Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is taught across years 7 and 8. The Key Stage 3 curriculum has been designed to build upon the students learning and experiences at Key Stage 2.
In year 7, students study Humanities, where they approach topics within History and Geography with one Humanities teacher. They will study Humanities for two hours within their timetable. Topics covered include; My Manchester, The Norman Conquest, Tectonic Hazards, Medieval Power, Ecosystems and the Tudors and Stuarts.
In year 8 students study the subjects separately as History and Geography with separate subject specialists, each one hour per week. In Geography students will cover; Development and Population, Environmental Mysteries or Human Error and Coasts and Tourism.
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 is run over three years. In year 9 students undertake a preparatory GCSE course which aims to develop their examination skills in preparation for starting the GCSE officially in Year 10.
Students again study Geography and History separately with subject specialists and again for one hour a week each.
Students follow the GCSE assessment format for both subjects, History and Geography, after a short introduction to the course and assessment requirements.
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.
The Geography GCSE course follows the AQA specification. There are 3 exams at the end of the course:
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.
The History GCSE course follows the AQA specification. There are two exams at the end of the course:
Topics covered include: Conflict and tension (1918-1939), America (1920-1973), Power and the People (1170-Present Day) and Norman England (1066-1100).
Student progress is assessed through examination style practice questions, which are set regularly in lessons and continuously for homework. End of unit tests are used to determine current and target grades. There are mock examinations in the July of Year 10 and twice in Year 11. The students sit the GCSE examination itself at the end of year 11.
A wide range of assessment data is used to identify those students in need of support to achieve their potential and this in turn is used to inform planning. Student progress is closely monitored through an on-going intervention programme which targets the entire GCSE cohort through close monitoring, revision sessions and parental involvement.
Homework / Assessment
Homework is set on a regular basis in line with the department Homework policy. Students record the homework in their planner and the teacher lists the task and associated guidelines.
- Year 7 will be set one piece of homework per week
- Year 8 will be set one piece of homework each fortnight
- Year 9 will be set two pieces of homework each half term.
- Year 10 and 11 will be set one piece of homework each week.
- Homework Booklets for each topic in KS4
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
Each classroom is equipped with interactive white boards and software.
The shared area of the school’s network also includes many helpful resources to aid revision and learning, such as PowerPoint presentations and lists of key words.
Extra-curricular and extended learning
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.
- Great Humanities Bake Off: 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:
Upcoming trips include:
- Krakow and Berlin
- Imperial War Museum North (Salford)
- Southport and Formby (GCSE Geography Fieldtrip)
- Iceland (February Half Term 2019)
- Battlefields Trip - France and Belgium (October Half Term 2018)