In Humanities we explore how people have created their world and how they, in turn, have been created by it.

At John Mason School, Humanities consists of:

  • Humanities (Year 7)
  • History (KS3-5)
  • Geography (KS3-5)
  • RS (KS3-4)

These subjects are linked together because they are all about human beings: how they live, how they work together, how they think, how they behave, their culture, values, beliefs, ideas and past.

To do well in Humanities, students need to be willing to think critically about the society in which they live. To think afresh about ideas that most people take for granted and to ask questions that help them better understand the world around them. At John Mason we embed these skills from Year 7 onwards building students who are able question, think and analyse human society, past and present.

Year 7 Mixed Humanities

For our year 7 programme we teach mixed humanities with individual units of each subject and some combined units that bring together the skills and themes of multiple humanities subject.  This supports student transition from primary as they have one teacher for all their humanities lessons (8 per fortnight).  It also means that students learn to see the connections between the different disciplines within humanities.  The curriculum is under regular review.

Year 7 Humanities programme: In Year 7, students follow an integrated course of RS, History and Geography. By Topics covered include:

  • Why Did the Normans win the Battle of Hastings?
  • What Do People Mean When They Talk About ‘God’?
  • What Different Kinds of Settlement Do People Live In?
  • How Do Family Types Differ Around the World?
  • What Was Life Like in a Mediaeval Settlement?
  • What Can Maps Tell Us About the World?
  • How Do People’s Religious Beliefs Differ Around the World?
  • Why Were People In Europe Willing to Die For Their Religion?
  • How Do Extreme Environments Shape People’s Lives?
  • How Does Our Environment Shape Our Behaviour?
  • What Did We Learn in the ‘Age of Enlightenment and Exploration’
  • How Does Religion Shape Life Choices?
  • How has immigration over time shaped the UK? 
  • How Did the Industrial Revolution Change People’s Lives?
  • How Has the Settlement of Oxford Changed Over Time?
  • New for 2021: What is Chinas role in international trade?
  • New for 2021: What was the effect of autocratic leaders on Russian history?
  • Who was to blame for the First World War?
  • What was Life Like in the Second World War?
  • The Holocaust
  • The Development of Democracy in the UK:  The Story of Abingdon.

In Religious Studies students will explore a range of philosophical, social and moral issues as well as the tenets of the main world religions: Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity.

Year 8 Geography:

  • Changing My World
  • Moving Stories
  • Russia and development
  • Coasts
  • Into Africa

GCSE History: Edexcel (9-1)

  • Crime and punishment through time 1000-the present
  • The American West 1835-95
  • Weimar Germany 1918-39
  • Early Elizabethan England 1558-88

GCSE Geography: AQA A

  • The Restless  Earth (plate tectonics)
  • Weather Hazards
  • Climate Change
  • The Living World
  • Coastal landscapes
  • River landscapes
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • Resource management
  • Geographical applications (fieldwork) and skills

A-level History Syllabus: OCR History A

  • Britain 1900-1951
  • The American Revolution 1740 – 1796
  • The Ascendancy of France 1610 – 1715
  • Coursework

A-level Geography Syllabus: Edexcel Geography

  • Tectonic processes and hazards
  • Coastal landscapes and change
  • Globalisation
  • Regenerating places
  • Geographical skills
  • The water cycle and water insecurity
  • The carbon cycle and energy security
  • Superpowers
  • Health, human rights and intervention
  • Fieldwork and independent study (NEA)

Obviously, considering the nature of the subject, an important part of students’ learning takes place outside of the classroom, where they can see and experience the things they have been talking about in lessons. We offer a range of extra-curricular visits and trips the programme including:

  • Oxford Castle and Carfax Tower
  • A Hindu Temple
  • The Black Country Museum
  • Clink Prison Museum and London Dungeons
  • 4 days in Berlin (History GCSE)
  • 5 Day Sorrento/Amalfi/Rome/Vatican trip (every other year)
  • Fieldwork experiences (Geography GCSE and A-level)

In our experience these opportunities help bring the ideas and concepts discussed in Humanities lessons to life and are greatly valued and always remembered by students.

Director:  Mr A Conroy:
Contact details:

Teachers in this Faculty: Mr R Conway, Mrs A Sissons, Mrs A Scott, Miss A Evans, Mr E Duckham.