Dartford Grammar School

Dartford Grammar School Dartford Grammar School Dartford Grammar School

Year 8

Welcome to Year 8


Deputy Head Teacher Mr D Gillivan  (dgillivan@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)
Assistant Head Teachers

Mr T Geary (tgeary@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)

Ms H Oakes (hoakes@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)

Year 8 Curriculum Manager

Ms H Gilbride (hgilbride@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)


Mrs J Bennett (jbennett@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)

Mrs P Buckley (pbuckley@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk)


Form Tutors 2021-2022

8A - Ms J Parsons
8B - Mr S Graham
8C - Ms L Hameseder
8D - Mr J Alvarez Olive
8E - Mr C Lamprell
8F - Ms E Pillow

Key Stage 3 Admin Manager

Mrs J Bennett (jbennett@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk) is the Admin Manager for KS3 and deals with Key Stage 3 letter reply slips and general administration.


To report absence, please ring or email Mrs K Brown (kbrown@dartfordgrammarschool.org.uk).

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Students in Key Stage 3 are at the beginning of a 7 year IB program, and as such follow the MYP. They are thus encouraged to see the links within and between individual subjects, and to experience a range of Approaches to Learning. Internationalism is fundamental to the curriculum, with all boys learning one modern foreign language in Year 7 (either Mandarin or Japanese) and choosing another language from French, German, Latin and Spanish in Year 8. An established and developing programme of residential visits and exchanges abroad extends pupils’ linguistic and cultural understanding.

In Humanities, pupils undertake Approaches to Learning activities, which seek to sharpen their study skills and raise levels of interest and motivation. Humanities are a conduit for some of the extensive range of cross-curricular studies, including some notable units linked to Drama (the Romans) and English (World War One). As with much of the boys’ learning, these activities are supplemented by co-curricular activities, such as the participation in a Roman Forum during one of the four Creativity Weeks boys experience during Key Stage 3. These weeks are much anticipated by the boys. Additionally, learning happens in other, residential settings at these times, as the whole of Year 7 head to Bushcraft, and the Year 9s visit the country of their second language.

Pupils study Science, Maths and Technology- incorporating ICT, Art, DT, and Food Technology. They also study Music for two years, as in Sports, a very large number pursue their artistic interests outside lessons, and take advantage of the extensive co-curricular opportunities. Indeed, it is vital that they do so: there is a strong emphasis on participation, and involvement in wider school life is shown to have significant positive impact on students’ academic performance.

In Year 8 Art, Design Technology and Food technology are taught on a carousel basis. Each carousel lasts a half term, and students progress to the next subject at the start of the new half term. The progression is Art, then Design Technology, then Food Technology. Each carousel is a fully independent module with the opportunity for project work and an assessment at the end.

These vibrant and exciting learning opportunities fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for England- though they clearly massively exceed them, too. In Key Stage 3 at DGS the emphasis is on care, responsibility, involvement and enjoyment of success. 

The Global Contexts of the MYP - Year 8

The key points of each Global Context are as follows:

Identities and Relationships – students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.

Orientation in space and time – students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal, local and global perspectives.

Personal and cultural expression – students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Scientific and technical innovation – Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.

Globalization and sustainability – students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world-interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.

Fairness and development – students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Through the environment provided by the Global Contexts, students will become more aware of the relevance of their learning to real-world issues, and shall come to see knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes as an interrelated whole. In this way, students will appreciate that their subject groups are not isolated but complement each other.

Year 8 Creativity Activity & Service (CAS)

Core points in the 6th form IB Diploma are calculated by combining an academic element and a service element. The aim is to replicate this system in Key Stage 3 – with our Creativity, Activity and Service component – CAS. 

For our new Y8 students, the creativity element will be met by student engagement and performance in the Enigma code-breaking creativity week in June. The activity element will be met by 10 or more appearances at a school club and the service element will be evidenced by fundraising through the Readathon, becoming a pen pal with a local Senior Citizen and successful engagement and progress in PHSE. These 3 strands will help all Y8s build bridges with the local area and form a CAS performance for a Y8 student. 

Key Events in the Year for Year 8 Students

Due to COVID 19 and social distancing measures, many key dates are affected. These will be communicated nearer the time, when dates have been confirmed.

  • Year 8 Parents' Welcome Evening - Thursday 7 October 2021 (6:30 - 7:30pm)
  • Key Stage 3 Rugby Festival – Saturday 9 October 2021
  • Creativity Weeks  - October & June
  • Year 8 Poetry Workshops – December
  • Senior Citizens Penpal project - November
  • Parents’ Consultation Evening –  Thursday 3 March 2022
  • Spring Grade Card issued to students – March
  • Year 8 choose Expressive Arts and Humanities Options for Year 9
  • House Charity Fund Raising Activities
  • Year 8 Examinations -  May 
  • Sports Day - July


Key Documents

MYP Assessment Criteria

Year 8 Option Booklet 2020-21