Year 8

In Year 8, the curriculum seeks to consolidate and build on learning from Year 7. The Humanities are studied as separate disciplines of History and Geography in Year 8.  In addition, Year 8 students are introduced to two new Technologies subjects: Design Technology (Textiles) and Food Technology.

In Year 8, students complete a program comprising of:

  • Religious Education
  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Design Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Languages.  (Students have a choice of French, Indonesian or Italian)


All Year 8 students are in homeroom groups for Religious Education, English, Maths, Science and Health & Physical Education.

Several learning areas offer a special enrichment activity day. The aim of these days is to enhance interest in the particular learning area and to extend the depth of knowledge in a topic within that area.  The ‘lessons’ throughout the day are outside the regular classroom to facilitate a fresh approach to learning and assessment. Such days include Medieval Day for History and Coastal Landforms fieldwork for Geography. In addition, the Year 8 City Experience Week provides an opportunity to develop Victorian Curriculum Capabilities: critical and creative thinking, personal and social, inter-cultural, and ethical.

Continuous monitoring of students’ learning is a vital aspect of education.  Students undertake a variety of coursework that develops their skills and knowledge.  Assessment tasks are graded from A+ to E/UG.  Online continuous reporting ensures that students and parents have access to assessment task grades and feedback in real time.

The semester report produced at the end of each semester provides a summative indication of each student’s achievement according to the Victorian Curriculum standards.


Learning Enhancement

Small group tuition is offered to Year 8 students who would benefit from additional literacy skill development.  In Year 8, Learning Enhancement may be undertaken instead of a Language by selected students.


Students begin a more rigorous, formal study of the language of their choice.  Their studies emphasise the four strands of language learning: listening; speaking; reading; and writing.  Cultural perspectives are inherent throughout the entire course.  Students study a range of topics including: Self, Family, School, Hobbies, Sport, Numbers, Colours, Animals, Clothing, Food, Holidays and Festivals. Each language course uses the Language Perfect program and students participate in the Language Perfect World Championship.


In Year 8, students develop their knowledge and skills in digital technologies across all subjects. MacBooks at Avila facilitate the use of digital technologies wherever and whenever required.

the Arts

All students in Year 8 study Music, Drama and Visual Arts as part of The Arts.  In each of these subjects the students are encouraged to be active participants.  The Arts encourages students to reach their creative potential by exploring, imagining, communicating and expressing ideas.


Religious Education

Year 8 Religious Education looks at the role that religion has played in people’s lives across the last 2000 years. Students begin by learning about the emergence of the Early Church along with the great work of St. Paul. Students discover their calling to act justly towards each other and to nurture their spirituality. Through analysis of the early Church, St Paul, the Sacraments and Spirituality and Social Justice, they can begin to develop a deeper understanding of the role faith plays in shaping their lives. During the year, Year 8 students celebrate the importance of liturgical events in class and through school liturgical celebrations. The Religious Education program is based on the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s guidelines and utilises the text To Know, Worship and Love.

JESUS and the Parables

This unit explores the Jewish background of Jesus and the society in which he lived as a vehicle to understanding the parables. Students look at the parables and discover how they are an important part of Jesus’ teaching. They explore the Kingdom of God and make connections with Christian values and life today.

The Early Christians

The Early Christians had to struggle with persecution from external factors such as the Roman Empire and the Jewish establishment whilst also dealing with the internal issues all human groups encounter: infighting, doubt, crises in faith, leadership battles and the problem of accepting outsiders. Students look at a number of events that shaped the beginning of the Church such as Pentecost, the martyrdom of St Stephen, and the conversion of St Paul.

St Paul

The conversion of St Paul is explored as a means of opening our hearts to the possibilities of change through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s journeys and ultimate selfless giving of himself to spread the Good News, act as an example for students to witness the saving power of God’s love. The transcendent love of Christ becomes evident to students in this unit.

Social Justice

Students explore the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and how as Christians we take the words and actions of Jesus to heart to live and create a just society. Using the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, students make the link between the actions of Jesus and the way in which social justice groups (many of whom are Christian) respond to issues of injustice in the world today.

Sacraments and Spirituality

This unit looks at the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, with a focus on the sacraments that students have completed themselves. Students explore and develop their own spirituality, learning about their individuality and their place within the Church. Students are called to reflect on both the practical application of Jesus’ words to life in contemporary times and how His message has helped to transform the lives of different people throughout time.

For more information about the topics above, visit the Resource web page




The Year 8 Humanities course is divided into two disciplines – Geography and History.  All students complete a semester of each.


Geography is the study of the world around us. Studying geography helps us to understand how the world works. This includes natural processes such as volcanoes, mountain landscapes and coasts as well as human activities including the growth of cities, urban migration and movement within cities. The study of coastal landforms is explored through a field trip to the diverse environments of the Mornington Peninsula. Urban environments are an important part of our landscape and City Experience provides the opportunity to engage in learning outside of the classroom. Shifting populations within nations, and people movement through migration contribute to vibrant multicultural societies. Students investigate a migrant story and the importance of life experiences in shaping the world in which we live.

History: The Ancient to the Modern World

The Year 8 curriculum provides a study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period (c.590 – c.1750). This period of time was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period when the modern world began to take shape. The history content at this year level involves two strands: Historical Concepts and Skills and Historical Knowledge. By the end of Year 8, students recognise and explain cause and effect and patterns of change and continuity over time. Topics studied may include: daily life in Medieval Europe, the role of the Church, the Crusades, Japan under the Shoguns, the Black Death in Asia and Europe and the Renaissance.


Health & Physical Education

All students study Health and Physical Education in Year 8. Practical units provide the opportunity to refine the movement and manipulative skills developed in Year 7.  Students learn to combine these with tactical knowledge and strategic thinking in game situations. Health lessons are incorporated into the programme at relevant times throughout the year.

The Year 8 unit is designed to enable students to:

  • continue to develop skills that promote participation in physical activity
  • transfer physical skills into their gameplay
  • evaluate their level of participation in physical activity
  • explain and demonstrate options to improve personal safety and the safety of others within the game situation
  • acquire and apply outdoor education skills and knowledge in preparation for Year 9 camp

Students participate in a variety of physical activities that focus on the following:

  • Invasion games
  • Net/Wall games
  • Sport over time
  • SEPEP Netball
  • Gymnastics
  • Sport aerobics
  • Striking and fielding games
  • European handball

The Arts - Drama

Drama is compulsory for all students. Contact time is three 80-minute lessons per fortnight. The Year 8 Drama course builds upon experience previously obtained in Year 7 Drama. Activities include role-play and characterisation, script interpretation, sophisticated drama games (Theatresports™), improvisation, theatre styles and student script writing.  Students rehearse and present drama material in small ensembles, including scenes from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Apart from acquiring skills in acting, communication and problem-solving, students in Year 8 Drama also gain important life skills such as confidence and self-esteem. Successful completion of the Year 8 Drama course suitably prepares students for Year 9 Drama the following year.

Students in Year 8 are also welcome to attend Junior Drama Club each week at lunchtime during Terms 1, 2 and 3. Junior Drama Club sessions are run by the Drama Captains and include fun drama games and other activities designed to help boost students’ confidence at school.


Learning Enhancement

Learning Enhancement is offered in Year 8 to students who would benefit from extra assistance with their literacy skills in place of a Language.  It is offered by invitation only. This subject allows students to improve their skills in the areas of Written English, Comprehension, Spelling, Vocabulary and Oral Presentation.  Students complete a variety of tasks selected to complement the work carried out in mainstream classes such as English.


Le Français

French is a modern, romance language that is widely spoken around the world.  It is still the official language in over 30 countries, especially in Europe, Africa and the Pacific, as well as a language of diplomacy. It is one of the main languages used by international organisations ( e.g the United Nations) and at international events such as the Olympics.  If you plan to study overseas or have a career with a large corporation, French is a distinct advantage. It is also useful in the hospitality, fashion and food industries due to the French cultural and language contributions to these areas. The study of French will also enhance your cultural understanding within Australian society because of a growing number of French-speaking immigrants to Australia from France, Mauritius, Senegal and Sudan.  This cultural awareness extends, of course, to our studies of the world-wide influence of French culture. The Year 8 French course continues the dynamic, kinesthetic approach to learning used in Year 7.  The AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method) incorporates drama, music and story-telling with students using gestures to help communicate meaning visually.  In Year 8, students continue to use French comprehensively in their classroom interactions with each other and the teacher.  They write stories and raps and perform these for their peers.  The use of digital technologies is embedded in the Year 8 French curriculum and students use a variety of tools to demonstrate their capabilities in the language. Le français, c’est fantastique!


Bahasa Indonesia

Indonesian language and culture is the perfect choice for an Australian student, as Australia and Indonesia are both part of the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia is one of our closest neighbours and most valuable allies.  Today, Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important trade partners, and Bahasa Indonesia has been a priority language for the Australian government for more than 10 years.  Indonesia is recognised by our government as one of the top 5 most important countries to Australia’s future. Indonesian, which is closely based on Malay, enables students to communicate not just in Indonesia, but in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and is spoken by more than 300 million people in our region. A knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the vibrant, friendly and ancient culture of our nearest neighbour is invaluable for a well-rounded Australian student. Bahasa Indonesia boasts a logical and uncomplicated grammatical structure. In Indonesian, students build on the topics learnt in Year 7 and further develop their vocabulary and language skills. Students use a range of digital devices, including flip cameras, smart phones and the Year 8 course incorporates extensive use of iPads.  A broad range of topics is covered throughout the year, including school, hobbies and interests, animals and the environment. Year 8 students participate in an all day excursion to Melbourne Zoo, to learn more about the orangutan and other Asian animals. 



Ciao e benvenuti! Students who continue their study of Italian in Year 8 will experience the many aspects of Italian language and culture. Some of the topics covered include: comparing school life in Italy with that in Australia, self and family, likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests, nationalities and languages, transport and food. This includes tasting various foods and listening to Italian music, including some of the latest songs from Italy. Students will create and perform short dialogues using the language they have studied. They also participate in a poetry competition and see a Commedia dell’Arte Theatre performance. Language Perfect and Languages Online are used to enhance knowledge of the language. Click here to listen to “Le Prime Viole” recited by the winner of the Year 8 Italian Poetry Comp.

English - Core

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. Year 8 English enables opportunities for extension and further experiences with guest author presentations.


  • Students engage with the various features of language that support meaning.
  • Students explore the ways in which choices about language features shape meaning in texts.
  • Students learn about the ways that language patterns contribute to the distinctive nature of the overall organisation and shape of a text.


  • Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment.
  • Students explore a range of text types including spoken, written and multimodal texts.
  • Students read and explore literary texts and use these as models for their own writing.


  • Students explore the ways in which vocabulary, text structures and language features impact on meaning.
  • Students comprehend and interpret texts in a range of ways.
  • Students understand how the selection of language features can be used for particular purposes and effects.


All students in Year 8 study Mathematics.  The major content and processes of Mathematics are grouped into the following strands:

  • Number and Algebra
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

The Mathematics course builds on skills developed in Year 7.  In particular, teachers consolidate basic mathematical skills and introduce students to a range of new concepts. Students are required to complete regular homework including practice exercises, problem solving and revision.  Students participate in the Australian Maths Competitionand are encouraged to enter the Maths Talent Quest.  Each student is also able to use maths online and her interactive textbook to reinforce and improve her skills.

Students participate in a Maths Activity Day during which they undertake the Amazing Maths Race in teams, using their mathematical skills to solve problems.



All students study Science in Year 8.  In line with the Victorian Curriculum, the two strands covered are Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills. Year 8 students continue to develop their laboratory and investigative skills covering content drawn from the four disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Physics.

The course is activity based and organised around the following topics:

  • Science Skills (including Science Talent Search)
  • Cells   
  • Energy   
  • Chemical Reactions   
  • Body Systems  
  • Geology     
  • Light and Sound

Students prepare an individual research project for the Science Talent Search.


The Arts - Visual

All students study Art for one semester in Year 8. Art involves the exploration of different media, techniques and processes and the continued exposure to the study of historical and contemporary artworks.  Students respond to the aesthetic qualities in artworks and analyse artists’ aims, influences and technical applications. They refine their own ideas and develop their manual skills and consider presentation issues suitable for visual displays.  Students experience specialist areas in both 2D and 3D art forms: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and digital programs in the classroom activities to assist them in selecting Art or Design subjects for Year 9.


The Arts - Music

Music has the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging students to reach their creative and expressive potential.

All students study music for one semester in Year 8.  They are encouraged to further develop an understanding and enjoyment of music through creative and active participation in class.  Students perform on a variety of instruments including keyboards and percussion instruments.  Using the elements of music, they compose original works and notate them using traditional methods.  They also listen to and analyse works from a range of styles.  Students with previous music experience are given opportunities to perform works of a more complex nature and create compositions that highlight and extend their understanding of music theory.

Music learning has a significant impact on the cognitive, affective, motor, social and personal competencies of students.


Design Technology

In Year 8 Design Technology, students are introduced to the product design process based on textiles as their material.  A design brief with constraints determines the direction for the semester project.  Students learn about fibre, yarn and fabric and select suitable materials to construct a garment for themselves.  The focus at Year 8 is learning to safely operate and care for equipment. With teacher guidance on safety, students learn to apply a range of production and finishing processes, selecting and using tools, equipment and machines with some degree of accuracy.  Their product shows consideration of the quality, aesthetic, functionality and performance requirements of the design brief.  Students are encouraged to make mistakes and celebrate successes, recording every stage in their journal.  The skills they develop at Year 8 are extended upon at Year 9.


Digital Technologies

Students learn to use their laptops effectively and safely and investigate what makes a good digital citizen in the twenty-first century through a group project. They learn about how data is created, managed, stored and transmitted. Students are introduced to computer programming and have an opportunity to apply design thinking to programming tasks in order to become creative and innovative producers of digital solutions.


Food Technology

In Year 8 Food Technology at Avila College, students are introduced to food preparation skills and the Design Process. Students are involved in the research, design, production and evaluation of food products. They independently and safely produce effective design solutions for an intended purpose . The emphasis is on learning a broad range of introductory skills in food preparation and the use of tools and equipment that will assist in food preparation.

Topics explored include: safe food handling and personal hygiene practices when dealing with food; the importance of breakfast; nutrition, including the Healthy Eating Pyramid and its role in promoting healthy eating; reading and understanding packaging and labelling of food products; and special occasion cooking such as designing and producing food items for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas. Students have the opportunity to be creative in designing some food items using a range of ingredients and developing a solution to a design brief. During the semester students are introduced to the topic of food miles and sustainability and design a family meal based on using fresh seasonal produce. They follow this with a visit to Dandenong Market and have the experience of selecting and purchasing their ingredients in a local setting.

Future Career Opportunities that could stem from undertaking Food Technology could include: Home Economist/Teacher, Dietitian, Environmental Health Officer, Food Critic, Nutritionist, Food Technologist as well as many other career opportunities.

Skills developed in Food Technology provide students with excellent decision making skills and the ability to work through problems with clarity and sound understanding. The study of Home Economics provides:

  • an academic discipline in the areas of research
  • an arena for everyday living for individuals, families and communities
  • as a curriculum area facilitating students to develop and discover how to use resources and making sound decisions

(adapted from: Creating Home Economics Future: The Next 100 Years. Pendergast D etal, 2012)