Geography, History, Sociology, Psychology, Politics and Religious Studies
Head of Faculty
Miss Lucy Aylmer
The school offers an excellent range of subjects at all levels, especially Key Stage 5. Lessons are taught by subject specialists.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 – In KS3 Geography individuals will make a journey from Tadcaster to the Holderness Coastline. Throughout their journey elements of both human and physical geography will be covered and tested. Our scheme of learning does not cover distinct topics, but places instead. Themes include Map skills, Rural and Urban Landscapes, Geographical Information Systems, Geological Timelines, Glaciation, National Parks, The Water Cycle, River Processes (Rivers, Drainage Basins, and Waterfalls), Flooding, Climate Change, Coastal Erosion, Tourism and Eco-Tourism.
Year 8 – Students study idea, concepts and case studies around the place studies of South America and Africa with ideas around ecosystems and development. The final topic will look at population and migration.
Year 9 – Students start to look at GCSE style topics to prefer them for this level of study. Topics include Restless Earth, Globalisation and Extreme Environments.
The current History syllabus covers the history of Britain from the Battle of Hastings to Modern day. All students develop the use of cause and consequence, chronology, significance, research and communication and extended writing as a key part of each year group. Each Year Group will look at a range of themes connected to these issues and be assessed on each theme.
Year 7 – 1066 -1603: From the Battle of Hasting to the Tudors
Year 8 – 1603 – 1900: The Stuarts to the Industrial Revolution
Year 9 – 1900 – present day: The Twentieth Century and beyond
In Key Stage 3 Religious Studies, our specialist Religious Studies staff teach using innovative learning styles.
Year 7 – Students focus on the rituals, beliefs, communities, idea of right and wrong, religious buildings, rules and stories of their own life and then compare them with three world religions; Christianity, Sikhism and Islam.
Year 8 – Students begin by examining the topic of ‘What is good and right? What is wrong and evil?’ In this they focus on interpretations of right and wrong within religions and how this can impact on the modern world. Students then move on to focus on key Buddhist beliefs and practices. Finally they will study the impact of religion in our local area, nationally and the wider world community.
Year 9 – Students begin to analyse philosophical concepts in the topic ‘Does it make sense to believe in God?’ During their study of this topic, students focus on beliefs about the nature of God, the religious and scientific creation accounts, revelation and suffering. In the summer term they will begin their GCSE Religious Studies course focussing on Religion and Life.
Key Stage 4
Students study the AQA New 9-1 Specification. The specification is split into human and physical topics as well as work based on 2 days of fieldwork. The topics that are covered include The Living World, Natural Hazards and Physical Landscapes in the UK for the physical side. The human topics include Urban Environments, The Economic World and Resource Management.
Year 11 are studying the Edexcel Geography B specification (A*-G) topics include, Water World, Coasts, Extreme Environments, Urban Environments, Changing Economy of the UK and Development.
At GCSE level, History follows Edexcel’s new 9-1 History Specification which is a wide ranging study of events of a thousand years.
Four units are studied as follows:
Year 10 – Anglo Saxon and Norman England, Medicine through time (with a case study of World War one)
Year 11 – Cold War 1945-1991, Soviet Russia
All students in year 10 study the AQA New 9-1 Specification. This covers the practices and beliefs of Christianity and Islam as well as an in depth study of religion and life, religion and crime, religion peace and conflict and religion and relationships.
Current year 11 students are the final year competing AQA A*-G Specification B. This specification covers philosophy and ultimate questions and religion and morality. Within these units students cover religion and science, the existence of God, miracles, revelation, crime, drugs, poverty in Britain and world poverty.
Key Stage 5
Year 12 students study the new AQA A-Level. Topics in Year 12 are Coasts, Urban Environments and Changing Places. Students also carry out 2 days of fieldwork and complete analysis and evaluation of this.
Year 13 students are studying the Edexcel specification continue with the Edexcel Specification. Topics covered are Energy Security, Water Conflicts, Biodiversity under Threat, Superpowers, Bridging the Development Gap, The technological fix and Tectonic Hazards.
A level History is now linear using the new Edexcel specification.
Year 12 students study Republicanism, Civil War and Francoism in Spain and Germany 1918-1989
Year 13 study of revolutionary Ireland 1867-1921 and and complete coursework on How popular was the Nazi Party?
Philosophy & Ethics
Year 12 – Students have begun the new AQA A Level specification. As part of this specification they complete one unit on philosophy and ethics and one unit on Christianity. The philosophy and ethics unit covers the design argument, the cosmological argument, the ontological argument, evil, religious experience, natural law, situation ethics, virtue ethics, human life and death and animal life and death. The Christianity element covers sources of wisdom, God, death and afterlife, moral conduct and religious identity.
Year 13 – The current A2 course covers areas in Philosophy of Religion including the nature of religious language, religious experience, life and death, nature of God and miracles. In Year 13 students continue to study ethical theory, looking at other issues including environmental ethics, business ethics and sexual ethics. Students also look at the role of the conscience in ethical discussion making and explain how free our moral decision making really is. They also look at the language we use in ethical discussion and how we determine the meaning of words such as ‘good’. (OCR Specification Philosophy and Ethics)
Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour. It encompasses a variety of approaches to try to fully explain the causes of human (and animal) behaviour.
Year 12 students cover social, cognitive, behavioural and biological explanations for behaviour. These range from the social causes of aggression to the biochemical basis of depression.
Year 13 students apply their knowledge of behaviour to clinical and criminal psychology. Here students learn about abnormal behaviours and their treatments and have the chance to explore the mind of a criminal. The variety of behaviours and explanations covered makes it a highly interesting topic to study (Edexcel Specification).
An in-depth study of modern life in its entirety.
Year 12 students study the political economic and social aspects of families, households and education. Here students will explore theories behind how the modern family and education is shaped by wider political and cultural issues. This is accompanied with modules on sociological research methods whereby students explore how research on society can be conducted in a valid and reliable way.
Year 13 students focus on Crime and Deviance. They explore why crimes are committed, how society shapes criminal behaviour, alongside how the Government and Criminal Justice system aims to reduce crime.
Sociology A-Level will give students a good understanding of the Government and the Society that they live in. (AQA Specification).
This course will be using the new Edexcel specification (2017).
It will look at UK Politics, UK Governments and a comparison study of politics in the UK and USA. This will involve looking at democracy and participation, political parties, voting behaviour and the media and Specific political thinking (Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism). In addition it will look at how Governments work and run our daily lives.