“Inspiring our pupils to be passionate about their place in the world.”
Faculty Leader – Joanna Snewin & Helen Blachford

In Humanities, we aim to ensure that our pupils know who they are, where they’ve come from and how they can contribute to the world they live in. We want our pupils to be active and interested citizens who care about the planet they will inherit and the diverse people who populate it. We are confident that our pupils will find our syllabus and teaching inspirational, motivational and above all hugely informative as they move through the school and progress towards their future goals. Humanities is a rich area of learning and we are fortunate to have a team of fantastic teachers who are passionate about their degree subjects and want to share that passion with young people.


Key Stage 3

Pupils are taught History in a dynamic and enthusiastic way by studying events through enquiry such as exploring questions such as why William won the Battle of Hastings, why the English Civil War happened, and what has been the legacy of the Holocaust.
Each topic sets our enquiry based questions providing pupils with the opportunity to develop key historical thinking and learning skills over time. These skills are Chronology, Causation, Significance, Enquiry and Interpretation.

Key Stage 4 – Option groups only

Aspects of British and World History. The aim of the course is to explore the significance of historical events, people, changes and issues. Pupils will also develop an understanding of how the past has been represented and interpreted. They will learn how to use evidence critically. They will approach topics both through in-depth and outline studies.

Pupils will be assessed through:
Written Examinations:
Component 1; Studies in Depth

  • The Elizabethan Age, 1558 – 1603
  • Germany in Transition 1919 – 1939

Both units of component 1 will be assessed through written papers of 1 hour duration.

Component 2; Studies in Breadth

  • The Development of the USA, 1929 – 2000
  • Changes in Crime and Punishment, c500 to the present day.

Both units of component 2 will be assessed through written papers. The USA paper is of 45 minutes duration and the Crime and Punishment paper is of 1 hour and 15 minutes duration.


Key Stage 3

The very nature of the subject means that we deal with many important issues in society for example, issues of different faiths, traditions and cultures. Through the use of enquiry, pupils examine multiple faiths, such as Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity. Within these areas they are given the opportunity to debate and consider issues from the world in which they live.

Religious Education offers many transferable skills to develop not only our pupils’ knowledge and understanding, but the ability to support their views with reasoned argument and a variety of evidence. The ability to discuss and debate is highly valued and practised extensively within the subject.

Key Stage 4 – Option groups only

Pupils will study:
Pupils will have the opportunity to discuss many of today’s most important contemporary and ethical issues. This course will provide pupils with a base on which to make informed decisions and choices. They will be exposed to a variety of opinions and most importantly they will be given an understanding of why such opinions are formed.

The following enquiries will be covered:
Component 1: The Study of Religions, Beliefs, Teachings and Practices:

  • Christianity
  • Islam

Component 2: Thematic studies

  • Theme B Religion and life
  • Theme D Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme E Religion, crime and punishment
  • Theme F Religion, human rights and social justice

Not only will pupils’ thinking skills be encouraged and refined, this course complements the curriculum and enhances their learning and wider understanding. In addition, this course provides an excellent foundation for a wide variety of higher education courses and careers, e.g. philosophy, politics, law.

Pupils will be assessed through:
Two written exams – both 1 hour 45 minutes


Key Stage 3 PSCHE

Students are taught PSCHE in a dynamic and enthusiastic way by studying key topics through enquiry such as; exploring the Rights of the Child, Human Rights, Building Resilience, Safe and Healthy Relationships and the Political System.

Each topic has enquiry based questions providing students with the opportunity to develop key skills over time such as critical thinking, decision making, debate and evaluation.

Key Stage 4 PSCHE

Students are taught PSCHE in a dynamic and enthusiastic way by studying key topics through enquiry such as; exploring the Legal System, Human Rights, the role of the Media, and support is given with Revision Techniques and Careers Education.

Each topic has enquiry based questions providing students with the opportunity to develop key skills over time such as critical thinking, decision making, debate and evaluation.

Trips and Guest Speakers

pupilsStudents are offered opportunities to experience history first-hand with a presentation from guest speakers such as Dorit Oliver Wolff (a Holocaust survivor) and DDAY veterans from Portsmouth.

A variety of trips are offered which explore the links between the past, present and future.

Year 7 visit the Mary Rose Museum as part of the Tudor investigation and their local History project.

The annual Year 9 trip to London’s Imperial War Museum provides first hand testimony from Holocaust survives, further developing independent enquiry and complementing work in class.

In Year 8 and 9, pupils attend a trip to Belgium, visiting the Battlefield of Ypres, Sanctuary Wood, Flanders Museum and Menin Gate to listen to the Last Post.

At Key Stage 4 pupils are given the opportunity to participate in the bi-annual trip to Berlin and Poland. The trip includes visits to; Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, The Reichstag and the Olympic Stadium. In Poland, the pupils make a poignant trip to Auschwitz – Birkenau and visit the historic city of Krakow.

pupils pupils


Our vision:

‘To create well rounded, enthusiastic Geographers with a passion for exploring our world and the issues that arise’.

Pupils in Geography are resilient, hardworking and engaged due to our high expectations and innovative curriculum. We foster a sense of independence where pupils actively seek out new learning due their own curiosity that has been sparked in lessons.

“Geography students hold the key to the world’s problems” Michael Palin.

Geography at KS3:

Geography at KS3 is exciting and challenging, raising many Geographical questions that pupils will want to seek answers for.

In Year Seven pupils follow a world tour starting in the UK and looking at their local area before moving onto Europe and Africa. Pupils go on a tour of discovery through examining the physical and human elements of the continents and developing their enquiry skills.

In Year Eight pupils move onto the continents of Asia, Oceania and Antarctica before ending up in South America. Pupils focus mainly on the impact of population and resources as well as looking at greater global issues, fragile ecosystems that have been impacted on by global warming and resource misuse.

In Year Nine pupils start a GCSE style of curriculum, introducing them to the rigours and style of the syllabus they will be studying during Key Stage 4. Pupils will continue their world tour looking at North America and Canada.

Each Year group will undertake fieldwork, getting them out of the classroom and discovering Geography in the field.

Geography at KS4 – Option groups only:

Pupils in KS4 study for the AQA exam. They will be looking at many different issues globally.

In Year 10, pupils will look at ‘living with the natural environment’. The areas that they will cover include: the challenge of natural hazards, the living world and physical landscapes of the UK. Knowledge and skills gained during KS3 will feed into the development and rigours of KS4.

In Year 11, pupils will study ‘challenges in the human environment’. Pupils will look at the complexities of the interaction of humans, place and space. To start with, pupils will find out about urban issues and challenges, they will then go on to find out about the changing economic world before finally developing their understanding about the challenge of resource management.

Finally, pupils will work on Geographical applications. This is a change from previous years and covers the coursework element that is no longer assessed. Pupils will need a fundamental knowledge of how to conduct research and the different types of research that can be undertaken, in different settings. This builds on what they have completed at KS3 and key skills and knowledge that will be developed throughout KS4. Pupils will need to be able to apply their understanding of different techniques and analyse their effectiveness.

KS4 outline:

Subject Exam board Qualification Controlled assessment Exam
Paper 1: Living with the physical environment
AQA GCSE No Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes (88 marks)
Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment
AQA GCSE No Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes (88 marks)
Paper 3: Geographical applications
AQA GCSE No Written exam 1 hour 15 minutes (76 marks)

Beyond the curriculum:

We believe that some of the most valuable geographical experiences happen outside of the classroom and therefore endeavour to get pupils out into the environment to discover the awe and wonder that our world holds. We offer many trips such as:

  • Local trips- discovering your local city
  • Geography club for aspiring geographers to extend their expertise
  • A focus group that consults on improving the school environment

The Team:

Head of Faculty / Teacher of History and Geography Lorrie Hart
PGCE (Secondary) English
BA Hons (English and Education)
Head of History / Teacher of History and RS Dave Cotton
PGCE (Secondary) History
BA (Hons) History
Head of Geography / Teacher of Geography Ben Bourton
PGCE (Secondary) Geography
BA (Hons) Geography
Head of PSCHE / Teacher of RS, Citizenship and History Helen Blachford
PGCE (Secondary) Citizenship
BEd (Hons) Business and Education
Head of Religious Studies (Acting) / Teacher of History and RS Jo Snewin
PGCE (Secondary) History
BA (Hons) History
Senior Assistant Headteacher / Teacher of RE and Citizenship Gary Green
PGCE (Secondary) RE
MA Archaeology
BA (Hons) Archaeology
Teacher of History / Achievement Leader, Year 11 Chris Harris
PGCE (Secondary) History
BA (Hons) History
Teacher of History Nick Smith
Teacher of Geography and RS George Dean
PGCE (Secondary) Geography
BA (Hons) Adventure Education
Teacher of Geography Sarah Schmit
PGCE (Secondary) Geography
BA (Hons) Geography
Teacher of Geography Eli Noble
Teacher of RS, Geography and Citizenship Luke Varndell
PGCE (Secondary) Religious Education
BA (Hons) American Studies and History
BA Open
Head of Religious Studies – Maternity Leave Paula Withers