Humanities - Key Stage 4

The Humanities curriculum is well balanced and meets the needs of all students. Both History and Geography GCSEs have four units of equal weighting and include a Controlled Assessment. There are no modular exams for those starting courses from September 2012, so there will be three short exams at the end of the course and a longer essay or project written in controlled conditions that is completed in Year 10.

Geography (AQA Specification)

Students in GCSE Geography follow the AQA Geography specification. The course is split into 3 main themes; Challenges in the Human Environment, Challenges in the Physical Environment and Geographical Skills. Students are required to cover Urban Issues and Challenges; with a focus upon rich and poor parts of the world, The Development Gap where they will study issues such as inequality and globalisation and finally, Resource Management where issues such as water and food supply are topics for discussion. The physical side of the course focuses on Natural Hazards, Physical Landscapes in the UK, including Rivers and Coasts and finally Living World where students will study Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts. Students will be required to undertake a fieldtrip in both a human and physical environment in order to prepare for their geographical skills exam. This takes place in Weymouth where students will undertake a coastal study and an investigation into the regeneration of the area because of the London Olympics. Throughout the course, students will develop a range of transferable skills that will lead them onto success in further education and employment. Geography results have rapidly increased over the last few years with 70% of our students making expected progress in 2015-16.

History ( Edexcel History B, SHP)

The History syllabus enthuses and engages students and staff alike. British history in the 20th century forms a significant element of the course as students consider the impact the two world wars had on our country. The rise and rule of the Nazis also proves a thoroughly stimulating study and builds on and extends some of the work students enjoyed in Year 9. All elements of the course help pupils to better understand the world today, but none more so than the unit covering the history of medicine from the Romans to today. The key elements of what makes good historians are developed continuously; our students learn how to argue and support a case, assess the usefulness and accuracy of information and identify patterns. These skills support pupils’ work in other curriculum areas and prepare them well for further study.

We must turn to the humanities if we are to meet the need for meaning in an age of vast but pointless powers. Only the humanities can help us with the question of what living is for. - Stanley Fish

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