Humanities, at Bishop’s, comprises Geography and History.  Both of these are essential for the development of our understanding of the world in which we live.


Geography helps us

  • To understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life (e.g. earth-sun relationships, water cycles, wind and ocean currents).
  • To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world.
  • To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments.
  • To develop a mental map of our community, country and world so that we can understand the “where” of places and events.
  • To explain how the processes of human and physical systems have arranged and sometimes changed the surface of the Earth.
  • To understand the spatial organization of society and see order in what often appears to be random scattering of people and places.
  • To recognize spatial distributions at all scales — local and worldwide — in order to understand the complex connectivity of people and places.
  • To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and society.
  • To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.
  • To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen.

Geography offers opportunities for progression towards A’ level but also more vocational careers including, for example, leisure and tourism, environmental studies and land management.

Curriculum Overview Geography


History helps us

  • Discover how our world evolved.
  • Develop the skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask questions properly, and to express our own opinions.
  • Trains our mind and teaches us how to think and process information.
  • An understanding of both past and present.
  • In the pursuit of historical events and people which is fun - a form of time travel.
  • Make sense of most other subjects.
  • Understand the origins of modern political and social problems.
  • Learn how and why people behaved as they did, whether they are Elizabeth I, Hitler or John Lennon...
  • Appreciate that people in the past were not just 'good' or 'bad', but motivated in complex and inconsistent ways, just like us.
  • Develop the skills employers are looking for.

 Curriculum Overview History

At Key Stage 4

Geography offers:

  • Engaging and topical content
  • A stimulating blend of traditional and contemporary Geography to suit students of all abilities.
  • A focus on physical processes and factors that produce diverse and dynamic landscapes over time.

Study of this course will give students of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop:

  • Communication skills.
  • Graphical and cartographical skills
  • Technological skills including ICT and GIS
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills and awareness of future career possibilities

The course contains TWO major themes:  1. People and the Natural Environment 2. People and the Human Environment.  Studies will extend beyond the classroom when students carry out fieldwork in the local area.  There will also be plenty of opportunities to develop IT skills in the use of databases, the internet, spreadsheets, computer modelling and mapping.

History, through study of Germany 1918 – 1945 & International Relations Cold War 1945 – 1975, involves in-depth enquiry of elements of Germany from the end of the Great War to the end of World War Two; including the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazis and living in Nazi Germany.  This is followed by a study of international relations, including elements of who was to blame for the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and American involvement.  This will be assessed as an examination worth 45% of the exam weighting. 

In addition students study British Society 1939 – 1975 through making use of a range of sources to interpret, analyse and evaluate.  The unit will include aspects such as the impact of WW2, migration, the NHS, changing role of women and life in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 

The final element is in historical enquiry of Russia 1905 – 1941 covering aspects of Russian society, including revolution and reform from 1905 – 1914, Russia and the First World War, the role of Lenin and Stalin and their control of the people and their economic policies.