Grade 7

Curriculum Guide

English

6 periods per week

The Grade 7 English Program is designed to build on skills already acquired in Grades 5 and 6. This year’s program will focus on particular theme-based units which arise from a selection of young adult and literary texts.

Writing

Students will continue to use the writing process which has been firmly established in Grades 5 and 6. They will write in a variety of lengths – from one- to multi-paragraph essays, and forms, including analytical, narrative, and personal response. Elements of literature to be written on will include the relation between theme and character, setting, and plot.

Reading

Students read, both in class and independently, a variety of texts, including novels, short stories, and poems. Themes include identity and conformity, war and conflict, science fiction, and the “American Dream.” In addition, all students are encouraged to read extensively outside of the classroom. At Christmas each student will produce a book report on an independently selected novel.

Oral Skills

Students are further encouraged to express themselves orally with accuracy, clarity and coherence in class and group discussions, as well as formal and informal presentations.

Language and Vocabulary

Students develop their vocabulary, grammar, and syntax through reading, writing, and focused language study. In Grade 7 we will pay particular attention to syntax: sentence accuracy and variety. Students also have the opportunity to review grammar, punctuation, and spelling by way of personal accounts on the online learning platform IXL.

Texts

  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
  • Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • a selection of literary short stories

Assessment

  • Reading comprehension quizzes
  • Tests on concepts and content from class, including: readings, vocabulary, literary devices and literary elements
  • Various forms of writing: narrative, blogs, one-paragraph, multi-paragraph, opinion essays, literary analysis
  • Oral presentations including class discussions, group presentation, dramatic readings and interpretation
  • End of year exam

Mathematics

5 periods per week

At each level, the mathematics program introduces and develops new topics and skills while building on the skills previously learned. Its aim is to develop an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics at appropriate levels of concrete and abstract development. Scientific calculators are introduced as a tool in addition to mental mathematics, and problem-solving is used throughout the course.

Grade Seven is divided into Enriched and Standard groups after careful consideration by the Head of Department, with smaller class sizes for the Standard groups. Each group covers the same course work allowing students to make a smooth transition from one group to the other where necessary.

  1. Number and Computation - review Grade 6 topics, consolidate knowledge of fractions and percentages, introduce and calculate simple interest, ratios, and rates
  2. Measurement and Geometry - use Pythagoras’ Theorem to find the missing side of a right triangle, learn the vocabulary associated with circles, apply area formulas for triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and complex shapes, calculate perimeters, find surface areas and volumes for prisms and cylinders, consolidate knowledge of angles on parallel lines
  3. Algebra and Functions - simplify expressions, combine like terms, expand, factor out a common factor, solve equations with one variable, write equations to solve worded problems

Main Text

  • New Signpost Mathematics 8

Homework

Daily, usually consolidating classwork, sometimes reviewing for tests, and sometimes pursuing a practical investigation

Assessment

Assessment of the level of individual student progress is derived from a wide variety of sources that may include:

  • Class work
  • Homework
  • Projects
  • Quizzes and tests
  • The end of year exam counts for 20% of the final grade

Science

4 periods per week

This is the third and final year of the general Science course in the Middle School. It aims to provide the student with a basic and broad knowledge of Science that can be developed further up the school. The course is taught with an emphasis on skill and knowledge development through practical work. As well as learning science skills i.e. observation, recording data, analyzing information, planning and carrying out experiments, the students will also develop their skills of researching and group work. The topics studied are:

  1. Microbiology - This unit introduces cells and microscopes. Students will study how single-celled organisms can harm and benefit people. They will also do controlled experiments to investigate bacterial growth.
  2. Classification - This topic introduces biological classification including a study of the main groups of animals. Students will learn how to use keys.
  3. Work and Machines - The students will examine energy changes and the concept of work, and how these are applied to simple machines.
  4. Electricity - This unit examines electricity by considering the fundamental concepts and by construction of simple circuits. Saving electricity and alternative energy sources are also studied.
  5. Respiration and Photosynthesis - The students will study how plants photosynthesise and how both plants and animals obtain energy by respiration.
  6. Evolution and Fossils - This unit discusses the concept of evolution by natural selection. It includes study of fossils, the geological time scale, extinctions and the adaptations of the major groups of vertebrates to life on land.

Homework and Assignments

These will include laboratory reports, oral and multimedia presentations, research, practice and review questions and reading.

Assessment

When calculating the semester grade a 50% weighting is given to unit tests and a 50% weighting to other classwork and homework assignments. The final grade for the year is 40% Semester 1 grade, 40% Semester 2 grade and 20% for the exam.

Social Studies

5 periods per week

The seventh grade social studies curriculum involves the study of the growth and development of Western countries from the fall of Rome to the Age of Exploration. The theme of the year is change: cultural changes of the Renaissance and Reformation; changing geographical horizons due to the voyages of exploration, and the Scientific Revolution.

Some of the course objectives are:

  • to gain an appreciation of change and continuity in history
  • to enable students to gain an appreciation of cause and effect in history
  • to enable students to gain an appreciation of the interaction of cultures
  • that students learn about the geography of the regions
  • that students continue working on their written, oral and comprehension skills
  • that students become familiar with primary sources and identify bias

Homework

  • Collecting information
  • Analysis of documents
  • Map work
  • Written work

Assignments

  • History Chronicles
  • Research papers
  • Writing exercises
  • Group projects
  • Presentations

Assessment

  • Written work: answering written questions, note taking, comprehension, interpreting sources, essays and research projects
  • Oral skills: class discussion, debate, individual and group presentations
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Simulations and role-play
  • Class participation

Grading

  • 30% for major assignments and tests
  • 25% tests
  • 20% for classwork, homework, and minor assignments
  • 15% for the History Chronicles
  • 10% for class participation

Media

1 period per week

ICT (Information, Communication and Technology)

The main objective of ICT classes in the Grade 7 is to develop each student’s independence on the computer through engaging assignments in which higher order skills can be transferred to all other curriculum areas.

By the end of Grade 7, students will have:

  • further developed coding and logical thinking skills using the Python programming language.
  • carried out a survey project using design thinking and present their findings and suggestions in a persuasive manner.
  • developed 3D Design skills in a virtual environment.
  • reviewed and learned to consistently practice online safety.

Languages

The seventh grade language classes are scheduled together with eighth grade classes. All three languages offered are timetabled simultaneously.

JAPANESE: 4 periods per week

Japanese as a Second Language

The aim of this course is for students to acquire sufficient competence in Japanese to meet their communicative needs, to gain knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture and to enjoy using the language so that they may become life-long learners. Students will acquire sufficient competence in Japanese by developing all four language skills. Students are placed in different levels according to their language ability. Classroom activities include speaking, reading, writing, role-play, skits, interviews, essays, journals, projects, presentations, etc.

Assessment: Unit tests (speaking, listening and writing), quizzes (oral and written), kanji, essays, homework, oral presentation (skit, speech, interview, presentation and oral work in class), projects and class participation.

Japanese as a First Language

This course is designed for native Japanese speakers and follows the Japanese language curriculum program used in the Japanese schools. Students follow a balanced program, which incorporates development in the four language skills. Students develop critical thinking, linguistic sensibility and sensitivity through reading of fiction and nonfiction, appreciating poetry and writing on varied topics. Kanji skill is developed as well as relevant and accurate expressions in writing and speaking. Students are given the opportunity to connect with their own experience and to foster a positive attitude to Japanese culture and other cultures. Teachers use a variety of methodologies in class and students are placed in levels according to their language ability.

Assessment: Unit tests (oral and written), quizzes (oral and written), kanji, essays, homework, oral presentation (skit, speech, interview, presentation and oral work in class), projects and class participation.

FRENCH: 4 periods per week

Language as communication is the basic concept of the French program. There are four levels offered to students who are placed according to their proficiency in the four language skills. Students will learn to read, to speak and write about a variety of topics beginning with themselves and reaching out to the world around them.

Grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary are presented in dialogues, descriptions, short stories, poems, small plays, drill exercises, educational games, songs, as well as using video and Internet resources. These are integrated through specific projects and productions (dialogues, descriptions…). Emphasis is placed on vocabulary expansion, verb tense mastery and pronunciation. Students are encouraged to extend their language skills beyond the program when possible.

Within the study of the language, students will also get to discover French culture, as well as other cultures included in the French speaking world known as La Francophonie.

The levels taught are in line with DELF’s exams of French Ministry of Education.

Reference Book: Et Toi 1 Manuel + Exercise book. (A1 of CECR) or Et Toi 2 Manuel + Exercise book. (A2.1 of CECR)

Homework: Text comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing

Assessment: Tests, quizzes (oral and written), listening practice, reading and conversation in class, oral presentation, class participation, homework and end of year examination

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: 4 periods per week

A student enrolled in the ESL (Language) program has additional English language instruction while other students are taking French or Japanese. ESL students use these periods for theme-based English Language study with a communicative and genre-based focus. Content material is often based on the themes and the language skills addressed in mainstream classes.

ESL students in this program have generally achieved a strong communicative competence in their interpersonal use of language. However, because their academic language skills are still developing, additional ESL instruction is needed. This course aims to develop academic reading and writing skills, in particular. As student independence is also one of the goals of the ESL program, these classes also aim to further develop learning-how-to-learn skills, as well as compensatory strategies to enable students to continue to learn language independently. Instruction and assessment focus on skills which enable students to self-monitor, self-correct, and self-assess in order to become active and independent language learners.

Once a student has acquired a level of competency that allows her to function in the content areas along with her peers, she will transfer from the program to take either Japanese or French, provided there is a suitable class available.

Assessment

A student’s growth in English is monitored on a regular basis through a variety of language-based tasks. Effort and in-class participation are also important criteria in the assessment of an individual’s language development.

Creative and Performing Arts

ART: 2 periods per week for one semester

The course aims to promote an enjoyment and appreciation of art while developing the necessary skills to enable the realization of successful works of art. Students will complete projects that give them experience in the areas of drawing (chalk pastel), and printmaking (linocut). Emphasis is placed on both creativity and skill development. By teacher demonstration and practice students will learn to use art materials, equipment and techniques with confidence and proficiency. The development and improvement of observational skills will be encouraged as well as the ability to develop a thoughtful, original, and well-composed finished piece.

Assessment

  • Critiques of work (in progress and completed) and written feedback
  • Selection of work for display within the school and possibly in exhibitions such as Artscape

DRAMA: 1 period per week for one year

This course encompasses a number of units in which students cover the skills needed to create both spontaneous and prepared improvisation and to create credible characterizations by varying vocabulary and body language. They will also develop the ability to use a range of skills and techniques to structure and produce effective performance.

Assessment

  • Ability to discuss and analyze issues and themes involved in their work
  • Use and understand a range of technical vocabulary
  • To reflect upon and respond constructively and sensitively to their own work and that of others in the class

HOME ECONOMICS: 2 periods per week for one year

This is a one-year course that all students take in either grade 7 or 8. Three major units are taught: cooking, child development and interior design. In cooking, the recipes are more complicated than G6. In child development, they acquire basic knowledge of development stages of infant and child and how children play, and practice reading books to them. In interior design, the basic elements of design and color scheme are introduced. Highlights include cooking demonstration speech, working with kindergarteners and planning a room design. They also take the American Red Cross CPR, AED, First Aid course and will receive the Certificate after successful completion.

Assessment

  • Class participation
  • Motivation and positive attitude
  • Cooperation with group members
  • Time management
  • Organization of self and materials
  • Clean up
  • Group reflection and self-evaluation
  • Cooking demonstration speech
  • Room design project

MUSIC: 1 period per week for one year

Students will increase their ability to use sensory experience to comprehend music. Using their skills to participate in music, they will apply their knowledge of concepts, theories and process. Students will continue to express themselves creatively through music, specifically through performance of musical theatre repertoire. The music and drama class collaborate throughout the school year to create musical theatre performances.

Assessment

  • Projects
  • Presentations
  • Worksheets
  • Written Homework
  • Tests (written, aural, transcription, listening, sight-reading)
  • Quizzes
  • Group Work/Performance
  • Posters
  • Public Performance
  • Effort
  • Essays

NEEDLEWORK: 2 periods per week for one year

Needlework is required of all students in the 7th and 8th grades. This class is taught for two semesters and report cards are issued at the end of each semester. The purpose of this course is to teach each student the basics of sewing and needlework and to make an article of clothing, which will be featured in the Spring Fashion Show.

POTTERY: 2 periods per week for one semester

The 7th Grade course gives students the skills to recognize all the main pottery making processes. Plaster mould making and forming, wheel throwing, slab and coil production are all aspects of the course. Creativity blends with function as students build their skill levels and produce work, which is both functional and creative. Students learn how to create their own molds and make multiple pieces from them. They use professionally made molds for hump making and slip casting.

Assessment

  • Group critiques of student work
  • Teacher assessment of finished practical work
  • Written feedback to students at the end of each project block
  • Written self-assessment by students at the end of each project block
  • Regular public display of student work throughout the school
  • Selection of better pieces for inclusion in Artscape annual children's art exhibition
  • Class participation
  • Motivation
  • Co-operative group work
  • Organization of self and materials

Values

2 periods per week

The aim of all Values courses is to encourage students to discover and define the values by which they live, to show concern and respect for all people and for their faith, to reflect on their own behavior and to value prayer and spirituality.

The Values program at Grade Seven will focus on World Religions and Philosophy.

Philosophy of Religion

This module is aimed at giving the students an introduction to some of the ideas from the Philosophy of Religion. We will be looking at arguments for and against the existence of God from Philosophers and thinkers such as: Aristotle, St Aquinas, Polkinghorne, Richard Swinburne, Darwin, Paley, and William Lane Craig. Students will discuss these ideas and develop their skills of logical reasoning, evaluation and analysis.

Values Project

Students will choose a project based on the School’s 5 goals. They will then work together as a team to complete this project developing skills of problem solving, team work and leadership. In a role which will support them in real world problems.

Logic

We will be looking at a basic introduction to Propositional logic and argument structure. Students will develop their skills of rationality and reason which will assist them in all areas of their studies. They will learn how to debate more effectively and how to support their beliefs with reasonable assertions.

Assessment

In grades 7 and 8 teachers will use a variety of methods to assess the student’s progress and to ascertain a grade. Students will be assessed on their class work, group work, written work and participation in class.

Personal Education

1 periods per week

The personal education course focuses on developing self-awareness, self-confidence and a sense of personal responsibility.

It will concentrate on the skills of working with, relating to others and coping with the changing society in which we live. It will explore a range of issues that relate to our physical, social and emotional well-being, as well as trying to address issues of paramount concern to students.

Students will be given a say in the areas that we discuss building the relevance and usefulness of these sessions.

Physical Education

3 periods per week

The Physical Education program promotes mental, physical, emotional and social development through guided sports activities. The students work in an educational environment which promotes an enjoyment of sport and provides opportunities for students of all levels to improve their skills, ability and understanding in the sport or activity being studied.

In Grade 7 students participate in a number of sports / activities covering skills, game play, rules and strategies.

Incorporated within the program is extensive fitness testing.

Inter-Scholastic League Sports

All students are encouraged to participate in the Sacred Heart sports teams, which practice after school and compete against other international schools in the Tokyo area on Saturdays.

Fall Sports Season (Sep - Nov)

  • Volleyball
  • Cross-Country

Winter Sports Season (Nov - Feb)

  • 7 aside Soccer
  • Netball

Spring Sports Season (March - May)

  • Track and Field
  • Basketball