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Humanities Vision Statement

At Bensham Manor School the Humanities department is committed in ensuring that all pupils have access to and make progress in History, Geography, PSHCE and RE, through experiencing excellent teaching which engages and motivates them to find out more about the world in which we live in. Lessons are need and age appropriate and pupils are encouraged (with support where necessary) to be inquisitive, innovative and critical thinkers.

Due to our pupils needs GCSE’s are not the most appropriate assessment tool for most, hence pupils work towards a WJEC pathways Humanities qualification and a PSD (Personal social development) WJEC qualification. Some pupils also have the opportunity to study the RE short course AQA GCSE with the Head of Humanities – Aisha Khan. 

Global citizens – Despite our pupils’ needs, we aim to create global citizens equipped to assess some received opinion and make some independent judgments. We aim to ensure pupils are (wherever possible) aware of the past, present and future of the world around them and that they are able to keep themselves safe and be responsible citizens (wherever possible) through questioning, investigation and critical thinking. Pupils learn to understand the past by developing their historical skills. They gain a sense of time and chronology, and their place in world history. They develop important skills of identification, analysis and evaluation through examining historical evidence and sources with a critical eye. They investigate issues affecting the world and people’s lives, in the past, now and in the future. They are given the tools to make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world, at all different scales. Pupils learn where places are, and about their different landscapes and climates. They learn how places and landscapes are formed, and how people and their environment interact in both positive and negative ways. They learn how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It is important to note lessons are age and need appropriate and pupils will always be encouraged to make some independent judgements wherever possible. 

Cross curricular links – All lessons across the Humanities focus on developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding, communication skills, enquiry and information handling, as well as interpretation and evaluation. Through engaging topics, pupils are able to develop their skills and knowledge concurrently, and use the skills that they learn and develop across their four Humanities subjects (PSHE/ Citizenship = PSHCE, History, Geography and RE). 

Depth before breadth – Humanities lessons focus on developing a strong knowledge and skills base which will give pupils a firm foundation for life once they leave school. Topics are revisited often to ensure pupils understand and are able to engage with the content delivered and various teaching strategies are used to ensure pupils are engaged. Frequent informal formative assessments allow pupils and teachers to know how they are progressing, and allows the teachers to plan according to the specific needs of their classes and individual pupils. We believe that all pupils, regardless of any needs or disability should have access to insightful, sequenced and diverse Humanities lessons. Through innovative ideas we deliver humanities in ways best understood by our pupils – we utilise technology, videos, role play, learning outside the classroom, outside speakers, trips and discussions in our lessons as much as possible (and where appropriate) to ensure pupils are engaged and through discussions, debates, quizzes and some written content we as teachers identify what content has been understood and what needs further delivery. Pupils are stretched and challenged and homework is also given. 

Independence – Pupils are encouraged to become independent learners wherever possible and lead their own learning. Wherever possible, pupils are encouraged to seek out information themselves, through group work, discussions, fieldwork outside of the classroom, and through group investigations using teacher and TA guidance only where necessary. In every lesson pupils’ are encouraged to ask questions, and have the opportunity to discuss with other pupils. They deepen their understanding of how and why the world is the way it is, and how it could change in the future. The classroom is a safe space, where enquiry is welcome, and where tolerance and acceptance of all viewpoints is embraced. 

Personal professional development – All members of the Humanities staff team are lifelong learners, committed to continuing professional development, through both internal and external opportunities. We focus on learning from each other, and from other departments, through learning walks and frequent informal observations, to allow the opportunity to develop our own practice and support the development of others. The Head of Humanities has an open-door policy and is always available via email or face to face as and when support or guidance is required.

Please contact Aisha Khan (Head of Humanities and PSHCE) for any further information.

Humanities Subjects