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Humanities

Key Stage 3

Geography

Aims

The aim of Key Stage 3 (KS3) Geography is to gain an understanding of the world we live in. The first part of the course will develop map work skills that have been gained from KS2. Through Geography lessons pupils will develop an interest in, and understanding of, Cambridge and why it is such a nice place to live. The second half of the course aims to develop an understanding of how varied our world is by looking at National Parks and Ecosystems. Melbourn Village College students follow the new National Curriculum.

Content

We will look at map work and give students the chance to gain a better understanding of the world we live in. This block of work will also include local settlements including Melbourn, Cambridge and the surrounding villages. Students will develop their understanding of the UK and how it is divided up into regions and countries. Again, comparisons will be made with Cambridge. Work will then be carried out on ecosystems on a local and international scale. This will include a trip to Stockbridge meadows. The main extended piece of work will be on Africa. Students will be given the chance to look into the history, wildlife, wealth and additional information within a country in the continent. Students will need to gain information from a variety of sources, including writing to the tourism board within that country.

Homework

This is usually set every third week as part of a rotation with History and Religious Education. It will be a mixture of written work, research and creative projects. An emphasis will be placed on long-term project work in KS3. 

Assessment

Assessments take place when appropriate and target the different skill areas mentioned above. Their grades will be placed on Go4schools and in the front of their exercise books.

History

Aims

The aim of Key Stage 3 (KS3) History is to develop an interest in, and understanding of, English history by examining sources, assessing evidence and studying the past through story-telling, discussion and focused written work. Melbourn Village College students follow the new National Curriculum.

Content

We will begin by studying an introductory topic entitled 'What is History?' which will include a case study on the development of Britain in the Dark Ages. We will then move on to study 1066, the year of the Norman Invasion. The journey will continue through Norman history, studying many of the medieval kings, the Great Plague, Magna Carta, the death of Thomas Becket and the War of the Roses. The last area of study will be why the people of this island began to explore and create an Empire across the world, discovering new cultures, lands and riches.

Homework

This is usually set every third week as part of a rotation with Geography and Religious Education. It will be a mixture of written work, research and creative projects. An emphasis will be placed on long-term project work in KS3.

Assessment

Assessments take place when appropriate and target the different skill areas mentioned above.

Religious Education

Aims

To enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of religion and to develop the ability to explore and reflect on human experience.

Content

The course consists of the following units:

  • A baseline assessment
  • The Island - a unit based on the 'Theatre of Learning' programme which investigates the various concepts that we will be covering over the next three years
  • The incarnation of Jesus - what does the event of Jesus' birth mean to Christians?
  • Hinduism - looking at the gods, beliefs and practises of the Hindu faith
  • Where do we look for God? - incorporating philosophy of religion.

Homework

Every third week as part of a rotation with Geography and History

Assessment

Students are assessed in three written assessments based on the units outlined above.

Key Stage 4

Geography

At MVC geography helps students make sense of the world around them by developing their enquiry skills - encouraging questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people's lives, now and in the future.
Geography helps develop successful learners who can suggest solutions to local and global issues.
Geography helps inspire students to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and the sustainability of the planet.

GCSE

The GCSE course (WJEC Spec B) is designed to help students understand how geographical influences and relationships link people and their surroundings and how the environment can be protected. It helps them to understand and appreciate the cultures and backgrounds of people from all over the world and how this might affect their quality of life. It promotes an issue based, investigative approach The emphasis is on problem solving and enquiry throughout and will include opportunities for students to learn about the world around them through fieldwork. Students can also draw on their own knowledge and experiences of places.

History

Although a challenging course, GCSE History takes a wide ranging look at topics as varied as Jack the Ripper's reign of terror to the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, as well as looking at the change in attitudes towards Native Americans and the introduction of the death penalty in Britain for theft.

Homework

This will be set every week of the GCSE course, there will be written work, exam preparation, revision cards and coursework. Parents are expected to encourage students to complete all homework in detail and on time. A detailed Home Study Guide will be provided for students and homework will be set using this guide, the History Department may be contacted at gtobutt@melbournvc.org.

An overview of the course is available here.

Religious Education

RELIGIOUS STUDIES (OCR J621) SPECIFICATION B,
PHILOSOPHY AND / OR APPLIED ETHICS

What kinds of work will I be doing?

This course involves two main areas of study (Philosophy and Ethics) split over four units of work. Areas such as religious experiences, the end of life, the media, good and evil, science, medical ethics and peace and justice will be covered – three topics per unit. As you can see the above involves the nature and key concepts of up to two major religions and ethical considerations for members of these faiths. At the present time, this is covered through Christianity and some Sikhism with the scope for this to be extended to other beliefs and religions such as Humanism and Baha’i in the final question of the exam paper.

You should enjoy debating and trying to view a concept or idea from someone else’s point of view, making connections between different approaches. An ability to investigate and question ideas, looking at the impact on people and society is required. Also presenting your own point of view is important, especially when it comes to the exams!

There are four exams (Units B601 – 604) of one hour each. Each unit counts for 25% of the total mark. You will be required to complete two full questions (parts a-e) out of a choice from the three units per paper. Each question is made up of five parts – parts a – c are point marked, part d looks for you to describe, analyse and explain your answer, whilst part e asks for reasoning and arguments.

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