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Humanities Department

The humanities are traditional subjects which are held in high regard as academic disciplines and are therefore looked upon very favourably by both employers and universities.

For detailed information on specifications refer to the Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5 prospectus.

The humanities department offers GCSEs in Geography, History and religious studies. These subjects develop our knowledge and understanding of human behaviour and its consequences for others and the world we live in. They teach us to appreciate different cultures and beliefs and to understand the world around us. In addition, religious studies may be taken as an optional subject in which you will consider the beliefs and practises of two religions, investigate ethical and philosophical issues and gain knowledge and understanding to make your own informed decisions.

The Humanities department offers a range of humanities and social science subjects at GCE A Level. The A Level subjects taught in the department are traditional subjects which are held in high regard as academic disciplines and are, therefore, looked upon very favourably by both employers and universities. All Humanities subjects focus on human behaviour and experience and through studying them you will gain knowledge and understanding of different cultures and beliefs and a better understanding of current world issues. They also develop essential study skills, such as critical and creative thinking, debating and evaluating

Humanities Intent

Through studying a humanities subject, you will be learning how to think creatively and critically, to reason and to ask questions, providing you with essential skills that may be applied in other subjects and in everyday life. 

The Curriculum


Education enables students to grow and fulfil their potential, not only in an intellectual sense but as human beings in all their complexity. At the heart of BPE is the human experience of lived religions and worldviews across the major six religions and other worldviews such as Humanism. BPE explores how these faiths are expressed across time such as through the narrative of the Abrahamic faiths. At A level this is explored through the topic of Development in Christian Thought, supporting the idea of religion being a changing narrative over time. An example of how these are lived religions and worldviews is shown through the cultural relevance of the Dharamic religions and the influence this has had on the world. In BPE, students of all faiths and none explore questions of meaning, purpose and value, and are encouraged to reflect critically on their own thoughts and beliefs and those of others, drawing on the wisdom of religions and world views. Challenging topics such as, war, poverty, human rights, relationships amongst others are explored through application of religions and views. This is crucially reflected through enquiry questions that relate to these worldviews being living practices and beliefs. As pupils progress through to KS5 pupils will explore philosophical ideas of both religion and ethics and how these apply to the world around us, challenging themselves. As future citizens of a diverse society and globalised world, students need the tools and knowledge to co-exist peacefully and considerately with others, to listen empathetically and to disagree respectfully. This is supported through enquiry into different religions and world views, students are facilitated to break down ignorance and stereotypes.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Term 1 - What is it like to follow a Jewish way of life in Britain and the world today?

Pupils will start their study at Brooke Weston Academy in Beliefs Philosophy and Ethics on the religion and world view of Judaism. This follows on pupils completing their study of RE at primary school and builds on this.  During this first term of study in Year 7 pupils will engage with scholarship and how Judaism is a living world view. Throughout this first term pupils will look at the concept of God, key figures, holy texts and places of worship. Lessons draw comparisons to different views and how this challenges people. Throughout the study of Beliefs Philosophy and Ethics at Brooke Weston pupils will start to understand that religions are living world views which people will engage with and this first unit is important in understanding that. 



Year 8

Term 1 - What is the true meaning of Buddhism?

During this term in year 8 pupils will start their study into Buddhism and exploring the meaning of Buddhism. This builds on the scholarship skills embedded in Year 7. By looking at Buddhism through a critical lens it supports pupils to explore Buddhism with an open eye comparing it to the Abrahamic faiths. Pupils look at the personhood of Buddha, the holy text, the four Noble Truths, places of worship and the 8 fold path. Through these topics it allows pupils to have a broad sense of the meaning of Buddhism challenging misconceptions and what beliefs are. 



Year 9

Term 1 - Christian Beliefs and teachings 

During this term pupils will start their study of the GCSE RE content. The content will build on prior learning and the platform given in KS2 and Year 7 and 8. Pupils will engage with the nature of a Christian God, how Great Britian is a Christian country and the nature of role of humans. Pupils will study these topics to provide a foundation of knowledge into their study of RE. The content will build and challenge the views of pupils through scripture and different denominational beliefs. 



Key Stage 4

Year 10

Term 1 - Issues of life and death 

During this term pupils will apply their study of Christianity to the theme of issues of life and death. This unit consists of challenging topics such as; looking after the earth and attitudes to the environment. These topics are addressed through case studies and real life examples of how Christians and other faiths look after the world. This will support pupils in understanding how Christianity is a living belief and world view that will influence actions of Christians. 



Year 11

Term 1 - Issues of relationships and Issues of life and death 

Pupils will start their study of the themes working towards their GCSE. Pupils will undertake the study of the theme of relationships. Pupils will apply their knowledge of Islam and Christianity. Pupils will study; nature and purpose of relationships, marriage, cohabitation, divorce, same sex relationships, attitudes to contraception and attitudes to the role of women. These topics are explored to challenge pupils opinions and explore the opinions of others. 

During this term pupils will apply their study of Christianity to the theme of issues of life and death. This unit consists of challenging topics such as; looking after the earth and attitudes to the environment. These topics are addressed through case studies and real life examples of how Christians and other faiths look after the world. This will support pupils in understanding how Christianity is a living belief and world view that will influence actions of Christians. 



Key Stage 5

Year 12

Term 1

Pupils will start their study of philosophy and ethics in the whole of year 12 studying the topics of ethics and philosophy of religion. 

Within ethics pupils will start to look at different normative ethical theories. Pupils will study the topics of natural law and Situation Ethics. These topics are underpinned by scholarship, theological study and academic rigour. Within Natural law pupils grapple with what is our purpose is through 'telos', whether there are tiers of law which unfluence the natural order of the world and whether we all follow the key precept of doing good and avoiding evil. Within the topic of situation ethics pupils consdier the meaning of agape and whether or not that the best outcome of a moral decision is the most loving action. 

In philoophy of religion pupils study ancient philosophical influences. In this topic pupils will look at the philosophical views of Plate and Aristotle. Pupils will compare their views of reality and how reality can be considered. Pupils will also consider their concepts of God and what they are. 



Year 13

Term 1

Pupils will study the content in the Development in Christian Thought module. Pupils will start by studying Augustine's Teaching on Human Nature. Pupils will consider Human relationships pre and post fall, the effect of the original sin and God's grace. This topic is important for pupils to understand as they underpin the rest of the content in Development in Christian Thought. After pupils will study the concept of death and the afterlife. This module looks at denominational beliefs and the subtleties of this. Through looking closely at scripture and how these inform beliefs it provides pupils with an opportunity to engage with theological debates. Pupils towards the end of term will study knowledge of God's existence. This creates an important synoptic link to other topics across the course creating synchronicity.






Accordion content


Our aim is to empower students to become passionate global citizens with a broad and profound knowledge of the changing and complex world they are part of. Due to the interconnectivity of our subject, we aspire for our geographers to be able to use their cartographical, critical and analytical skills beyond the classroom and are able to view challenges from a wide range of perspectives. This, coupled with enrichment opportunities, leads geographers to have a curiosity and compassion for humanity and the environment with a powerful sense of justice. 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Unit 1 - Geographical Questions

Have you ever wondered where your energy comes from, where your waste goes or where clothes are made? Perhaps you’d like to know why natural hazards happen, why cities are growing all around the world or why bees are disappearing. 
This term students will answering a Big Geographical Question during every Geography lesson in order for them to learn about what our subject involves and more importantly, why Geography matters to them and why it is important in our everyday lives. 
In exploring these Big Geographical Questions, students will also learn fundamental skills for geographers including how to analyse texts, examine photographs, retrieve data from a choropleth map and how to plot data on to a scatter graph and bar chart. 



Year 8

Unit 1 - Glaciers and Cold Environments

In this topic, students will learn about the location, characteristics and importance of polar and tundra environments. Geographers then learn about glaciers and how the processes within them shape our landscape. As glaciers hold one third of the world’s fresh water, it is important that we understand the threats facing them, including that of recent climate change as well as the different ways that they can be protected.



Year 9

Unit 1 - Natural hazards

Have you ever wondered why there is a difference between a natural hazard and a natural disaster? This term we will be studying the earth’s structure and the different tectonic plate boundaries in order to understand why earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Students will be required to think like disaster managers as we study examples of volcanic eruptions and evaluate how the impacts of tectonic hazards can be reduced. 



Key Stage 4

Year 10

Unit 1 - 

Accordion content



Year 11

Unit 1 - The Changing Economic World

The world isn’t exactly divided into rich and poor, but it isn’t equal either. In this unit geographers learn how to measure levels of development including GDP and HDI. Students will then assess the physical and historical causes of uneven development before evaluating the strategies to close the development gap such as industrial development, trade or international aid using Brazil as an example.



Key Stage 5

Students study concurrently two sides of the A Level Geography course with specialist teachers for Human Geography and Physical Geography

Human Geography

Year 12

Unit 1 - Contemporary Urban Environments

The first Human Geography topic of our A level focuses on urban growth and urban change which are seemingly ubiquitous processes and present significant environmental and social challenges for human populations. Geography students will examine these processes and challenges and the issues associated with them, in particular the potential for environmental sustainability and social cohesion. Engaging with these themes in a range of urban settings from contrasting areas of the world affords the opportunity for students to appreciate human diversity and develop awareness and insight into profound questions of opportunity, equity and sustainability. 



Year 13

Unit 1 - Global Systems and Governance

The final topic in the Human Geography A level focuses on globalisation – the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades.
Increased interdependence and transformed relationships between peoples, states and environments have prompted more or less successful attempts at a global level to manage and govern some aspects of human affairs. Students engage with important dimensions of these phenomena with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons. This is an exciting opportunity for students to contemplate the many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them.  




Physical Geography

Year 12

Unit 1 - The Water Cycle

Students will start the course by examining the concept of systems approaches to studying physical phenomena, before exploring global and drainage basin scale hydrology. Through this study students will develop an understanding of issues related to both water scarcity and flooding and its central importance for human populations. Students will also explore how water is central in controlling and regulating climate and is fundamental for the functioning of the planet.



Year 13

Unit 1 - The Water and Carbon Cycles

The final physical module of the Geography A level focuses on the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. These are major elements in the natural environment and understanding them is fundamental to many aspects of physical geography.

This section again, specifies a systems approach to the study of water and carbon cycles. The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations. 





Accordion content

Accordion content

Enrichment Opportunities

The GCSE Geography students are required to undertake two geographical enquiries, each of which must include the use of primary data, collected as part of a fieldwork exercise. Fieldwork takes place outside of the classroom and on two separate occasions. The cost of the field trips vary depending on the distance to the location and duration of the stay (i.e. there is a small charge for fuel and any overnight stays will incur an additional cost). GCSE History students are not required to complete any field work, however students will have the opportunity to see the ‘Doctors show’ production as part of their study of ‘Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day’. Visits to local places of worship and visits from external speakers often forms part of the Religious Studies course.

The Team

Kevin Glesinger

Senior Assistant Principal

Teacher of Geography

Carlien Fourie

Teacher of Humanities

Lewis Holdcroft

Teacher of History and Humanities

Adam Marriott

Teacher of Humanities and BPE/CPD Lead

Paul Murray

Teacher of Humanities and Social Sciences Lead

Adelle Northern

Head of Department

Teacher of History

Natalie Polley

Head of History

Matt Reay

Teacher of Humanities and History                               

Eloise Scarth

Teacher of Humanities and Geography

Juliette Smith

Head of Geography 

Rebecca Waterson

Senior Vice Principal

Teacher of Humanities


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