Miss N. Chapman – Head of Humanities
Mrs H. Worth – Teacher in Charge of Geography
Mrs S. Jakeman
Mr J. Morris
Miss C. Holtham
Miss E. Chinnock
‘Our vision is to widen the horizons of our students, to enable them to value and understand peoples’ diversity, past and culture, to increase their awareness and understanding of their own locality and the wider global community.’
“The … humanities define who we are as a people. That is their power – to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”
The new Humanities programme in Years 7 and 8 covers all the Key Stage 3 Geography, History and Religious Education Programmes of Study and Agreed Syllabus.
Within Humanities, we aim to foster an understanding of human values and attitudes, past and present and how society is organised, develops and changes. We believe Humanities should encourage all students to challenge prejudicial views, ignorance and intolerance and enhance a student’s understanding of themselves and other people in Wales and the wider world. It provides our students with an opportunity to explore global issues and big questions of life whilst focusing on current affairs. Our course focuses on the human dimension of the curriculum, the area which deals with people and their interaction with their environment, in its historical, geographical, cultural, social, moral and spiritual dimensions. This allows our students to discover their place within the world and how they can make an impact on the environment around them through making ethical decisions. By encouraging our pupils to think critically and ethically, they will be able to reflect on their understanding of the world and how events are perceived in different ways enabling them to become life-long learners.
The Humanities Area of Learning and Experience (Area) seeks to awaken a sense of wonder, fire the imagination and inspire learners to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This Area encourages learners to engage with the most important issues facing humanity, including sustainability and social change, and help to develop the skills necessary to interpret and articulate the past and the present.
The Area encompasses geography; history; religion, values and ethics; business studies and social studies. These disciplines share many common themes, concepts and transferable skills, while having their own discrete body of knowledge and skills. Learners may also be introduced to other complementary disciplines, such as classics, economics, law, philosophy, politics, psychology and sociology, if and where appropriate.
What matters in this Area has been expressed in five statements which support and complement one another, and should not be viewed in isolation. Together they contribute to realising the four purposes of the curriculum.
Humanities is central to learners becoming ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world. In contemporary and historical contexts, investigation and exploration of the human experience in their own localities and elsewhere in Wales, as well as in the wider world, can help learners discover their heritage and develop a sense of place and cynefin. It can also promote an understanding of how the people of Wales, its communities, history, culture, landscape, resources and industries, interrelate with the rest of the world. Contemplating different perspectives will in turn help promote an understanding of the ethnic and cultural diversity within Wales. Taken together, these experiences will help learners appreciate the extent to which they are part of a wider international community, fostering a sense of belonging that can encourage them to contribute positively to their communities.
It is important that learners reflect upon the impact of their actions and those of others, and how such actions are influenced by interpretations of human rights, values, ethics, philosophies, religious and non-religious views. Through being encouraged to engage with, respect and challenge a variety of worldviews, as well as to understand how to exercise their democratic rights, learners can imagine possible futures and take social action. Such critical engagement with local, national and global challenges and opportunities past and present will help learners become enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.
As they explore their locality and Wales, as well as the wider world, learners can establish a solid base of knowledge and understanding of geographical, historical, religious, non-religious, business and social studies concepts. This exploration will encourage learners to participate in different methods of enquiry, evaluate the evidence that they find, and apply and communicate their findings effectively. These experiences, in and outside the classroom, will help them become ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives.
It is important that learners have opportunities to discuss and explore their personal perspectives on religious and non-religious worldviews, ethical challenges and social inclusion issues. Likewise, opportunities to explore the natural world, locally, within and beyond Wales, will help foster in them a sense of place and of well-being. These experiences will help develop learners’ resilience, build independence, and increase self-confidence and self-esteem. This will support the development of healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
Statements of what matters
Enquiry, exploration and investigation inspire curiosity about the world, its past, present and future.
The learners’ journey through this Area will encourage enquiry and discovery, as they are challenged to be curious and to question, to think critically and to reflect upon evidence. An enquiring mind stimulates new and creative thinking, through which learners can gain a deeper understanding of the concepts underpinning humanities, and their application in local, national and global contexts. Such thinking can help learners to understand human experiences and the natural world better.
This aspect of the Area will encourage the exploration of concepts, including questioning, evidence, evaluation, ethics and judgements.
Events and human experiences are complex, and are perceived, interpreted and represented in different ways.
We encounter and make sense of the world though a variety of events and experiences. Humanities encourages learners to critically review the ways these events and experiences are perceived, interpreted and represented. As they form their own informed viewpoints and recognise those of others, learners can also develop self-awareness.
This aspect of the Area will encourage the exploration of concepts, including seeking meaning, making judgements, ultimate and philosophical questions, representations, perspectives, interpretations, significance and validity.
Our natural world is diverse and dynamic, influenced by processes and human actions.
Experiencing the wonder of the natural world can contribute to learners’ spiritual development and well-being, and can help to cultivate in them a sense of place and sense of belonging, as embodied in the Welsh word cynefin.
Nurturing curiosity can help learners understand and appreciate how and why places, landscapes and environments in their locality and elsewhere in Wales, as well as in the wider world, are changing. This in turn will enable learners to identify what makes places and spaces distinct, and to develop an awareness of the interconnections between humans and their environment in both contemporary and historical contexts. Consequently, learners will be in a better position to make connections between the past and present, and to consider possible futures.
This aspect of the Area encourages learners to explore concepts, including the interrelationships between humans and the natural world, cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, place, space and physical processes.
Human societies are complex and diverse, and shaped by human actions and beliefs.
An appreciation of identity, heritage and cynefin can influence learners emotionally and spiritually, and help build their sense of self and of belonging. Through an understanding of themselves, learners develop their own identity and an awareness of how they, as individuals, can shape the communities in which they live. Consequently, learners will come to realise that the choices we all make, individually and collectively, can have major impacts on society.
This aspect of the Area encourages learners to explore concepts, including chronology, change and continuity, diversity, cause and effect, interconnectedness, community, identity and belonging, authority and governance.
Informed, self-aware citizens engage with the challenges and opportunities that face humanity, and are able to take considered and ethical action.
Experiences in this Area can help learners develop an understanding of their responsibilities as citizens of Wales and the wider interconnected world, and of the importance of creating a just and sustainable future for themselves and their local, national and global communities. Exploration of the humanities encourages learners to be active, informed, and responsible citizens and consumers, who can identify with and contribute to their communities, and who can engage with the past, contemporary and anticipated challenges and opportunities facing them, their communities and Wales, as well as the wider world.
This aspect of the Area encourages learners to explore concepts, including citizenship, authority and governance, interconnectedness, justice and equality, enterprise, rights, and social action and responsibility.