Integrated Humanities

Integrated Humanities is studied in Years 7 and 9.  In year 7 pupils investigate their own ‘personal history and geography’ in the module ‘I am unique’ and explore the idea that they are connected with people around the world by trade, exploitation, and as stewards of their planet.

In Year 9 pupils study a number of contemporary issues such as ‘Pirates’ and ‘What connects us to Africa’. For instance, the links with Ethiopia through the ‘Dreams and Teams work and the link with the Democratic Republic of Congo and our use of mobile phones.

Pupils will be using both their historical and geographical skills as they follow these courses. Pupils will undertake their studies through a variety of teaching and learning styles including:  Pirate parties and experiencing life under dictatorship, oligarchy and democracy.


(Key Stage 3)

The geography curriculum helps pupils to understand the world and their place in it.  The course ensures that geographical enquiry and skills are taught when developing knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes and environmental change and sustainable development.

Areas of study include:

Key Stage 3 theme Examples of geographical activity:

  • Tectonic processes Enquiry on effects of earthquakes and volcanoes in different parts of the world
  • Geomorphological processes.  Enquiry into the need and effectiveness of coastal defences
  • Weather Enquiry on how microclimates vary around school
  • Settlement Decision making exercise to decide the most suitable location for a village
  • Enquiry into the economic development versus conservation of the rainforests with particular reference to Brazil
  • Development Issues around the world
  • Environmental Issues Investigating the issues related to the building of a new reservoir or managing costal retreat

Pupils will undertake their studies through a variety of teaching and learning styles including:

  • Role play
  • Group work
  • Decision making exercises
  • Card sorting games
  • Mysteries
  • Oral Presentations
  • Field work opportunities
  • Formal assessments

This course provides a broad and balanced geographical education for all students, yet provides a firm foundation for those who wish to continue with geography to GCSE and beyond.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

This course has been designed by a team of Geographers to help interested students explore and understand the world around them.  It is a course for students of all abilities to look at issues and problems which arise when people misuse their environment.

There are six study areas:

  • Natural hazards
  • Coastal and river management
  • Urban and rural settlement
  • Population trends
  • Human activities and the environment
  • Economic Development

The course provides:

  • The opportunity to study many  of the issues facing society today, such as sustainability, globalisation and uneven  development.
  • The opportunity to appeal to learners by allowing them to use creative methods to present their work i.e. reflective journals, poems and videos.
  • Encouragement to understand facts and figures about their environment – this will develop transferable skills which are an ideal preparation for employment and further education.
  • Develop an appreciation of, and a caring attitude towards, the environment.

GCSE Assessment:

  • Controlled Assessments – 25%
  • Consists of two tasks: a fieldwork investigation of a hypothesis/question. (1200 words) – 15%
  • A geographical investigation linked to one of nine topics underpinning Two pieces: the specification content (topics include disease, trade, ecosystems, sport, fashion and crime). (800 words) – 10%
  • Decision Making Exercise – 25%
  • Final Examination – 50%

This course forms an excellent basis for Geography A Level but also provides essential skills for work in the following: Town Planning, Architecture, Army/Navy/Air Force, Geology, Civil Engineering, Teaching, Tourist Industry.


“History is made up of people.  When you understand people, you can live a full life.”

Charles Miller Smith, Chair of ICI

History brings fun, mystery and challenge into the classroom.   You will learn many marvellous tales of colourful, curious and fascinating people from past societies ranging from the Ancient Romans to the Black Peoples of America.

We aim to surprise you in History and we always strive to deliver active and interesting lessons that fire your curiosity and develop your thinking and communication skills.  History will help you to reflect on the experiences and achievements of other people in order to realise your own potential to lead a creative and inspirational life.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 begins with a depth study of life in Ancient Rome.  You will learn fascinating stories about significant historical figures such as Hannibal and Julius Caesar.  We will also challenge you to produce your very own Roman Games to entertain the citizens of Rome.   In the Spring Term we will re-enact the famous Battle of Hastings and investigate how the Normans took control of England.  To complete the year we will found out if you could have survived in the Middle Ages, but you will need to watch out for outlaws such as Robin Hood, the Peasant’s Revolt and the deadly Black Death.

Year 8 focuses on the lives and times of the Tudor family.   We will investigate Henry VIII’s break away from the Catholic Church and find out how each of his children ruled England.  We will challenge you to survive the problems faced by Elizabeth I, unravel the Gunpowder Plot and investigate the Essex witchcraft trials.  We will also find out how Britain gained an Empire and help you to understand the development of the African Slave Trade.

Year 9 helps you to prepare for your GCSE studies by focusing on the development of policing through time.  We investigate how the police have handled various crimes through the centuries including the infamous case of Jack the Ripper.   In the Spring Term we will complete a depth study of the early twentieth-century world, incorporating the sinking of Titanic, the Suffragette Campaign and the outbreak of World War One.   The year ends with a study of the ride of Hitler and the Nazi Party and an evaluation of the major turning points of the Second World War.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

What will you study?

  • The American West: 1840 – 1890
  • Crime and Punishment Through Time
  • Civil Rights in the USA

How will I be assessed?

  • Controlled assessment     –    25%
  • Examinations                  –    75%

The new GCSE History course builds on your knowledge from Key Stage 3 and enables you to develop valuable skills for further study and employment.  In Year 10 you will gain a detailed insight into the development of the American West and you will learn marvellous tales of the Plains Indians, gold miners, cowboys and early pioneers. At the end of the year you will be able to take the first modular examination which is worth 25% of your final grade.

In Year 11 you will focus on developing your research skills by completing a Controlled Assessment about the struggle for Black Civil Rights in the USA.   You will then complete the course by studying change and continuity in crime, punishment and policing from Ancient Rome to the modern day. These topics are assessed in two final examinations.

A Level History

Our brand new A Level course is proving very popular with students.   At A/S Level students are invited to examine the Changing Position of Women in Britain from 1860 – 1930.   This incorporates the lesser-known work of pioneering women such as Caroline Norton and Josephine Butler, as well as the more high profile Suffragette Campaign.   This topic is assessed in a source paper in January.   The A/S course is completed with a breadth study of American history ranging from the Civil Rights campaign to the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Year 13 students undertake original and exciting research into the development of the British Slave Trade and present their findings in a university-style essay.   Our work in this area has recently been commended by the exam board.   Students then complete their course by investigating developments in German political history in a course entitled From Kaiser to Fuhrer, Germany 1900 -1945.  This is assessed in an examination in June.

We are very proud of the fact that several of our former students are now studying History at universities across the country.

Religious Studies

The aim of the Religious Studies Department is to enable students to gain an insight into different beliefs practices and cultures from within the UK and around the world.  In addition we aim to give learners the opportunity to develop their own opinions and explore issues in the world.

Religious Studies is part of the Fabulous Fridays’ program in Year 7 and is accessed through integrated lessons and a variety of standalone days, which examine festivals and aspects of different cultures.

In Years  8  and 9 students attend regular weekly Religious Studies lessons.  In Year 8 lessons investigate religions such as Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.  In Year 9 the focus is on starting GCSE study in Ethics. Students will complete three GCSE modules and in addition undertake some PSHE.  The modules in Year 9 are:

  • Peace and Conflict
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Community Cohesion

At KS4 students in Year 10 are beginning a one year intense course in Ethics (Religious Studies), with the aim of sitting a full GCSE in the subject at the end of Year ten.  This includes regular assessment and the studying of eight modules.  The modules examined are:

  • Peace and Conflict
  • Environment
  • Life and Death
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Community Cohesion
  • Marriage and Family
  • Believing In God

Year 11 students this year are completing a series of PSHE and careers modules with elements of General studies. Most students will be given the opportunity to sit a General Studies exam at the end of year 11.

The exam is random each year and focusses on students Maths, English and reasoning skills.  80% of the mark comes from this terminal paper and 20% comes from an exam based upon pre-release material, which students will study before the exam.

At KS5 Students study OCR syllabus in Philosophy and Ethics.  This in A level course, which is assessed by two terminal exams each year.  The course challenges students to gain critical thinking skills and to learn and apply a wide variety of theories.  The content includes:

  • Utilitarianism
  • Kant and Moral Law
  • Ontological Arguments
  • Cosmological Arguments
  • Natural Law
  • Applied Ethics
  • Determinism
  • Plato’s Cave
  • Aristotle’s Meta-physics

General Studies

At Key Stage 4 most students begin a two year full GCSE in General Studies.  The course is skills based and helps develop students’ comprehension, analysis, extended writing and empathy skills.  The course culminates in three exams, which are taken over two exam dates.  These exams are a combination of multiple choice, comprehension and creating an argument to support a point of view.

Over the two years the course aims to give students the opportunity to investigate moral and ethical issues from around the world.  This includes looking at Blood Diamonds, Medical Ethics, The Environment and Crime and Punishment.  Each module has an assessment, which mirrors the final exam to ensure all students are well prepared.

General Studies is widely accepted as a good qualification enhancing all courses of study.  In many areas of work, employers look for applicants with a curious mind, understanding and appreciation of other people’s view points and the ability to make clear, informed decisions.  All of these skills are developed in General Studies.  Any careers dealing with people or the environment regard it in a favourable light.  For example, social services, schools, hospitals, prisons, research, personnel, the police, management, journalism, the travel industry and advertising are just a small sample of careers which fully appreciate the value of a General Studies GCSE.

GCSE Leisure  & Tourism

This is an exciting new award that is on offer from WJEB. It focuses on the growth of the Leisure and Tourism Industry both within the UK and across the rest of the world.

When you take this course you will be practicing many of the skills and much of the knowledge that is expected from those people who work in the Leisure and Tourism industries.

What we teach:

There are 2 units:

Unit 1: Investigating Leisure and Tourism in Torbay

Unit 2: Destinations – allows students to have a close look at the type of destinations that attract UK tourists and the impacts that we have on those destinations.  We will be looking in detail at:

  • New York
  • Morzine
  • Barcelona
  • Morocco
  • Phuket
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Grand Cayman
  • Dartmoor National Park

How will you be assessed?

Unit 1 is in the form of a controlled assessment. Research will be undertaken in the local area during the Summer term of year 10. The assessment will then we written up during the Autumn Term of year 11. This is worth 60% of the final mark.

Unit 2 is a final exam in June at the end of year 11. It is worth 40% of the final mark.

BTEC Level 3 Travel and Tourism Subsidiary Diploma

This is a level 3 BTEC that can be certificated at the end of the first year for 3 units , or taken for 2 years to complete the full 6 units.

The Mandatory units are:

  • Investigating the Travel and Tourism sector
  • The Business of Travel and Tourism
  • The UK as a Tourist Destination
  • Customer Service in Travel and Tourism

Optional units that have been selected are:

  • Long haul Destinations
  • European Destinations

All assessment is set and marked internally and sampled by EDEXCEL to maintain standards.

BTEC Public Services

The BTEC Public Services course is designed for Post-16 students who are considering a career in the uniformed public services e.g. the armed forces or the emergency services.   The course is predominantly a practical course where students explore the work of the public services and in addition learn the skills necessary to succeed in a public service job.

The course is offered as a one year course at Level 2 and you can achieve four GCSEs and as a two year Level 3 course you can achieve two A Levels.

Assessment: 100% assignments and practical assessments

Length of course: Level 2 Diploma = 1 year, Level 3 Diploma =2 years

Units studied:

Level 2 Diploma:

  • Employment in the Public Services
  • Career planning in the Public Services
  • Fitness Testing for the Public Services
  • Adventurous Activities and Teamwork
  • Land Navigation by map and compass
  • Expedition Skills

Level 3 Diploma:

  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Skills for land-based outdoor adventurous activities
  • Citizenship, Diversity and the public services
  • Crime and its effects on society
  • Understanding discipline within the uniformed public services
  • The planning for and management of major incidents
  • International institutions and human rights
  • The impact of war, conflict and terrorism
  • Current and media affairs in the public services
  • Government, policies and the public services
  • Fitness training for the public services
  • Outdoor and adventurous expeditions

Equipment: you may need to purchase some equipment e.g. waterproof coat, walking boots.

This is an exciting and practical course; you will have the opportunity to take part in a number of adventurous activities such as mountain biking and climbing and take part in visits to public service employers.  You must have a mature attitude on the course and be prepared to get involved.

For more information see Mr C Cook.

Head of Humanities: Mrs Debbie Wood

Additional information regarding the curriculum can be found on the following website: