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Humanities

The Humanities Faculty includes three areas of study, Geography, History and Religious Education.

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. Through their Geography lessons students investigate a range of topics which influence their lives or the lives of those around the World. They will develop a wide range of skills which can be used to research themes and present their findings. Where possible students will compliment work completed in the classroom with fieldwork so that ideas can be tested in a real world environment.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students acquire a range of geographical skills whilst studying module topics such as map skills, settlement, natural hazards and employment. Students make use of resources such as maps, film 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. Students will also learn how to make use of Geographical Information Systems. These years are used to introduce the topics and skills required for GCSE.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students follow the EDUQAS Exam Board Specification A. Students begin by looking at how the landscapes we are familiar with were formed. They then move on to look at the development of urban areas, tectonics, weather and climate, ecosystems and development. This is examined through two exam papers at the end of the course. A third exam paper looks at the fieldwork students have completed through two days of field work excursions.

Key Stage 5

At AS/A2 Level, students follow the EDUQAS specification. In Year 12 students examine coasts, tectonics and place. Through Year 13 they will look at a wide range of current Geographical issues such as globalisation and management of our oceans. Students also complete an individual investigation as part of their course. 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.   We also encourage students to research topics of their choice independently, 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.   

Key Stage 3 

At Key Stage 3 students complete units of work on the following topics: the Romans, Medieval England, the Tudors, the Stuarts, the Slave Trade and 20th Century Conflict.  They also cover the skills that they will require at GCSE level.  These include: primary and secondary evidence, chronology, cause and consequence and source evaluation. 

Key Stage 4 

At Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA exam specification.  This is examined in 2 papers. The first paper includes a period study of Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship and a wider world depth study on Conflict and Tension: The First World War, 1894-1918.  The second paper includes a thematic study of Britain: Power and the people 1170 to the present day as well as a British depth study on Elizabethan England. Within this last depth study students also prepare a case study on the historical environment.  The focus of this case study changes each year but can include places such as Hatfield House, the Globe theatre and Hardwick Hall. 

Key Stage 5 

At Key Stage 5 students follow the AQA exam specification. This is examined at AS in 2 papers: The Tudors 1485-1603 and The American Dream 1945-1980.  At A2 students continue to study these two topics.  In addition they complete a Non Examined Assessment on the Wars of the Roses, which is worth 20% of their final grade. 

Religious Education

We believe here at The Sele School that Religious Education (RE) both supports and strengthens the development of the whole child - spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and intellectually. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own views and beliefs alongside learning about the principal religious views represented in this country.  They gain an insight into how religious beliefs and traditions can influence communities and individuals. 

As part of the core curriculum RE must be taught to all registered pupils and the Local Education Authority provides an Agreed Syllabus for us to follow.  The Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education 2017-2022 is used as the basis of our planning and delivery of RE at Key Stage 3. At GCSE all students will study either Full Course or Short Course Religious Studies, where they are able to explore a number of philosophical and ethical topics. 

Key Stage 3  

Year 7 begin with learning about the 5 main world religions before exploring; what it means to be British, what it means to live in a Multi-Cultural society in Britain and factors that make up a British identity. 

Students then have the chance to explore different religious buildings and how different religions worship in them.  They then design their own place of worship for assessment. 

Finally in Year 7 students investigate the contrasting creation stories from around the world and develop their research and collaborative skills by working in groups to teach the stories to each other.   

Year 8 begins to build on key knowledge used in GCSE.  In our unit on festivals, we explore a range of religious festivals and how they are celebrated.   Students carry out a study on inspirational people, including Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Malcom X.  Finally in our unit on pilgrimage, we focus on key places of pilgrimage from different religions and Rites of Passage, where we discover the different ways key moments in life are celebrated, including birth, marriage and death.  

Key Stage 4  

At Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA exam specification.  This is examined in 2 papers. The first paper includes; Christianity-Beliefs and Teachings, Christianity –Practices. Islam –Beliefs and Teachings, Islam- Practices. 

The second paper is based on 4 thematic studies: Relationships and the Families, Religion, Peace and Conflict, Crime and Punishment and Religion and life. 

The Short Course is only one exam and includes:  

Christianity-Beliefs and Teachings, Islam –Beliefs and Teachings, Relationships and the Families and Religion, Peace and Conflict. 

How can you help? 

  • Encourage debate and discussion about the questions raised during lessons. 
  • Support your children with homework preparation for the lesson. 
  • Encourage your children to watch documentaries/films with philosophical/ethical themes. 
  • Take your children to places of religious interest.