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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 Carta; 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.


Geography 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

Please see the KS3 overview available through the link (left).

Optional Programmes in Years 10 and 11
GCSE Geography 


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 field trips 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.


History Intent

‘To build a future you have to know the past’. Otto Frank

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, whilst at the same time making links with today to allow our pupils to develop a greater understanding of our present. Our teaching equips our pupils to ask questions, think critically, weigh-up evidence, and develop arguments, perspective and judgement.

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. Pupils should understand the significance of events in Britain and the wider world and how these events influenced life at that time and how they resonate through history and shape events today.

Topics are informed by the national curriculum and are carefully planned so that they link to prior learning. Throughout all the topics studied we emphasise the importance of chronology and develop the understanding of abstract first order historical concepts such as parliament, monarchy, peasantry, as well as deploy second order concepts, such as cause, consequence, significance, interpretations, change, continuity, similarities and differences, to explain events in the past. Certain themes are explored and revisited across KS3.

History at St Gabriel’s should be meaningful to pupils. Where appropriate, we link History to our local area. For example, when looking at the impact of the Industrial Revolution we focus on the effects it had on the North West and examine Quarry Bank Mill as case study. We also look closely at the Peterloo Massacre as part of our unit on Freedoms.

To further our pupils’ understanding and love for the subject, we offer a range of experiences outside the classroom environment. These opportunities are designed to develop pupils’ learning experiences and enhance their cultural awareness. In KS4, pupils visit Berlin. In KS3, pupils have the opportunity to visit Quarry Bank Mill. A number of our GCSE History pupils represent the school at an annual Holocaust Memorial event where they develop Holocaust resources, meet with faith leaders and Holocaust survivors as well as reading at a memorial service.

Pupils commemorate significant historical events within school such as Remembrance. In addition, the History Department run a Cinema Club watching and reviewing films in relation to the History we study.

Supported by our ‘Positive Discipline’ approach and our common set of values, students experience purposeful classroom environments where teachers present subject matter clearly. Teachers check learners’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary.

Year 7

Pre 1066


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


· Voting Reforms

· Women’s suffrage

· American Civil Rights

Year 9

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


• The Holocaust

· Voting Reforms

· Women’s suffrage

· American Civil Rights

· World War II

· Medicine in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

*We have taught a new unit this year in y9, however, we are moving it to y8 as part of our 5 yr plan changes. At present the same unit of work appears both in y8 and y9. This will not be the case from September 2020, and pupils will not be taught the topic twice in Key Stage 3.

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 in the results gained.





© St Gabriel's Roman Catholic High School 2020