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Head of Humanities: Mrs C Nelson

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 aim of an ambitious curriculum 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. In geography, our pupils gain an understanding of the world around them. Focusing in equal 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 in the following ways:

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

Year 7

• Identity
• Atmosphere
• Ecosystems
• Resources
• Rivers

Year 8

• The Power of Wealth
• Natural Hazards
• Geography of Crime
• The Human built world
• Dark and Dramatic Locations

Year 9

• Coasts
• Threats to People and the Planet
• Russia
• Africa
• Geo-Politics

KS4 GCSE Geography - AQA

GCSE Geography consists of 3 exam papers:

• Paper 1 - Living with the physical environment.
• Paper 2 - Challenges in the human environment.
• Paper 3 - Geographical applications and skills.

Furthermore, regular assessment is used to support progress towards targets; this is supplemented with revision strategies and exam skills specific to geography before the final examinations. The GCSE course is highly successful in terms of pupils’ enjoyment and in the results gained.


History Intent

‘To build a future you have to know the past’. Otto Frank
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. History contributes to the Catholic ethos of the school as it encourages pupils to show empathy towards others, make moral judgements about past historical events, to value the opinions of their peers and to form independent substantiated judgements.

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 deploying 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 a case study. We also look closely at the Peterloo Massacre when we study the theme of 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 and participate in a memorial service.

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

• What is History and Migration?
• The Norman Conquest
• How did William gain control?
• Medieval Monarchs

Year 8

• Life in the Middles Ages
• The Tudors
• The English Civil War
• Local Study: The Industrial Revolution
• Empire and Slavery
• The Campaign for Equal Rights: Suffrage

Year 9

• The Campaign for Equal Rights – America in the 19th and 20th centuries
• War in the 20th Century: World War I
• War in the 20th Century: World War II, The Cold War, Vietnam
• The Holocaust
• Science vs Religion

KS4 GCSE History - Edexcel

GCSE History consists of 3 exam papers:

• Paper 1 - Medicine through Time. The western front: injuries, treatment and trenches.
• Paper 2 - Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88 and British America, 1713–83: empire and revolution
• Paper 3 - Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939

Pupils are regularly assessed 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 2021