Humanities

Intent

Humanities provides the foundation for our children to understand our world through the disciplines of history, geography and religious studies. Investigative learning is at the heart of our humanities curriculum, developing our students understanding of the wider world and how society has been shaped by the past. By building this cultural capital, our students will develop a better understanding of the world around them and give them the tools to help them navigate a complex and dynamically changing world.

Students will become familiar will a range of primary and secondary sources and will be able to use them to investigate and interpret the past. Pupils will use evidence to ask questions and find answers to questions about the past with the aim of developing engaged, motivated, and curious learners that can reflect on the past and make meaningful links with the present day.

Developing key skills, such as questioning, problem solving, and the ability to make informed decisions, allows students the opportunity to explore their place in the world, as well as their own values and responsibilities. Humanities is an important subject in introducing and developing a deeper understanding of British Values and SMSC among our students and helps with not only their academic development but also their personal development. For example, the opportunities to learn about different cultures, beliefs, and key figures in history help to develop and understanding and appreciation of the key British Values of tolerance and mutual respect among our students.

Schemes of work also highlight both cross-curricular and intra-curricular links to help build a strong narrative as the children progress through the curriculum.

Implementation

Our Skills for Life students follow a specially tailored humanities curriculum that is linked to their half-termly theme. The weekly lessons are practical and explorative, centred around a historic, geographic, or cultural concept to help facilitate the development of knowledge and understanding about the world around us, whilst meeting sensory, OT and SaLT needs.

In Key Stage 2 and Year 7 our Skills for Work and Skills for Further Education students follow curriculum based around the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum programmes of study. Topics are linked with the lower school’s half-termly theme to provide additional background information and context to promote extended understanding and help embed key historical, geographical, religious, and cultural concepts. Key concepts, such as a chronological understanding, introduced in Key Stage 2 are built upon in Year 7.

Our middle school curriculum is sequenced chronologically in order to provide our students with an awareness of the past, whilst also developing a secure knowledge and understanding of British, local, and world history. Lessons focus on developing a coherent chronological knowledge of the past and pupils are encouraged to ask questions, and have the opportunity to discuss different opinions and ideas with their peers. Learning is scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and make connections between topics. Staff will model the subject-specific vocabulary, knowledge, and skills relevant to each topic to allow students to incorporate this new knowledge and make links with larger concepts and trends.

Currently, students study towards a geography Entry Level Certificate in year 10 and a history Entry Level in year 11. Both accreditations consist of two pieces of coursework and an exam based on their chosen Depth and Thematic Studies.

Impact

The impact of studying humanities can be seen in the development of our students cultural and historical awareness, as well as the increased independence and resilience the students are able to develop when carrying out their own research. The cultural capital students develop gives them a greater understanding of the physical world in which they live as well and gives them a better understanding of Britain’s past, especially how Britain has shaped and has been shaped by the wider world. Students gain an insight into the impact of local, national, and worldwide historic events and how these events have shaped the society that they live in today. They can then try and apply their knowledge to current events and critically analyse the different situations and scenarios to infer the outcome for their local community and the society in which they live.

We use the following ways to monitor and assess the impact of our curriculum:

  • Pupil progress conversations during our regular departmental meetings.
  • Any changes or developments in the curriculum are discussed at our regular departmental meetings.
  • Baseline and end of unit tests after each topic.
  • Entry Level progress is tracked through the EL humanities progress tracker and the upper school accreditations tracker

Accreditations

Upper School students at the end of Year 11 will have completed and Entry Level Certificate Levels 1-3 in both Geography and History.

Click here for the Curriculum Plan