In year 7 and year 8 the same teacher usually teaches both subjects for 3 lessons a week. This allows teachers to get to know their classes more rapidly and allows parallels between the subjects to be drawn out.
In Year 9 students have 2 lessons a week of Geography and 2 lessons of History. These are usually taught by different teachers who are specialists in that subject.
At key stage 4 students can opt for either Geography or History (or indeed both or neither). Geography and History are each taught for 3 lessons a week by a specialist in the subject.
The History GCSE course provides lots of variety and the opportunity to develop further the range of skills learnt at key stage 3. In year 10 students study a unit which examines medicine and public health in the United Kingdom from the Middle Ages through to the 21st century. This unit also takes in a great deal of social and political history. Year 10 Students also undertake the study of a historical environment. This aspect of the course changes every year but is always focused on the Elizabethan period.
In year 11 the emphasis is on the 20th century. Students examine the inter-war period and look at the global social and political history of that time of great upheaval. In a complementary unit they look at Germany between 1890 and 1945. In this unit they investigate the problems faced by Germany leading to the rise of the Nazis. The course culminates in the study of life in Nazi Germany. This involves examining emotive issues such as totalitarianism and the holocaust.
In Year 10 students focus on physical geography. Units include earthquakes and volcanoes, climate change, tropical rainforests and the coastline of the United Kingdom.
In Year 11 the focus switches to human Geography. Units studied include urbanisation, Rio de Janeiro, food production, development and the changes in the United Kingdom’s economy since World War II.
Throughout the two years students gain skills in map work, statistical analysis and use of photographs. Two pieces of fieldwork are completed. The first involves a river study on a tributary of the Severn and the second is an urban study in Cirencester. There is also the opportunity to visit Iceland as part of a school trip.