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Humanities

Humanities

The study of Humanities helps pupils understand their place in the world, through the study of core disciplines that will shape them for a lifetime of critical thinking.

Humanities subjects are at the forefront of an ever changing world and have a huge responsibility in preparing young people for life after school, therefore analysis, understanding and tolerance is at the heart of our curriculum. Improving pupils learning within Humanities will always be at the top of the agenda. Implementing a thorough programme of study and increasingly varied teaching styles combined with hard work and a positive outlook will continue to improve pupils learning. Regular out of hours learning opportunities are available as well as numerous educational visits both home and abroad.

All pupils are taught History, Geography and Religious Studies. GCSEs are offered in History, Geography and Religious Studies (long course)  as optional subjects although every child is advised to study at least one humanities subject at GCSE level.

Geography

“Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live.”Royal Geography Society

This definition is at the heart of the work of the Geography Department. We encourage pupils to appreciate their surroundings and the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth’s surface. Our aim is to foster in pupils a sense of personal enquiry about the world around them and to encourage them to develop an informed knowledge of the local, national and world environment.

As children progress through the school they study both physical and human geography. At each level new skills are woven into the lessons. The children learn how to draw and interpret maps and diagrams; develop their research skills; investigate and analyse current issues in the world; write clear, logical explanations using the correct geographical vocabulary; and present their ideas to an audience. The syllabus includes topics such as Globalisation, Development and Urban Regeneration but many of the traditional themes, such as Rivers, Coasts and Plate Tectonics continue to inspire.
The subject offers great opportunities for pupils to take part in field work, locally and nationally.

The department aims to encourage all children to:

  • Explore the relationship between the Earth and its peoples, through the study of Place, Space and Environment.
  • Seek to develop a sense of Place.
  • Describe the location of Places.
  • Study the processes that create or alter Places.
  • Develop an awareness of Space and Spatial Patterns.
  • Study the Environment, its resources and use or misuse.
  • Explore the relationships between people, physical features, human activities and environmental resources in the world.
  • Ask the question: WHERE? WHAT? WHY? HOW? and HOW MIGHT?

It is these questions that enable children to conduct Geographical enquiries in a variety of ways, teaching the skills of analysis, synthesis, data collection, representation and interpretation that are vital in understanding the modern world.

History

Holme Grange’s history department aims to develop a knowledge and understanding of key events and characters in the past, enabling pupils to understand how they have influenced modern society. The use of educational visitors, residential and day trips enables pupils to experience history and develop a life-long enthusiasm for the subject.

“The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves.”Cicero

“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” George Washington

The study of History is important if children are to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world they inhabit. The subject is an important vehicle for honing a range of important skills associated with thinking and expression, and children learn to think critically, understanding, analysing and interpreting historical evidence with confidence. We hope what we teach will inspire in our pupils a lifelong curiosity in the people, places and events that have shaped history.

An extensive programme of workshops and field trips, local and further afield, help to bring our studies alive. We also use the internet for historical investigations and research.

“The study of history is the best guarantee against repeating it.” John Buchan

“History, together with Science, is the only valid prism through which to predict the future.” Sir Christopher Meyer

An historian must be multi-skilled; the study of History will hone a host of desirable and transferrable competences that enhance study in a plethora of other fields. Pupils develop skills of critical inquiry, of analysis and synthesis. They learn how to use source-based evidence to assemble a sharply focussed and detailed defence of a thesis.

Philosophy

Children are, by their very nature, questioning and inquisitive people. As they grow older and encounter new experiences they begin to be challenged by opinions with which they are unfamiliar or with which they do not necessarily agree or understand.

Philosophy, from the Greek meaning a love of wisdom, gives children the opportunity to acquire the language and skills to begin to understand the more abstract aspects of the world in which they live.

The lessons are discussion-based and designed to give the children the confidence to express their own opinions, while at the same time they are encouraged to reflect on the views of others and, possibly, assimilate them into their own beliefs.

Younger children, for example, may examine such statements as: ’school is good for children’ or ‘why are some children naughty?’

As they mature and gain more independence, senior children will examine some of the more abstract notions propounded by people from the past, including the ancient Greek philosophers right through to modern day writers and people in the public eye.

Such discussions may begin with statements such as: ‘it is impossible to be happy all the time’; ‘all men are equal but some are more equal than others’ and ‘did God create the Big Bang?’

Through their philosophising, children learn the subtlety and nuances of a discussion and appreciate that sometimes there are no easy answers, but that, more often than not, one question leads onto many more.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies aims to enable pupils to develop an understanding of other cultures and lifestyles. Christian principles form the ethos of Holme Grange and pupils have an opportunity to focus on these but also to explore stories and beliefs from a variety of religions such as Judaism, Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism.

Holme Grange School is of a Christian foundation, where spiritual and moral values form the bedrock. Religious education is rooted in the Christian Faith, but children of all faiths and belief systems, and of none, are welcomed and encouraged to strive for academic excellence and a spirit of open and shared enquiry, whilst developing their individual potential and qualities of character so they can make a positive contribution.

In our Religious Studies teaching we aim to offer children a broad-based understanding of the significance of religious belief and its importance to people in different cultures. Although we touch on a variety of religious traditions, the heart of our teaching is about Christianity. The aim of the subject is to inform but not to proselytise, and much of what is taught ultimately helps the children make sense of different cultures around the world and in particular Western culture: the history, art, law, ethics and beliefs of the society in which we live.

Children take a broad look at religion, becoming aware of a range of different religious traditions from around the world and studying some common themes such as festivals and sacred writings. Our major focus is on Christianity and pupils learn about the story of Jesus’ life, Jesus’ teachings and Christian traditions. In Years 7 and 8 children study in depth a series of Old and New Testament stories and the ethical questions and issues arising from them. These are linked to issues in the world today, and in addressing these children learn to think and articulate their own ideas and to understand the views of others.