GCSE History Website


Curriculum Leader: Rosie Hughes-White

“Students are confident to experiment and explore in Humanities – lessons are well planned and structured… …Learners show confidence and develop a deep understanding of concepts”
- Incyte Team, 2012

The Humanities Department comprises Religious Studies, History and Geography. In Year 10 and 11 students also undertake a programme in Cultural Education and Personal Development, thus forming their PSHCE entitlement.

Vision Statement

We believe that Humanities, a group of complimentary subjects, has a fundamental role to play in the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students. We want our students to take their place in the community as well-rounded, caring active and concerned young citizens with an understanding of the World they live in and knowledge of how they can positively contribute to it. We will strive to ensure that all students receive a high quality learning experience, whatever their needs and abilities that will allow them to make the progress they are entitled to and equip them with the skills for success both within and beyond the Academy. We will encourage all students to help each other to make progress and through our teaching, to create independent learners by fostering a strong developed spirit of enquiry.

Staff & Facilities

The department in located on the upper floor in C block ( teaching rooms C102, C103, C106, C108 and C110) and comprises of 5 full time teaching staff, each with a particular specialism in either Religious Studies, Geography or History. In addition all of the Humanities staff teach Personal Development and Cultural Education to Year 10 and 11 students.

KS4 Information

Religious Studies

For Religious Studies the Department follows the WJEC GCSE B syllabus. Students will be focus primarily on Christianity and Hinduism whilst exploring a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural topics. The topics are broken down into 2 units:

Unit 1 comprises of 4 topics. Topic 1, Relationships, covers Issues of love, marriage and divorce. Topic 2, Is it Fair?, focuses on issues of justice and equality. Topic 3, Looking for Meaning, considers issues about God, life and death and Topic 4, Our World, Explores creation and our place in the World.

Unit 2 Religion and Human Experience, also comprises of 4 further topics. Topic 1, Religion and Conflict, considers issues of peace, forgiveness and conflict. Topic 2, Religion and Medicine focuses on medical ethics and the sanctity of life. Topic 3, Religious Expression, focuses on issues relating to the expressing of one’s faith and Topic 4, Authority, Religion & State, examines law and order in religion and society.


1st Written Paper: 1 hour 45 minutes 50%
96 marks (100 UMS)
Four structured questions consisting of visual stimuli used as a basis for a series of paragraph and extended writing answers testing AO1and AO2.

2nd Written Paper: 1 hour 45 minutes 50%
96 marks (100 UMS)
Four structured questions consisting of visual stimuli used as a basis for a series of paragraph and extended writing answers testing AO1


The Humanities Department has recently changed the exam board and syllabus. Students in Year 10 now follow the Edexcel GCSE History B (Schools History Project). Our Year 11 students still follow the OCR GCSE History B (Modern World) syllabus. Last year Students achieved 34% A*-C in 2013. In Year 10 topics include; Weimar and Nazi Germany, Medicine through Time, The impact of war on society between World War I and II and the USA 1919-1941. For Year 11 the topics covered are; International Relations 1919-1939, Weimar and Nazi Germany, Britain 1890-1918 and the USA 1919-1941.


OCR (Yr 11 2012-14)
Paper 1: International Realtions 1919-1939 & Weimar and Nazi Germnay (35%)
Paper 2: Britian 1890-1918 (30%)
CA: USA 1919-1941 (25%)

Edexcel (Yr 10 2013-15)
Paper 1: Medicine through Time 50AD – Present Day (25%)
Paper 2: Germany 1918-1945
Paper 3: The Impact of War on Britain 1903-1954 (25%)
CA: USA 1919-1941 (25%)


For Geography the Department follows the Edexcel B syllabus. This has been chosen because it covers topics that have a contemporary focus. The main aim of the course is to learn about how the World is changing. In physical Geography students are introduced to the four main areas of the planet, the geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere where they will learn how the spheres operate and interact, how they are threatened and the different ways that these threats can be solved or managed. In Human Geography students are introduced to the main aspects of how we live on our planet with a specific focus on the processes that drive change, the issues that surround this change and approaches to managing change.


There are four units in the Geography GCSE, each with equal weighting of 25%. Units 1 and 2 are assessed by written examination. Unit 3, Making Geographical Decisions, is assessed by written exam and unit 4 Researching Geography is assessed through individual student research and controlled assessment write up.


PDCE (Personal Development and Cultural Education) is part of the core curriculum in Years 10 and 11. The aim of the programme is to develop students’ perception and understanding of the World in which they live and prepare them to enter the World as active citizens who can make a positive contribution to the societies in which they live.

Topics covered in Year 10 include:

  • Preparation for Work Experience
  • Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)
  • Blood Diamond – a consideration of human rights and
  • responsibilities through the illegal diamond trade.
  • Financial Management – with a focus on further education opportunities.

Topics in Year 11 include:

  • Preparation for Further Education
  • Bend it Like Beckham – a consideration of issues of faith, race and
  • gender through football.
  • Medical Ethics – exploration of issues surrounding genetic
  • engineering, euthanasia, abortion and organ donation

PDCE is taught by the Humanities team in the 5 Humanities classrooms located on the first floor of C block.

KS3 Information

During KS3, students study REC (Religious Education and Citizenship), Geography and History as part of combined Humanities course. In Year 9 Geography, History and REC are taught as discrete subjects, specifically formulated to provide a firm grounding in, and foundation for, GCSE subjects. The rationale for studying all three subjects as a combined component in Years 7 and 8 is that it offers young people the opportunity to ask the Big Questions in life in a safe and understanding environment and allows students appreciate the strong links that Humanities subjects have in having a better understanding of the World around them and better preparing them for life in the 21st Century.

REC (Religious Education and Citizenship)

REC plays a specific key role in developing social cohesion within local, national and international communities and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy. Topics studied include: Crime and Justice, Christianity, Creation, Evolution & The Environment, Hinduism, Afghanistan Case Study, Human Rights, Islam, Buddhism and Child Labour.


In History students study a range of British, European and World History at Key Stage 3. This is to encourage students to learn about different cultures and peoples, as well as understanding our own. Students complete a skills based topic in Year 7 to help them understand how to study History and the many complexities of the subject. Within all the other topics students use and improve on these skills whilst learning about the people and places of the past. These skills which are taught throughout Key Stage 3 are very important when studying the GCSE. Key Stage 3 lays the foundation for the work which needs to be completed in the GCSE course, whilst still engaging and enthusing the students about the wonders of History.


Geography is very important for understanding change in the modern World. The main aims at Key Stage 3 are to encourage students to develop as effective and independent learners by fostering the enquiry approach to learning. We also aim to develop students’ responsibilities as global citizens and recognise how they can contribute to a future that is sustainable and inclusive. This is conducted through a range of geographical topics that are contemporary and relevant to our students at Everest

Topics studied include: Population Change, Shopping, My Back Yard (developing awareness of our surroundings), Tourism, Ecosystems, Restless earth (Natural disasters) Crime, Sport and Climate change.