• 01788 542355
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Social Studies Faculty

The Social Studies faculty is made up of a range of different departments that work together to deliver a well rounded and exciting curriculum to encourage individuals to have a developing understanding and awareness of themselves, their world and the people and society around them. 

We deliver a skills based curriculum at KS3 which build both knowledge and skills to prepare our students to then pursue any of these subject areas at KS4.

Within the faculty we teaching history, geography, RE and PSHE to all students in Key Stage 3 and we offer courses history, geography, RE, psychology, sociology and health and social care at Key Stage 4, along with PSHE. 

A brief overview of the topics covered by the faculty


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Map and investigation skills

Amazing places: The UK


Rivers and flooding




Moral Issues in Geography

Amazing places: Africa 

Weather and climate


Global Fashion

Amazing places: The Middle East

Natural resources


Introduction to Geology


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Introduction to History

Medieval Society

Henry VIII

The Reformation

Elizabeth I

The Stuarts

The British Empire


The Industrial Revolution

Women’s Suffrage

World War I

American Civil Rights 19th to 21st century

A study of the Second World War and its key turning points 

The Holocaust  


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

How can I make sense of religion?

The rise of Christianity



Religion and Art

What is morality?

Crime and Punishment

Medical ethics

Relationships and families 


 Origins of religion 

Religion and morality of relationships

Religion and morality of poverty

Religion and morality money

Religion and morality of human rights



Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Settling into AVS

Growth mindset

Equality for all

What do I want to be?

What is a citizen?

How to live a safe and healthy lifestyle

We are family

Politics and the local community

Looking after my money

Global citizenship

Drunk in charge of a body



Careers and finance

How the media affects me

What makes me the person I am?

Sex and relationships


Global charities

Year 10

Year 11

Making some BIG choices

Show me a little RESPECT

Living in a multicultural society

Hardships in society – sex and relationships

Hardships in society – social issues

Planning for the future

Study skills – how do I revise?

My role in society

Staying healthy in the future



GCSE Geography

AQA GCSE Geography

This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds.

Course structure

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

What is assessed...

- The challenge of natural hazards - Earthquakes

- The living world – Hot deserts and Tropical rainforests.

- Physical landscapes in the UK - Rivers & Coasts

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour

30 minutes

• 35% of GCSE

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment

What's assessed...

-Urban issues and challenges – Rio de Janeiro & Bristol

-The changing economic world – UK and Brazil

-The challenge of resource management – Global food supply.

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour

30 minutes

• 35% of GCSE

Paper 3: Geographical applications

What's assessed...

Issue evaluation – This is where we study pre-release resources booklet 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam.  The topic for this changes each year.

Fieldwork –  Students need to undertake two geographical enquiries (physical & human)

Geographical skills

Students are required to develop and demonstrate a range of geographical skills.

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes

• 30% of GCSE

Exam board specification link


Edexcel GCSE History (9-1)

This course will extend students’ knowledge of history by studying new topics and revisiting previous topics to extend knowledge and embed historical skills. Topics chosen are an exciting mix of social and political history spanning from Medieval and Tudor England, The American West to Nazo Germeny.  The course supports progression to A Level.

Course structure

Thematic study and historic environment - Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches. (Paper codes: 1HI0/11)

  • Students study how key features in the development of medicine were linked with the key features of society in Britain in the periods 1250-1500, 1500-1700, 1700-1900 and 1900 to the present
  • This will involve studying patterns of change, trends and turning points, and the influence of factors inhibiting or encouraging change within periods and across the theme. The key factors are: individuals and institutions (Church and government); science and technology; and attitudes in society. 
  • The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches is designed to develop students’ understanding of the use of historical sources and building historical enquiries

How it’s assessed

Paper 1 written exam 1 hour 15 mins

30% of total marks

Edexcel set and marked

British Depth Study - Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88. (Option code: B4)

  • The situation on Elizabeth’s accession
  • The ‘settlement’ of religion 
  • Challenge to the religious settlement 
  • The problem of Mary, Queen of Scots 
  • Plots and revolts at home 
  • Relations with Spain 
  • Outbreak of war with Spain, 1585–88 
  • The Armada 
  • Education and leisure 
  • The problem of the poor 
  • Exploration and voyages of discovery 
  • Raleigh and Virginia 

How it’s assessed

Paper 2 written exam 1 hour 45 mins

Students take this exam at the same time as the American West topic)

40% of total marks

Edexcel set and marked

Period Study – The American West 1830 to1895. (Option code: P3)

  • The creation of the “Permanent Indian Frontier”
  •  The Plains Indians; their beliefs and way of life 
  •  Migration and early settlement; The Donner Party and Mormons 
  •  Conflict and tension. The California Gold Rush, law and order and The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851
  •  The Homestead Act 1862 and the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862   
  • The growth of the cattle industry; cowboys and ranchers
  •  Impact upon Native American Indians and the Indian wars
  • The end of the cattle industry
  • Exodusters and the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893
  • Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp
  •  Destruction of the way of life of the Native Americans and extermination of the buffalo
  • The end of the Indian Frontier

How it’s assessed

Paper 2 written exam 1 hour 45 mins.  Students take this exam at the same time as the Early Elizabethan England topic).

40% of total marks

Edexcel set and marked

Modern Depth Study - Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39. (Paper codes: 1HI0/31)

  • The setting up of the Weimar Republic. 
  • Spartacists, Freikorps, the Kapp Putsch. 
  • The challenges of 1923: hyperinflation; the French occupation of the Ruhr. 
  • The work of Stresemann.
  • Changes in society and culture, 1924–29
  • The Munich Putsch, 1923 
  • How Hitler became Chancellor, 1932–33 
  • The Reichstag Fire, the Enabling Act and the banning of other parties and trade unions. 
  • The Night of the Long Knives 
  • The Gestapo, the SS, the SD and concentration camps. 
  • Nazi policies towards the Churches
  • Goebbels and the Nazi use of Propaganda
  • Opposition to the Nazis 
  • Life in Nazi Germany, 1933–39 
  • Nazi policies towards women and the young
  • Employment and living standards 
  • Nazi racial beliefs and the treatment of minorities
  • The persecution of the Jews

How it’s assessed

Paper32 written exam 1 hour 20 mins.  40% of total marks.  Edexcel set and marked

Exam board specification link

GCSE Psychology

Edexcel GCSE Psychology

In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, the Edexcel specification provides a sound understanding of methods and approaches in psychology at an introductory level. It also illustrates these methods and approaches through various topic areas representing the core areas of social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences. The course develops investigation and report writing skills, along with analytical and critical thinking skills. 

Course structure

Paper 1

What is assessed...

  • Topic 1: Development – How did you develop?
  • Topic 2: Memory – How does your memory work?
  • Topic 3: Psychological problems – How would psychological problems affect you?
  • Topic 4: The brain and neuropsychology – How does your brain affect you?

Topic 5: Social influence – How do others affect you?

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 55% of GCSE

Paper 2

What's assessed...

  • Topic 6: Criminal psychology – Why do people become criminals?
  • Topic 9: Sleep and dreaming – Why do you need to sleep and dream?

Topic 11: Research methods – How do you carry out psychological research?

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 20 minutes

• 45% of GCSE

Exam board specification link

GCSE Sociology

AQA GCSE Sociology

In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, the AQA GCSE sociology specification helps students to gain knowledge and understanding of key social structures, processes and issues through the study of families, education, crime and deviance and social stratification.

The course supports students in developing transferable skills including how to investigate facts and make deductions, develop opinions and new ideas on social issues and analyse and better understand the social world

Course structure

Paper 1

What is assessed...

  • The sociology of families 
  • The sociology of education
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 50% of GCSE

Paper 2

What's assessed...

  • The sociology of crime and deviance 
  • The sociology of social stratification
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 50% of GCSE

Exam board specification link

GCSE Religious Studies

AQA GCSE Religious Studies Spec A 

Religious Education is a stimulating GCSE course that provides a great opportunity for students to reflect and explore current issues and to develop social, cultural, political and historical awareness.  

While studying this course pupils will undertake two components; the study of Religion: where students will study the key beliefs, teachings and practices in two religions: Christianity and Islam and Thematic Studies: which will enable students to utilise their knowledge of the religions studied and to discuss and reflect on religious responses to various philosophical and ethical issues.

Course structure

Paper 1: The study of religions 

What is assessed...

Christianity - Beliefs and Practices

Islam - Beliefs and practices 

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Thematic studies – non textual

What's assessed...

Theme A – Relationships and families

Theme B – Religion and Life

Theme E – Religion Crime and Punishment

Theme F – Human Rights 

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

• 50% of GCSE

Exam board specification link

Social Studies Staff

Miss K Waudby

Faculty Leader 

Mrs K Collins

Assistant Headteacher and Subject Leader of Geography 

Mrs L Bindley

Assistant Headteacher (DSL) and Teacher of PSHE  

Miss J Mortimer

Subject Leader of Vocational Studies.

Mr D Walden

Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Geography

Mrs L Owen

Achievement Leader - Phoenix House and Teacher of Geography

Ms A Moore

Subject Leader of History

Miss R Begum

Teacher of Social Studies 

Mr P Bowen-Hunt

Teacher of Social Studies 

Miss K McHale

Teacher of Social Studies 

Miss J Cope

Teacher of Hair and Beauty

Ms G Adamou

Clerical Support


© 2022 The Avon Valley School. All Rights Reserved.