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Humanities includes the study of the following subjects:

Geography

History

Religious Education

Psychology

Classical Civilisation

Fo more information on the curriculum for each of these subjects please see below.

key stage 4
 

Geography

GCSE exam board:  AQA

Assessment:  3 written exams at the end of Year 11

 
Content:

Paper 1 – Physical Geography

  • Natural hazards
  • Rivers and coasts
  • Climate change
  • Weathers
  • Deserts

Paper 2 – Human Geography

  • Urbanisation
  • Brazil
  • Bristol
  • Economic changes
  • Resource management

Paper 3 –Skills and problem solving

This unit requires students to solve Geographical problems, based on a mixture of pre-released material, unseen material and coursework.

How this helps in the real world:

Geography helps students understand the world around them and their place in the world. It helps pupils to understand their influence on the environment, and the way the environment shapes us. Skills such as map reading are developed alongside an understanding of globalisation and different cultures and their way of living. Pupils’ literacy, reading and maths is improved as well as their scientific approach to research and investigations.


 

History

GCSE exam board:  Edexcel

Assessment:  3 written exams at the end of Year 11

 
Content:  

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment through time from 1000 to the present day – 1 hour 15 minute exam

This unit explores how crimes, law enforcement and the punishment of criminals have changed over a thousand year period. There is also a case study examining the Whitechapel murders 1888, known as the Jack the Ripper murders.

Paper 2 – Early Elizabethan England and the Cold War – 1 hour 45 minute exam

This paper covers two separate units:

  • Early Elizabethan England looks at the life and challenges faced by Elizabeth I in the first 30 years of her reign, ending with the Spanish Armada.
  • The Cold War examines the conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union from the end of WWII up until 1991.

Paper 3 – Germany 1918-1939 – 1 hour 20 minute exam

This paper explores how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany in the 1920s and then what life was like for people under Nazi Party rule up to the start of WWII.

How this helps in the real world:

As well as being full of interesting stories from the past, history teaches many skills. Students develop their literacy and written communication through essay writing. History also teaches pupils to be critical and questioning of the sources they see and hear. They are encouraged to develop an argument as well as develop skills in debating and arguing a case. Finally, history can help students to research and independence. All of these skills are critical for life outside of school.


 

Religious Education (RE)

GCSE exam board:  AQA

Assessment:  2 Written exams at the end of Year 11

 
Content:

Paper 1: The study of religions, beliefs and practices

  • Christianity
  • Islam

Paper 2: Thematic studies

  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion and Life
  • Theme C: Religion peace and conflict
  • Theme D: Religion and Human rights and social justice

How this helps in the real world:

From the beginning of time, humans have engaged in activities that we now call religion, such as worship, prayer, and rituals marking important life passages.

Moreover, religions have always asked fundamental questions, such as: What is the true meaning of life? What happens to us after death? How do we explain human suffering and injustices? These questions are still relevant today.

Religious Studies is a lively and stimulating GCSE subject that provides a great opportunity for students to engage with current issues, developing social, cultural, political and historical awareness. It encourages philosophical thought and decision making skills, enabling students to discuss and analyse topics they encounter in society and through the media.

RS helps students to develop an understanding of their own values and beliefs, gaining a greater sense of their own identity, learning how to respect the rights and responsibilities of others. The study of religion helps students to learn how to think critically, listen empathetically, speak thoughtfully, and write clearly - all skills that will be of great use no matter what you go on to do in life.


 

Psychology

GCSE exam board:  AQA

Assessment:  2 written exams. 1 hour 45 each at the end of year 11

 
Content:  

Paper 1:

  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Development
  • Research methods

Paper 2:

  • Social influence
  • Language, thought and communication
  • Brain and neuropsychology
  • Psychological problems

How this helps in the real world:

Psychology is all about people; what makes us human? What drives our thoughts and behaviours? Why do all people across the globe have the innate instinct to communicate to each other? Psychology is a subject that will encourage great debates about which is more important; the biological form that we are born with, or the environmental surroundings that shape us through nurture?

As well as being full of thought-provoking debates, psychology has a scientific grounding, which explores these debates through research studies. Students will develop their literacy through essay writing, along with scientific and mathematical analysis of research data. Students are encouraged to be critical and consistently question past research and theories, which will develop analytical thinking. Finally, psychology is critical for life outside of school, as it develops an understanding of the human race as a whole.


 

Classical Civilisation

GCSE exam board:  OCR

Assessment:  2 Written exams at the end of Year 11

 

Content:

Unit 1: Myth and Religion in Ancient Greece & Rome

  • Greek and Roman Gods and Temples
  • Hercules – The Universal Hero
  • Foundation Myths of Greece and Rome
  • Festivals in Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Myth and the Power of Symbols
  • Death and Burial
  • Journeying the Underworld

Unit 2: Roman City Life

  • Culture
    • Roman home and family
    • Roman housing
    • Roman society
    • Leisure and Entertainment
  • Literature
    • Satire and Fiction
    • Pliny and his letters
    • Experiencing Roman City Life
    • Relationships and Roman Society

How this helps in the real world:

If you are looking to apply to university, Classical Civilisation can be extremely useful. You not only acquire specific Classical knowledge, but also important transferable skills such as analysing sources and developing independent, critical and evaluative approaches. You learn to formulate and support an argument and develop a valuable understanding of cultures very different to your own. The study of A Level Classical Civilisation can often lead to the university-level study of Classics, Drama, English, History, History of Art, Philosophy and Politics. It is listed as a useful subject for degrees in Classical Studies and Philosophy in the Russell Group ‘Informed Choices’ document. Information from UCAS shows that students who studied Classical Civilisation went on to study in such diverse disciplines as Medicine, Veterinary Science and Chemistry! It is not only those looking to attend university who benefit from the study of Classical Civilisation. From the proven ability to write a well-structured extended response to the acknowledgement of the views of others and a culturally sensitive approach to these, Classics puts students in an excellent position to seek employment and opportunities.

As Dr Peter Jones states: "… we know that those who have studied the ancient languages are never, in fact, short of job-offers. A top asset-manager recently told me that his firm always employed classicists: they sold more. If Richard Dawkins is right, that is because ‘what Classics has always done is just teach people how to think.’" 

Edith Hall, Classics Professor at Kings College London, says: "Where can it lead? Studying Mediterranean antiquity superbly equips individuals to think socio-politically and to persuade other people orally, visually and in writing. It hones transferrable skills like source criticism and culturally relativist analysis. It's perfect to do with any other subject because the Greeks invented all academic disciplines including Medicine and Material Science. It gets school-leavers and graduates great jobs and gives them nourishing and beautiful brain-food for non-working hours for life".