Humanities Curriculum

Key Stage 3&4

Humanities Curriculum Intent

Key Stages 3 and 4

The Humanities faculty has the highest of aspirations for our students in line with those of the wider academy. We have the highest expectations of the students as we do of ourselves as teachers. We are committed to the fundamental principle that all students studying Humanities should make exceptional progress through all key stages, and do so with a positive, outward facing mind-set that stretches beyond performance in assessments. For us, our curriculum should ground students in place and time, enable them to connect the broadest of topics together and understand how the local, national and global connect with the past, present and future.

From their first day in Y7 students will find a curriculum that stimulates their different interests and creativity, focusses on knowledge acquisition and skills competency, a growth mind-set and places reading and further literacy at the very heart of its intent. They will embark on a learning journey which follows a very carefully planned sequence and chronology of learning experiences which gel together from one to the next. These learning experiences will also exist beyond the classroom through an extensive and ambitious enrichment program of trips, visits, fieldwork and home learning.

We will support students of all abilities and we will patiently dedicate time and resources, working with them to overcome the numerous challenges they may face. Students will grow in confidence, ability and creativity to become global citizens who think critically, who are resilient and motivated, and who have a strong foundation in skills and knowledge that will enable them to take their places in a challenging, but wonderful, world. In doing this we firmly believe that we will produce international citizens who have the broadest and deepest possible understanding of our planet and its people, ready to face the challenges of their own, and the planet’s future.

Finally, we believe that the Humanities curriculum at Aston academy should be the beginning. The beginning of a life full of rich learning experiences, a life where learned skills and confidence can be readily applied to any situation, a life where challenges are met and overcome. All of this is underpinned by one common simple idea, enjoyment. When learning is fun, stimulating, challenging and thought provoking then it becomes the best legacy that a curriculum can create.

KS3 Humanities

Year 7 and 8

All students at Aston academy will study 4 hours of Humanities per week which are split into 2 hours each for Geography and History. This is double the number of hours that students had received prior to 2020 -21 which demonstrates the ambition of the academy and faculty to significantly increase knowledge, skills and understanding of all Humanities students. The curriculum plans and schemes of work have been completely rebuilt from scratch to reflect the ambition and aspirations of the humanities faculty and the wider academy. We want to create the next generation of Historians and Geographers, not just the next generation of Geography and History students. Our curriculum is designed to work within the framework of the national curriculum for History and Geography and our aim is to enable students to think, speak, write and create like Historians and Geographers. We have created a challenging curriculum which explores both subjects in breadth and depth, with a coherent sequence of learning experiences which builds skills, knowledge and understanding in preparation for GCSE options, further study at KS5 and beyond into higher education and the world beyond.

In Geography students will study the following topics which allow them to access the broadest range of new learning and master essential Geographical skills.

Year 7 Geography

Geography students in Y7 will undertake a year-long ‘Journey around the world’. This unit will involve students visiting all seven continents of the world with the aim of studying the huge variety of human and physical geography topics within this virtual learning journey. Students will investigate, memorise, explore and evaluate features of topics such as Natural hazards, population, culture, wealth and development, habitat and ecosystems, resources, climate and weather plus many more. The intention is for students to have a well-developed sense of the scale of our planet, and a clear understanding of both the difference and interconnectedness evident within this study. These learning experiences will help students understand their own position in the world on a local, national and global level, and hopefully break down ideas of national difference and priorities, replacing them with global priorities which are relevant to all people.  Once students have this broad and deep grounding they are ready to progress to Y8 where they will extend their knowledge through study of the impacts of human activity on the planet and the future issues that will arise from this.

Year 8 Geography

Geography students in Y8 will undertake a year-long study of the ‘Uncertain futures’ which faces the planet and the global population. This study will not solely focus on the problems but will investigate how the uncertain futures for our planet can be considered as opportunities for the creation of solutions. The aim is to demonstrate that many of the negative impacts of human activity can be addressed and that the uncertain futures that face the planet can be addressed with degrees of certainty, positivity and hope. Students will study units on population, the geography of health and disease, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, sustainability and resource management.

In History students will study the following topics which allow them to access the broadest range of new learning and master essential Historical skills.

Year 7 History

History students in Y7 will begin a learning journey through time which focuses on the building of skills and the understanding of the historical, cultural and political heritage of Great Britain from 1066 onwards. Students will gain a clear understanding of how historical events have shaped the Britain of today and help students identify on a personal level with Britain on a local, regional and national level. This understanding can only be achieved through a curriculum in Y7 which puts emphasises both skills and knowledge. The year begins with a ‘time detectives’ unit which helps students understand the concepts of chronology, similarity and difference and plants the idea of History as a ‘story’ of interconnected events. Students then move on to study the beginning of Britain as we know it today with a unit which focuses on the years between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the beginning of the renaissance in 1485. Students will then move on to investigate how the reformation and renaissance period that followed it shaped and changed Britain on a social, cultural, religious and political level. By the end of the year students will have a competency in core Historical skills as well as a broad and deep knowledge base of Britain between 1066 -1700.

Year 8 History

History students in Y8 will continue with the learning journey they embarked on in Y7 which is to complete the study of the History of Britain, looking at the period between 1750 and 1945. From this stepping off point students will begin to dig deeper into key periods and events in History to broaden their understanding of the story we are all involved in. Students will complete two depth study topics. The first of these is a depth study of Empire and slavery, and exploration of its legacy and how it shaped the world, with the effects still being felt today. The second of these depth studies will focus on the 2 great world wars between 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 respectively. Both of these depth studies will enable students to understand the connections and consequences of such events and periods, developing vital historical skills in preparation for further study.

Year 9

In Y9 Humanities students will study 3 hours of humanities per week, and these hours will be taught in subject blocks which will swap through the year at set points. Students will study a block of History or Geography and then swap to the other subject on completion of each unit. This allows us to focus with intensity and rigour on a given topic within a subject whilst practicing and mastering the key skills required to take their individual development as Historians and Geographers further in KS4 when they choose their subject options for GCSE. The topics chosen in both subjects will further prepare students for the increased levels of skill and knowledge required to make the most of Y10 and Y11 as Geographers or Historians.

Y9 History

History students in Y9 will study a mix of depth studies and 20th Century ideologies such as Capitalism, Communism and Fascism. Whilst being familiar with the model of historical depth studies from Y8 students will now be challenged with the introduction of a more politically focussed series of topics which are vital in understanding the political landscape of today’s world. Studying Capitalism with the USA, Communism in the USSR and Fascism in Germany will ground students in a more complex and nuanced understanding of change, continuity and significance. The second of half of Y9 for history students will involve a depth study in one of the most historically significant events of the last 100 years: The Holocaust. Finally all the learning of the previous topics from Y7 will culminate in a study of the political, social, cultural and economic changes in Britain after 1945.

Over the course of Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will become fully competent in key historical skills such as:

  • Chronology
  • Identification
  • Description
  • Explanation
  • Similarity and difference
  • Cause and consequence
  • Change and continuity
  • Inference
  • Interpretation
  • Connection
  • Judgement and evaluation

Y9 Geography

Geography students in Y9 will revisit the study of the planet as a whole with a range of units which focus on concepts as opposed to the location focus from Y7. All the ‘planet’ units dig deeper into geographical themes which, as well as providing a far broader and deeper understanding of these concepts, also provide students with a greater understanding of the skills and rigour expected to make the most out of the GCSE Geography specification. ‘Urban Planet’ will explore issues and trends in urban living including urbanisation, sustainable city living and the opportunities and challenges that urban growth presents. ‘Violent planet’ leads students into the world of natural hazards, both tectonic and atmospheric, and investigates the causes, effects and responses to these. ‘Economic Planet’ investigates the global issues created by inequalities of wealth and the distribution of wealth. Finally, ‘Living Planet’ focuses on the biomes, habitats and ecosystems present around the world, promoting an understanding and appreciation of the wonder and delicacy of these systems. Included in this topic will be an extensive analysis of how human activity affects these systems, both positively and negatively.

Over the course of Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will become fully competent in key geographical skills such as:

  • Cartographical: Location and Place
  • Cartographical: Interpretation and application
  • Cartographical: Interpretation and analysis
  • Description, explanation and connection
  • Judgement and evaluation
  • Mathematical / Data: Methodology and presentation
  • Mathematical / Data: Mathematical skills
  • Mathematical / Data: Evaluation and decision making

KS4 Humanities.

Key stage 4 Humanities students will choose between Geography or History based on the learning journey they have completed through year 7, 8 and 9. Once they have made the choice to continue their development as Geographers or Historians. Building on the skills and knowledge embedded through the learning of the previous three years, humanities students will explore their chosen subject in far more depth and detail. The detailed programmes of study and learning plans for GCSE History and Geography precisely follow exam board specifications to ensure the best possible progress throughout the 2 years of study. Additionally the faculty plans our own priorities of literacy and numeracy, creativity, resilience, memorisation, meta-cognition and fun!

Whilst building on the skills and knowledge established through Key Stage 3 the Key Stage 4 curriculum is also intent of preparing students for continuing their studies in Key stage 5 where a variety of subjects, including A-level History and Geography are on offer to students who meet the standards required to study the course offered at Post -16 whether at Aston or other colleges.

The demands of both History and Geography at Key stage 4 are driven by the additional challenge of final examinations in the summer term of Y11. The curriculum will prepare students for this by building in numerous trial examinations and assessments, and the skills needed to achieve the most positive outcomes in final examinations become a regular part of lessons in Y10 and Y11. Lessons will focus on all the challenges these examinations will present students such as the embedding of key vocabulary and question command terms, question deconstruction, answer planning and time management and the teaching and practice of vital preparation skills and techniques through dedicated revision lessons. Trail assessments, milestone assessments, lesson starters and ELT tasks will deliver challenge and key skills practice and will ‘interleave’ current areas of study with content and skills from topics that have already been completed. Interleaving involves mixing areas of prior learning in with current learning to retain knowledge and skills from on topic to the next.  In doing this the intent is to build on knowledge and skills accumulated in prior learning ensuring that students are able to memorise and master vital content and skills as they move through Y10 and Y11.

KS4 Geography

Students studying GCSE Geography will follow the AQA (8035) GCSE Geography specification. Our Curriculum, which is naturally informed and influenced by the exam board specification, enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches. This exciting and relevant course studies geography in a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them. Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

Students will sit three final examinations in the summer term of Y11. There will be two 90 minute assessments on ‘Living with the Physical environment’ and ‘Challenges in the Human environment’ respectively, and a third 75 minute examination on ‘Geographical applications’.

Upon completion of this two year course, students will have the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.

Areas of study.

In the specification content, students are required to study case studies and examples. Case studies are broader in context and require greater breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding. Examples are more focused on a specific event or situation, are smaller in scale and do not cover the same degree of content.

The subject content is split into four units:

  1. Living with the physical environment
  2. Challenges in the human environment

In units 1 and 2 the content is split into sections, with each section

  1. Geographical applications - This unit sets out the requirements for fieldwork and issue evaluation, focusing on a particular geographical theme. Past themes have included Deforestation in the Amazon, Water management in the UK etc.
  2. Geographical skills - sets out the geographical skills that students are required to develop and demonstrate.

KS4 History

Students studying GCSE History will follow the EDEXCEL GCSE History specification. Our Curriculum, which is naturally informed and influenced by the exam board specification, enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches. This exciting and relevant curriculum and qualification is one that will engage students with a broad and diverse study of the history of Britain and the wider world whilst empowering them with the skills that will support progression to further study of history and a wide range of other subjects.

History at GCSE will inspire, inform and enlighten students to the ‘story’ of History over a very wide time period. They will use different evidence to build an understanding of events, of different peoples interpretations of them and to identify and evaluate the impact of key moments and time periods, the influence of key people in History and to recognise cause and effect and change and continuity. Students will complete ‘depth studies’ of key periods to gain the broadest and deepest insight and understanding of history in Britain and the wider world.

Students will sit three final examinations in the summer term of Y11. There will be a 75 minute paper on Medicine in Britain c1250 - present and the British Sector of the Western front 1914-1918. A second 90 Minute paper on International relations and Anglo- Saxon and Norman England as separate topics. There will then be a final 80 minute paper on Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919-1939.

Areas of study

In the specification content, students are required to study key time periods in depth, both British and non-British.

  1. Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches. This unit focuses on the change and development over time in the first part of the topic and then focuses on the historical environment of the western front to explore the topic further.
  2. Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88. This unit focuses on the period study of this time in history.
  3. International relations and the Cold war. This unit is a depth study unit focussing on how international and global political relationships and tensions emerged after the Second World War.
  4. Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919-1939. This unit is another period study. This unit explores the fascinating inter-war period in depth.
Humanities Learning Plans

Please click the links below to view our Humanities learning plans.

Key Stage 3

Humanities KS3 Learning Plan

Key Stage 4

KS4 Geography Learning Plan

KS4 History Learning Plan


Humanities Learning Expectations

Please click the links below to view our Humanities learning expectations.

These documents show the progress we expect students to make by the end of each term.

Year 7 Hums Learning Expectations

KS3/KS4 Geography Learning Expectations

KS3/KS4 History Learning Expectations

KS4 Geography Scheme of Work

History Paper 1 - Medicine and the Western Front

History Paper 2 - Anglo Saxon and Norman England

History Paper 2 - Superpower Relations and the Cold War

History Paper 3 - Weimar and Nazi Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST 16

KS5 Humanities - Curriculum Intent

The humanities curriculum in Key stage 5 broadens not only knowledge and skills of students but also offers more subjects to study. The intent of the curriculum in Humanities is to ensure that the very best standards of teaching and learning are in place to build upon the skills and knowledge they have acquired over the past four key stages.

Through the study of History, Geography, Politics and Psychology, as well as the offer of an additional Extended Project Qualification, we believe we are challenging the students to grow, to become more independent and resilient and prepare them for their future pathways. We expect students to be more independent learners and to develop resilience and organisational skills as they work to meet the requirements of this level of study. Students will develop new skills, or improve existing ones, during Post -16 learning. They will achieve high levels of competency in written analysis, using text, sources, images data and other information to analyse and evaluate what they are learning, to make complex synoptical links and to think critically.

At the core of the learning plans for each topic is a foundational framework which will equip students with a grounding in the specific skills that each course requires, whilst their wider experience as a learner will give them an excellent foundation in the core attributes and skills necessary to be a success as a post 16 student.

Students will be expected to complete work independently in their own time and this is essential. They will be expected to complete significant amounts of additional reading and research, complete essays and essay plans in comprehensive detail and depth. The subject teachers will devote a lot of time to provide comprehensive and personalised feedback which students will have numerous opportunities to respond to, enabling them to improve and make further progress. During the teaching of humanities post -16 course students will be guided through the early stages of skills development and refinement with this additional support slowly reduced as students begin to produce work of the highest quality more independently.

Key stage 5 courses in Humanities aim to enable students to specialise and develop subject expertise as they explore their chosen subjects in far greater depth, detail and breadth. We will work to create the conditions whereby students can confidently pursue their chosen subjects in higher education if they wish, or if they choose a different pathway for themselves then they will be equipped with the core skills and resilience to make a success of whatever they chose to do, regardless of the challenges involved.

 

How will we assess students' knowledge, understanding and skills development over time?

  • Formative assessment of student understanding will take place within lessons through individual responses, paired and group work.
  • Knowledge and skills will be assessed through regular submission of extended written responses (assessments completed in line with the Academy Post 16 assessment schedule)
  • Students will be assessed formally at least once each monitoring period.
  • Students will keep detailed notes in their folders. Guidance about organisation will be given by course teachers and these will be informally checked throughout the course. 
  • Students will also undertake formal trial examinations at least twice before the terminal exams using existing past exam papers and mark schemes.   

A-level Geography

A Level geography offers a selection of new, interesting topics not covered at GCSE level, and allows students to go into greater depth in some key elements previously studied. It covers both the physical and human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. As a subject which covers so many of the vital issues that affect the world of today, such as climate change, migration and natural hazards, there has arguably never been a better time to study Geography. With the mix of technical and social skills that they get from their studies, Geography graduates are highly sought after — in fact, according to the Royal Geographical Society, those who study the subject have some of the highest rates of employment. Geography is one of the Russell Group universities' facilitating subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

Water and carbon cycles 

Cycling of carbon and water are central to supporting life on earth and an understanding of these cycles underpins some of the most difficult international challenges of our times. Students will study the major stores of water and carbon and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. Students will 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

Coastal systems and landscapes

Students study coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and sediments. Studying Coastal landscape development and their sustainable long term management.

Hazards

Students will explore the origin and nature of hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, they will engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environment in which they live. They will study plate tectonics, volcanic hazards, seismic hazards, storm hazards, and wildfires hazards /

Changing places 

Students study the complex picture of place, examining people's engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives.  Through developing this knowledge, students will gain understanding of the way in which their own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places which are of essential importance in their lives.

Global systems and global governance

Students study 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.

Contemporary urban environments

Students will study urban growth and change and how it presents significant environmental and social challenges for human populations. Focusing on environmental sustainability and social cohesion in a range of urban settings from contrasting areas of the world. This helps develops students appreciate human diversity and develop awareness and insight into profound questions of opportunity, equity and sustainability

Geography fieldwork investigation

Students must undertake four days of fieldwork during their A-level course and are required to undertake an independent investigation.

Cartographic skills, graphical skills, statistical, qualitative skills and quantitative skills, GIS, making links between knowledge and understanding in different contexts. Investigate geographical questions and issues, interpret, analyse and evaluate of data and evidence and discursive writing.

Component 1: Physical geography

How it's assessed

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

120 marks

40% of A-level

Section A: Water and carbon cycles (36 marks)

Section B: Coastal systems and landscapes (36 marks)

Section C: Hazards (48 marks)

 

Question types: short answer, levels of response and extended prose.

Component 2: Human geography

How it's assessed

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

120 marks

40% of A-level

Section A: Global systems and global governance (36 marks)

Section B: Changing places (36 marks)

Section C: Contemporary urban environments (48 marks)

Question types: short answer, levels of response, extended prose

 

Component 3: Geography fieldwork investigation

What's assessed?

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

How it's assessed

3,000–4,000 words

60 marks

20% of A-level, marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

A-level History

Students studying A Level History follow the EDEXCEL GCE Route A specification. Our curriculum is designed to build upon the knowledge and skills developed by students through the GCSE History course, whilst still offering the opportunity to study new areas of History that are directly relevant to our lives today. Students complete modules focusing on Britain and the wider world, with the opportunity to choose a historical controversy of their choice to research and write about in their coursework.

By choosing EDEXCEL as the exam board for both our GCSE and A Level courses, the skills developed by students follow a natural progression of development. Focusing on analysis and evaluation of the key periods studied, use of source material within its historical context and evaluation of ways in which aspects of the past have been interpreted, A Level History students develop a wide range of skills.

A Level History comprises of three examinations completed in Year 13 assessing all of the content and skills taught throughout the two year course. Paper 1 is a ‘breadth study with interpretations’ and is assessed through a 135 minutes examination. Students’ second examination is 90 minutes long and assesses Paper 2, which is also a ‘depth study’. The final examination completed by students is a further 135 minutes assessment covering the content and skills from Paper 3, ‘Themes in depth with aspects in breadth’. In addition to these examinations, students also complete a coursework assignment that assesses the ability to carry out a historical enquiry, analysing and evaluating historical interpretations, and communicating the findings in a 4000 word essay.

Areas of study:

Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations – The crusades, c1095-1204 (30%)

Paper 2: Depth study – England and the Angevin Empire in the reign of Henry II, 1154-89 (20%)

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth – Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform in Britain, c1780-1928 (30%)

Coursework: Historical enquiry – (20%)

A-level Politics

Politics at Aston aims to inspire, inform and enlighten students so that they develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom (UK) and globally. We aim to teach students to develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes and the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics. This will also develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups. In doing this, they will develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements. Underpinning all this is the aim to develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Building on the skills and knowledge derived from previous study in both History and Geography, politics students will explore this new subject in far more depth and detail. The detailed programmes of study and learning plans for A Level Politics precisely follows exam board specifications to ensure the best possible progress throughout the 2 years of study.

SKILLS TAUGHT & USED

Whilst building on the skills and knowledge established through Key Stage 4, the A Level Politics curriculum is also intent on preparing students for continuing their studies at university or beyond school.

The demands of Politics are driven by the challenge of final examinations in the summer term of Y13. The curriculum will prepare students for this by building in numerous trial examinations and assessments, and the skills needed to achieve the most positive outcomes in final examinations become a regular part of lessons in Y12 & Y13. Lessons will focus on all the challenges these examinations will present students such as the embedding of key vocabulary and question command terms, question deconstruction, answer planning and time management and the teaching and practice of vital preparation skills and techniques through dedicated revision lessons.

METHODS OF ASSESSMENT

 Trial assessments, lesson starters and ELT tasks will deliver challenge and key skills practice and will ‘interleave’ current areas of study with content and skills from topics  and other subjects that have already been completed.  In doing this the intent is to build on knowledge and skills accumulated in prior learning ensuring that students are able to memorise and master vital content and skills as they move through KS5. This means that lessons also focus on oracy and presentation and debate skills, as well as further developing sophistication in literacy, analysis and evaluation, reasoning, explanation and description.

Students will sit three final examinations in the summer term of Y13, all of 2 hours. Paper 1 covers UK Politics, which includes questions on the core ideologies of Socialism, Conservatism and Liberalism. Paper 2 focusses on UK Government, together with the non-core ideology of Nationalism. This was chosen as it will enable students to understand the theories and beliefs behind an ideology that is affecting national and global politics in the wake of the end of the Cold War. Paper 3 is on Global Politics, covering theorises and arguments about globalisation, and case studies of attempts at global governance politically, economically, environmentally and from a human rights perspective. 

UNITS/TOPICS COVERED

Students studying A Level Politics will follow the EDEXCEL A Level Politics specification. The Curriculum, which is naturally informed and influenced by the exam board specification, enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches.

In Y12 students will study two strands of politics. In one, they will focus on ideology and political parties, coming to an informed understanding of Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Nationalism. Students will learn about the core ideas and principles and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers. This strand will also enable students to learn how these ideologies have played out in UK Party Politics, the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK. Students will investigate in detail how people and politics interact. They will focus on the role and scope of political parties that are so central to contemporary politics, including the significance of the manifestos they publish at election time and their relevance to the mandate of the resulting government

This strand provides theoretical underpinning for the second strand, where they will study other aspects of UK politics, such as the nature of democracy, rights, pressure groups, electoral systems, elections, the media and political leadership. They will explore the emergence and development of the UK’s democratic system and the similarities, differences, connections and parallels between direct and indirect democracy. This section allows students to understand the individual in the political process and their relationship with the state and their fellow citizens. Students will examine how electoral systems in the UK operate and how individuals and groups are influenced in their voting behaviour and political actions. This component will further examine the role of the media in contemporary politics.

They will also come to an informed understanding of the key structures and processes in UK Government and how they adapt and interact. Politics is ultimately about people, but most political decisions are made by a branch of government whose roles and powers are determined by a set of rules: the constitution. This component is fundamental to understanding the nature of UK government, since it enables students to understand where, how and by whom political decisions are made. It also introduces students to the set of rules governing politics in the UK, and to the specific roles and powers of the different major branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judiciary – as well as the relationships and balance of power between them, and considers where sovereignty now lies within this system. Students will explore how the relative powers of the different branches of UK government; the extent to which the constitution has changed in recent years; the desirability of further change; and the current location of sovereignty within the UK political system.

Underpinning this will be learning about skills of using political information and sources to identify, explain, analyse and evaluate arguments and opinions.  This means that by the end of Y12 the students will be equipped to complete Papers 1 & 2, enabling meaningful practice exams to be set and used to drive progress.

In Y13 students will interleave learning from Y12 with new learning for Paper 3 of the exam. We have chosen the option on Global Politics, as we live in a complex world with significant challenges, including global terrorism, poverty, economic instability, weapons proliferation, failing states and environmental degradation. These issues are of growing relevance to our young people and form the basis of their understanding of and participation in a wider world.  Global politics gives students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity. It also gives them the opportunity to explore the political issues that affect all of us. Students will gain

understanding of abstract political concepts through grounding them in contemporary real world examples and case studies that will develop an international awareness and knowledge of multiple perspectives.

Global politics encourages discussion and debate and requires students to study and present different global perspectives, as well as interpreting competing and contestable claims. The key mainstream perspectives on global politics are liberalism and realism, and students will be taught to understand how these perspectives are applied throughout all elements of the course.

From March in Y13, students will revisit and revise Y12 learning alongside their Global Politics study, as key knowledge, skills and understanding are repeated and used in a global context. This enables students to apply their learning synoptically and gain a deeper understanding of global issues and events.

A level Psychology

The post-16 students who choose Psychology follow the AQA A level Psychology specification. This course is designed to offer an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.

Course aims

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other.
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods.
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills.
  • Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject.
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

Topics

Students will learn about a wide range of topics across the content of the three papers including:

Paper 1: Memory, Social influence, Attachment and Psychopathology

Paper 2: Approaches in psychology, Biopsychology and Research methods

Paper 3: Issues and debates in psychology, Schizophrenia, Gender and Forensic psychology

Assessment

Students gain credit for:

  • Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures (AO1).
  • Applying knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures in a theoretical and practical context as well as when handling qualitative and quantitative data (AO2).
  • Analysing, interpreting and evaluating scientific information, ideas and evidence in order to make judgements and reach conclusions and to develop and refine practical design and procedures (AO3).

Internal assessments on the course are based on past paper questions with the same time limits, mark schemes and grade boundaries as past exams so that students have an accurate measurement of the standard of their answers. Final grades are based on the performance on the three papers above; all of which are two hour exams marked out of 96. Question types include multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing.

Progression

The majority of Aston Psychology students progress to higher education. Many choose further study in social sciences such as Psychology, Sociology and Criminology. Health-related courses and Social Care courses are other common choices for Psychology students.

EPQ - Extended project qualification

Post-16 students at Aston have the opportunity to take the AQA Extended Project Qualification in year 12. It is usually taken as a fourth (or occasionally fifth) option alongside A level or vocational courses. The Extended Project will develop from one or more of the student’s courses and/or from an area of personal interest outside their main programme of study. The topic of the project is chosen by the student and agreed as appropriate by the centre coordinator. There is one taught session a week with the expectation that students will spend approximately four hours of independent study on the project per week. The Extended Project Qualification is taken over a single academic year.

Course requirements

Students are required, with appropriate supervision, to:

  • Choose an area of interest
  • Draft a title and aims of the project for formal approval by the centre
  • Plan, research and carry out the project
  • Deliver a presentation to a non-specialist audience
  • Provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment

Students will develop the following skills:

  • Research skills including the ability to search for and identify suitable sources of information in the chosen subject area
  • Project management skills including time, resource and task management
  • An understanding of the format and structure of accepted academic forms of research report
  • Referencing
  • The evaluation of sources
  • The prevention of plagiarism
  • Presentation skills

Assessment

The final project consists of a completed production log documenting the planning and reviewing of the project, a final written report and a presentation delivered by the student to an audience. Students are assessed on their ability to manage the project (10 marks), use resources effectively (10 marks), develop and realise their project (20 marks) and review their project (10 marks). Students who pass receive a grade between A* and E. The project is marked by the course coordinator and moderated by the exam board.

Progression

The majority of Aston Extended Project Qualification students progress to higher education. The course is designed to provide the skills to help students adapt successfully to higher education and/or the workplace.

 

 

Humanities Learning Plans

Please click the links below to view our Humanities learning plans.

Key Stage 5

KS5 Geography - Curriculum-Map

KS5 History - Curriculum-Map

KS5 Politics - Curriculum-Map

KS5 Psychology - Curriculum-Map


Humanities Learning Expectations

Please click the links below to view our Humanities learning expectations.

These documents show the progress we expect students to make by the end of each term.

Key Stage 5

KS5 Geography Learning Expectations

KS5 History Learning Expectations

KS5 Politics Learning Expectations

   

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Statement

At Aston we are committed to providing high quality learning and teaching, enabling everyone to reach their full potential, whatever their age, ability, gender or ethnicity.

We believe that every person is unique and we work together in an inclusive environment of mutual respect and consideration, valuing everyone's contribution.

Through our partnership with the local and wider community we aim to support our young people in successfully taking their place in society.

All adults in school have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

With your commitment we will make a difference.

 

Contact Us

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Fax: 0114 2876359

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www.astoncetrust.org

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