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Humanities

Geography at Stoke Park gives students the ‘vocabulary’ and the ‘grammar’ of the world, developing knowledge and understanding of location and interconnectedness.

The skills developed in Geography open the door to understanding the rich variety of landscapes and cultures around the world.  It develops exploratory and enquiring minds that have the confidence to question the world around them. Geography helps young people to grapple positively and constructively with all manner of issues that will affect their future lives.

We aim to deliver topics that give all students the opportunity to experience Geography in a fulfilling and meaningful way.  Lessons are designed to provide a supportive structure while allowing opportunity for individual interpretation and personal direction.

The learning journey in KS3 introduces concepts that are revisited and developed to a higher level at GCSE and further at A-level.  For example, at KS3 students learn about a variety of natural hazards from tectonic hazards to weather hazards from both a physical and human geographical perspective. These concepts are revisited at KS4 when students consider how climate change and levels of development can contribute the nature and impact of such events.  At KS5, students explore these concepts further by conducting geographical enquiry into a multi hazardous location and stakeholder analysis.

Through discussion at a group and individual level, we encourage depth of enquiry and critical thinking. Students develop informal opinions and support such opinions with reasoned arguments, communicating ideas and opinions effectively using a variety of means. As such, Geography enables students to understand that many explanations often have multiple points of view and that human, physical and environmental elements of our world are interrelated.

Fieldwork is fundamental to the study of Geography – it makes the subject come alive, promotes enthusiasm for the subject and motivates students. Fieldwork is the means by which students can engage and develop a deep understanding of geographical processes and enquiry. At Stoke Park there are field visits at a range of scales both locally and further away for all years and key stages. 

'History is usually presented as a set of facts and dates of victories and defeats, or monarchs and presidents. Consigned to an unchanging past. But it’s not like that at all. History is the knitting together of rival interpretations: deliberate manipulations of the truth and sometimes alternative facts.’ Lucy Worsley

The principal intent of the history curriculum at Stoke Park School is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to become enthusiastic and competent historians. Through using evidence to investigate historical questions, students are given the opportunity to see that history is not just a collection of facts, but rather a rigorously constructed set of arguments.

Students are encouraged to challenge the pre-existing narratives in history so that they can form their own through examining evidence and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of interpretations. As students encounter new and, in some cases, contradictory evidence, they are asked to reconsider their initial views, learning that interpretations of the past can change. We aim to make students aware that the competing narratives that survive were influenced by the political, religious, and cultural context in which they were created. We believe that students should be given the tools to unpick this so they can see how those different narratives may serve different political or ideological purposes.

Students will develop a broad and balanced view of the world today as the curriculum involves breadth and depth of study, through looking at international, national, and local histories. The curriculum enables students to understand the political, economic, social, geographical, and religious factors that have shaped history and continue to shape the world we live in today. The choice of content taught is based on the need for students to able to put societies we currently live in, in context so they understand the world around them. We believe encouraging an enquiry-based approach to lessons helps to foster student’s curiosity and interest.  Students conceptual knowledge (Democracy, Church, Revolution) is developed alongside the second order concepts (causation, change and continuity), allowing students to form a narrative of the past that is based on the core concepts which underpin historical study and enquiry

History students must develop the ability to locate, study and interpret written and visual material, in order to extract evidence and meaning. They must be adept at contextualisation, analysis, problem-solving and critical thinking. History students must be strong communicators, to express their findings clearly and effectively. Lessons are designed to actively engage students in group and whole class discussions which helps develop their communication skills by listening and responding to others accordingly in debate. Students have pre prepared reading lists that they will complete both at home and in lessons strengthening their literacy and their understanding of the subject content.

Religious Education (RE) at Stoke Park provides a coherent, thought-provoking and inspiring programme of study, addressing some of the most important questions in life.  RE develops students’ understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and the philosophy of religion.

We provide opportunities that help develop key skills in problem-solving, analytical and creative thinking, and learning to engage with philosophical, ethical and religious questions. Valuable skills that are transferable in preparation for future degree courses such as philosophy, theology, history, English, medicine or law.

In a world where meaning is often ‘hidden’ or involves a complicated analytical response, we encourage spending the time trying to engage with who we are and what values we want to hold as individuals in today’s complex society. Through the lens of prominent thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato and Nietzsche, you’ll examine some of today’s most pertinent moral, religious, social and political questions. We’ll teach you how to interpret texts, analyse complex concepts and apply ideas and ethical values to daily life. You’ll search for what ‘truth’ and ‘meaning’ might mean by studying a range of ideas and positions. Central questions will include: What is the place of the self in the world?; What values should we hold in contemporary society regarding ethical issues; and Does belief in God shape the kind of values we hold? Also through discussion at a group and individual level, we encourage depth of enquiry and critical thinking, which, at its best, can attain to a philosophical and spiritual level.

Key Stage 3 projects develop concepts that are revisited and developed to a higher level at GCSE and further at A-level. We start our religious and philosophical journey in Year 7 with the study of morality. The theme of morality could be interpreted as philosophy of religion; starting from the Greeks, to Christianity and then Humanism. Students gain an understanding the nature of morality, what is meant by right and wrong?  Is morality absolute or relative?  We then learn about how the Greeks influenced modern day Christian Theology (based on the New Testament) and contrast this with Old Testament ethics. By the end of the year students will know about morality from four different perspectives and be able to come to a conclusion about whether a person needs to be religious to be good. 

Year 8 builds on Year 7 as students have the opportunity to investigate another huge philosophical question. Projects allow students to apply and build upon the skills and knowledge gained in year 7.  Students investigate, analyse and evaluate the nature of Evil and suffering, as well as the origins of the philosophical argument/problem (Epicurus).  Students also learn about the various apologetics form both atheistic and religious viewpoints (both cyclical and linear religions). Students then undertake an in-depth study of religious and non-religious responses to war, pacifism and forgiveness.  Cross curricular links are established, as students also have the chance to look back at both World Wars, as well as modern day conflicts, and formulate their own ideas, opinions and conclusions. By the end of the year students will have gained a comprehensive knowledge concerning the philosophical problem of Evil and suffering. Also students will be equipped to evaluate and reach justified conclusions, as to whether or not evil and suffering are necessary forces in our world and life.  This leads on into Year 9, in preparation for GCSE RE, students undertake an in-depth thematic study of (a) the Existence of God and revelation, (b) Human rights and social responsibility. In Years 10 and 11 those students who wish to may embark on the RE GCSE course will be in a great to study and achieve well at RE A level.   

RE lunch time club takes place once a week for KS3-5, all RS students welcome. Pupils are also encouraged to make independent visits to university libraries and watch online Philosophy of Religion lectures. Locations for Post 16 field trips have included the Peter Vardy Philosophy and Ethics Candle conferences as well as Warwick University. We host visits from university undergraduates to delivery talks, while our own past students return periodically to speak about their experience of higher education and potential career paths.

By combining the study of philosophy, ethics and religion, you’ll foster your own development as a thinker and have the opportunity to think critically and creatively, make new links and find new insights – skills which are vital in today’s job market and society.

For more information please contact Gurpreet Virdee gvirdee@stokepark.coventry.sch.uk