Humanities

Our Faculty Mission Statement is:

In the Humanities family we aim to promote education of the past, present and future to make sense of our world today. We are in scholarly pursuit of excellence by creating global Catholic citizens who are enthusiastic lifelong learners. With faith in God our learning is a journey to achieve success at St. James’ and beyond.

The Humanities faculty aims to build global Catholic citizens by developing pupils’ wider awareness of local, national and global issues both past and present. We build our curriculum around the British values of democracy, power, freedom and the rule of law, whilst working closely with other departments to form cross-curricular links.

The study of Geography should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them throughout their lives. We aim to cultivate an enthusiasm about pupils’ local, national and global environment. This is achieved by adopting a wide variety of teaching methods and assessments including participation in fieldwork activities.

In Year 7, we concentrate on the introduction of basic skills of map work and instilling a sense of place. Pupils are encouraged to use self-directed research in topics such as ‘Earthquakes’ where the assessment involves pupil presentations. We use India, a Newly Emerging Economy, as an introduction to compare and contrasts with other countries.

In Year 8, we examine the intrinsic nature of Britain’s climate, how data is gathered and what causes a huge variation in such a small country. Pupils study Japan, an example of an HIC (High Income Country) and learn how a country with such a huge range of physical problems has overcome them. Ecosystems are introduced to develop and link pupils’ prior knowledge of climate and its effect on natural vegetation and people. Industry and resources are studied to interleave with History to emphasise the relationship between physical and human environments.

Year 9 begins with the study of Rivers, in particular data collection and fieldwork, culminating in pupils’ attendance on the River Bollin fieldtrip where they gather data in order to produce a hypothesis-driven assessment. Pupils are then given the opportunity to develop their skills of comparison with a unit on World Development, where they look at issues to do with how countries develop and ways in which this development gap can be reduced. We then study Russia, a cold environment and an NEE (Newly Emerging Economy) where we examine whether Russia is a global superpower and how both the physical and human environment alongside issues such as conflict have led to Russia’s links with the wider world.

The History department follows a strict chronological framework that features events starting from the Anglo-Saxon era up to the modern day. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that covers a variety of topics and develops pupils’ skills of analysis, evaluation and source interpretation. We focus on the significance of individuals, why events both big and small happened and why people can have different opinions and interpretations of the same event. We aim to create individuals who can write, think and understand the importance of the past and its links to the present day.

Beginning History in Year 7, we assess baseline skills of chronology, source evaluation and bias. Our curriculum starts with the Anglo-Saxon and Viking era and how it links to the Norman Conquest. Students then go on to look at how the Normans established control and the changes to everyday Medieval life that this caused. From here we jump to the Reformation of the 16th century and the subsequent upheavals in Tudor and Stuart religion. We finish the year studying the English Civil War.

In Year 8 we look at themes of power, freedom and protest. Through a study of the Black Peoples of the Americas, students learn about the horrors of the Triangular Trade and the movement towards the abolition of slavery. Pupils then explore the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s and the vital role played by Martin Luther King Jr and other protestors. A study of the British Empire builds upon the wider significance of trade and slavery. Pupils analyse both the amazing achievements and complex legacy of the British Empire. Interlinking with this is our next topic, the Industrial Revolution which explores how the modern age was created in our very own city of Manchester. This topic of industrialisation coupled with our previous study of imperialism forms the basis of our final topic, the causes of the First World War.

Moving on to Year 9, pupils study the First World War in depth looking especially at the different theatres of war, the human side of conflict and the importance of Remembrance. The failure to achieve peace in the inter-war years is then explored by looking at the Treaty of Versailles. To coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, we then study the origins and horrors of the Holocaust. We challenge deniers and evaluate its relevance to the present day. We then learn about the causes and main events of the Second World War, directly analysing sources that show key chronological events and turning points in this terrible conflict.

In both History and Geography, the courses we have designed in KS3 link directly to skills that will aid them in their GCSEs. Pupils will look at the wider picture of events and processes so they can place moments of time and place in its context and can link it to other subjects. We complement pupils’ development with enrichment opportunities including bi-annual trips to Iceland and Berlin, with an annual visit to the Western Front.

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Marcus Garvey

Jesus looked at them and said,
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26