscuit.

Graphics: Students learn and develop techniques of applying texture and shading to objects drawn in 3D.They learn how to create a graphic product while being introduced to photoshop, sublimation printing and the impact of design on our environment.

Electronics: Students are introduced to basic electronic components built into a small product. They then progress on to the use of Printed Circuit Boards where they have to build and solder a circuit that will make two lights flash in a door hanger. They are also introduced to the CAD/CAM vinyl cutter to personalise the product.

Resistant materials: The three main materials are introduced over two modules. They design and make a mechanical toy using mainly wood products, a copper pot and jewellery with metals and enamel, and a CAD/CAM produced maze using acrylic. They also consider plastic packaging. The RM course introduces them to new processes such as vacuum forming, casting and routing as well as the traditional tools and machines used in a workshop.

Year 9

The students are given first-hand experience of creating a portfolio of GCSE design work which benefits them greatly when they choose which Technology option in Years ten and eleven. They also sit a one hour exam which tests their knowledge of materials and processes as well as other design issues. This leads to them being awarded a half GCSE in Product Design. They can choose which material area they wish to focus on.


KS3 Drama

Drama at KS3 focuses on building students’ confidence in public speaking, working with their peers and being able to think creatively. Students take part in group work, whole class drama and also learn how to work independently.

They create naturalistic and non-naturalistic drama using a variety of techniques through devised and scripted work. Students consider a variety of stimuli ranging from poems, historical events and modern plays to Shakespeare and short stories. The practical nature of the subject develops creativity, communication and confidence and enables the students to think on their feet.


KS3 English

We value Key Stage 3 enormously at Friesland School and the curriculum in English has been designed to be broad, challenging and engaging. The curriculum content is sequenced by intelligent backward planning from GCSE, which focuses on key skills and exposing students to the richness of the national curriculum and ensuring concepts are revisited at deeper levels. Whilst students are thoroughly prepared for any assessments, we also ensure this never cuts into learning time, with the broadness of our curriculum being our key priority.

During each term there are a number of ‘Checkpoint Activities’, which are in place to prepare students for an end of term assessment. The ‘Checkpoint Activities’ will be marked in detail and are in place to ensure our students are making the progress required. The three termly assessments will then be a more formal process, with the skills taught during each term being assessed in timed conditions.

Termly letters are sent home and uploaded to the school website, which give further information on the content of the modules studied.

Modules studied in Year 7

  • Autumn Term – ‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Wonder by R.J. Palacio’
  • Spring Term – ‘Animal Farm by George Orwell’ and ‘Persuasion’
  • Summer Term – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare’ and ‘Global Voices’

Modules studied in Year 8

  • Autumn Term – ‘Journeys’ and ‘Stone Cold by Robert Swindells’
  • Spring Term – ‘Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare’ and ‘Gothic’, including the playscript Dracula
  • Summer Term – ‘Texts in Conflict’ and ‘Causes to Fight For’


KS3 Geography

In Year 7, we study topics about wild weather, global cities and Europe. This gives students the chance to learn about a broad range of subjects including hurricanes, droughts, shanty towns, sustainability, population, tourism, coasts and rivers.

The Year 8 course involves the study of environmental topics, Africa and exploding earth. The students will look at aspects of climate change, endangered species, plastic in the oceans, multinational companies, rainforests, volcanoes and earthquakes.


KS3 History

History develops critical thinking skills, encourages independent enquiry and develops knowledge about the political, social and cultural history of the local area, Britain, Europe and the wider world. Students are encouraged to analyse source material, develop debating skills and make informed choices about significance.

Year 7 students will have an introduction to the nature of History and historical sources followed by three topics: The Norman Conquest, Medieval Life and The Tudors.

Year 8 students will focus on more thematic topics such as Slavery and its legacy, WWII and its turning points and finally they will study the holocaust and its impact.


KS3 Maths

In KS3, we undertake a Mastery approach to our schemes of learning. Having a Secondary Mastery Specialist within the department has given new insight and ideas to teachers on how to teach in this style. Mathematics teaching for Mastery is achieved through developing procedural fluency and conceptual understanding in tandem, as each supports the other.

Lessons are designed to focus on one key learning point with much engagement from teacher-student and student-student interactions to fully delve into a topic. Those students who quickly grasp a topic are challenged to apply the concept being taught into new and unfamiliar situations instead of accelerating into new material, thus achieving a deeper understanding. The schemes of learning have number at heart in year 7 with a large proportion spent reinforcing the students number skills to build competency. Year 8 builds upon this by looking at ratio and proportion, algebra and shape topics.

Assessments are undertaken once a term during KS3 and these are used to evaluate a student’s progress along with determining if further support is required.

Modern Foreign Languages

KS3 Languages

At Friesland we offer French, German and Spanish. Students will be assigned a language in year 7 and follow this language through the whole of their school career in order to promote mastery and expertise in that particular language with accelerated learning and potential filling outcomes at GCSE.

We are pleased to offer various extracurricular activities including a day trip to the German market in Birmingham in year 8 and a German exchange trip in year 9 (Now part of the new KS4 curriculum. Plans are also underway for a day trip to France in year 7 or 8.

Each year we welcome foreign language assistants who work with students across all key stages, either on a one to one basis or in small groups. This opportunity allows students to speak to a native speaker and improve both their listening and speaking skills. We also run MFL activities and competitions during a week in September and present assemblies to promote in the European Day of Languages and language learning as a vital skill for the future world of work.


KS3 Music

Music at KS3 is an exploration of performance, composition and musical appraisal. Students perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.

Students learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to use technology appropriately and to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Students understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated through pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Physical Education

KS3 Physical Education

Throughout Key Stage 3 students have two lessons of Physical Education per week. Lessons are mainly taught in single sexed groups, with setting occurring in Y8 and y9 to enable all students to progress.

The PE curriculum is broad and balanced and covers many different areas. Compulsory areas studied by students are Health Related Exercise, Social Dance and Athletics.

Religious Studies

KS3 Religious Studies

All our students from Year 7 to Year 8 study RS covering a variety of topics and viewpoints helping to encourage students to come to their own conclusions. RS at Friesland is more than learning facts and figures, it’s about questioning and exploring the world around us and the individual.

Religious Studies in Year 7

In Year 7 students are taught through Humanities lessons, they have three lessons a week and rotate topics from Religious Studies, Geography and History. Students will complete three modules for Religious Studies.

What is Belief: This module looks at the basic beliefs of the Five World Religions. It asks students how beliefs may affect the way some people choose to live their lives. There is an opportunity for students to attend a ‘Faith Trail Trip’ around Derby. Students will visit the Mosque, Gurdwara and Mandir Temple. During the visit around the Gurdwara, students will have the opportunity to try new foods in the Langar Hall. Students also participate in an Asian Marriage workshop where they investigate how marriage in Asia is different to in the UK. They will also have the chance to have Mehndi patterns on their hands.

Prejudice: This module introduces the ideas of stereotype, prejudice and discrimination. The module examines why these things exist in our world and the impact that they have on individuals and communities. Students will undertake a case study into the life and works of Martin Luther King and think of ways in which his work can be seen today, or not seen in some cases.

Code Breaking: This module introduces the idea of religion and why it is important to understand a wide range of cultural and religious views. Students will examine how these messages are communicated throughout the world looking specifically at the importance of story-telling. Students will examine closely the symbolism in Holy Communion and Puja and complete a Philosophy 4 Children enquiry.

Religious Studies in Year 8

Year Eight RS is taught an hour a week by subject specialists and is a window into the world of GCSE. Students undertake three modules that will challenge their ideals and really encourage them to think outside of the box and to express their ideas in creative ways.

Crime and Punishment: This module centers with the idea of crime and punishment and whether or not the punishments in our country and around the world really do work in achieving the aims of punishment. Students will look at the death penalty in relation to the Moors Murders and whether or not people who commit such offenses should be given the death penalty or not. Students are encouraged to challenge and develop their own ideas and thoughts about capital punishment and express this in a respectful and articulate manner. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Galleries of Justice and undertake two workshops; one looking at capital punishment and the other a court room trial simulation. Students will have a case about knife crime to work through and decide whether the offender is guilty or not and what kind of punishment they should receive.

Ultimate Questions: During this module students will look at the varying theories on how the universe was created. Students will compare and contrast these theories and start to draw conclusions about what they believe and why. Students will look at ways to challenge these ideas through looking at the presence of Evil and Suffering in our world.

Medical Ethics: During this module students will look at the importance and value of human life. Students will look at the ways in which humanity demonstrates that life is important, drawing on the laws and ethical discussions surrounding abortion, euthanasia and cloning.

Spirited Arts: Students begin to look at wealth and poverty and how that looks in our country and around the world. Students will look at the Salvation Army and the attempts they make to try and help those in need. Students will investigate the theme of ‘Life’s not Fair’ looking specifically at the issues of wealth and poverty. Students will create a piece of artwork to demonstrate how life is not fair and put forward possible solutions to closing the gap between the rich and the poor.


KS3 Science

Pupils will study a wide range of topics covering living things (Biology), materials science (Chemistry), and fundamental science (Physics).

We have redeveloped our Science KS3 curriculum so that it is excellent preparation for the new GCSEs. This redevelopment was based upon these two fundamental principles:

  1. that the science studied should be challenging for all pupils;
  2. that it is based on practical science skills to teach our pupils how scientists investigate the world around us.

Biology includes: cells and respiration, reproduction in humans and other organisms, plants, DNA and inheritance.

Chemistry includes: Classifying materials, The Periodic Table, Chemical Changes, The Earth and its Atmosphere.

Physics includes: Energy and Matter, Forces and Motion, Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, The Earth, the Solar System and the Universe.