Year 8 Course Outlines and Subject Selections
Year 8 students will follow a common course for the Learning Areas which are compulsory. These are Mathematics, English, Science, Society and Environment, Health and Physical Education. Based on results received from the primary schools, students who are identified as being part of an extension academic group will be enrolled in Japanese. Students who study Japanese will not participate in Health Education and will have one period less of Science and Society and Environment.
LEARNING AREAS – descriptions:
The Year 8 course builds on the Mathematics outcomes covered in primary school. Namely, Number, Algebra, Space, Measurement, Working Mathematically and Chance and Data. The course generally covers work from Levels 2 to 6. We have the Getting it Right Numeracy (GIRN) program running in our school that involves a Mathematics Specialist Teacher working with the other Mathematics teachers in their classroom. The program uses the First Steps in Mathematics strategies.
The lower school programs prepare students for NAPLAN in Year 9. Busselton Senior High School has performed particularly well in this National test over the past few years. In 2010 Busselton Senior High School was nominated for Numeracy School of the Year as part of the Western Australian Education Awards and as a result was one of only four schools in the state to make the final.
Year 8 is an important preparation time in getting ready for the National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) which all students sit during Term 2 in Year 9.
In Year 8, in the English Learning Area, students learn about the English language; how it works and how to use it effectively. Students develop an understanding of the ways in which language operates as a social process and how to use language in a variety of forms and situations. Students learn to speak, listen, view, read and write effectively.
In 2010 Busselton Senior High School was a finalist in the Warren-Blackwood Education District’s Excellence Awards for ‘excellence in literacy’ programs. The English Learning Area leads ‘literacy improvement’ across the school. This includes playing a leading role in preparing students for the National testing program (NAPLAN) which students sit in Year 9
The Year 8 Science programme is a general one and aims to set the students on the path to Upper School and Year 12. As such, it is based around the four main science subjects:
Life and Living (Biology and Human Biology)
Natural and Processed Materials (Chemistry)
Earth and Beyond (Earth Sciences – Geology and Astronomy)
Energy and Change (Physics)
As well, students are introduced to the skills of working scientifically, which involves planning, conducting, processing and evaluating scientific investigations.
Year 8 is an important preparation time for students to ready themselves for State Testing in Year 9. The tests are held during Term 3 for Science students in Year 9 (Western Australian Monitoring Standards in Education – Yr 9 – WAMSE9)
Society and Environment
Society and Environment can be simplified as History, Geography, Economics and Politics. In Year 8 students will study history from Ancient through to modern times by examining major human time periods such as the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. This allows students to see how change occurs and how people responded to the changes.
Students will also gain a better understanding of how the natural landscape operates in Geography. Students will investigate the natural environment and identify how changes occur. They will then gain the opportunity to study some examples of how and why we undertake particular activities in certain locations, specifically with a focus on their local region.
Students will have some fantastic opportunities when they are in their Society and Environment classes. Teachers will be taking students out on field trips in the local region to examine how the natural environment is put together and how people use different parts of the local region for different land uses such as farming, mining and wineries. At the end of the school year planning commences for the Year 9 Canberra tour (not compulsory) which is rated by many students as a highlight of their schooling.
The Society and Environment department has made significant gains of late in improving student outcomes. Through an analysis of curriculum and teaching skills WAMSE results for Busselton SHS student have improved.
Year 8 is an important preparation time for students to ready themselves for State Testing in Year 9. The tests are held during Term 3 for Society and Environment students in Year 9 (Western Australian Monitoring Standards in Education – Yr 9 – WAMSE9)
Health and Physical Education
Student participate in 3 periods of Health and Physical Education over the course of the week. Generally 2 periods will be allocated to Physical Education where students will participate in sports such as Netball, Teeball, Volleyball, Soccer and Athletics. Students will also participate in a basic lifesaving course, including resuscitation, which will be conducted at the beach. In Health students will develop their knowledge and understand and Self management Skills when through investigating and discussing the topics of Personal Development and Healthy Relationships, Smoking, Maintaining Relationships and Conflict Resolution. Further to curriculum activities the Health and Physical Education Learning Area offer numerous opportunities to participate in a rich and varied extracurricular sporting program.
Year 8 drama is all about collaboration, cooperation and communication.
We hope to provide students with the opportunity to experience, explore and learn skills and techniques associated with such forms of theatre such as Mime. Improvisation and Script work, with our main emphasis being on participation and fun.
The Year 8 Music Course involves two periods of classroom music each week where students learn how to read, write and perform different styles of music, including classical and rock. Students have access to keyboard, guitar and percussion instruments, with keyboard being the main classroom instrument used throughout the course. Singing is also an important element of the music course at Busselton SHS, beginning with a Year 8 choir program, rehearsing during class time once a week. The course integrates with the instrumental music programme, where small group tuition is provided for selected students.
• Visual Art: Discovering Art
Students will discover/enhance prior learning of the elements and principles of Visual art through a range of activities including painting, printmaking and sculpting. These activities will be related to the human form or the natural environment where possible during this important development year.
Visual arts practice involves the exploration and development of ideas and feelings through the use of a range of skills, knowledge, techniques and processes. Visual art provides powerful means of expression and communication of life experiences and imagination and is vitally important to the developing adolescence mind.. Students develop creative ways of expressing themselves as well as a critical appreciation of their own arts works/experiences and those of others.
Technology and Enterprise
• Design and Technology
Year 8 is an important first step in any student’s journey through secondary education. Bearing this in mind, the Year 8 teachers at Busselton Senior High School tailor their programmes and teaching strategies to the needs of their students in order to help them develop the skills they need to successfully navigate their way through years 8-12 and beyond.
The skills students learn in Year 8 can lead them into the area of vocational education and training (Manufacturing Industry Studies) giving the student skills and certificates which prepares them for industry in a way that can only be offered by a Registered Training Organization (RTO) such as Busselton SHS. In the Design and Technology Learning Area, students apply knowledge, skills, experience and resources to the development of technological solutions. These solutions are the essence for change in the modern era in meeting human needs and embracing the society and environments in which we all live e.g. this year students designed a Rocket Car which would be propelled by water pressure as an alternative to fuel. Students had to consider sustainable and recycling strategies and resolve such issues as reducing the carbon footprint created by the use of fossil fuels.
Students select and use materials (such as, wood, metal, plastics, and paper) along with information, systems and processes to meet the complex needs of our society. This diverse discipline area caters for all students’ needs and interests and the enterprising nature of the courses allows for challenging experiences as they shape and mould materials into exciting projects.
The courses are structured around the outcomes of Technology Process, Materials, Systems and Information. These outcomes are delivered in focused discipline areas of Design and Technology (wood, metals, plastics), and through the use of Information Technology in research.
• Home Economics
This is a semester long course focusing on Food. Students will look at the importance of breakfast, food commodities, food labelling, and nutrition, make healthy snacks and reach the stage of designing their own meals using the Design Process. This is a hands on course with a lot of practical work and all ingredients are provided. Students may do Home Economics in both semesters.
• Information Technology
An introductory course covering the following areas:
o The school’s network
o Productivity software
o Introductory graphics manipulation