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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

Geography

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Map and investigation skills

Amazing places: The UK

Settlement

Rivers and flooding

Russia

Glaciation 

Tectonics

Moral Issues in Geography

Amazing places: Africa 

Weather and climate

Population

Global Fashion

Amazing places: The Middle East

Natural resources

Coasts

Introduction to Geology

History

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Introduction to History

Medieval Society

Henry VIII

The Reformation

Elizabeth I

The Stuarts

The British Empire

Slavery

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  



RE

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

How can I make sense of religion?

The rise of Christianity

Islam

Buddhism

Religion and Art

What is morality?

Crime and Punishment

Medical ethics

Relationships and families 

Suffering 

 



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

History

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

Cambridge National in Health and Social Care

OCR Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care Certificate

Health and Social Care is a valuable and useful qualification that introduces students to specialist knowledge and skills needed to work in various care settings including; midwifery, physiotherapy, nursing, social care, prison and social work, child care and teaching.


Underpinning the qualification is a focus on core values and communicating with individuals so as to maintain their dignity and sense of being valued and thus, through the various units studied allows students to learn about real life work and jobs and to gain valuable experience in this area of study.   

Course structure

Unit 1: R021 - Essential Values of Care for use with individuals in care settings 



What is assessed...


LO1 – Understand how to support individuals to maintain their rights

L02 -  Understand the importance of the values of care and how they are applied

LO3 – Understand how legislation impacts on care settings

LO4 – Understand how personal hygiene, safety and security measures protect individuals.


How it's assessed

• Compulsory Written exam: 1 hour

• 25% of GCSE

Unit 2: R022 – Communicating and working with individuals in health, social care and early years settings 


What is assessed...

LO1 – Understand how to support individuals to maintain their rights

L02 -  Understand the importance of the values of care and how they are applied

LO3 – Understand how legislation impacts on care settings









How it's assessed

• Compulsory Assessment: coursework

• 25% of GCSE

Unit 3: R023 – Understanding Body Systems and Disorders




What is assessed...

LO1 – Know how body systems work

L02 -  Understand disorders that affect body systems

LO3 – Be able to interpret data obtained from measuring body rates with reference to the functioning of healthy body systems.







How it's assessed

• Assessment: coursework

• 25% of GCSE

Unit 4: R031 – Using basic first aid procedures





What is assessed...

LO1 – Be able to assess scenes of accidents to identify risks and continuing dangers

L02 -  Understand the first aid procedures for a range of injuries 

LO3 – Be able to apply basic first aid procedures








How it's assessed

• Assessment: coursework

• 25% of GCSE

Exam board specification link

Course structure - First teaching September 2021

Unit 1: R032 - Principles of care in health, social care and early years settings


What is assessed...


TA1 – The rights of individuals in care settings

TA2 -  Person centred values of care

TA3 – Effective communication in health, social care and early years settings

TA4 – Protecting individuals in health, social care and early years settings



How it's assessed

• Compulsory Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes

• 40% of GCSE

Unit 2: R033 – Supporting individuals through life events



What is assessed...


TA1 – Life stages

TA2 -  Impact of life events

TA3 – Sources of support











How it's assessed

• Compulsory Assessment: coursework

• 30% of GCSE

Unit 3: R034 – Emergency health care



What is assessed...


TA1 – Assessing an accident or emergency

TA2 -  First aid procedures

TA3 – Evaluation










How it's assessed

• Assessment: coursework


• 30% of GCSE



Exam board specification link

 


Social Studies Staff

Mrs K Collins

Assistant Headteacher and Subject Leader of Geography 
kcollins@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs G Finan

Faculty Manager and Subject Leader of Health and Social Care 
gfinan@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs L Bindley

Assistant Headteacher (DSL) and Teacher of PSHE  
lbindley@avonvalleyschool.uk

Miss J Mortimer

Subject Leader of Vocational Studies.
jmortimer@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr D Walden

Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Geography
dwalden@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr R Hartland

Teacher of History
rhartland@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs L Owen

Achievement Leader - Phoenix House and Teacher of Geography
lowen@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms A Moore

Subject Leader of History
amoore@avonvalleyschool.uk

Miss R Begum

Teacher of Social Studies 
rbegum@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr P Bowen-Hunt

Teacher of Social Studies 
pbowen-hunt@avonvalleyschool.uk

Miss K McHale

Teacher of Social Studies 
kmchale@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms G Adamou

Clerical Support
gadamou@avonvalleyschool.uk

 

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