Geography, History, Sociology, Psychology, Politics and Religious Studies

Curriculum Team Leader

Mrs Lucy Ireland


The school offers an excellent range of subjects at all levels, especially Key Stage 5. Lessons are taught by subject specialists.

Key Stage 3


Year 7 – In KS3 Geography individuals will make a journey from Tadcaster to the Holderness Coastline. Throughout their journey elements of both human and physical geography will be covered and tested. Our scheme of learning does not cover distinct topics, but places instead. Themes include Map skills, Rural and Urban Landscapes, Geographical Information Systems, Geological Timelines, Glaciation, National Parks, The Water Cycle, River Processes (Rivers, Drainage Basins, and Waterfalls), Flooding, Climate Change, Coastal Erosion, Tourism and Eco-Tourism.

Year 8 – Students study idea, concepts and case studies around the place studies of South America and Africa with ideas around ecosystems and development. The final topic will look at population and migration.

Year 9 – Students start to look at GCSE style topics to prefer them for this level of study. Topics include Restless Earth, Globalisation and Extreme Environments.


The current History syllabus covers the history of Britain from the Battle of Hastings to Modern day. All students develop the use of cause and consequence, chronology, significance, research and communication and extended writing as a key part of each year group. Each Year Group will look at a range of themes connected to these issues and be assessed on each theme.

Year 7 – 1066 -1603: From the Battle of Hasting to the Tudors

Year 8 – 1603 – 1918: The Victorians to World War I

Year 9 – 1918 – present day: The Twentieth Century and beyond

Religious Education

In Key Stage 3 Religious Studies, our specialist staff teach using innovative learning styles coupled with topical issues that are up to date with society.

Year 7 – Students focus on the rituals, beliefs, communities, idea of right and wrong, religious buildings, rules and stories of their own life and then compare them with the major world religions in main; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Year 8 – Students begin by examining the religion Buddhism followed by Hinduism and Evil and Suffering/ Faith in Action depending on the teacher they have. Students learn the key beliefs, practices and teachings relating to the modern world.


Key Stage 4


Students study the AQA New 9-1 Specification. The specification is split into human and physical topics as well as work based on 2 days of fieldwork. The topics that are covered include The Living World, Natural Hazards and Physical Landscapes in the UK for the physical side. The human topics include Urban Environments, The Economic World and Resource Management.

Year 11 are studying the Edexcel Geography B specification (A*-G) topics include, Water World, Coasts, Extreme Environments, Urban Environments, Changing Economy of the UK and Development.


At GCSE level, History follows Edexcel’s new 9-1 History Specification which is a wide ranging study of events of a thousand years.

Four units are studied as follows:

Year 10 – Anglo Saxon and Norman England, Medicine through time (with a case study of World War one)

Year 11 – Cold War 1945-1991, Soviet Russia

Religious Education

All students in year 9-11 study the AQA 9-1 Specification. This covers the practices and beliefs of Christianity and Islam as well as an in depth study of religion and life, religion and crime, religion peace and conflict and religion and relationships.

Beliefs and practices from both religions will be tested on paper 1, duration 1 hour 45 minutes. The second exam (paper 2) consists of the themes, duration 1 hour 45 minutes.

Year 9- Christian Beliefs, Families and Relationships and Peace and Conflict.

Year 10- Islamic Beliefs, Religion and Life, Christian Practices.

Year 11- Crime and Punishment, Islamic Practices and revision.

Please note students who study triple science have 50% less time in year 10 and 11, therefore one unit ‘Christian Practices’ and revision are self taught at home alongside resources given from RS staff.

Key Stage 5


A-Level Geography is now the new linear AQA specification.

Year 12 students study Urban Challenges, Hazards, Changing Places and Coastal Systems.

Year 13 students study The Water and Carbon Cycle and Global Systems and Governance topics.

Across the 2 years 4 days of fieldwork is undertaken. Students decide on an investigation title and undertake primary and secondary research in order to answer their set title. This aspect of the course accounts for 20% of the overall A-Level mark.


A level History is now linear using the new Edexcel specification.

Year 12 students study Republicanism, Civil War and Francoism in Spain and Germany 1918-1989

Year 13 study of revolutionary Ireland 1867-1921 and and complete coursework on How popular was the Nazi Party?

Philosophy & Ethics

Year 12 – Students study the new AQA A Level specification. As part of this specification they complete one unit on philosophy and ethics and one unit on Christianity. The philosophy unit covers the design argument, the cosmological argument, the ontological argument, evil and religious experience. The ethics unit covers natural law, situation ethics, virtue ethics, human life and death and animal life and death. The Christianity element covers sources of wisdom, God, death and afterlife, moral conduct and religious identity.

Year 13 – The A2 course the remaining units of the A level. The philosophy units are; self, life and death, miracles and religious language. The ethics units are; Bentham and Kant’s utilitarianism and categorical imperative. Free will and Responsibility, conscience and Meta Ethics. The Christianity element covers Religion and Science, Religion and Secularisation, Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Religion and Religious Pluralism.


Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour. It encompasses a variety of approaches to try to fully explain the causes of human (and animal) behaviour.

Year 12 students cover social, cognitive, behavioural and biological explanations for behaviour. These range from the social causes of aggression to the biochemical basis of schizophrenia.

Year 13 students apply their knowledge of behaviour to clinical and criminal psychology. Here students learn about abnormal behaviours and their treatments and have the chance to explore the mind of a criminal. The variety of behaviours and explanations covered makes it a highly interesting topic to study (Edexcel Specification).


An in-depth study of modern life in its entirety.

Year 12 students study the political economic and social aspects of families, households and education. Here students will explore theories behind how the modern family and education is shaped by wider political and cultural issues. This is accompanied with modules on sociological research methods whereby students explore how research on society can be conducted in a valid and reliable way.

Year 13 students focus on Crime and Deviance. They explore why crimes are committed, how society shapes criminal behaviour, alongside how the Government and Criminal Justice system aims to reduce crime.

Sociology A-Level will give students a good understanding of the Government and the Society that they live in. (AQA Specification).


This course will be using the new Edexcel specification (2017).

It will look at UK Politics, UK Governments and a comparison study of politics in the UK and USA. This will involve looking at democracy and participation, political parties, voting behaviour and the media and Specific political thinking (Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism). In addition it will look at how Governments work and run our daily lives.