The idea behind ‘Stretch and Challenge’ is to provide opportunities for all students to fulfil their potential by partaking in extra-curricular study, focusing on topics taught in curriculum time in order for students to achieve greater breadth and depth of these topics, therefore expanding students’ knowledge in each subject area.

This section of the website offers all students the opportunity to hone and craft their subject specific skills and further develop their knowledge and understanding. This is turn will make the students better historians, scientists, linguists and so on.

We need to harness the talents of the students so that they can become the next generation of business, intellectual and political leaders. Each subject area has provided bespoke tasks, challenges and activities to engage and inspire the students. Please encourage your child to explore these opportunities and join us in celebrating their efforts when they participate in and complete stretch and challenge activities.

Year 7 – Stories and poetry from Around the World

Task One: Imagine that you live in part of Australia that has been ravaged by fires. Write a short story or a poem that describes this event and this experience. This story needs to be one that will be passed on through generations. Students may have to complete research about these fires and the impact that they had.

Task Two: Students research the following poets:
• Chinua Acebe
• Sujata Bhatt
• Grace Nichols
For each of the poets, they need to focus their research on the significance of their poems – what did they write about and why did they write their poetry. They need to research the impact that their poems had on people and also what was happening in their society at the time for them to write about all they did. Students then need to write a letter to the poet they have researched which thanks them for their work and poetry.

Task Three: Students need to put together a picture book of Aesop’s Fables that can be used in Primary schools for children to read out/ work together in groups. The book needs to be suitable for younger children – images and simple re-telling of fables. They can also add their own understanding of each fable and design questions for the students to consider when they read these fables.

General Writing Tasks: Students need to research sonnets: what structure do they use? What themes do they discuss? They then need to write a sonnet that links to the poet/short story/topic that they are studying in Year 7.


Year 8 – Shakespeare’s comedies

Task One: Students can use the websites below to understand the story of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ or ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as a play and what makes it a play. It is important when they write about the plays that they understand what makes it a play and also have some understanding of what it looks like being performed on the stage, rather than read in classrooms.
https://www.rsc.org.uk/much-ado-about-nothing/
https://www.rsc.org.uk/a-midsummer-nights-dream/

Task Two: Imagine you have discovered a hidden Shakespeare play – a comedy. Design your own advertising campaign (poster, trailer, speech) that will aim to sell a this newly discovered Shakespeare comedy. Consider all you know about Shakespearean comedies and explain what happens in this play and how you could sell it to a modern audience.

Task Three: It is important that students can confidently write about the context of the plays and how the context can influence the meaning and ideas in the play. With this is mind, students need to visit the following website: https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/themes/context and search/read and comment on the variety of articles that discuss the context of the plays. They need to respond to each article they read by writing a short paragraph where they can link context to the ideas and themes in the plays they are studying.

General Writing Tasks: Students need to research sonnets: what structure do they use? What themes do they discuss? They then need to write a sonnet that links to the play that they are studying in Year 8.

 

Year 9 – ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Task One: Students need to be able to respond critically to the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and adapt a critical voice to their essay responses. In order to do this, students need to read critical essays and adopt a similar voice to the essays they read. Students can use the ‘Aim Higher’ booklet to read the critical essays and then use the style in their own writing. They can also incorporate ideas from the articles in their own responses.

Task Two: Students can use the website: https://www.rsc.org.uk/romeo-and-juliet/ to read/watch and understand the story of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as a play and what makes it a play. It is important when they write about the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ that they understand what makes it a play and also have some understanding of what it looks like being performed on the stage, rather than read in classrooms.

General Writing Tasks: Students need to research sonnets: what structure do they use? What themes do they discuss? They then need to write a sonnet that links to the play that they are studying in Year 9.

Year 7

Year 7 – Grammar Skills

Year 7 – Thinking Skills

Year 7 Video Task:
Watch the video by following this link https://www.activeteachonline.com/view and entering the code
eLMKyT6z (case sensitive). The transcript of the video and the worksheet are linked below.

Year 7 – Video Transcript
Year 7 – Video Worksheet

Year 8

Year 8 – Grammar Skills

Year 8 – Writing Skills

Year 8 Video Task:
Watch the video by following this link https://www.activeteachonline.com/view and entering the code
r8RlShqd (case sensitive). The transcript of the video and the worksheet are linked below.

Year 8 – Video Transcript
Year 8 – Video Worksheet

Year 9

Year 9 – Learning Skills

Year 9 – Thinking Skills

Year 9 Video Task:
Watch the video by following this link https://www.activeteachonline.com/view and entering the code
XigwEmsS (case sensitive). The transcript of the video and the worksheet are linked below.

Year 9 – Video Transcript
Year 9 – Video Worksheet

Year 7

Task One – Design
Design an interactive multimedia product that examines the positive impacts of technology on the environment. Your design should include descriptions of the technology and its impact, descriptions of or actual multimedia components and some ideas about how the product will be interactive. Diagrams of the way your product will be navigated should be included.

Task Two – Research
Research the following questions and refer to it when answering the questions in a report.
1. What uses more energy: a computer being created or a computer being used for its whole life time?
2. How does technology impact the environment when it has been thrown away?
3. How many computers and devices are in your school right now? Is the school and pupils’ technology having a positive or negative impact on the environment?

Task Three  ‘Computational thinking’
Work through these links to complete the BBC Bitesize unit on computational thinking.


Year 8

Task One – Ethics
• Define the term ethics
• Discuss if you think the following are ethical or unethical:
• Uploading photos of friends to social media without their permission
• Using a work computer to send personal emails
• Using a friend’s unlocked phone to access their social media account
• Using a neighbour’s Wi-Fi without permission
• Copying and pasting information from the internet for homework and pretending it’s your own work

Task Two – Research Task: Evaluation
Write a report examining the cultural impacts of technology on society by answering these questions
• What is meant by the phrase “cultural impact of technology”?
• How do you think attitudes and use of technology has changed in the last 10 years?
• When was social media invented? How has social media developed in that time and how has this impacted culture?
• What is the difference between the way in which people aged over 35 and those aged under 35 consume media?
• How has developing technology changed business culture?

Task Three – Algorithms
Work through these links to complete the BBC Bitesize unit on Algorithms.


Year 9


 
Task One – Digital divide (Cultural impact).
• Define the term “digital divide”
• Do you think there is a global digital divide?
• Do you think there is a national digital divide?
• Do you think there is a local digital divide?
• For each of the above, what could be done to reduce the digital divide?
• What impact would reducing the digital divide have on society?

Task Two – Research: Privacy
• Research Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
• Research the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
• Of the above, which one protects a person’s right to privacy and which one allows the right to be eroded?
• Name another act that protects a person’s privacy
• List the ways that using a smart device can undermine your right to privacy.

Task Three – Programming
Work through these links to complete the BBC Bitesize unit on programming.
Introduction to programming – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zts8d2p/revision/1

Year 7

  • Learn an instrument as part of Music maestros.

  • Explore the options for instrumental lessons and take up an instrument.

  • Audition for a school concert

  • Create a glossary of key terms and definitions that you have learned about in music lessons so far this year, that you can add to as you learn more.

  • Download a music notation game such as Staff Wars to help improve your knowledge of pitches in the treble, bass clef.

  • Create a piece of music by using loops with Soundation or Soundtrap online.

  • Write some of your own lyrics for a song using verse/chorus structure

  • Go to a concert of unfamiliar music – while you are there, note down 5 questions (about the musical style, the people performing, the instruments you hear being played or anything else you can think of) and then research the answers for yourself.

    Recommended listening:

Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland
A vous dirais Je, maman by WA Mozart
Enigma Variations by Elgar
Tango music by Astor Piazzolla
Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker/Waltz from Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky
Disco music by artists such as the Bee Gees, Donna Summer or ABBA


Year 8

  • Learn an instrument as part of Music maestros.

  • Join an extracurricular music group at school.

  • Audition for a school concert.

  • Explore the options for individual instrumental lessons and take up an instrument.

  • Create a glossary of key terms and definitions that you have learned about in music lessons so far this year (and last), that you can add to as you learn more.

  • Choose your favourite scene from a film and have a go at writing a 5-mark answer to the following question: In what does the music create mood and/or tension in the scene? Your answer should refer to elements such as Dynamics, Rhythm & Metre, Structure, Melody, Instrumentation, Texture and Harmony.

  • Recreate your favourite pop song using sequencing software such as Soundation or Soundtrap online. Depending on your choice of song, this might include a bassline, chords, drum groove and vocals. It could also feature backing vocals. You may even choose to record the vocal yourself.

  • Using a piece of presentation software, (such as Powerpoint), create a presentation about the life and works of a film composer (such as Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Michael Giacchino or Koji Kondo). You should include a brief summary of their musical education, their musical influences, audio examples of their work, and the reasons for their success. You might even plan to present for 5-10 minutes on the subject during a music lesson.

  • Go to a concert of unfamiliar music – while you are there, note down 5 questions (about the musical style, the people performing, the instruments you hear being played or anything else you can think of) and then research the answers for yourself.

    Recommended listening:

Night on Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky
Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens
Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens
Musicals by Rodgers & Hammerstein
West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim
Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg


Year 9

  • Join an extracurricular music group at school.

  • Explore the options for instrumental lessons and take up an instrument.

  • Form a covers band, rehearse a song and aim to perform in a Music lesson or in a school concert.

  • Create a glossary of key terms and definitions that you have learned about in music lessons so far this year (and the last 2 years), that you can add to as you learn more.

  • Begin a course of Music Theory, such as this one from musictehory.net.

  • Create a quiz about key Italian terms and symbols used in Music. It should include a variety of question types (open questions, multiple choice, true or false, etc.) and cover content under headings such as Dynamics, Articulations, Tempo, Melodic Ornamentation, and Musical Character.

  • Recreate one of the pop songs you have studied during the Popular Music topic using sequencing software such as Soundnation or Soundtrap online. Depending on your choice of song, this might include a bassline, chords, drum groove and vocals. It could also feature backing vocals. You may even choose to record the vocal yourself. Once you have done this, create a tutorial for the software you have used that would allow others to do the same.

  • Write your own 4-chord song, based on this template and perform it to friends and family. You could use notation software such as MuseScore, or create a lead sheet with lyrics annotated with chords.

  • Create, and share, a Spotify playlist that shows the developments in Popular Music between the 1950s and the present-day, including at least 2 songs from influential artists in each decade.

  • Go to a concert of unfamiliar music – while you are there, note down 5 questions (about the musical style, the people performing, the instruments you hear being played or anything else you can think of) and then research the answers for yourself.

Recommended listening:

Symphony No. 9 (last movement) by Beethoven
Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture by Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’ (Largo) by Dvorak
Symphony No. 1 by Brahms
Film / computer game music by Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Michael Giacchino, or Koji Kondo
Popular music between the 1950s and present-day from the following genres: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Motown, Progressive (‘Prog’) Rock, Disco, Hip-Hop, Synthpop/Europop, Indie/Alternative Rock, Britpop, Pop from the 2000s

Once stretch and challenge activities have been completed we are inviting the students to actively get involved with the celebration of their achievement by doing one of the following:

  • Y9 students are welcome to celebrate and showcase their efforts on Twitter using the hashtag #apollostudyforsuccess. Simply take a photograph of the work and Tweet about it making sure you include the hashtag.
  • Y7 and Y8 students are invited to bring their completed stretch and challenge activities to school for Mrs Magee to help you showcase on the school’s Twitter page. This option is also available for Y9 students who don’t use Twitter.
  • In the summer term there will be a showcase of all the stretch and challenge efforts from the students to celebrate this great work!

    Keep checking the stretch and challenge zone as there will be regular updates of new activities added later in the year! Enjoy challenging yourselves!