In Year 8, compulsory subjects for the full year are Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Health & Physical Education, Science and Humanities. Year 8 students must also select a Language stream, two Arts electives plus two Technology electives.
In Year 8 Religious Education, students build on the knowledge and skills gained in Year 7. The topics explored include: the Parables of Jesus where students come to understand the nature of parables and why Jesus chose to use them as a teaching tool; students also study St. Paul and the early church, examining how the Christian church came into being as well as the key events and personalities that shaped it in its infancy including Pentecost, St. Paul, the martyrs and Roman persecutions, St. Peter and the Council of Jerusalem; students are also introduced to the concept of social justice and the rich history of it in the Catholic church, examining the principles of social justice and how they are being applied in our modern context. They are also invited to examine how they themselves might be able to apply the same principles in their lives. Finally, students explore the sacramental nature of the Catholic church, being introduced to the seven sacraments in a detailed study of the Initiation, Service and Healing sacraments.
Throughout the year, students will be assessed against the three strands of Knowledge and Understanding where learners are challenged to consider their intentions and seek truth in their hearts. Learning in this strand is evident when students are able to explain their understanding of the complexity and wisdom of the Catholic faith and its teachings as appropriate to the Year 8 level. The second strand of Reasoning and Responding is assessed insofar as students are invited to demonstrate how they make meaning of what they have understood. They are challenged to consider deep questions within their world and invited to respond with love, integrity and the Presentation values. Finally, students are assessed against their Personal and Communal Engagement where they consider their story and how they might engage with the content they have learned and apply it in their worlds. Learning in this strand is evident when students can demonstrate connections between their own lives and how the universal teachings of the church may apply to them.
All students study English as a core subject. The English curriculum is built around three interrelated strands of: Language, Literature and Literacy. Together the strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. In-school events and excursions such as performances, guest speakers and extended writing activities are an integral aspect of Year 8 English.
Assessment consists of text responses, oral presentations, creative writing and language analyses.
Mathematics is a core subject that must be undertaken for a full year. The focus of the Year 8 Math course is to develop each student’s skills and understanding through independent activities, group work and problem solving. Areas of focus include perimeter, area and volume of shapes; performing operations with integers, fractions, decimals; solve problems involving discount, profit and loss; substitute into algebraic expressions, add/subtract like terms, perform operations with algebraic terms, expand brackets; and investigate statistics using sample and population data, use measures of centre and spread to analyse data and display data using stemplots.
The content covers the following strands:
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
Students are required to learn, practise and apply mathematical algorithms, routines and techniques both with and without the use of a scientific calculator. Students engage in activities which develop:
- knowledge of facts and technical skills
- depth of conceptual understanding
- ability to communicate using clear and precise mathematical language
- ability to tackle non-routine problems in an organised and systematic way
- ability to apply what has been learned to solve real problems
- ability to conduct investigations using mathematics
- logical reasoning and understanding of proof at the appropriate level of sophistication
- practical ability in measuring, estimating and making sensible use of calculators and computers.
Assessment is based on skills, problem-solving and application tasks. There is continual assessment throughout the year with reports issued at mid-year and the end of the year. There are no formal examinations in Year 8.
All students study Science as a core subject. In semester one they complete units on Scientific Investigations, Chemistry, Cells and Energy. In semester two students complete units on Sound and Light, Body Systems and Geology. Students also engage in activities which develop their ability to:
- Identify questions, problems and claims that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge
- Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types
- Measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task
- Collect and use a range of representations including graphs, keys and models to record and summarise data from their investigations or from secondary data, and analyse patterns and relationships
- Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems including identifying impacts and limitations of conclusions and using appropriate language and representations
Each semester students will complete a variety of tasks, including topic tests, formal practical reports and assignments.
All students study Humanities as a core subject in two semester length units. The History unit focuses on the period of the Middle Ages and early exploration, considering the perspectives and experiences of people from a variety of cultures and locations in the world. The Geography unit encompasses the physical geography topic of Landscapes and Landforms as well as the human experiences of Changing Nations. Civics and Citizenship and Economics concepts are embedded within the History and Geography units.
Assessment consists of research tasks, data and document analyses, model building, tests and written responses. Students complete fieldwork in Geography, and share their work in an expo format in History.
Health & Physical Education
The Year 8 Health and Physical Education Curriculum is informed by a strengths-based approach. Rather than focusing only on potential health risks or a deficit-based model of health, the curriculum has a strong focus on supporting students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills they require to make healthy, safe and active choices that will enhance their own and others’ health and wellbeing. Health and physical education is the key learning area in the curriculum that focuses explicitly on developing movement skills and concepts students require to participate in physical activities with competence and confidence.
Students undertake units of work ranging from mental fitness and alcohol and other drugs to themed-based physical activities such as gymnastics – movement sequences, thematic games, self-defence – Taekwondo, cultural games, sports aerobics and Sport Education in Physical Education Program (SEPEP).
Avila health and physical education students will approach learning by utilising their critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration skills. In doing so, they will develop the key character qualities of curiosity, initiative, persistence, adaptability, leadership and social awareness. Students will undertake a variety of common assessment tasks which include:
- Collaborative tasks
- Reflective journals
- Self and peer assessments
- Theoretical tests
- Skills assessments
Year 9 Health and Physical Education.