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Head of Humanities: Mrs C Nelson

Head of Geography: Mr P Gaskell

The Humanities department delivers History and Geography to all ages across the school. Our staffing includes a range of specialist teachers who have a love of the subject and work in a positive learning environment. The Humanities department is a high-achieving department with outstanding outcomes.

The key British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of others are woven into History and Geography in both Key Stages. In Geography, pupils often compare our society to other societies around the world and draw comparisons; for example when comparing China’s One Child Policy to the liberties we enjoy, or when considering how we treat migrants and asylum seekers with the respect they deserve. In History we look at how democracy has developed through time, beginning with the Magna Carta2; we also look at big issues such as Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and how far we have come in recognising the importance of liberty and respect.


Curriculum intent

"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind", Job 12:10

"Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world’s current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Global warming, sustainable food production, natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the spread of disease, the reasons for migration and the future of energy resources are just some of the great challenges facing the next generation of geographers," Sir Michael Palin

The geography curriculum at St Gabriel’s is inspired by the schools approach to ambitious and designed to give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. With 'Christ at the centre' of all we do it is coherently planned, immersed in the Catholic Faith. As the above quote mentions the future of the planet and the human race rests on the decision that our students of today make when adults of the future.

In Geography, our pupils gain an understanding of the world around them. Focusing in equally importance on the link between human and physical geography, ensuring pupils make the link between the world we live in and the actions we take as guardians of the plant. Students develop not only their physical compass, but also their moral compass understanding that this home to all people regardless of what our race, religion, gender or political views are.

The geography curriculum enriches pupil’s cultural understanding of the societies they find themselves in and global disparities in economies, cultures and the environment. Pupil develop a deep understanding of places on a local and global scale and appreciate the need to live in balance with a fragile environment. When these factors are combined the geographical learning in St Gabriel’s provides students with the ingredients to achieve their potential and make a wider contribution to society whatever their chosen destinations.

The Geography curriculum also contributes to cross curricular the learning by:

Pupils develop a wide range of skills including numeracy, literacy, communication, and fieldwork. The fieldwork allows for students to analyse data they collect and present findings using a range of mathematical skills.

Pupils develop opportunities to write at length are included in the curriculum for each year group.

Promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

Providing pupils with the opportunity to explore local, national and international issues.

Providing literacy and numeracy opportunities.



Years 7, 8 and 9

We aim to promote an appreciation and understanding of the world through a vibrant curriculum. There is a balance between Human and Physical topics in each year group, which seek to emphasise the power and wonder of the natural world as well as the significance of the built surroundings, the economy and political decisions in creating a diverse environment.

Topics are studied on a variety of scales to enhance pupils’ understanding of the local area and the UK, as well as countries around the world, from which comparisons can be drawn. We aim to promote a diverse range of skills, from map reading, GIS and source work to literacy and data handling.

Y7 Topics:
• Skills
• Ecosystems
• Resource Management
• Coasts

Y8 Topics:
• Decision-Making Exercises
• Weather and Climate
• Economic World
• Rivers
• Urban Issues
• Natural and Tectonic Hazards

 Y9 Topics:
• Tectonic Activities
• Populations
• Rivers
• Enquiry

Optional Programmes in Years 10 and 11
GCSE Geography 


Head of Geography - Mr P Gaskell


Both Human and Physical topics are covered in Years 10 and 11 and these build on the skills and knowledge gained in Key Stage 3. Lessons are active and promote discussion and dialogue on issues that are relevant beyond ‘classroom’ Geography.

Fieldwork is conducted in an urban location and a river location, in which pupils use practical research skills and data collection, which is then analysed in the classroom to be used in one of their examinations. We also provide residential fieldtrips abroad as an enrichment opportunity. Pupils are regularly tested to ensure progress towards targets is made and to ensure revision strategies and exam skills specific to Geography are in place before the final examinations.


Paper 1: Physical Geography
• Natural and Tectonic Hazards
• Ecosystems
• Coastal Landscapes and River Landscapes

Paper 2: Human Geography
• Urban Issues and Challenges
• The Changing Economic World
• Resource Management

Paper 3: Geographical Issues and Fieldwork
• Decision Making Exercise based on a pre-released resource booklet
• Fieldwork Skills

There are opportunities for learning outside the classroom with fieldtrips to Malham, Yorkshire and there is also an enrichment opportunity to visit the Bay of Naples, in Year 10 and Year 11.


We aim to deliver a high-quality History education which will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and present, and that of the wider world. We strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Our teaching equips our pupils to ask questions, think critically, weigh-up evidence, and develop arguments, perspective and judgment.

History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. Throughout all the topics studied we emphasise the importance of chronology and develop the understanding of historical concepts such as cause and consequence, continuity and change, significance and interpretations. Homework is project based and aims to stretch pupils’ understanding of classwork.

Year 7

Pre 1066
• Romans

The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509

• The Norman Conquest
• The Battle of Hastings
• The Feudal System
• Castles
• Henry II
• King John
• Medieval Lives

Year 8

The Development of Church and State

• The Tudors
• The English Civil War

Ideas, Political Power, Industry and Empire; Britain 1745 – 1901

• The Industrial Revolution
• Empire
• Slavery

Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

• World War 1

Year 9

Challenges for Britain, Europe and the Wider World: 1901 to the present day

• The Holocaust
• World War II
• Medicine in the Middle Ages

There are various opportunities to enrich pupils’ learning through visits to museums, such as the Lancashire Fusiliers museum. There are also opportunities to visit places of historical interest abroad, such as Auschwitz and the Battlefields of northern Europe.


GCSE History - Edexcel
Course Leader: Mrs C Nelson

The curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge of KS3. We engage pupils in active lessons. Pupils enjoy collaborative learning as well as developing independence in their studies. We promote the development of evaluation, analysis and source skills to prepare pupils for the final exams.

GCSE History consists of 3 exam papers:
• Paper 1 focuses on Medicine through Time, with emphasis on the British section of the western front: injuries, treatment and trenches.
• Paper 2 focuses on Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88 and British America, 1713–83: empire and revolution
• Paper 3 focuses on Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939

Pupils are regularly tested to ensure progress towards targets is made and that revision strategies and exam skills specific to History are in place before the final examinations. The GCSE course is highly successful in terms of pupils’ enjoyment and in the results gained.







© St Gabriel's Roman Catholic High School 2020