IN THIS SECTION
The study of Humanities encompasses History, Geography and Ethics & Philosophy. We are extremely passionate subject specific specialists teaching in all of these subjects at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level. In lessons, students will learn to study evidence, analyse data, evaluate different interpretations, weigh up different points of view and argue their own opinion. A variety of strategies are used to develop learning, including debate, discussion, essay/report writing, delivering presentations, project work, pair/group work, individual research and fieldwork to name but a few. Assessment comes in a variety of forms.
Key Stage 3
In key stage 3 students have 2 lessons of History, 2 lessons of Geography and 1 lesson of Ethics and Philosophy per week in mixed ability classes.
Key Stage 4
In key stage 4 students can choose to study History, Geography and Ethics and Philosophy. Some students study one humanities subject, some study all three!! Students have 3 lessons per week in their chosen subjects. Students are again taught in mixed ability classes.
Key Stage 5
In key stage 5 students can choose to study Geography, History or Philosophy. Students in key stage 5 are able to study more than one Humanities subject and will have 5 lessons per week in Year 12 and 6 lessons a week in Year 13 in their chosen subject. Students are taught in mixed ability classes.
History at Wollaston School
History is a popular subject at Wollaston School, and is a key element of the English Baccalaureate program of study at GCSE. History is the study of past people and societies. The aim of the History department is to develop both the knowledge and skills of our students. Through the topics that we teach we develop the key skills in History, such as chronology, using evidence critically, and communicating about the past.
While studying History students will also develop skills in literacy and numeracy. History develops skills such as problem solving, evaluation and debating, which are welcomed by many careers.
History is a challenging subject that all students can achieve in. It will develop their understanding of the world and give them skills they will need in any form of work.
Key Stage 4
Students completing the History GCSE course follow the Edexcel specification. Over the course of two years they will study the following
- Medicine Through Time, medieval to modern day- within each time period students look at beliefs about what caused illness, treatments, medical discoveries, famous individuals, change and continuity between different time periods.
- Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, 1060-88- including how the Normans gained and maintained power in England
- American West, 1835-95,- including the way of life for the Plains Indians and early settlement of the West
- Germany 1918-1939, - including how the Nazi Party gained power and what happened in German society under Nazi rule
Key Stage 5
Students in Year 12 and 13 study the Edexcel syllabus
In year 12 students focus on communist states
Russia 1917-1991: from Lenin to Yeltsin- students study methods of control, industrial and agricultural change, social developments and the fall of the USSR
The German Democratic Republic, 1949-1990- students study the creation of the GDR, the development of the East German state, life in East Germany, and the collapse of communist rule in the GDR
In year 13 students study
Poverty, public health and the state in Britain, 1780–1939- students study change in Britain in this period, public health reforms, government reforms, and who was responsible for change in this period.
Ethics and Philosophy at Wollaston School
Ethics and Philosophy at Wollaston is the changing face of modern education. It is the space where students are given time to think, examine and evaluate the world they are living in. It is the time where we take some of the old ideas of examining how religious views both influence and hinder modern progress in the world, but we try to shift the focus onto the wider world, reflecting a more secular practice of day to day living.
It is a forum for students to fully begin the journey of discovering who they really are in the context of the world they are growing up in, whilst at the same time helping to develop the brain from childhood to maturity.
Key Stage 4
Students who opt to study Ethics and Philosophy at GCSE will embark on the new OCR Specification. There will be three exams; two will be worth 25% each and study two religions on topics such as death and the afterlife and the problem of evil. The final exam is worth 50% of the final mark and looks at ethical issues such as war, crime and medical ethics.
Key Stage 5
Students who opt to study Philosophy at A Level will study the AQA Philosophy course. There are currently two exams; the first encompasses Epistemology and Moral Philosophy, whilst the second is Metaphysics of Mind and the Metaphysics of God.
At Wollaston School, we believe that Geography is for everyone. Geography's place in the curriculum is threefold: it fascinates and inspires; it serves vital education goals and it creates skilful and employable pupils. Our curriculum encompasses a wide range of skills and activities to ensure that students have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the world around them, both from a Physical and Human Geographical perspective. We aim to instil empathy and enthusiasm for our subject.
Key Stage 4
In Year 10, students have begun the new AQA GCSE. The specification link for this is –
We begin Year 11 by completing the controlled assessment. This changes from year to year depending on the question set by the exam board. After this is completed we then complete the final two topics:
The Restless Earth – this is definitely the majority of the student’s favourite topic. Here we look at the inner workings of our earth and explain earthquakes, volcanoes and how tsunamis happen. We study different case studies to show the effects of these in rich and poor countries, and then go on to consider what management options are available to countries such as Japan, China, the USA and Nepal for dealing with these natural disasters.
Tourism – here we look at national and international tourism. Students explore different tourist locations to look at the positives and negatives of tourism and what can be done to protect some of the most fragile environments from becoming overrun with tourists.
A Level Geography
This is where we feel the A Level offers students the most interesting and current geographic topics to study. Many of the topics we look at are the current issues and areas being researched at universities around the world. This final year really prepares students to go on and study Geography at university if that is what they choose to do.
Year 12 students have just embarked on an exciting and colourful new AQA Specification. The link for this is –
Year 13 are continuing with the Legacy specification and the final units are detailed below.
Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues (30% of A Level)
Students have to study a minimum of three subjects (we look at four) which they then answer questions in a two and a half hour exam. The main component of this exam is a 40 mark essay. Students can choose which topic they want to complete this essay on.
The four topics we study are:
1. Plate tectonics and associated hazards
2. Ecosystems: change and challenge
3. World Cities
4. Contemporary conflicts
Unit 4B: Geographical Issues Evaluation (20% of A Level)
Students research and study information from a pre – released pack of information based around a particular issue. This year it was based on health care and development in Kenya and how non – government organisations are trying to make a difference in both of these areas. This is assessed in one and a half hour exam and is made up of short and long mark questions.