Humanities

Academics at BOS

Humanities

Between the Primary and Secondary schools our approach to the humanities subjects is quite different, but with the same aims in mind: to better understand the human experience.
That may sound like a high ideal for a five-year old child, but translated into their context it makes sense. Learning about their family and their home is, for them, a significant part of the human experience, their experience.

In the Primary School the BOS has adopted the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) as the vehicle through which we teach history, geography and religious studies as well as art and ICT.

The IPC is taught through themed, cross-curricular units of work. The examples of IPC topics include: Myths and Legends, Chocolate, Treasure, Explorers and Adventurers. Each topic offers a window through which children can explore and study more traditional subject areas. For example, a topic such as Chocolate allows a class to examine the geography of cocoa bean growth, the history of chocolate to the multi-billion pound industry that it is today, the art of confectionary packaging, the science of the uses of chocolate and the ethical issues concerning trade in cocoa. To do all of this effectively, the children will undertake their own research using our ICT facilities.

So, the IPC helps to develop skills as much as knowledge. These skills include: research, making presentations and model-making. Every IPC topic, especially in the more senior years of primary, requires students to produce written work. Often, the topic also requires discussion and giving presentations. In the light of this, we view the IPC as closely connected to developing the children’s literacy and their English classes.
In the Secondary School the approach is more traditional with Humanities being broken up into History, Geography, Religious Studies, ICT and, in Year 9 Economics is added.

As students get older the learning becomes more sophisticated but the root remains the same: to better understand how human beings have shaped the world through, for example, politics, religion, art, trade and technology. In terms of the physical record, students learn to develop a spirit of enquiry, to understand and evaluate evidence and to analyse cause and effect.

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