Humanities makes up a core part of the school encompassing the Geography, Religions and Ethics, History and Sociology Departments.The four departments work together to help students identify similarities between the subjects both in content and methodology. Humanities offers our students the opportunity to learn about the world, gaining a wider and deeper understanding of everything that surrounds them.
Geography is the science of place and space. It is a wide-ranging and exciting subject, covering both the natural and man-made features of our world. It looks at the economic, environmental and social processes that shape and change these features. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment. In a rapidly changing world what could be more important than learning about other cultures, the world around us, and how other people see the world?
At The Gregg School, we aim to teach a broad and stimulating curriculum focusing on local, national and global concerns. Within all key stages, our students learn about the physical and human environments, as well as investigating the interaction between the two. In the lower school our small class sizes ensure that all students are able to work at a suitable pace and make good progress. Fieldwork is an integral part of the course at The Gregg School, with Year 7's visiting Hengistbury Head to investigate the coastline, Year 8's doing a 'crime' walking tour around the local area and Year 9 visiting Fleming Park, investigating rivers.
Geography is a popular choice at GCSE with the highest uptake over the last six years. Again, small group sizes ensure that all students are able to reach their potential in this subject. This is reflected in our examination results, with high pass rates. Students complete the Cambridge CIE International GCSE, enabling a more holistic view of the world. There are many key skills developed over the GCSE course, some of which include; literacy skills, data analysis and presentation, ICT and GIS skills, concept analysis as well as independence and enquiry skills. The course is split into three sections; the human environment (Population and Settlements), the natural environment (Tectonics, Rivers, Coasts, Weather, Climate and natural vegetation) and the interaction between the human and physical environments (Tourism, Industry, Energy, Water and Development). Each year there is a revision trip to Iceland on offer for the Year 11 students to study the country's awesome landscape and geology, as well as revise the topics studied over the last year.
Religions and Ethics
Religions and Ethics at The Gregg School is taught according to the Hampshire locally agreed syllabus; Living Difference. This syllabus allows students to explore religion and related ideas through a concept cycle. Students will explore concepts relating to the six major world religions as well as other faiths and spiritualities. Students are always encouraged to consider their own beliefs which promote self-awareness, respect, open-mindedness and appreciation for others.
In Year 7, students begin Philosophy by enquiring into the concept of `Interpretation`. They consider their own views on life as well as looking at Martin Luther King and John Lennon. This basis leads students on to look at concepts relating to Christianity and Buddhism. Finally, towards the end of the year, they consider concepts pertaining to religious attitudes towards the environment.
The first term of Year 8 focuses on Islam. Students inquire into concepts such as `Prophet` and `Hajj` to de-mystify and accurately study a religion that is often misrepresented. Year 8 students then study concepts relating to Sikhism and are given the opportunity to visit a Gurdwara - the Sikh place of worship. They finish their year's study with a unit based on the enigmatic life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Students in Year 9 begin by considering concepts based on the Jewish faith - `Belief`, `Covenant` and `Freedom`. This leads to a unit which sensitively tackles the atrocity of the Holocaust. Next they look at good versus evil, religion versus science and ideas on suffering. These topics develop essential skills needed for GCSE Religious Studies, such as expressing their own opinion, debating and listening to others. Students can opt to study Philosophy and Religions to GCSE level.
In Year 7 we study Medieval Conquest, the development of castles, Medieval society and religion. We then study the Tudors and visit Hampton Court Palace to consolidate our knowledge of Henry VIII and his family. We also touch on the history of Medieval China and students are able to compare the developments of Britian and Asia during the Middle Ages.
Year 8 study the Stuarts, British Empire and development of the Commonwealth. This is followed by a study of the period 1750-1900 which includes the Industrial Revolution, public health, the Chartist movement and women's fight for the vote. A joint trip with the Personal and Social Development Department to the Houses of Parliament is also on offer at the end of the year to put into perspective the ideas of democracy and its History.
Year 9 focuses on the twentieth century where we begin with a study of World War 1 where we offer the opportunity to visit the Tank Museum at Bovington for workshops on life in the trenches and look at the technological developments. The students then have an independent enquiry project on social history, studying a topic of their choice, following its development across the decades of the twentieth century. This includes lessons on women's history, LGBTQ+ study and the context of Black Britain.
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. Whilst this is not a subject that is taught in Years 7-9, students can choose to take Sociology as a GCSE.
The GCSE course investigates the structure of groups, organisations and societies, and most of all, how people interact with each other in these different contexts. The scheme of learning is diverse and challenging, presenting opportunities to study within a number of subject areas including History, Psychology, Law, Politics and Criminology.
It is a challenging but rewarding subject, requiring the development of independent research skills, critical thinking and the ability to openly express opinion backed by fact.