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Humanities

GEOGRAPHY

The department aims to help students develop an awareness of their surroundings and an interest in the relationships between the earth and its people.

In Years 7 – 9 students acquire a range of geographical skills whilst studying module topics such as map skills, ecosystems, natural hazards and employment.   Students make use of resources such as maps, video clips and newspaper articles.  They also make frequent use of the Library and computers and undertake fieldwork in the school grounds and in the local area.

In Years 10 and 11 students follow Welsh Exam Board Specification A.  The controlled assessment accounts for 25% of the marks and is carried out on a residential field trip which is held each year.   Recently the GCSE geographers have carried this out in Belgium.   Students are encouraged to extend their coursework in a variety of ways so that they can demonstrate the initiative required to gain the highest grades.

At AS/A2 Level, students follow the Edexcel A Level specification.  Topics covered range from coastal erosion to globalisation.  We encourage students to extend their geographical skills through independent research and small group discussion.

 HISTORY

The department covers all the themes required by the National Curriculum through a variety of historical time periods.  Our principal aim, however, is to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for History which will enrich the lives of the students when they become adults and will help them to become active citizens in the increasingly complex world in which they find themselves.  We also aim to teach the students analytical skills, which they can use in all aspects of life.

We use a range of teaching styles in History including active learning methods where appropriate.   The department has a wide range of resources that are used to facilitate learning.  These include the use of DVDs, artefacts and other visual aids.   We are also encouraging the students to independently research topics of their choice using the school and local libraries.

Visits to sites of historical importance are particularly useful to enhance historical understanding.  We offer a range of such visits throughout the school.  These have included visits to the Verulamium Museum (St Albans) in Year 7;  Hampton Court in Year 8 and visits to the ‘Battlefields’ in Belgium for Year 10.   In addition to the above we invite members of the local community into the school to discuss their experience of World War II with our Year 9 students and also work with Hertford Museum during our study of World War I.

Students are able to take History at AS and A2 Level.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The aim of the department is to develop a knowledge and understanding of the principal religions represented in this country and to gain an insight into the influence religious beliefs and traditions have on communities and individuals.   It is hoped that students will enhance their own spiritual awareness by considering human experiences and how Faiths relate to them.  In Year 7 students study the life of Jesus, Creation, Moses and Places of Worship. in Year 8 students study Buddhism, Corrie ten Boom, pilgrimage and religion and food. In Year 9 students study religion and conflict, the Islamic faith and begin the Key Stage 4 course in the Summer Term.  

All students in Year 10 and 11 study Ethical and Philosophical issues.  Topics such as Religion and Poverty, Medical Ethics and Human Relationships. 

In 1988 Education Reform Act allows parents to withdrawn their children from Religious Education and collective acts of worship.  Parents wishing to do so should contact the Headteacher to discuss alternative arrangements whilst these lessons are taking place.