Senior • Humanities

Geography Department

Geography is the study of the world around us and human impacts upon it. At Heathland School we consider the physical and human influences that shape our world in addition to developing the skills needed to study Geography at GCSE and beyond.
A varied and engaging curriculum is studied in Year 7, 8 and 9. Students are given the opportunity to experience both physical and human Geography at local, regional and global scales through studying the following topics;

Year 7

  • OS map skills
  • The Geography of Africa
  • The Geography of the British Isles
  • Glaciation

Year 8

  • Weather and climate
  • The Geography of Asia
  • The Living World
  • Rivers
  • Development

Year 9

  • The Geography of Russia
  • Natural Hazards
  • Coasts
  • Natural resources
  • Globalisation

Geography: GCSE

Exam board: AQA

Studying geography gives pupils the opportunity to travel the world via the classroom, learning about both natural and social sciences along the way. They will understand how geography impacts everyday life and discover the key opportunities and challenges facing the world. Pupils will also develop academic and life skills from writing, teamwork and communication to analytical skills. This course is based on a balance of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds.

There are 3 sections to this course;

  1. Living with the physical environment – the study of natural hazards; ecosystems and biomes and the physical landscapes in the UK. (1 hour and 30 minute examination)
  2. Challenges in the human environment – urban issues and challenges; the changing economic world and the challenge of resource management (1 hour and 30 minute examination)
  3. Fieldwork, issues evaluation and skills – pupils must complete 2 compulsory days of fieldwork and they will be asked questions on this in the examination. Pupils will also evaluate a geographical issue that will be made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam. (1 hour and 15 minute examination)

There is no coursework.

In all units, pupils will be expected to use a range of map skills, along with statistical and mathematical skills.

Examination question types: multiple-choice, short answer, extended prose (but not essays).

History Department

History learning starts from the advantage that most people find it interesting. We are also fortunate that being a small private school we have more control over our curriculum. Hence, whenever there are anniversaries of great events – the Battle of Trafalgar, the invention of the tank, the sinking of the Titanic – we can switch to studying them. This flexibility helps bring the subject alive – especially if the event is covered by the media and allows the whole family to engage in the subject.

Because the classes are small we rearranging a day’s timetable easy we can go on more trips than other school to museums such as to the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, the Imperial War Museum in Manchester and the Medicine through time Museum in Leeds.

Our school’s main building is in a 19th century mill owner’s mansion and we can bring this wonderful resource alive into our Industrial revolution studies whether looking at the servants’ attic bedrooms and the grandness of the dining room and entrance hall.

In Key Stage 3 we teach the children British History from 1066 to the Second World War. A major theme throughout the course is the development of democracy and British values. We give the pupils the skills to check the reliability and usefulness of information / evidence about an event – very useful at a time of “fake news”!

At GCSE the advantage of the small size of classes mean that we can help all pupils progress by addressing their individual needs to a much greater extent than in a state school where classes of plus 30 are, of course, the norm. We study how medicine has progressed and developed since the herbal remedies and blood letting of Medieval times through the discovery of anaesthetics and antiseptics in the 19th century to the gradual conquering of Cancer in the 21st century ; we explain how the monster Hitler was able to gain control of Germany in the 1930s and study the atomic Cold war between the superpowers after World War 2. which ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. We usually have a 100% success rate in this subject.

History is taught by a teacher with 35 years of History teaching experience including helping pupils study History at Oxford and Durham universities.  He has been a GCSE marker and for the last three years worked for an exam board helping other teachers throughout the country improve their understanding of the demands of the History GCSE.