Head of Faculty – Mrs D Webster
Lead for Spanish - Miss F Bouretaa

Welcome to the humanities faculty within the Gateway Academy.  The humanities teaching staff are a diverse collection of highly committed and talented individuals whose aim it is to provide outstanding teaching and learning for our students.  The humanities faculty has a strong cohort of teaching staff that include two vice principals and the acting head of the school.

The blended curriculum designed for Key Stage 3 will allow our students to develop an understanding of their sense of place within our world. The students will explore our place within the local environment and then extend that understanding globally, opportunity will be given to value and accept the diverse culture within the area.  For example, students will travel around continents exploring human and physical features such as places of worship, food, homes and buildings, whilst comparing schools around the world. Students will be encouraged to explore and value the diverse ways in which different groups and cultures respond to similar challenges presented by daily life. 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum requires students to:

  • develop an understanding of different people, places and environments in different parts of the world
  • develop an understanding of the environment and sustainable development, and ways of resolving these issues
  • study a locality in a country that is less economically developed than their own
  • identify people have different attitudes and values to their own
  • recognise the difference between right and wrong, understand that actions have consequences, and apply this in their own lives by respecting the Law
  • cooperate well with others, celebrate diversity and aim to resolve conflicts effectively

It also provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of:

  • migration: the movement of people within countries and between countries is a natural human activity, stretching over several thousand years; awareness of the positive contribution made to the host society, socially, culturally and economically
  • influences: the connections between different parts of the world; those events in one place may be influenced by decisions taken elsewhere
  • inequalities: historical reasons for current inequalities; the ability to challenge negative stereotypes and images

The KS3 curriculum will ensure the students encounter different societies and cultures. This helps them to realise how nations rely on one another. It can inspire them to think about their own place in the world, their values, and their rights and responsibilities.

Within the faculty students study the evolution of law and order in the UK, from medieval to contemporary times; this includes a deep level of discussion on how the systems work, as well as their feelings on whether the system works and what is perceived as fair and what is not.  At KS4, greater depth is added to this topic through GCSE History, alongside GCSE Religious Studies.  The curriculum looks at both how the law works, comparing it to ethical behaviour and religious teachings.  GCSE Geography will look at a range of socio-cultural issues from around the world, including the interaction between people across different countries, moral issues related to trade and consumer behaviour and our interaction and responsibility with the natural environment.  GCSE Psychology focuses on human behaviour, including why people behave aggressively and ways to help them control this, and criminal behaviour and the reasons people may be attracted towards it. These topics are linked to a number of case studies within Britain and in other cultures, including how television affects our behaviour and how much this is down to our own self-control and perception.

Diversity is presented in the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum through:

  • Language: awareness that the target language is spoken in more than one location in the world, our chosen language being Spanish
  • National identity and language: recognising the diversity within and across communities speaking the same language; that national identity is experienced differently by different groups
  • Culture: awareness that language learning is more than functional, seeing it also as a way of understanding cultures and making a contribution to global citizenship
  • Community: understanding the value of home and community languages as an important part of living in a multilingual community.

The programme of study for religious education offers a range of opportunities for students to understand the principles of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Through such diversity students are encouraged to empathise with diverse religions, traditions and cultures.  The teachings of such religious beliefs are explored through topical issues that are relevant in society and engage the student; topics consist of attitudes towards euthanasia, marriage, divorce, 

The humanities faculty strives to be outstanding in everything it does, reflection and continued professional development for all humanities teachers help ensure an innovative and engaging curriculum is delivered for all students.  The world around our students is ever changing and at the forefront of such change are an array of topics covered within humanities subjects.  The faculty has a responsibility to prepare students to meet these changes head on and so the ability to analyse, evaluate, problem solve and accept tolerance in a diverse and ever changing multi-cultural society is at the centre of the curriculum.  Improving students learning within the faculty will always be at the top of the agenda. Implementing a thorough programme of study and increasingly varied teaching styles combined with hard work and a positive outlook will continue to improve students learning. The faculty assess progress on a regular basis and offer out of hours learning opportunities as well as numerous educational visits both home and abroad.

Within the faculty students study the evolution of law and order in the UK, from medieval to contemporary times; this includes a deep level of discussion on how the systems work, as well as their feelings on whether the system works and what is perceived as fair and what is not.  At KS4, greater depth is added to this topic through GCSE History, alongside GCSE Religious Studies.  The curriculum looks at both how the law works, comparing it to ethical behaviour and religious teachings.

Students within the faculty are taught a new and innovative blended curriculum that combines History, Geography, Spanish, Religious Studies and Citizenship within KS3.  Students are exposed to six hours of study over two weeks and an additional three hours of Spanish.  The faculty offers GCSE’s in History, Geography, Spanish, Psychology as optional subjects at KS4 and all students will follow the religious studies programme at KS4.

The Humanities Faculty consists of eight teaching classrooms and an ICT suite with thirty laptops available for coursework and research. The humanities faculty provides students with excellent facilities and a vast range of resources including film, books, music, artefacts and software to ensure they reach their full potential.

Key Stage 3

Humanities lessons at KS3 level are designed to blend together many elements of other subjects, mainly History, Geography, Religious Studies, Sociology and Citizenship.  The curriculum encourages students to explore issues that challenge human societies and extends students understanding of the world around them.  Each half-term the students will explore a different key question/theme that allows the student to immerse themselves into a programme of study that touches upon aspects of various humanities subjects within a particular lesson.  Schemes of work are written and designed so that an equal weighting is given to all humanities subjects.   Many of the themes chosen, focus on contemporary issues that will engage students and act as a stimulus for many classroom discussions and further investigation.  All students have the opportunity to study Spanish throughout KS3 humanities.

Key Stage 4

The Humanities department has a strong reputation for the quality of teaching and learning as option subjects.  The range of subjects is broad and caters for all abilities and interests.  It builds upon the skills, knowledge and understanding that students would have gained in key stage 3.  Please refer to the Options booklet for further information and qualification details.

More Able (Gifted and Talented)

The humanities faculty aims to plan lessons that accommodate the needs of More Able (gifted and talented) students, recognising and building on what the students already know, avoiding unnecessary repetition and setting out appropriate objectives for the student’s ability. The faculty aims to create an atmosphere of high expectations and a curriculum that splits in two so that More Able students are presented with a set of problems that can be investigated and solved and not purely taught through the sharing of knowledge.  Lesson plans and teaching aims to encourage independent thinking and teaches pose questions that stimulate higher order thinking.

Help and support

Students have access to teaching assistants that work alongside classroom teachers, ensuring the best possible support to each and every student.  The SEN department work closely with the faculty to ensure every students needs are addressed and provided for.  To allow our students to strive towards these outstanding results, every Wednesday there are KS3 clubs and every Thursday there are GCSE revision sessions running until 4.30pm. This gives the students chance to work with the department on areas they have struggled, practice exam papers or just get some help with their home learning.  GCSE sessions are offered to the students throughout each half-term holiday.

Outline of study – KS3 Humanities


Autumn 1 (6)

Autumn 2 (7)

Year 7

Where do I come from?

Stone Age Man


Where are places in the world?

(Geographical location)

British empire




Slave trade – Abolition

Year 8

Have advances in industrialisation and technology led to higher standards of living?


Attitudes towards crime and punishment



Spring 1 (6)

Spring 2 (5)

Year 7

Who has the power?






Human Rights






Year 8

How does globalisation impact on different cultures and national identity?

Melting pot or the salad bowl

Social liberation – How have values changed over time?

Sexual equality



Summer  1 (6)

Summer  2 (5)

Year 7

What is more dangerous,

Man or Environment?

Volcanoes & earthquakes

Natural disasters





Year 8

The influence of religion on the world

Is medical progress always positive?


Transition (3)

Year 7

Research project on a topic from “what is more dangerous?”  to achieve “certificate”

Year 8

Research project on a topic from the two years to achieve “diploma”