Humanities

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

English

The English Department at Kingham Hill aims to encourage an appreciation of reading for pleasure, and the ability to write with precision, power and flair.

English clearly is vital for academic attainment across the curriculum and to that end the pupils are encouraged to write accurately and with impact. There is reading and analysis of classic literature from Dickens to Shakespeare, as well as learning about the art of persuasion using rhetorical devices, e.g. the tricolon.

Pupils are also expected to learn how to appreciate, analyse and discuss texts independently; and ultimately to leave Kingham Hill equipped to express their ideas eloquently.

Although the pupils study set texts each year, they are encouraged to read widely of their own volition. There are also occasions for cross-curricular links with other departments, e.g. the study World War I literature and history at the beginning of year 9.

English 2

All pupils are entered for Edexcel iGCSE English Language at the end of year 11, and some (with aptitude) tackle the Literature course too. During the course our pupils produce three pieces of coursework, including an extended piece of creative writing.

English Literature is also offered at A Level in the Sixth Form. For ‘A’ level, the pupils will be following the new Edexcel specifications including modules on Tragedy (Dr Faustus and King Lear), poetry, and the supernatural (Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights).

As a department we also have a programme of theatre trips, predominantly to the RSC, to help bring the curriculum to life. 

 

THEOLOGY

Theology is taught to all pupils throughout the school from Year 7 to Year 9 after which it is part of the option structure for GCSE in Years 10 and 11, and GCE in Years 12 and 13..
 
As a Christian school Theology is of considerable importance. In Years 7 and 8 pupils undertake an overview of the Old and New Testaments, looking at both major characters and significant themes. In Year 9 pupils look at significant contemporary issues and examine the ethics and morals of topics such as war, poverty, marriage, fidelity and prioritising human needs. They also take a look at Judaism, and various philosophical ideas. 
 
If a pupil chooses to opt for Theology at GCSE or GCE they will follow a two part course on Ethics and Philosophy. The details of these courses may be found in the Kingham Hill School GCSE and GCE handbooks.
 

HISTORY

History is taught to all pupils from Year 7 to Year 9 after which it is an option for study at GCSE. It is also taught in the Sixth Form to AS and A2 Level. Currently it is a popular GCSE subject. There are two classes for both Year 10 and Year 11 and A level numbers tend to be around 8-10 students; an ideal number for discussion and healthy competition within the group.
 
In Years 7 and 8 pupils study a course of mainly British History. Year 7 pupils look at various aspects of Medieval Britain and Year 8 pupils initially study Tudor and Stuart Britain, although the Year 8 programme of study subsequently widens to consider a global dimension with topics on Empire and the Industrial Revolution. In Year 9 all pupils follow a 20th century world history course with key topics on World War One and interwar Germany, and a local historical study ending key stage 3. There are also a variety of opportunities for pupils in Years 7 to 9 to engage in historical learning outside of the classroom. For example in Year 7 a visit to local churches to see examples of medieval doom paintings enhances the study of medieval religion, and in Year 9 pupils are offered the opportunity to visit Northern France and Belgium in a trip to the World War I battlefields, run in conjunction with the Modern Foreign Languages department. History at key stage 3 at Kingham aims to inspire a life-long interest in history in our pupils, and also to prepare them adequately with the background knowledge and essential skills they need should they wish to continue their studies to GCSE and beyond.
 
The GCSE course focuses on modern world history, and pupils study a 20th century course comprising of three examination based modules focusing on the USA 1919 - 41, war and the transformation of British society c. 1931 - 1951, and international relations in the era of the Cold War 1943 - 1991. GCSE pupils also complete one controlled assessment based unit which is marked internally and then moderated at exam board level. 
 
At A Level pupils complete two modules at AS level at the end of Year 12. One is a source based paper based on the British political struggles of the 19th century for representation and reform and the other is an essay style paper looking at the struggle for equality and civil rights in US society between 1945 and 1970. At A2 pupils complete coursework with a focus on Italian Unification and also prepare for a document and essay style final exam on France in Revolution from 1786 - 1830.
 

BUSINESS STUDIES

Business Studies is taught at GNVQ, AS and A2 Level in the Sixth Form.
 
The Business Studies Department is a vibrant and exciting place to learn and study in Years 12 and 13.
 
Currently there are three qualifications available to Sixth Formers.
 
Our pupils are able to study the GNVQ Intermediate Course which, if successfully completed, is the equivalent of 4 GCSEs at grades A - C. Pupils study a variety of business-based subjects, including finance and recruitment.
 
Those of our pupils with higher grades at GCSE are advised to study the AS Level course in Applied Business in the Lower Sixth. They can then go on to the A2 Level course in the Upper Sixth, if they so desire. This course allows a number of vocational learning opportunities to be delivered to the pupils in a flexible manner.
 
All courses access a variety of learning opportunities, including business lessons, off-site trips, visiting guest speakers, case studies, practical and group work. All courses include a period of Work Experience and the opportunity to get involved with Young Enterprise.
 

ECONOMICS

Economics is studied at AS and A2 level in the Sixth Form.
 
Economic issues are central to the understanding of the real world. Our pupils are able to develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions.
 
Economics is a social science that studies the production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services. The course considers the two main branches of economics: microeconomics, which deals with individual agents, such as households and businesses, and macroeconomics, which considers the economy as a whole.
 

GEOGRAPHY

The geography department aims to inspire our pupils to engage with the world around them.  Pupils investigate geographical issues and themes in a wide variety of creative ways including the latest digital mapping and geographical information systems.  Through excellent teaching and learning pupils are helped to make sense of complex and interconnected global issues.

Geography is a popular option at GCSE  with 70% of the current year 9 cohort choosing it.  They gain an IGCSE qualification awarded by Cambridge International Examinations whilst at  A level our chosen exam board is Edexcel.  Throughout their studies pupil’s learning is extended through fieldwork to various physical and human environments.  Opportunities are also given for pupils to attend geographical lectures in Oxford on a variety of topics which are organised by the local Geographical Association. 

Geography is one of a cluster of facilitating A level subjects valued by Russell Group universities as it encourages ways of seeing and thinking that make geographers eminently employable.  60% of last year’s A level cohort continued to study geography at university including Exeter, Sheffield and University of the West of England. 

The department has one full time and two part time members of staff who are graduates of Durham, QMUL and Reading and their interests include drainage basin hydrology, meteorology, climate change, geology as well as sovereignty, migration and geopolitics.

 

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Government and Politics is a subject option in sixth form for A Level study at Kingham Hill School. Government and politics will interest students who are fascinated by the way the decisions are made, who makes them and the thinking behind them. Political decisions are constantly being made which affect both individuals and society at large. Studying government and politics will provide a greater insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. This course allows students to study contemporary politics and develop a strong understanding of the factors shaping both the British and American systems. Government and politics also helps in the development of discussion and debating skills. A willingness to read and comment on current events is a vital prerequisite for the course as is an ability to express ideas in lengthy written work.

At AS Level, pupils study the main features of the UK political system. Year 12 covers two units, each made up of four key topic areas:

Unit 1: People and Politics
Democracy and participation;
Political parties;
Pressure Groups;
Elections.
 
Unit 2: Governing the UK
The Constitution;
Prime Minister and cabinet;
Parliament;
The Judiciary.
 
For pupils continuing the full A Level to A2 there is a focus on the American system of government and politics. Again, there are two units, each made up of four key topic areas:
 
Unit 3C: Political processes in the USA
Political parties;
Elections;
Pressure Groups;
Racial and ethnic politics.
 
Unit 4C: Governing the USA
The US Constitution;
Congress;
The Presidency;
The Supreme Court.
 

LEISURE STUDIES 

Leisure Studies is taught at AS and A2 Level in the Sixth Form
 
The Leisure Studies Department is a modern and well-resourced facility. A mixture of internal lessons, external lecturers, visits to outside organisations and guest speakers all add to the flavour of the course.
 
The Leisure Studies qualification is ideal for those of our pupils who do not want to take a mix of purely academic A Levels. It offers the best of both worlds - a respected GCE qualification that encompasses a '’real world’ vocational approach. Pupils in the Lower Sixth can take Leisure Studies at AS Level and then progress on to the A2 course in the Upper Sixth, if they so wish.
 
The course revolves around the world of Sport and Recreation. Our pupils will use our superb sporting and leisure facilities to help them with their coursework. Additionally, they will learn how important areas such as marketing, customer service, health and safety, business planning and outdoor adventure are to the leisure industry.
 
During their study, pupils will have the opportunity to gain additional nationally recognised sporting and coaching qualifications. Awards currently on offer:
 
  • National Pool Lifeguard
  • First Aid at Work Certificate
  • ASA Assistant Swimming Teachers Award
  • Mountain Leadership
  • Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

PSHE

The PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) programme is designed to reflect and reinforce the Christian values and ethos of the school. Each of our students is recognised as being unique, with individual characteristics and needs.
 
The department hopes to provide a wide base for personal, social and health education, preparing students for life now, and as adults and citizens.
 
A high percentage of issues arising from PSHE are challenging and of an intimate nature and we endeavour to manage these issues in the classroom by creating a broad range of teaching and learning opportunities coupled with flexibility.
 
Our programmes of Sex, Drugs and Alcohol Education are based on a sound knowledge of the relevant facts within a strong spiritual and moral framework. Other aspects of Life Skills teaching, including Citizenship issues, provide pupils with further grounding in the responsibilities of the adult world.
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