Curriculum Leader Mr T Blake
Subject Leader for Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE) Mrs J Lehain
Knowledge Maps - Autumn
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Geography - click below to open
GCSE Religious Studies
The Humanities department, which consists of History, Geography and Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE) , is an extremely experienced and supportive one. The department is innovative and dynamic in its approach with a relentless drive on improvement. Strong teaching within the department promotes extremely good outcomes for our students. We are proud that our teachers work in an environment where they can teach enthusiastic, motivated and well behaved students in an atmosphere where high achievement and dedication is the norm.
We have constructed a rich and varied curriculum which allows students to study the past and explore both British and other world cultures whilst developing their vital skills as a historian. There is a strong focus on cultural diversity throughout the study of these different historical periods. Students are taught to use evidence to build up a picture of the past; including the ways things have changed and the ways things have stayed the same. They learn to understand how causes of events are linked, and the reasons why people in the past may have interpreted events differently. As well as our exciting, demanding and varied curriculum, the History department offers a range of extracurricular opportunities for students including an annual Battlefields trip to Ypres as well as visits to local and national sites and museums. BFS students value the high quality teaching they get at Bedford Free School.
History at Key Stage 3
In years 7, 8 and 9 History is taught in one timetabled lesson per week. It is taught in accordance to National Curriculum guidelines to develop the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in History at GCSE with an emphasis on core knowledge. Students study the history of a range of different cultures and countries through the years 1000 to 1945.
Topics taught include:
Students are assessed each half term by a range of different tasks designed to develop both their historical and research skills. There is a strong emphasis on communication and literacy and by year 9 students are expected to be able to write reasoned arguments in well-structured essays.
History at Key Stage 4
GCSE History is a very popular course. Students follow the Edexcel A: Modern World History syllabus, which builds on the knowledge and skills they bring from the Key Stage 3 programmes of study. This means they are examined both on their understanding of historical events and their ability to use and interpret historical evidence. It is taught in 2.5 timetabled lessons per week, and frequent revision workshops are offered after school at different points in the year.
In year 10 students begin with a depth study of Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939. They will also undertake their controlled assessment on ‘The causes of the First World War.
In year 11 students complete a source analysis unit on Britain from 1903-1928.The final unit is International Relations and the Cold War 1945-1991. This unit traces the development of tensions between nations from end of the Second World War through the Berlin Blockade, Cuban Missile Crises, and détente. All units are examined externally in June of Year 11.
Current GCSE specification and guidance can be found here:
Geography is a broad and diverse subject, encompassing the dynamic and fascinating variations in both the physical and the human world. Students develop their understanding of how the world works, and of their place within it.
Geography at Key Stage 3
In Years 7, 8 and 9, Geography is taught in two timetabled lessons per fortnight. It is taught in accordance to National Curriculum guidelines to develop the knowledge and skills students need to be successful in Geography at GCSE, with an emphasis on core knowledge. Students study a variety of geographical topics to give them as comprehensive an understanding of the world as is possible.
Topics taught include:
“Plate Tectonics” (tectonic systems and how these have shaped, and continue to shape, the Earth)
“Fantastic Places” (an exploration of some of Earth’s unique environments)
“Geography for Life” (an investigation into how Geography can be applied to ‘real life’)
Students are assessed each half term by a range of different tasks designed to develop both their geographical and research skills. There is a strong emphasis on communication and
literacy and, by Year 9, students are expected to be able to write reasoned arguments in well-structured essays.
Geography at Key Stage 4
GCSE Geography is a popular course, as its breadth and variety leads to a range of exciting topics. Some of these topics have begun in Key Stage 3, with students now building on this foundation of knowledge; whereas others are entirely new.
Students follow AQA syllabus A. Over the two years of the course, they study:
- “The Restless Earth” (plate tectonics, and how natural hazards formed by these processes affect people)
- “Population Change” (how and why demography varies both spatially and temporally)
- “The Development Gap” (how levels of international development are measured, and why there is such variation in these levels globally)
- “Water on the Land” (the evolution of landscape as controlled by river systems, and the impacts of flooding on people)
- “The Coastal Zone” (how and why coastal environments change over time, and the impacts of coastal hazards on people)
- “Tourism” (the growth of tourism patterns and an overview of how this industry operates)
There are two examinations for this course (Unit 1: Physical Geography and Unit 2: Human Geography), each worth 37.5% of the total GCSE. There is also a controlled assessment component (Unit 3: Local Fieldwork Investigation), worth 25% of the total GCSE. For the controlled assessment, students will undertake a fieldwork expedition, and will then compose a written analysis of the data collected and the way in which they collected it.
PTE is taught to all students at KS3 and KS4. The department uses a range of active teaching strategies to engage students and encourage their learning about and from Religion. Students appreciate the meanings, truths, values, practices and ways of life at the heart of key world religions. Towards the end of KS3 students focus on big philosophical questions and ethical dilemmas in preparation for their GCSE course.
PTE at Key Stage 3
Students are assessed each half term by a range of different tasks designed to develop both their research and communication skills. There is a strong emphasis on communication and literacy and by Year 9 students are expected to be able to write reasoned arguments in well-structured essays.
Topics taught include:
PTE at Key Stage 4
GCSE RE “Philosophy and Ethics” is a very popular course. Students follow the OCR GCSE syllabus, which builds on the knowledge and skills they bring from the Key Stage 3 programmes of study. Students are examined both on their knowledge and understanding of Ethical and Philosophical issues which are relevant to world religions. Students are encouraged from the start of year 10 to build on their ability to evaluate evidence for and against key ideas about each religion and come to their own, reasoned points of view which they need to clearly express in a structured essay. All exams are taken at the end of Year 11 and are one hour long each. In each examination, students will be assessed on two of the following topics.
Religion, Peace and Justice
Belief about Deity
End of Life
Good and Evil
Religion and Equality
Religion and Science
Past exam papers and assessment materials can be accessed directly from OCR through the following link:
Global Communities helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, this subject will foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. It will equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.
Global Communities at Key Stage 3
Pupils will use and apply their knowledge and understanding while developing skills to research and interrogate evidence, debate and evaluate viewpoints, present reasoned arguments and take informed action.
Students are assessed each half term by a range of different tasks designed to develop both their knowledge and research skills. There is a strong emphasis on skills, communication and literacy.
Global Communities at Key Stage 4
Global Communities will build on the key stage 3 programme of study to deepen pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Pupils will develop their skills to be able to use a range of research strategies, weigh up evidence, make persuasive arguments and substantiate their conclusions. They will experience and evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.