Why do we teach Humanities?
We teach Humanities because it empowers students to better understand their place in the world, of how life today is the product of centuries of development and change, and the impact humanity has had on the planet. Humanities subjects encourage students to ask questions, use knowledge and evidence to answer questions and to consider issues from a variety of perspectives.
The Humanities curriculum provides students with opportunities to study historical and geographical topics, contributing to ACE’s offer of a broad and diverse curriculum and complimenting learning in other subjects. It can help students practise skills in analysing information and evidence, to make informed judgements and apply knowledge to write extended and reasoned answers to questions.
In History we look at significant events, themes, and concepts in British and world history. This knowledge can provide a grounding for future historical study but more importantly give students the context for many topics, issues, and concepts they may encounter in their wider studies and in current affairs: For example, when they study democracy in Citizenship, poverty at the time of Charles Dickens in English or when looking at health and medicine in science and PSHE.
Geography at ACE is about providing students with an understanding of Britain’s location and relationship with the world, an appreciation of the diversity of environments and populations, and an awareness of issues affecting the world today. As well as developing a disciplinary knowledge and understanding, Geography can provide young people with knowledge that is relevant to a range of studies and subjects, for example locating and describing different parts of the world and the impact humans have on the world’s resources and environments.
ACE aims to offer all students a broad curriculum experience and the opportunity to access a range of qualifications, including in History and Geography. At ACE provisions and sites where a traditional timetable is followed, Humanities is timetabled across all years and students in KS4 work towards examined courses. In Primary provisions, Humanities is integrated into their thematic programme and they study humanities topics as part of cross-curricular work. Moving forward, the aim is to expand the humanities offer to enable students on bespoke packages and programmes across the school the opportunity to study elements of humanities subjects, complete assessed tasks, and gain accreditation. To reflect the nature of ACE and its students, the Humanities offer aims to be accessible and enable students, whatever their starting point and provision, to learn about a range of topics. In addition, students on bespoke packages or those joining during KS4 having started courses in previous schools, support is offered to continue learning and direct revision prior to GCSE exams.
The humanities curriculum is intended to reflect and adapt to the students that attend ACE; recognising their starting point, previous learning and pathways. The objective is to engage students in learning and provide a balance of content, concepts and skills that can provide a basis for future learning and reinforce and compliment their wider learning. In addition, humanities lessons provide an opportunity to address current and relevant issues in the world and answer questions young people have about events and news impacting the world today.
In recent years, students at ACE have studied humanities subjects at KS4 and gained qualifications in Humanities, History, Geography and RS. These qualifications have included Entry Levels in History and Geography, Entry Pathways awards in Humanities (incorporating elements of history, geography, RS and citizenship) and GCSEs in History, Geography and RS. Moving forward, the aim is to provide more students at ACE with opportunities to complete KS4 qualifications.