Subject Overview

Humanities is comprised of Geography, History and Travel and Tourism, all subjects are offered up to GCSE level. In Year 7 and 8 pupils study Humanities, on a half termly basis topics are changed between History and Geography (see table below).

  AU1 Sept-Oct HT AU2 Oct -Xmas SPR1 Xmas-Feb HT SPR2 Feb HT-Easter SU1 Easter-May SU2 May-Summer
Year 7    

‘My Place’ Manchester

Where in the World, Location and Importance of Manchester, History, Industry, Settlement, Important Events, Significant Individuals

Neolithic- Medieval Britain

Neolithic, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Celtic Britain, Saxons and Normans

Tectonic Hazards

Plate Movement, Plate Tectonics Theory, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, Supervolcanoes, CS: Yellowstone, China Earthquake, Japanese Tsunami, Mount St Helens

Medieval Power

Henry II and Becket, King John and Magna Carta, The Black Death, Peasants Revolt, Crusades, Hundred Years War, War of The Roses


Tropical Rainforests, Savannah Grasslands, Hot and Cold Deserts, Deciduous Woodland, CS: Amazon, Serengeti, Death Valley, Alaska

Tudors- Stuarts

Henry 8, Edward and Mary, Elizabeth, Spanish Armada, James 1, Gunpowder Plot, Great Fire of London, Plague, Charles I and Civil War, Oliver Cromwell

  Geography/History Skills taught throughout these topics in preparation for half termly Assessments
Year 8

Development and Population

Wealth and Poverty, Development Gap, Geography of War, CS: War in Syria, Globalisation Trade, Fairtrade, Population Growth, Density CS: China One Child Policy

Victorian Britain

Industrial Revolution, Factory Conditions, The British Empire, Schools and Healthcare, Slavery and the Abolition of Slavery, Victorian Life and Culture 

Cities of Contrast

Rio de Janeiro, Freetown, Mumbai (Shanty Towns), Las Vegas (Water), Christchurch (Earthquakes), Reykjavik (Glaciers), Mexico/USA Border Cities (Migration)


Slavery, Africa before Slavery, Slave Triangle The Middle Passage, Slave auction, Life on the Plantations Slave resistance Abolition of Slavery, Slavery and the Civil War.

Coasts and Tourism

Coastal Processes, Coastal Erosion Landforms, Coastal Deposition, Coastal Defences, Coastal Tourism, Beaches and Holidays CS: Holderness Coastline


What was it like on board the Titanic? Who was on board the Titanic? Who was to blame for the sinking of the Titanic? What were the effects of the Titanic disaster?

  Geography/History Skills taught throughout these topics in preparation for half termly Assessments 


Pupils are provided with the opportunity to study both subjects in detail in Year 9. They are taught by subject specialists and focus on developing skills which will better prepare them for GCSE. Uptake at GCSE is very good, large numbers of students are opting to study a Humanities subject.

A GCSE qualification in History or Geography is highly valued by prestigious colleges and universities. Employers also value these subjects, they can open doors to a variety of careers in many different employment sectors. Learning a Humanities subject provides pupils with an appreciation for the past and how it connects to the present.

GCSE Geography

The Geography GCSE course follows the AQA specification. There are 3 exams at the end of the course:

Examinations  % of GCSE
Paper 1: Living with the Physical environment (1hr 30m) 35%
Paper 2: Changes in the Human environment (1hr 30m) 35%
Paper 3: Geographical Skills/Issue Evaluation/Fieldwork (1hr) 30%


Topics covered include: Natural Hazards (Tectonics and Weather Hazards), Climate Change, Urban Issues and Challenges, Coasts and Rivers, Changing Economic World, Living World (Ecosystems).

The final exam (Paper 3) encompasses mainly skills-based learning and has strong links with mathematical and statistical courses. There is material which the exam board provides 12 weeks before the exam so students can prepare thoroughly for the paper.

Another aspect of the course is fieldwork, every student in GCSE Geography must attend a one-day fieldtrip which reflects both Human and Physical Geography. The department takes students to Formby to study sand dune succession and Southport to study urban regeneration.

GCSE History

The History GCSE course follows the AQA specification. There are two exams at the end of the course:

Examinations  % of GCSE
Paper 1: Understanding the modern world (1hr45m) 50%
Paper 2: Shaping the nation (1hr45m) 50%


Topics covered include: Conflict and tension (1918-1939), America (1920-1973), Power and the People (1170-Present Day) and Norman England (1066-1100).

Travel and Tourism

Travel and Tourism is a vocational course provided by the Humanities department. It is a Level 2 qualification which supports learners who may be considering a career in the industry and a more practical based curriculum at Key Stage Four.

Topics covered include: The UK Travel and Tourism industry, Customer Service, Worldwide tourist destinations and organising events associated with Travel and Tourism.

Homework / Assessment

From years 7 to 9 pupils are set homework at least once per fortnight. Homework in Years 7 and 8 follow the format of a homework menu, one per topic.

Homework menus are available to download here:

Year 7 Topic 1: My Manchester

Year 7 Topic 2: Neolithic-Medieval Britain

Year 7 Topic 3: Tectonic Hazards

Year 7 Topic 4: Medieval Power

Year 7 Topic 5: Ecosystems

Tear 7 Topic 6: Tudor Banquet Menu

Year 8 Topic 1: Development and Population

Year 8 Topic 2: Victorian Britain

Year 8 Topic 3: Cities of Contrast

Year 8 Topic 4: Slavery

At GCSE level, homework is set weekly as appropriate to the topics being studied. These can include revising for knowledge-based tests and assessments, preparing research for the next topic/lesson or homework booklets with specification sourced exam questions.

Resources and facilities

Pupils are also encouraged to visit the following websites which provide further information about the topics we study in class:

Students are also encouraged to read literature associated with Humanities to further support their learning and writing style, which is crucial to GCSE exam success.


  • Victorian Britain: The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • World War One: War Horse by Michael Morpurg
  • World War Two: Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  • The Holocaust: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  • The Holocaust: Anne Frank- The Diary of a Young Girl
  • GCSE America Topic: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Discovery: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • World Study: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  • Volcanoes: Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit
  • Disasters: Dust by Joan Frances Turner

The Humanities Department views extra-curricular activities as an important way of promoting their interest and knowledge of the subject. There is a weekly Film Club available to students who study GCSE History.

Upcoming events:

  • Great Humanities Bake Off 19th March 2018: Students can create a Humanities inspired and enter a competition to win prizes.
  • Earth Day: The Humanities department along with the student council will be organising some events to celebrate this so keep an eye out!

Humanities classrooms can be used at the start of every day from 7.45am as revision spaces for students. The Humanities Resource room is also available for small group revision.

Trips and Excursions

Over the past few years the department has organised visits to the following places:

  • Krakow and Berlin
  • Rome
  • Imperial War Museum North (Salford)
  • Southport and Formby (GCSE Geography Fieldtrip)

Upcoming trips include:

  • Iceland (February Half Term 2019)
  • Battlefields Trip - France and Belgium (October Half Term 2018)


Knowledge Recall Quizzes:

GCSE Geography Bitesize AQA Specification 

GCSE History Bitesize AQA Specification 

GCSE History Medicine Revision Videos 

At the end of each sub-section of revision notes there is a simple multiple-choice quiz of 10 questions which can be completed to reinforce the revision taking place. Flashcards are also available for GCSE Geography and History topics on the BBC Bitesize app.

Further to these we encourage all students to purchase revision guides which are being sold by the department at a significantly reduced price to stores and online.

GCSE Geography Revision Guides: Revision Guide £2.50, Revision Workbook £2.50
GCSE History Revision Guide £4

We continue to offer the opportunity for students to attend independent study revision sessions every morning from 7.45am and teacher led Friday Lesson 6 (2.50- 3.30pm).

Guided Revision Timetable

Students can follow this timetable to ensure they have covered the entire course before their exams in June. Please download the document using the link below

GCSE Geography Guided Revision Timetable and Activities

GCSE History Guided Revision Timetable and Activities

GCSE Geography Knowledge Organisers

Please download the 6 attachments below. Each is a comprehensive double sided (2 page) document which summarises each GCSE Geography topic studied. It includes key vocab, diagrams and important case study information. Please use these to enhance your revision and ensure you have covered each of the units of study.

Paper 1 - Physical Landscapes Coasts and Rivers

Paper 1 - The Living World

Paper 1 - Natural Hazards

Paper 2 - Changing Economic World

Paper 2 - Resource Management

Paper 2 - Urban Issues and Challenges

GCSE History Knowledge Organisers

Please download the 4 attachments below. Each is a one page summary document which condenses each GCSE History topic studied. It includes key vocab, practice exam questions and important individuals/dates. Please use these to enhance your revision and ensure you have covered each of the units of study.

Paper 1- Conflict and Tension

Paper 1- America 1920-1973

Paper 2- Medicine

Paper 2- The Normans



Key Stage 3 Humanities Curriculum
Key Stage 4 Humanities Curriculum
Humanities Newsletter Issue 1
Humanities Newsletter Issue 2
Great Humanities Bake Off
Humanities Film Club