NRC Secondary – Humanities

Humanities at New River College

The Humanities are the subjects that help us understand the world around us and the experience of being human:

History – using evidence to investigate different interpretations of the past events that shape our present and future lives.

Geography – understanding the features of the human and physical environments in which we live and the processes that shape them.

Citizenship – understanding the different communities we are part of and developing the skills required to participate actively in these communities, making positive change.

Religious Studies – learning about, and learning from, different religious beliefs and practices, including non-religious perspectives on life’s big questions and moral issues.

Y10 – Religious Studies GCSE (short course)

In year 10, students New River College work towards the AQA Religious Studies short course GCSE.

The GCSE covers a range of religions and philosophical and ethical themes. Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own values and attitudes towards religious issues. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these will help prepare them for further study.

Students will consider different beliefs and attitudes to both religious and non-religious issues in contemporary British society. We look in-depth at the beliefs and teachings of Christianity and Buddhism, as well as considering other religious and non-religious beliefs such as atheism and humanism.

Section A: The study of religions: beliefs and teachings of two religions:

  • Christianity
  • Buddhism.

Section B: Thematic studies: religious, philosophical and ethical studies:

  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion, peace and conflict

The Religious Studies short course GCSE is assessed in a written exam at the end of Y10 (1hr 45mins).

To access Humanities curriculum maps for Y10 GCSE for the academic year 2018-2019, please click here.

Alternatively, Y10 students may have the opportunity to access an engaging and well-rounded Humanities curriculum that provides them with solid foundations to progress to study of any Humanities subject of their choice, as well as gaining an accredited qualification. Students study a diverse range of topics for the WJEC Humanities Entry Pathways qualification which is assessed through project work.

Topics include:

  • British Society in the Past
  • Change Over Time
  • Child Poverty and Exploitation
  • Community Action
  • Contentious Issues
  • Effects of Consumerism
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Famous Followers of Religion
  • Looking at your History
  • Non-British Society in the Past
  • People and Protest
  • Persecution of People
  • Religious Festivals
  • Responses to Conflict in World Events
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Taking a Role in Society
  • Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Y11 – Citizenship GCSE

In year 11, students work towards the Edexcel Citizenship Studies GCSE. Citizenship Studies is about how people take an active part in democratic politics and work together for a better society, locally, nationally and globally.

Students will learn about power, democracy, the operation of government and the legal system, and the role of the UK in the wider world. They will explore and learn about different controversial and topical issues with political, social, ethical, economic and environmental dimensions in local to global contexts. They will experience taking citizenship action and learn from trying to make a difference themselves.

The course covers five themes:

  1. Living together in the UK: Students learn about the UK as a diverse society of many different communities living together. They will consider the rights, freedoms and values that we share, including human rights.
  2. Democracy at work in the UK: Students will explore the idea of parliamentary democracy in the UK including the role of Parliament in making and shaping law and the role of government in managing public money.
  3. Law and justice: Students will explore why we need laws and how law affects us in our everyday lives. They will consider how the justice system works including the roles and power of the police and the courts. Students will also learn about some of the different approaches to tackling crime in society.
  4. Power and influence: Students will consider the ways in which people, the government and the media exercise power and influence in a range of local to global situations. They will contrast democracy in the UK with a non-democratic political system.
  5. Taking Citizenship action: Students will have the opportunity to work with others to make a real difference on a Citizenship issue they care about.

Citizenship Studies GCSE is assessed in two written exam papers, each 1 hour and 45 minutes long, worth 50% of the final grade. Exams contain a mixture of short answer, source-based and extended response questions.

A GCSE in Citizenship Studies gives young people a good foundation for further study such as Law, Government and Politics and other Humanities courses. These are useful for progression for a range of related courses at university. From there it is possible to become a lawyer, researcher, journalist, teacher, campaigner, join local or national government, or even start on the path to become a future Prime Minister! As Citizenship Studies develops understanding of the world around us and what we can do to change it for the better, it will help students become a more informed and active citizen whatever they choose to do in the future.

To access Humanities curriculum maps for Y11 GCSE for the academic year 2018-2019, please click here.

Enrichment activities

The Humanities curriculum is enriched by trips such as Parliament, the Migration Museum and the London Buddhist Centre. Current affairs activities are a weekly feature of the form time schedule and there is a weekly lunchtime debate club.