Key Stage 3 consists of Years 7 to 9 in the British system (Grades 6 to 8 in the U. S. system) and is also known as Middle School. Students take the full National Curriculum span of subjects in this key stage. For more information about the key stages see Key Stage Chart and/or Year Equivalents.
In English, students develop confidence in speaking and writing for public and formal purposes. They also develop their ability to evaluate the way language is used. They read classic and contemporary texts and explore social and moral issues.
In Speaking and listening students learn to speak and listen confidently in a wide variety of contexts. They learn to be flexible, adapting what they say and how they say it to different situations and people. When they speak formally or to people they do not know, they are articulate and fluent in their use of spoken standard English. They learn how to evaluate the contributions they, and others, have made to discussions and drama activities.
In this stage students take increasing responsibility for planning and executing their work. They extend their calculating skills to fractions, percentages and decimals and begin to understand the importance of proportional reasoning. They are beginning to use algebraic techniques and symbols with confidence. They generate and solve simple equations and study linear functions and their corresponding graphs. They begin to use deduction to manipulate algebraic expressions. Pupils progress from a simple understanding of the features of shape and space to using definitions and reasoning to understand geometrical objects. As they encounter simple algebraic and geometric proofs, they begin to understand reasoned arguments. They communicate mathematics in speech and a variety of written forms, explaining their reasoning to others. They study handling data through practical activities and are introduced to a quantitative approach to probability. Pupils work with increasing confidence and flexibility to solve unfamiliar problems. They develop positive attitudes towards mathematics and increasingly make connections between different aspects of mathematics.
Students build on their scientific knowledge and understanding and make connections between different areas of science. They use scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and events and to understand a range of familiar applications of science. They think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They take account of others' views and understand why opinions may differ. They do more quantitative work, carrying out investigations on their own and with others. They evaluate their work, in particular the strength of the evidence they and others have collected. They select and use a wide range of reference sources. They communicate clearly what they did and its significance.
Design and Technology
Students use a wide range of materials to design and make products. They work out their ideas with some precision, taking into account how products will be used, who will use them, how much they cost and their appearance. They develop their understanding of designing and making by investigating products and finding out about the work of professional designers and manufacturing industry. They use computers, including computer aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) and control software, as an integral part of designing and making. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum.
Students become increasingly independent users of ICT tools and information sources. They have a better understanding of how ICT can help their work in other subjects and develop their ability to judge when and how to use ICT and where it has limitations. They think about the quality and reliability of information and access and combine increasing amounts of information. They become more focused, efficient and rigorous in their use of ICT and carry out a range of increasingly complex tasks.
Students learn about significant individuals and events in history from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. They also learn about key aspects of European and world history. They show their understanding by making connections between events and changes in the different periods and areas studied, and by comparing the structure of societies and economic, cultural and political developments. They evaluate and use different sources of information, using their historical knowledge to analyse the past and explain how it can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
Students investigate a wide range of people, places and environments at different scales around the world. They learn about geographical patterns and processes and how political, economic, social and environmental factors affect contemporary geographical issues. They also learn about how places and environments are interdependent. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they identify geographical questions, collect and analyse written and statistical evidence, and develop their own opinions. They use a wide range of geographical skills and resources such as maps, satellite images and ICT.
Students continue to develop their ability to understand, speak, read and write Spanish. They become familiar with the sounds, written form and grammar of the language, and use this knowledge with increasing confidence and competence to express themselves in role plays, conversations and writing. They improve their understanding of the language by listening to people talking about different subjects and by reading a range of texts. They also increase their cultural awareness by communicating with people who speak the language and by using materials from countries and communities where the language is spoken.
Art and Design
Students develop their creativity and imagination through more sustained activities. These help them to build on and improve their practical and critical skills and to extend their knowledge and experience of materials, processes and practices. They engage confidently with art, craft and design in the contemporary world and from different times and cultures. They become more independent in using the visual language to communicate their own ideas, feelings and meanings.
Students deepen and extend their own musical interests and skills. They perform and compose music in different styles with increasing understanding of musical devices, processes and contextual influences. They work individually and in groups of different sizes and become increasingly aware of different roles and contributions of each member of the group. They actively explore specific genres, styles and traditions from different times and cultures with increasing ability to discriminate, think critically and make connections between different areas of knowledge.
Students become more expert in their skills and techniques, and how to apply them in different activities. They start to understand what makes a performance effective and how to apply these principles to their own and others' work. They learn to take the initiative and make decisions for themselves about what to do to improve performance. They start to identify the types of activity they prefer to be involved with and to take a variety of roles such as leader and official.