In the Humanities Department we teach our pupils to be prophetic and intentional. We believe that through Humanities pupils can gain a contextual and developed understanding of the wider world. Through Humanities, encompassing Geography and History; pupils broaden their knowledge of the past, present and future through their learning experiences and have an opportunity to develop their own moral values and future thinking. This thinking and learning is expressed using the knowledge and skills that they acquire throughout key stage 3. This learning then has a seamless transition into KS4.
We have high aspirations for our pupils and provide them with a knowledge and skill rich curriculum. Through our curriculum we thrive to provide pupils with exciting and engaging lessons that ensure all pupils can develop skills such as literacy, numeracy, enquiry and evaluation. We believe these to be valuable skills which can be transferred across the broader curriculum and into future learning and their careers post 16.
Our teachers in the Humanities department support pupils in developing their enquiry, leadership and shared thinking to ensure they are prepared citizens for the wider world.
We aim for our pupils to leave school with a broad and diverse knowledge and shared passion for Geography and History.
49% of pupils achieved at least a Grade 4 in either History or Geography
(GCSE results 2023)
‘Success means going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill
‘We women suffragists have a great mission – the greatest mission the world has ever known. It is to free half the human race, and through that freedom to save the rest.’ Emmeline Pankhurst
History helps us to understand people and societies, as well as learning from the past so that we create a better life for future generations. History also provides us with identity and means we can develop into good citizens.
In History we aim to provide a broad and ambitious History curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world. This is done by:
- studying issues at a local, national and international level across different time periods
- understanding Britain’s influence on the wider world
- studying the history and influence of different peoples and places across time
- assessing the impact of events on individual and communities
- being exposed to a high level of historical and conceptual vocabulary
- learning to interpret a broad range of sources including visual sources and propaganda
- being exposed to different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events
- developing an understanding of how to apply and write about historical concepts such as causation; continuity and change; significance; consequence; diversity
- challenging received wisdom about historical figures and issues
- develop confidence in orating and debating historical issues and evaluate historical interpretations
History is a subject that is the foundation of our understanding into the culture in which we live as well as the wider world around us. The content covered gives students the opportunity to explore issues at a local, national and international level from the ancient era through to the twentieth century. This range of history offers the opportunity to explore different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events and think critically about the world in which they live. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to give students a broad understanding of the chronological development of British history, as well as being able to make links to other societies, cultures and world events.
Understanding key concepts within History, such as significance and causation and consequence, unlock the door for students to be able to ask leading questions, analyse information and convey their views in a methodical and structured way. These skills are honed and developed progressively through the curriculum to create historians confident in communicating their views, both in literacy and oracy. The History curriculum offered immerses students in a range of cultures and provides enquiry and a critical outlook on the world, with skills that can be applied in other subjects and in their future endeavours.
At Key Stage 3, students are assessed in line with the marking policy (every 3 weeks.) This entails exam questions that link directly to the exam board (Edexcel), and have mark schemes that students can become familiar with. This is always in the form of extended writing. For summative assessment, students will answer exam papers on a cumulative basis, covering all topics up to that point so far. This helps with recall and prompts them to remember previous learning. This prepares students well for KS4.
At Key Stage 4, students are assessed in line with the marking policy (every 3 weeks,) but in between there will be more focus on types of exam questions and this will also be built into homework tasks that students need to complete. Exam questions in some cases are set every week to get students used to the level of challenge and difficulty.
At GCSE students will follow the Edexcel specification. They will assessed on the skills and knowledge acquired through the following units of study:
Thematic study and historic environment
Written examination: 1hr and 15 minutes
30% of the qualification
Medicine through time – c1250 to present.
We study a thematic study of Medicine in Britain c1250 to present and a study of a historic environment – the British sector of the Western Front 1914-18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.
Period study and British depth study
Written examination: 1hr and 45 minutes 40% of the qualification
We will study the following British depth study: Henry VIII and his Ministers We will study the following period study:
The Cold War 1945-1991
Modern depth study written examination: 1hr and 20 minutes, 30% of the qualification, Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39.
We teach student how to use historical sources to reach their own opinions of events.
‘Many individuals are doing what they can. But real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics.’ (in reference to climate change)’ – David Attenborough
‘ Geography is the subject which holds the key to the future.’ – Michael Palin
In Geography we believe that students deserve a broad, progressive and ambitious Geography curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge. It will stimulate curiosity and a wonder of their world and prepare them well for future learning or employment.
The knowledge and skills acquired are:
- develop an understanding of physical and human environments and processes;
- develop an understanding of the diverse character of places and landscapes;
- develop an understanding of interactions and interrelationships on the Earth’s surface;
- demonstrate knowledge of locations, places, processes, environments and different scales;
- given access to a range Geographical concepts within context that can be understood at various levels of sophistication. Understanding concepts and how they are used in relation to places, environments and processes; the interrelationships between places, environments and processes;
- apply knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate geographical information and issues to make judgements, this allows students to show breath of understanding and evaluate appreciation of the interrelationships between different aspects of geographical study;
- develop and demonstrate a range of geographical skills, including cartographic, graphical, numerical and statistical;
- use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view analyse and interpret places and data;
- complete programmes of fieldwork; enquiries which include the use of primary data taking place outside the classroom and school grounds.
- develop a rich and deep subject knowledge, SoW’s cover a sequence of topics over the course, which stimulates interest as well as extends their knowledge, understanding and skills.
- The curriculum has the ability to be paused at KS3 to reflect real time examples relevant to that topic.
As a department, we aim to give all students the confidence and experience to help inform and shape ideas; investigating human and physical strands of the complex subject. This will enable students to become global citizens and have the cultural literacy to be role models for the future and set a trail for others to emulate. Throughout their school life and beyond, students should be considering themes such as sustainability, development and climate change in their everyday lives.
Geography offers the opportunity to study a range of topics that investigate the physical processes of our planet, human societies and the economic and environmental challenges within the local, national and global context. The curriculum is carefully sequenced by topic and has skills embedded throughout. This gives students the confidence to interact with the wider world, leading to fulfilled and positive life experiences. The curriculum encourages students to ask questions, develop critical thinking skills, and layer a deeper understanding of complex concepts as the course navigates through the curriculum.
Geographical skills are embedded within units of work throughout both key stages. Students develop their cartographic, numerical, graphical, ICT and GIS skills. Fieldwork enquiries enable students to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding within both human and physical Geography.
Geography has several cross-curricular links, including physical processes in Science (e.g. water cycle and climate change); creativity in English relating to writing and evaluative skills; and quantitative skills (e.g. graph analysis) in Mathematics. All these connections will allow our pupils to excel in life whatever their future goals.
At Key stage 3, students are assessed in line with the marking policy – every 3 weeks. This entails exam questions that link directly to the exam board (AQA), and have mark schemes that students can become familiar with. This is always in the form of extended writing. For summative assessment, students will answer exam papers on a cumulative basis, covering all topics up to that point so far. This helps with recall and prompts them to remember previous learning. This prepares them well for KS4.
At Key stage 4, students are assessed in line with the marking policy – every 3 weeks, but in between there will be more focus on types of exam questions and this will also be built into homework tasks that they need to complete. Exam questions in some cases are set every week to get them used to the level of challenge and difficulty.
At GCSE students will follow the AQA Geography specification. They will complete and be assessed against the knowledge and skills acquired in the following units:
- Unit 1: Living in the Physical Environment – 1hr 30 min exam
- Exam worth 35%
- Unit 2: Challenges in the human environment – 1hr 30 min exam
- Exam worth 35%
- Unit 3: Geographical applications – 1 hr 15 min exam
- Exam worth 30%
Mr T Woolgar- Head of Humanities and Associate Assistant Headteacher
Mrs C McDonagh- Deputy subject lead for Humanities
Miss S Ormsby- Teacher of Humanities with responsibility for History
Mrs K Gupta- Teacher of Humanities
Mrs C Nicholls- Teacher of Humanities
Miss S Ormsby- Teacher of Humanities
Miss A Akhtar- Teacher of Humanities
Mr A Jambor- Teacher of Humanities and English
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