Starting new subjects

Young students from local schoolsMany of the subjects you do at secondary school are the same as the ones you did in primary school

BUT, you don't usually study them in topics ...

... so instead of using a mix of subjects like you did in primary school to, for example explore the town where you live ie writing and reading books about your town, learning about its history, drawing a building in it, you'll study individual subjects, for example, English, history, art. 

You'll have a form teacher who you will see every day, so they get to know you. Your form teacher may also teach you a subject but each subject you study will be taught by a different teacher who specialises in that subject. In each lesson you'll build on what you learnt at primary school. You'll study these subjects during Year 7 and 8, and probably some or all of Year 9 – some of you will start your GCSE subjects in Year 8 others will begin in Year 9.

Subjects will be timetabled across the school week, so you'll move around the school for lessons, going to a classroom that is used only for teaching that subject, for example in the English department, in a science lab or in a design technology area. Most of the time you will be taught a subject in a double lesson – lasting around one hour but sometimes lessons will be single – lasting about half an hour.

If you don't understand something you should ask the subject teacher or you can talk it over with your form teacher first. Some schools have pupil mentors, older pupils who remember what it's like to be new to the school and who want to help make sure you settle in.

You will probably be taught subjects in mixed ability groups - groups of pupils who may or may not be good at a subject. During the year you may be put in sets for some subjects - groups of pupils with similar ability at that subject, from those who are good at the subject, through to pupils who need more support. If you really struggle with learning, you may have a learning support worker to help you catch up.

Subjects you will probably study are:


Book pile


Language books - French German Spanish
Design and technology
Art and design
artist's palette
musical notes
Physical education
UK flag

(personal, social and health education)

        May have other titles eg 
PME (Philosophy, morality and ethics)

In Years 10 and 11 you may get the chance to do topics within these subjects in more detail, such as graphic design, business or drama or even start new practical subjects like construction, childcare or motor vehicle.

Page updated June 2019


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