Art, Drama & Music
My name is Mrs Johnstone and I’m the Faculty Leader for Art, Drama and Music. The most rewarding part about teaching the Creative Arts subjects is that your teachers are giving you the skills that you need to go out into the world and succeed. They will build positive relationships with you, getting to know your unique gifts, talents and interests and will be there to support you whilst you develop and grow in confidence. In Creative arts subjects, your children will be provided with lots of opportunities to study artists, musicians and practitioners to inspire the creation of their own work. They will be assessed upon their knowledge and skills development and will gain a solid foundation for further study. The most exciting thing about studying Art, Music and Drama is that they are encouraged to think creatively and to take creative risks within the production of their own work. Creative Arts subject are also beneficial to improving emotional and social wellbeing. In Year & your children will have 3 lessons per fortnight in Art, 2 lessons per fortnight in Music and, 1 lesson per fortnight in Drama.
Welcome to our wonderful English and Media Faculty. I’m Mrs James and in Year 7, your children will learn how to write their own autobiography, read Coraline and learn about the fantasy genre, study the origin of the English Language and become experts in Victorian Literature and Shakespeare. We love to be creative in our team, so your children should expect to be up on their feet, reading out loud and writing beautiful narratives based on our study of the literary greats! It goes without saying that we are very passionate about reading and so, one of the English lessons across the fortnight (there are 7 in total) will be spent in the library, luxuriating on the sofas and chairs whilst your children explore new worlds. Finally, we love it when our students of English get a chance to share their ideas, learn about others’ experiences of the world and put together powerful and confident written pieces.
Welcome to the Humanities Faculty. My name is Mr Fullard and I have the pleasure of leading an amazing team of teachers. The Humanities Faculty encompasses History, Geography and RE as well as Citizenship at GCSE. These subjects will help your child to make sense of the world around them and to understand place and time. In Year 7 they will be studying a range of subjects, from the Normans through to the Crusades, in Geography they will look at how populations have changed and the impact of rivers and in RE they will be answering big questions around creation as well as studying the great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
IT & Technology
I’m Mr Alexander, the faculty leader for IT, Business and Technology. In IT and Technology we love a ‘hands on’ approach. We want all learners to develop a confidence in the use of Technology, but also to gain a firm understanding of the component parts that make up a product. We enjoy exploring the process of design and development, using feedback to help shape and refine our designs to make them more suitable for the audience and purpose. In Year 7 your child will enjoy getting into the kitchen and exploring the nutrition and science behind our meal choices; taking apart engineered components as well as creating their own products as they get familiar with the tools in the workshop; designing and creating their own computer programs as well as learning to use our remote learning facilities in IT. It is important to use these skills as often as possible outside of the classroom, cooking and helping with DIY at home are as important as the work in the classroom in developing a child’s skills and confidence. There are regular competitions and celebration events to recognise their work outside of the classroom, as well as projects to get involved with during lunch times and after school.
Welcome to Maths at Whickham. My name is Miss Green and I am Faculty Leader for maths. When your child starts school at Whickham they will be put into a class that is appropriate for their age and ability. In this class they will start by working on the base skills of mathematics so we can ensure that all students are taught the correct methods as well as raise the bar for all of them, no matter their primary experience. Lessons will include a lot of problem solving and reasoning where skills from KS2 will be recapped and built upon so that they deepen their understanding and to ensure that they are stretched and challenged. This way we can ensure your child has mastered the key skills needed before learning about new topics and concepts later on in the year. All students will complete core activities that support and stretch but upper classes will also be stretched and challenged through the higher pathway. In year 7 classes are fluid, so the class a child starts off in may not be the class they stay in for the full year. As we assess them, we will speak to both them and you if we feel that a change is best. We have a fantastic team of teachers who are committed to building positive relationships and supporting students at Whickham School. For those who wish to do so, there will be weekly problem solving challenges to take part in as well as regular trips and Junior Maths Challenges against other schools to take part in. We also offer daily maths support every lunch time where students can come to get help with homework and classwork or even do some additional maths work if they wish.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Bonjour / Guten Tag Year 6! My name is Miss McKenna and I’m the Faculty Leader in the languages faculty. In Year 7 half the students will learn French and half will learn German. We realise that some students may be really excited after enjoying languages at primary school – and some may feel that they haven’t done much French or German before! My message to you is that they don’t need to worry, there are lots of lovely French and German teachers ready to help them when they get here! Your child will learn about how to talk about themselves, their friends and family. They’ll also learn lots about French and German speaking countries and the culture of those countries. We’ll read French and German stories, watch French and German movies, eat French and German food and there will be opportunities to travel to French and German speaking countries. Au revoir / Auf Wiedersehen!
I’m Miss Gainford and I am the leader of the PE and Health Faculty. Your child will have four lessons of PE on their two week timetable and will have opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities in lessons. These may include hockey, football, rugby, athletics, tennis, basketball, gymnastics and dance. Some of these activities may be new to them but their PE teacher will support them at their own level. All that we ask is that they come to lessons with a positive attitude and try their best. We love to see pupils grow in confidence as they discover new sporting talents! For those who would like to participate in sports outside of lesson time, we run a wide extra-curricular PE programme. Most of our clubs run after school and are free to attend, with fantastic opportunities on offer to represent Whickham School in a range of sports teams. For those still looking for more, we run a popular Active Lunch programme and have recently started a pre-school basketball club.
I’m Mr Pickering and I am the KS3 Science Programme Leader. When your child comes to Whickham School science is taught in our new laboratories. In year 7 and 8, they will have 6 hours of lessons per fortnight, and in year 9, this will increase to 7 hours per fortnight. They will be studying the three disciplines of chemistry, physics and biology. In year 7, biology topics include body systems, cells and reproduction. In chemistry they will learn about particle theory, elements, atoms and compounds, chemical reactions and acids and alkalis. In physics, they will learn about forces, sound, light and space! Throughout KS3, their scientific enquiry skills are developed. They will be expected to learn how to analyse data, for example by looking at patterns in data, presenting data in tables or graphs, and describing trends in data. In addition, they;’ll learn how to communicate their scientific ideas and learn or develop their enquiry skills. In scientific enquiry, they will learn how to collect data, devise questions and plan variables to test a hypothesis. Problem solving is also required in science, so your child will have opportunities to estimate risks, review theories and interrogate sources. At the end of each topic, there will be an assessment, which is used to inform them of their progress. Homework is set weekly through a system called “class charts”, and it is expected that this is completed by the deadline set by the teacher. Science is an important and fun subject and your child will have the opportunity to do practical activities and learn how to work safely with scientific equipment.