Year 9 Options - Humanities


The subject

Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is fun. Our GCSE course offers a great mix of topics such as; urban issues, world development, extreme environments, rivers and hazards – to name but a few. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions which affect our world, and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world.


There are so many ways of learning in geography. It is very practical, with opportunities to learn new skills such as modern computer-based mapping (called GIS), map skills, interpreting photographs, fieldwork skills, presenting, role play and debating techniques. You will improve your literacy through your report writing and written work and make practical use of your numeracy skills when you interpret data and construct graphs. Fieldwork, or working outside the classroom, is a really important part of geography. Whether you go locally or get the chance to travel further away, it will be a brilliant opportunity to experience some of the things you have learnt about in class, see things differently and of course have fun.


How can you decide if geography is for you? Why not ask yourself the following questions?


  • Are you inquisitive?
  • Do you want to fully understand what the future holds for our amazing and unique planet?
  • Are you interested in exploring the diverse cultures and finding out in more detail about the lives of the World’s populations?
  • Have you enjoyed geography at KS3?


What will we study?

The Edexcel B specification (Pearson)

Assessment Method and Component Percentages:

Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues (37.5%) Written exam- 1 hour 30 minutes- 94 marks (including 4 marks for SPaG)

  • Section A: Hazardous earth
  • Section B: Development Dynamics
  • Section C: Challenges of an urbanising world

Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues (37.5%) Written exam- 1 hour 30 minutes- 94 marks (including 4 marks for SPaG)

  • Section A: The UK’s evolving physical landscapes
  • Section B: The UK’s evolving human landscapes
  • Section C: Geographical investigations

Paper 3: People and Environment Issues – Making geographical decisions (25%) Written exam- 1 hour 30 minutes- 64 marks (including 4 marks for SPaG)

  • Section A: People and the biosphere
  • Section B: Forests under threat
  • Section C: Consuming energy resources
  • Section D: Decision making exercise



Geography is a broad based academic subject which will open up options for you in your future. Employers and universities see geography as a robust academic subject rich in skills, knowledge and understanding.

As a subject linking the arts and the sciences it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with, both at GCSE and A Level. If you choose to take geography on to university there are literally hundreds of courses to choose from and the range of career areas accessed by graduates of geography will probably surprise you.



With a qualification in Geography, you will be able to access a wide range of opportunities. Geography was rated as the “must have A-level” (The Guardian, 2015) and is one of the top facilitating subjects that Russell Group universities look for. If you are not 100% certain on your career choices at this stage, studying Geography enables you to keep your options open. The following career paths are examples of the wide range of potential jobs open to Geography students: Oceanography; Business Management; Cartography; Nature conservation; Environmental Consultant; Incident Response Manager; Waste Management; Land Surveying; Development and Flood risk Manager; Town Planning; Travel Writer and Broadcaster; Catastrophe Risk Analysis; Meteorology; Geologist; Landscape Architecture; Traffic Planning; Geomorphology; Hydrography; Travel Consultancy; Analyst.


For more information speak to Mr Clifford, Mrs Beresford or Mrs Tweddle.


The subject

History is the best subject in The World (in Mr Squire’s opinion). History fires pupils’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps pupils develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. Pupils find out about the history of their community, Britain, Europe and the world. They develop a chronological overview that enables them to make connections within and across different periods and societies. Our GCSE course covers Medicine and Health through time c1000-present, Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c1065-c1088 and Weimar and Nazi Germany c1918-39.


What’s the point? It’s all in the past! How is what happened years ago relevant to me? Because History is the study of PEOPLE and in order to prepare Sheffield’s influential young leaders of tomorrow, we will need to understand how people tackled problems in the past. For example; right now in Xinjiang province in China; minorities are being persecuted in a similar way to how they were in Germany in 1939.

What’s the point? It’s all in the past! How is what happened years ago relevant to me? Because it’s INTERESTING. You’re more likely to do well at a subject that you’re interested in. 

  • History helps you understand people.
  • History helps with interview and enquiry skills.
  • History helps with how to read documents, ignore irrelevancies, separate propaganda from the truth, and circumstantial from hard evidence. ESSENTIAL in today’s world of social media and fake news.
  • If you’ve enjoyed History at KS3 it only gets better at GCSE.


What will we study?


Assessment Method and Component Percentages:

Paper 1: Medicine and Health through time c1000-present 1 hr 15 mins (30%)

  • Section A: Ideas about the cause of disease, prevention and treatment of disease c1000-present
  • Section B: Historic Environment: The British Sector of The Western Front in The First World War 1914-1918

Paper 2: Period study and British Depth Study 1 hr 45 mins (40%)

  • Section A: Superpower relations and The Cold War 1941 - 1990
  • Section B: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c1065-c1077

Paper 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39 1 hr 15 mins (30%)


Destinations and careers

History is a prestigious academic subject which will open up doors for you in your future. It shows employers you have a strong work ethic and writing style even if you don’t choose to take it for A-Level. History opens up job opportunities to become receptionists, beauticians, hairdressers, social workers, television reporters, investigative reporters, market researchers, HR workers, police officers, lawyers, politicians, investigators, armed forces personnel, advertisers, medics, bankers, accountants, civil servants, journalists, engineers and business people to name but a few.

As a subject linking the arts and the sciences it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with, both at GCSE and A Level.


For more information speak to Mr Squire, Miss Ward or Mr Carrie.


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