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Individuals and Societies (Humanities) Key Stage 3      

MYP individuals and societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts.

In this subject group, students can engage with exciting, stimulating and personally relevant topics and issues. Many sensitive and personally challenging topics require careful consideration in the context of a safe and responsible learning environment characterised by respect and open-mindedness. The study of individuals and societies helps students to appreciate critically the diversity of human culture, attitudes and beliefs. Courses in this subject group are important for helping students to recognise that content and methodology can be debatable and controversial, and for practising the tolerance of uncertainty.

Our approach to individuals and societies includes a strong focus on inquiry and investigation. Students collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of societies; test hypotheses; and learn how to interpret increasingly complex information, including original source material. This focus on real-world examples, research and analysis is an essential aspect of this subject group.

The Assessment Criteria for Individuals and societies are:

Criterion A

Knowing and understanding


Criterion B



Criterion C



Criterion D

Thinking critically



Year 7

History Skills

Lessons focus on giving pupils a conceptual & practical understanding of key skills such as chronology, bias, using evidence and assessing significance. This will end with an investigation into the decision to drop the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WW2. 

Geography Skills

This unit introduces geography - the study of people & places and the relationships between them. Students briefly look at where we live, before putting into practise their map skills concluding with a Navigation exercise at Moors Valley/New Forest.  


Students will study the country of Brazil; exploring the history, the geography, with focus on the Amazon River and Rainforest, the population and how Brazil has developed in the modern world. This will then be followed up by a study into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, investigating aspects such as sustainability, regeneration, art and the reasons behind the Games. 

The Battle of Hastings & Norman Conquest

Students are introduced to medieval Britain by gaining an insight into Saxon life, what it meant for people and how it compared to elsewhere in Europe such as Rome. The claimants to the throne are introduced and students assess who they think should be king. The events of the Battle of Hastings are then explored including why William won and Harold lost. Students look at Williams’ problems and his solutions by exploring the Feudal system, the Domesday Book and a study of Castles.

Corfe Castle Study

To prepare students for the depth study they will complete after the Easter holidays; an individual study into Corfe Castle will take place. This will take place after a Year 7 visit to the castle to explore the ruins and look for reasons and clues as to why the building looks the way it does today. Students will be given a task booklet with support and guidance as to how to complete each stage and achieve the highest level that they can.

The Plains Americans

Students embark on a personal study project where they direct their own study for the majority of teaching time. Teacher will introduce topics each week such as the different tribes, the importance of the buffalo, life on the plains vs. life in the forest/mountains, beliefs, tools and trade, war amongst the tribes, their treatment by white settlers.

Students will complete a workbook of 6 chapters, plus introduction and conclusion designed to test their historical skills gained so far. This individual study will help them build towards the larger projects that are carried out later on in their school life.

One section needs to be completed per week so that by the end of the study period, students have put together a portfolio of chapters which can be collated together in the final week of the topic. 


Year 8

World War One

An enquiry into the Great War and the cause and effects of this event. Students will look at the origins of The Great War, trench warfare, war poetry and the effects the war had on those involved. Students will complete group work tasks exploring recruitment materials and also researching and presenting a short lesson on one of the battles that took place during the war.

Students also complete a depth assessment based on the interpretations surrounding General Haig to assess his impact on WW1. The purpose of this is to apply the skill of significance in analysing the causes of The Great War and develop their empathy skills relating to soldiers. Students can visit the Imperial War Museum to explore the First World War galleries in addition to the art exhibitions which will link with the cross curricular aspect with Art..

Slavery and Civil Rights

The first part of this unit focuses on international trade in slaves, whereas the section on civil rights is a case study of American History. Students investigate the origins, practice & abolition of slavery. They then investigate the civil rights movement and examine the question of ‘How much progress has been made since slavery was abolished?

Topics covered will include the concept of slavery, how slaves were treated, why the demand for them existed, & the abolitionist movement. Students then study segregation, the KKK & key individuals & groups such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers & NAACP. The purpose is for students to employ empathy skills to formulate their own opinions on the inequality and injustice of slavery to consider how much progress has been made and to consider modern implications and future progress.

The Crusades and the Arab Israeli Conflict

This unit will ask students to look at two distinct topics within the same geographical region. The unit starts by exploring the events of the Crusades including why they occurred from a religious and political perspective. Students will be required to explore the reasons why Christianity and Islam were so opposed to each other and how the Crusades were seen as the only option. As well as focusing on the religious aspect, this will give students the chance to explore the geography of the area which will be required when they create a series of comparative maps to aide their study.

The unit then moves on to look at the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 and the conflict that has ensued since. Students are to look at how the protagonists have developed by Judaism replacing Christianity. The topic will also briefly introduce aspects of the Cold War which can be built on in Year 9 in readiness for Year 11.

Year 9 History

The Interwar Years

Students explore the immediate effects of the First World War by looking at the Treaty of Versailles and how it left Europe and Germany in particular in vastly different circumstances.

Students then look at the rise of Communism vs. the rise of Fascism through exploring how the different systems worked in practise and also focussing on case studies in particular countries.

Students will explore the rise of fascism by studying Franco in comparison to Hitler & Mussolini in readiness for Y10. Students will explore all facets of the Spanish Civil War including its course and how outside nations and groups attempted to influence its outcome.

The Holocaust

Students will look at the rise of Hitler in Germany and how his increase in power led to an increase in anti-Semitism. Content delivered in class will focus on the events within Nazi Germany such as Kristallnacht, Nuremburg Laws, Ghettos, Persecution until we look at the Final Solution.The historical debate surrounding the intent of Hitler to exterminate 6m people will be explored as will the reaction of the world.

This will be tied in with a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London to explore the background of war and the Holocaust exhibition. Students will hopefully hear a Holocaust survivor give their testimony; arranged through the Holocaust Educational Trust. Students will be completing their own workbook as extended study where they will be looking at the wider impact of anti-Semitism across Europe.

The Struggle for Peace in Northern Ireland

This final topic will focus on the events of the 20th Century starting with the debate surrounding the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Students will explore the history of Ireland through Cromwell & the Ulster Plantation through to the Easter Uprising, Home Rule and Partition under Lloyd George. The focus then shifts to the Troubles, with topics on Bloody Sunday, protest movements, and the social impact of the Troubles on the lives of the people of Northern Ireland.

Year 9 Geography


Tourism is studied it is studied in this unit as an example of a Tertiary Industry. Students consider the contribution made by tourism to the economies of countries in different states of economic development. They will investigate aspects of sustainability and its implications for the management of tourist resorts in the future. Other aspects to be explored include a local study of Bournemouth with comparisons to the New Forest, Eco Tourism & Space Tourism.


This topic will introduce students to a range of new countries and investigate the impact that conflict has had in social, economic, and environmental terms.  Students will examine a range of issues such as conflict, war, child soldiers and resource conflict, with focus on diamonds. The unit will also explore the moral aspects of conflict, including how cultures can clash when fighting over a territory. Students will explore conflicts such as those in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and continuing conflict within Mexico, with particular focus on the ongoing trade in illegal drugs. Aspects such as child soldiers, the effects of landmines will be explored in more depth to go alongside the broader study of conflict.

The Challenge of Weather & Climate

The year in geography ends with an exploration of weather and climate. This unit is about the challenges we face from extreme weather events and climate change. It begins with an introduction to the factors that affect our weather and climate. It then looks for evidence of climate change by asking students to look for examples of how the weather in the UK is becoming more extreme. This is then the basis for the work on climate change which looks at its cause, effects and solutions. The unit then finishes with a case study of a hurricane to illustrate what weather is like at its most extreme.

Year 9 Religious Studies

Religion & Animal Rights

Within this topic students will become familiar with the key teachings from the religions studied and will be aware of how religious leaders and other faith members have interpreted these teachings and applied them to life in society today. Areas covered include religious beliefs about the status of animals, the extent to which animals are different from humans and their relative value, the contemporary use and abuse of animals including, animal experiments, and issues concerning the slaughter of animals, meat, vegetarian and vegan diets.

Religion, War & Peace

The year then continues by moving to religious responses to moral and life issues, where students will look at different religious groups’ responses to a range of Life Issues from birth through to death. They will be required to explore the following areas; the nature of contraception and birth control methods, attitudes toward abortion, suicide and differing responses, and religious responses to euthanasia and end of life issues.

Religion & Life Issues

Students end the year by looking at the role religion plays in war and peace. Students explore key teachings from major world religions and will be aware of how religious leaders and other faith members have interpreted these teachings and applied them to life in society today. Aspects to be covered include the concepts of peace and justice and the sanctity of life in relation to war and peace, the reasons why religious believers might go to war, including the criteria for 'Just War' and 'Holy War', issues such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and nuclear proliferation, and religious beliefs and teachings and modern statements about war and peace.


Individuals and Societies Key Stage 4     

GCSE Geography – Course Overview

The programme of study has been selected to build on knowledge & skills gained throughout KS3 Geography and apply them to study of both human and physical Geography. Under the existing specification students will sit two exam papers at the end of Year 11, with Controlled Assessment being completed during Year 10. 

Paper 1 – Physical Geography

37.5% of final grade//90 minutes//75 marks

Students sit an exam answering questions on three of the options below. Each question consists of short, structured responses with the extended writing being a key feature of the higher level questions.

  • The Restless Earth
  • Rocks, Resources and Scenery
  • Challenge of Weather and Climate
  • Living World
  • Water on the Land
  • Ice on the Land
  • The Coastal Zone

Unit 2 – Human Geography

37.5% of final grade//90 minutes//84 marks

Students sit an exam answering questions on two of the four options below. Each question consists of short, structured responses with the extended writing being a key feature of the higher level questions.

  • Population Change
  • Changing Urban Environments
  • Changing Rural Environments
  • The Development Gap
  • Globalisation
  • Tourism

Unit 3 – Local Fieldwork Investigation

25% of final grade//60 marks

An investigation into the impact of either Human or Physical Geography on an area close to school


GCSE History – Course Overview

The programme of study has been selected to build on knowledge & skills gained throughout KS3 History and apply them to study of the Modern World. Students will sit two exam papers at the end of Year 11, with Controlled Assessment being completed during Year 10

Paper 1 – International Relations 1905 -2005
37.5% of final grade//1 hour 45 minutes//60 marks

Students sit an exam answering questions on the topics outlined below.

  1. The Origins of the Cold War, 1945 – 1960
  2. Crises of the Cold War and Détente, 1955 – 1980
  3. The Collapse of Communism and the Post Cold War World, 1980 – 2000

Paper 2 – 20th Century Depth Studies
37.5% of final grade//1 hour 45 minutes//69 marks

Students sit an exam answering questions on the topics below.

  1. Weimar Germany, 1919 - 1929
  2. Hitler’s Germany, 1929 – 1945
  3. Race Relations in the USA, 1945 - 1968

Paper 3 – Historical Enquiry - British History
25% of final grade//40 marks

Students will study an aspect of British history before completing a report on the Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain since 1900

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