Thematic Learning is unique to the Archer Academy – no other school has this subject! To study things thematically means that you look at a topic from a number of different subject areas.

What will I be learning about in Year 7?

Your time in year 7 will be spent exploring a number of units which might include:

Investigating the Local Area:

You will look at how we can improve East Finchley. Within this unit you will explore some of the key issues in the local area eg litter, pollution, house prices (probably things you have heard your parents moan about!) and find out a little bit more about them. We will also undertake our own research on the streets of East Finchley interviewing local residents; carrying out our own surveys and meeting local VIPs including religious leaders and local government councillors and asking them what they would like to improve.


Maybe you have heard of Greece as a holiday destination or a country with an ancient history…..Within this unit you will explore the country of Greece looking at it from lots of different viewpoints (that is what we do in Thematic Learning!). You might spend one lesson looking at the Greek language and how it has influenced modern English; you might spend another lesson looking at the origin of the Olympic Games….or Greece in the news including the recent migrant and financial crises. We will have lots of opportunities for discussion including a debate on whether or not the ‘Elgin Marbles’ (beautiful, ancient statues from the Parthenon which are in the collection of the British Museum) should be returned to Greece.

Writing for young children

In this unit you will explore your favourite books from your own toddler years and then have a go at writing your own! We will then show off our work to a variety of people who work in children’s publishing as well as the opportunity for some to test their books out on local primary school children.

Chinese New Year

To mark Chinese New year in January we spend a few weeks creating our own Chinese legends – these will need to sound authentic (real) so you will spend some time researching real Chinese legends in lessons too. You will then bring your story to life in the form of a shadow puppet show. And, of course will need to do everything yourselves including making the puppets, the set, the script….and then performing it to your class.

How will it be different from primary school?

Thematic Learning is similar in some ways to topics studied at primary school. However, in year 7 and 8 we will tackle some elements of subjects usually studied by much older GCSE and A level subjects. So, for example, you might touch on aspects of Philosophy, Economics, History of Art, Biology, Ancient History, Politics – which you will not cover again as distinct subjects possibly until A level (when you are 16-18 years old). There is also a lot of independent work as well as group activities so many students find this challenging in terms of being organised and a self starter.

The main challenge though is the ability to cross reference different subjects – to think about ideas and concepts in relation to one another. This makes the subject a great deal of fun and an opportunity to broaden horizons in so many ways.

Who will my teachers be?

You will have one of the following teachers:

Ms Vandervelde

Ms Ogbaselase

Mr Barrow

….and many more as we like to have teachers from all subjects!

You can find out more about them in the ‘Who will my teachers be?’ section.

How will I be assessed?

You will be formally assessed at the end of every unit.

We will also look at your classwork and your homework to see how your learning is developing.

What can I do to help myself get off to an excellent start?

* Read widely and start to take an active interest in what’s going on in the world.

* Watch documentaries about a variety of topics.

* Visit museums and find about places and people from all over the world.

* Keep informed of important issues in the news – you might enjoy those aimed at your age group eg The Week Junior (like First News but for secondary students).

The following links will also be helpful for Thematic Learning:

Any reputable news site eg:


The Guardian

The Independent

The Times

The Telegraph

On YouTube short films made by VOX and CGP Grey are also worth looking at.

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