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Oak Wood School


Department Overview 

The aim of the Humanities department is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, while at the same time sparking an interest in Humanities that will stay with students throughout their life.  With passionate teachers and trips to the battlefields of France and Belgium in place we are on our way to achieving this!

Key Stage 3

Year 8 Geography students are looking at flooding and using York as a case study.  While year 7 Geographers are looking at what is inside the earth and are thinking about questions such as; what is a volcano? Where do Volcanoes and earthquakes happen? What are plate tectonics? What happens when plates meet?

Year 7 R.S. students are studying Hindu beliefs, practises, shrines and festivals.  While in year 8 students are reflecting on issues relating to crime, punishment and the death penalty. Focusing on Christian views on these issues.

In year 7 History pupils have been studying life in the middle ages, with students currently focusing on causes, symptoms and consequences of the Black Death.  In year 8 History we have been looking at issues relating to World War One, such as the causes of World War One and life in the trenches.  We will be moving on to the rise of the Nazis.

Key Stage 4

In year 9 History we are studying Germany 1890-1945.  We have been focusing on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change.  In year 10 History we have been focusing on the causes and events of the Cold War and seek to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War.  Finally in year 11 History we have just finished studying Britain, Health and the people from 1000AD to today.  We are now moving on to study Elizabethan England focusing on the major events of Elizabeth I’s reign.

Key stage 4 Geographers are engaged in an exciting course based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography.  It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds.  Students begin the course in year 9 and subject content areas include living with the physical environment, challenges in the human environment, geographical applications and geographical skills.

Our new GCSE Religious Studies specification offers a range of faith-specific options and a variety of contemporary themes.  Students are learning how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills in preparation for further study. Subject content includes how Islam, Christianity, and other major world faiths approach moral and ethical issues.

Key Stage 5

Lively, relevant, controversial… there are many ways to describe A-level Politics. There’s no denying that it’s one of the most interesting and engaging qualifications you can choose. Covering news and current affairs from the UK and US, it helps you understand how the UK country is run and develops research, written communication and debate skills. Government and Politics students are following the AQA specification. There are three broad areas of study in this specification: the government and politics of the UK, the government and politics of the USA and political ideas. The specification requires in depth study of UK and US government and politics. Comparisons across the two political systems are required.

History students are following the Edexcel specification at Key Stage 5.  There are 4 units to this A level including Russia 1917-91, GDR 1945-90, British experiences of warfare 1790-1918 and coursework on the causes of the Cold War.  In the Russian unit students will learn about the key political, social and economic features of communist rule in Russia during the twentieth century, an era that saw its authority and influence rise to the status of a superpower, only to diminish and decline later in the century.  While the GDR option comprises a study in depth of the creation, development, decline and collapse of the communist East German state, 1949–90.  Thirdly the British experiences of war option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the British experience of war in different aspects of major overseas conflicts and the changing relationship between the state and the people as the government attempted to create an effective fighting machine and prepare the people for war.  Finally the coursework gives students the opportunity to carry out a historical enquiry, analysing and evaluating historical interpretations, and organising and communicating their findings