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Grade 8 Curriculum

English Language & Literature

In Grade 8 English, students explore literature and language through four units: We Impact Our World, The History of English, Power and Ambition and Curtains Up (Shakespeare). Throughout each unit students are exposed to a variety of text types and genres. Students focus on written and oral language skills throughout the year. Assessment takes a variety of forms including essays, presentations, creative tasks and reflections.

German Language & Literature

In German Language & Literature (i.e. Mother Tongue German), students read age–appropriate texts on topics of interest. They read novels, poetry and drama. They are encouraged to think and discuss their ideas in classroom and in writing. They cover a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures, which they are able to use with ease, flair and creativity when speaking and writing.

German Language Acquisition

Students are grouped according to their proficiency levels, which are structured in Phases. We offer from Phase 1 (beginners) through to Phase 5 (highly proficient). In all Phases, we cover productive language skills (speaking and writing) and receptive language skills (visual interpretation and reading comprehension). The language is taught through topics, which become more demanding as the students' language skills develop.

Personal Development Programme

In Grade 8, students look for ways to exhibit leadership and self advocacy, and to demonstrate respect and responsibility within relationships, their community and the surrounding environment. These themes are also explored through topics including Community Service, Human Rights, Sex and Relationships Education, Alcohol and Smoking and through a 3-day camping trip at the Klontalersee in September and a week-long outdoor adventure trip to the mountains in June.

Spanish Language Acquisition

The course builds on the previous year’s knowledge, using more difficult texts and enabling the students to extend their vocabulary and knowledge of grammar and sentence structure. The students will continue developing their oral skills by discussing relevant topics. (Phase 2, 3)

French Language Acquisition

The course builds on the previous year’s knowledge, using more difficult texts and enabling the students to extend their vocabulary and knowledge of grammar and sentence structure. The students will continue developing their oral skills by discussing relevant topics. (Phase 2, 3)

Mathematics

In Grade 8 Mathematics, students continue to expand their skills in core branches of Mathematics such as Number, Geometry, Algebra and Statistics. They are introduced to Trigonometry at this stage and begin to build a foundation in this area. They continue to explore the world around them through investigations where they identify patterns, communicate findings and reflect upon results. Through these activities they are exposed to the power and beauty of Mathematics.

Sciences

Grade 8 Science focuses on five units of study: The 'Microbes' unit examines everything from the various kingdoms to microbes that cause disease. The 'Heat' unit examines various methods of heating and culminates in the students making and testing a heat-efficient house. The 'Energy' unit focuses on various types of energy and the conservation of energy. In the 'Growth & Reproduction' unit, students learn about the reproduction process in various plants and mammals, and focus on human development. In the 'Water and Soil Erosion' unit, students examine water and soil erosion problems around the world and current innovative solutions to these problems.

Individuals & Societies (Humanities)

Grade 8 Humanities focuses on four units of study.

  • Time, Place and Space - Oral History' examines a personal sense of identity in a context of time, place and space.
  • 'Change - Climate Change' links causes, processes and consequences as well as interactions between individuals, societies and environments.
  • 'Systems - Revolutions' studies the functions of models and institutions, responsibilities of citizenship, and power and governance within systems
  • 'Global Interactions - Energy' considers the interaction between individuals, societies, environments and ideas while investigating sustainable development as a way of safe-guarding the future.

Design

In Design, Grade 8 students undertake two projects using the Design Cycle as a project management tool.

1) Designing a presentation in order to meet the clients’ needs. Through this the students develop a sound understanding of the presentation software Prezi and are able to manipulate the flow by using various tools.

2) Board game. The students use the Design Cycle and plan and produce a game – interactive or with simple mechanisms. Through this they develop a sound understanding of various functions on chosen software / materials.

Physical Education

The units covered by Grade 8 this year will include: Ultimate Frisbee, touch rugby, fitness, gymnastics, badminton, short tennis, softball and track and field. Students will build on their conceptual understanding of games from previous years and develop skills specific to individual activities. Within the fitness unit students will develop their understanding of the long and short term effects of cardio vascular activity.

Visual Arts

Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through four units of work. They develop and apply practical media skills; explore their creativity; and learn to respond to their own and others' artwork Students work as individuals and in small groups to explore possibilities.'The Four Elements' collaboration involves all students in the grade working in collaboration to understand the different ways the Arts can communicate an idea or theme. This year we are looking at the' Four Elements'. Students in 2D are working with the figure initially through drawing the form and making sense of proportion and the anatomical structure then looking at fashion and aesthetics of the body line in combination with decoration and textiles. In 3D arts students create a sporting sculpture that captures a moment in a sport they either play or understand well. In the final project they look at hand gesture and make a hand from clay that communicates this gesture.

Drama

Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through four units of work: 'The Four Elements' collaboration, Youth in conflict (Radio Plays), Anne Frank's Diary Devising and Why Do We Laugh. They develop and apply practical performance and composition skills; explore their creativity; and learn to respond to their own and others' artwork. Students work as individuals and small groups to explore drama using voice, physicalisation, research, design, and technology.

Music

Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through four units of work: 'The Four Elements' collaboration, Blues Music, World Music and Film Music. They develop and apply practical performance and composition skills; explore their creativity; and learn to respond to their own and others' artwork. Students work as individuals and small groups to explore music using voice, instruments, music notations, and technology.

Dance

Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through four units of work. They explore styles and techniques, choreographing for self and others, dance practitioners, and the relationship between music and dance. The course is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and understanding that lead to Performing Arts study in Grades 9 and 10 Drama, and the IB Diploma Theatre course in Grades 11 and 12.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The EAL course is focused on the English language skills required to be successful in an English-speaking school. The curriculum is designed to develop students’ vocabulary, understanding of concepts and use of language. Students will learn to write well-structured paragraphs, essays and reports needed for mainstream subjects in Grade 8.

Learning Support

The Learning Support Programme focuses on the specific skills which will allow students to be successful in their academic performance. Learning Support is provided in all areas of the curriculum, which is tailored to the students’ needs in order to help maximise their learning opportunities in lessons, tests, and assignments.This is to ensure that all learners can achieve their full potential in every class.

Grade 8 Curriculum Guide

You can download the Grade 8 Curriculum Guide here, or read it online below.

ICS Inter-Community School Zurich
Strubenacher 3 | Postfach | 8126 Zumikon | Switzerland
+41 (0)44 919 8300 | contact@icsz.ch
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