KEY STAGE 3 (Years 7 and 8)
During Key Stage 3 pupils learn about significant individuals and events in the history of Britain from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. They also learn about key aspects of European and world history. They show their understanding by making connections between events and changes in the different periods and areas studied, and by comparing the structure of societies and economic, cultural and political developments. They evaluate and use sources of information, using their historical knowledge to analyse the past and explain how it can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
They will be taught a range of historical topics to include:
Year 7 - Historical Skills; Medieval Britain 1066 to 1500 (Battle of Hastings, Murder of Becket, King John, The Black Death, The Peasants Revolt); The Native Americans; The Tudors and the Stuarts.
Year 8 - The French Revolution; The Slave Trade; WW1; Rise of Hitler; WW2; The Holocaust.
For pupils to really understand the world around them, they need to get under the skin of the people and places within it. The aim of the Geography course at both Key Stage 3 and 4 (GCSE) is to:
- Encourage pupils to enjoy Geography.
- Develop pupils’ analytical skills by exploring and questioning the world around them.
- Explore the relationship between the Earth and its people, through the study of place, space and environment.
- Explore the relationships between people, physical features, human activities and environmental resources.
- Encourage pupils to question: Where? What? Why? And How?
- Make pupils aware that Geography matters to everyone.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7- 9):
Geography in Years 7- 9 is based on the National Curriculum programme of study, and focuses on a range of exciting and topical issues including Deadly Geography, Crime, Globalisation, Map Skills, Coasts, Tourism, Energy, and The Geography of Stuff. Students are assessed using National Curriculum levels at the end of every Unit, and their progress is recorded and reflected on. Students at Key Stage Three will also get the opportunity to carry out local and national field work.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 - 11):
Geography at GCSE is delivered using the AQA A Specification. Students study a range of topics including Restless Earth, the Coastal Environment, the Development Gap, Changing Urban Environments and Tourism. These are examined by two exams in Year 11; Physical Geography worth 37.5% and Human Geography worth 37.5% of the total grade. Students will also complete a controlled assessment task based on one of their previously studied units which is worth the final 25% of the grade. In order to complete the controlled assessment, students will also complete a piece of fieldwork.
Geography is a dynamic and inspiring subject at Alcester, and helps students understand an often turbulent and awe-inspiring world around them.
Philosophy, Theology & Ethics
Ethos & Content
Study in Years 7 and 8 is based on the philosophy of religion and on the Warwickshire Local Education Authority Syllabus. Of the three world religions that are studied, Christianity is the primary focus. The study of philosophy and theology encourages those of any faith and none to reflect on the human quest for meaning and purpose whilst showing respect and interest in the views of others. These are essential skills in preparing students to live and work in the “global village.”
Year 7 focuses on philosophy, philosophers and philosophical debate. It encourages students to consider ultimate questions, use logic and reasoning to formulate personal views, and to show curiosity, fascination and appreciation for the incredible world we are all part of. Once students have gained confidence in applying logic and reasoning to their arguments, we start looking at humankind’s search for meaning and the belief in the Divine. The key intention for year 7 is that students are able to use logic and reasoning skills to support their viewpoints; that they have awe and wonder for the universe they are part of, and that they recognise that even the greatest minds in the world cannot reach a consensus, so we should respect views that differ from our own.
During Year 8, students are introduced more formally into theology. This leads on to an exploration of Christianity and Islam. They learn about the similarities and differences across these religions, the ethical stance of each, and the significance of their teachings. In addition, students are taught to consider atheist and humanist responses, and examine religions that do not subscribe to a creator: namely, Buddhism. One of key intentions throughout year 8 is for students start to understand why society has continually had a desire to have a relationship with a creator and how that desire has manifested into formal religion.
In addition to the above areas of study, students also have taster days/weeks of different religions and belief systems. These days/weeks are scheduled around key celebrations from many of the major religions. Students typically experience Diwali, Hanukkah, Vaisakhi, Eid, Wesak and Litha. During this time, students are introduced to the associated religion, taught about the significance of the celebration, and have the opportunity to take part in activities that are associated with the celebration. The intention is to enable our students to have a broad experience of the cultures, beliefs and practices of others.
Key Stage 4
All students are taught elements of Philosophy, Theology and Ethics in Years 9, 10 and 11 and follow the Religious Studies full GCSE course provided by Edexcel specification B. The two religions covered are Christianity and Buddhism. The course also examines the views of atheists and Humanists. We feel that the study of these areas allows a diverse exploration of religion, philosophy and ethical frameworks. It also encourages students to recognise that qualities such as kindness, fairness and compassion are characteristics valued by all sections of society, across all religions. Through the study of Buddhism, which isn’t a traditional curriculum choice, students are given the opportunity to see that there are religious and spiritual practices that do not require the belief in a God.
Throughout their study of Philosophy, Theology and Ethics, students will alsoexplore the following:
- Human rights
- Religious freedom
- Prejudice and discrimination
- Racial harmony
- Racial discrimination
- Social justice
- Wealth and poverty
- Marriage and the family
- Euthanasia and abortion
- The environment
- Animal welfare
These topics are discussed in a sensitive and responsible manner, enabling students to feel confident expressing their views honestly and openly.
All students will complete their study at Alcester Academy by sitting a GCSE in religious studies in Year 11.
As well as the academic attainment of a GCSE, some of the primary objectives of the study of Philosophy, Theology and Ethics are for students to:
- Appreciate the beauty and wonder of our incredible universe.
- Appreciate and understand the value of diversity in society.
- To encourage students to care and take responsibility for the world they live in, taking an active part in creating a better world for the future.