Equivalent school years
Australian years 7 / New Zealand year 8
With a good grasp of the four processes and the ability to move seamlessly between them, along with familiarity in working with both whole and part numbers, it’s now time to discover cause and effect. The students have the opportunity to explore ‘Algebra’ and the secret codes that unlock its mystery. There is also the exploration into how numbers multiply themselves and, conversely, to find what lies beyond zero. This is the time to understand some of the universal laws that govern the world of mathematical formulae. Geometry evolves now into 3D perspective drawing and measurement refines down to more intricate sizes. Statistics remains and time is spent consolidating earlier knowledge of graphs and how to select meaningful data sets that will provide actual solutions to world relevant problems. More attention is paid to the interpretation of data and of how to draw multiple conclusions to meet varying viewpoints.
The history topics including; The Age of Discovery, The Renaissance and the beginnings of The Reformation provide plenty of story fodder for the students to take sides and express their opinions in ink, solidifying the work undertaken last year on persuasive writing. Students have now had a great deal of exposure to the wide range of writing styles (recount, descriptive, explanatory, informative, predictive, persuasive and narrative) and can now choose the most appropriate style to present their work in. Time is spent editing these pieces of work well and reinforcing the principles of structure, form, grammar and punctuation. This is deepened by the study of Wish, Wonder and Surprise which emphasises how to express one’s thoughts and feelings, both spoken and written, in an articulate way. Time is spent on the seven types of figurative language including; metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, simile, onomatopoeia, personification and oxymoron. This lends itself nicely to a wonderful creative writing module. Reports and essay styled writing feature more this year in preparation for a deeper delve next year.
An artistic component is inherent in the majority of lessons and activities. The students have been guided for many years now on techniques and are ready to become masters of their own creations, more from their own viewpoints than from following teacher modelling. There is further opportunity to develop their use of colour and perspective, along with shadowing and playing with light. The Arts includes paint, charcoal and pencil along with expression through speech, drama, music and dance. While dance and drama aren’t easily participated in through online programs, there is opportunity for poetry and the chance to learn large pieces of recitation. Students are encouraged to present their work in unique ways and encouraged to try song, dance, movies and drama as a way to report back their findings to their peers as an alternative to a written composition.
Class 7 continues to place emphasis on the sciences and builds further upon the exposure to scientific concepts presented in previous years. Physics is taken deeper with the next stage of Optics, Acoustics, Heat, Magnetism and Electricity and now added to this is the introduction of Chemistry, with particular focus on combustion, acids, bases and the generation of oxygen from plant life. Again, as with previous years, the students are encouraged to draw their own conclusions based on their individual observations in order to form an opinion. The second part of Astronomy features this year and delves deeper into the astronomers responsible for a large proportion of our thinking today alongside newer theories being presented in modern science. The study of Mechanics (levers and pulleys) has its first appearance during this class and will be built upon in subsequent years. Human Physiology is an important topic studied that encompasses more than just the systems of the human body, but also the health and nutritional aspects of maintaining an optimally functioning body. This is combined with a Biology section on herbs and plants that ties in with the Renaissance studies and the use of plant medicine by early physicians.
Everything is covered, my child was engaged and excited to do lessons each day and it took a lot of the planning time and preparing resources each day away for myself which is fabulous!
My son found it easy to understand, not rushed, there was plenty of time to process information and his teacher was animated and engaging...in his words, “my teacher isn’t boring!”
I really like how the video can be paused and replayed. My favourite part was the daily gratitude activity. Brilliant idea, something I intend to continue.
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