The Humanities Curriculum Area is built around a strong team of dedicated and experienced staff who share an on-going commitment to quality teaching and the improvement of standards. We strongly believe that the humanities form the very basis of what it is to be a balanced and conscientious individual and through our compassionate and supportive team we strive to deliver a broad curriculum that encapsulates the World’s story of past, present and future. Our curriculum Area covers four main subjects across the key stages: Geography, History, Philosophy and Ethics and Archaeology. Through these subjects we look to not only equip our students with knowledge of the world around them but also equip them with the necessary skills to become inquisitive and rational human beings.


Key Stage 3

Students at KS3 learn about a wide range of geographical themes and concepts.  Throughout KS3 students gain a varied and broad understanding of both physical and human geography and how they interrelate and interconnect.  Students also investigate specific issues in relation to place-based and theme-bases topics such as Africa and Hazardous World.  The KS3 curriculum is both challenging for students and engaging and has been successful in preparing students for GCSE and A Level qualifications.  

Some of the topics studied at KS3 include: Restless Earth; Roaring Rivers; Forbidden Places; Coastal Threats; Climate Change; The Geography of Health; and Expanding Cities.  With an ever-changing world, our KS3 curriculum evolves continuously and is kept refreshed, contemporary and relevant for our students.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE students will be taught the Edexcel Geography A Specification “Geographical Themes and Challenges”.  This involves three exam papers consisting of a Physical Geography paper, a Human Geography paper, and a Geographical Investigations paper which will be based on geographical issues plus the fieldwork students will undertake at the River Burbage and in Bakewell.  

Themes within the Geography GCSE are: Changing Landscapes of the UK; Coastal Landscapes and Processes; River Landscapes and Processes; Weather Hazards and Climate Change; Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Management; Changing Cities; Global Development; Water Resource Management; Fieldwork; and UK Challenges.

Link to exam board specification

Key Stage 5

At AS/A Level, students will be taught the Edexcel Specification.  This involves two exams consisting of a Physical paper and a Human paper for the AS or three exams consisting of a Physical paper, a Human paper and a Synoptic Investigation paper as well as a 3000-4000 word Independent Investigation for the A level.  


Themes for Geography AS/A Level are: Tectonic Processes and Hazards; Coastal Landscapes and Change; Globalisation; and Regenerating Places for AS Level.  In addition, the A Level includes: the Water Cycle and Water Insecurity; the Carbon Cycle and Energy Insecurity; Superpowers; and Migration, Identity and Sovereignty as well as the Independent Investigation.  Students must complete at least 2 full days of fieldwork for the AS Level and at least 4 full days for the A Level.


Link to the exam board specification

The Geography Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here


Key Stage 3

The History Department delivers a broad synopsis of British and World History at Key Stage 3 incorporating aspects from the following events and periods of time: The Norman Conquest, The Middle Ages, The Tudors and Stuarts, The English Civil War, The Industrial Revolution, The World Wars, The Cold War and the Holocaust. Within these topics we look to engage, enthuse and encourage our students to achieve a love for History and to use the skills of a historian to aid them in viewing the world objectively.

Key Stage 4

The History department uses their combined specialities to teach the Edexcel 9-1 History GCSE. Looking first at the History of Medicine, 1250 – present day. The same paper covers Medicine on the Western Front, which is a study into how medicine developed and changed during this time period. (1hr 15)


Students also study The American West and Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c1060-1088 for paper two (1hr 45). Finally, they study Weimar and Nazi Germany, looking at how Germany changes after WWI, leading up to the Nazi dictatorship, (1hr 20).


Link to the exam board specification

Key Stage 5

At Key stage 5 the History department are delivering the AQA specification. Topics studied are: The Tudors, 1485-1603 and International Relations & Global Conflict 1890-1941. Students will also undertake an independent research project on a topic of their choosing. These topics are studied throughout the 2-year course and are examined in Year 13.


Link to the exam board specification

The History Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here

The Philosophy and Ethics Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here.

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