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Humanities Faculty

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The Humanities Faculty includes the following distinct subjects: Geography, History, Religious Studies, Business Studies and PSHE (including citizenship).  Economics, Sociology and Politics are also taught at A-level. 

In Humanities, students enjoy exploring the philosophical, ideological, economic and environmental issues of the past and present, reflecting on how the future may be shaped by responses to these.  All subjects within the Faculty develop students’ analytical, evaluative and critical thinking abilities, as well as problem solving skills.  These are highly sought after, both in higher education and in the work place.


Students are assessed regularly in their Humanities subjects, throughout all year groups.  Throughout each subject and within each Key Stage, formative and summative assessment are frequent, with the latter taking place at the end of key units.  In addition to this, at Key Stage 4, Geography, History, Religious Studies and Business Studies sit their GCSE examination at the end of Year 11. Those who do not select Religious Studies as an option for GCSE will complete a Core RS course which examines key ethical issues in society, and religious responses to these.

Sixth Form students can choose Humanities A-Level courses in Geography, History, Religious Studies, Business Studies, Economics, Sociology, and Politics with examinations taking place at the end of Year 13. Geography and History are examined through a combination of examination and coursework.  Religious Studies, Economics, Sociology and Politics are assessed through 100% examination.

In Geography, tectonic hazards, superpowers and water insecurity are a selection of absorbing topic areas.

In History, students explore fascinating topics including the witch craze in Britain, Europe and North America c1580 – c1750, Britain throughout the 17th Century, historical interpretations of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. 

In Religious Studies, some of the most popular elements include the problem of evil, arguments for and against God’s existence, Christianity and sexuality, and medical ethics.

Sociology focuses on Education, Families and Households, Crime and Deviance and Mass Media as well as research methods and sociological theories.

BTEC Business is also delivered at Key Stage 5.  This provides students with the opportunity to cover a wide range of Business related topics including finance, recruitment and account management.

Business A level focuses on topics ranging from marketing and people, managing business activities, making business decisions and strategic operations, and exploring global businesses. Our students will be assessed on understanding, analysis, evaluation and strategy, enabling students to develop their understanding of the core concepts and to take a strategic view of business opportunities and issues to make key business decisions.

Economics involves the study of both Micro and Macroeconomics with Microeconomics focusing on individual markets; how they work, how they may fail and what the government can do to intervene. Macroeconomics takes a much broader perspective of the whole economy; for example looking at what government objectives may be and how to attain these for measures such as economic growth and unemployment.

Politics A-level focuses on the political systems of the UK and US as well as core political ideologies including, socialism, conservatism and nationalism. 

Grouping and Setting

Geography, History, Religious Studies and PSHE are all taught in mixed ability form groups at Key Stage 3.  At GCSE, mixed ability lessons continue in Geography, History and Religious Studies, with Core Religious Studies lessons taught in English sets.  Business Studies GCSE and Business BTEC are also taught in mixed ability classes.  At A-level, all Humanities subjects are taught in mixed ability classes.

Gifted and Talented students are able to develop their skills by participating in study groups, joining extra-curricular clubs, and engaging in higher level study tasks.

Extra Curricular

Students benefit from a large variety of extra-curricular activities that nurture their interest and strengthen skills whilst also developing their role as citizens in the wider community. 

There are a variety of clubs for students of all key stages in Philosophy, History, Economics, and Geography. In the latter, students also have the opportunity to carry out Geography field work at GCSE to an urban and physical environment, and a residential trip to support their A Level studies.

Business also offers a KS4 Business club for students to undertake various enterprising activities and a Business A-Level society for KS5 where we talk about various business affairs and learn how to criticize business decisions and discuss possible solutions for better business outcomes.

There is also Sixth Form ‘FemSoc’ and Debate Club which is well attended by Humanities students. This is in addition to the exciting range of enrichment projects that are on offer such as The Investor Challenge for year 12. Furthermore, the recently established Ashmolean Scholars Programme gives an exciting opportunity for a small selection of Year 12 students in each subject to lead on and engage with enrichment beyond their studies and across the school.