At Maplewell Hall School, Humanities incorporates History and Geography.

At Maplewell Hall School we believe that Humanities is for everyone. We want to give our students the right knowledge and skills to enable them to reach their future destination – whatever or wherever that may be.

We recognise that within each classroom there will be pupils working at different levels of challenge. We aim to provide suitable learning opportunities by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. In addition to this, teaching and support staff are deployed effectively to maximise each pupil’s potential and to allow them to achieve ‘success’.

‘In Humanities lessons we strive for progression both academically and holistically. We aim to engage and enthuse students in their learning and inspire and foster a deep seated sense of self belief; which will aid them in becoming lifelong learners’

Curriculum Pathways

Here at Maplewell we have pupils arriving with widely differing Humanities knowledge and skills. In order to meet the needs of all learners we have developed the curriculum in three distinct pathways (see below).

We consider every pupil carefully and individually to ensure they are placed on the most appropriate pathway throughout their time at Maplewell. Over the course of their education, some pupils may move between pathways. Both pathways centre on the National Curriculum and provide a broad and balanced education whilst supporting the lower ability and allowing stretch and challenge for the higher ability students to enable everyone to achieve their full potential whilst building upon their level of self esteem.

Pathway A Pathway B Pathway C

This pathway follows the History and Geography KS3 National curriculums in much greater depth than pathway B, providing students with further opportunities to develop key skills (see attached skills progression charts) and to fully prepare them for further study at KS4. Students following this pathway will have 2 lessons per week (1 X History and 1 X Geography).

Further study option –  Full Course GCSE History or Geography.

This pathway mostly follows the KS3 History and Geography national curriculums. There is one lesson per week that is a mixture of History and Geography topics. Topics and lessons have been specifically chosen to allow students to have an exposure to a wide variety of historical and geographical themes which will provide the grounding to continue their studies at KS4 should they wish.

Further study option- GCSE History or Geography and/or AQA Unit Award Scheme.

This pathway follows the KS2 National Curriculum; filling student’s Historical and Geographical gaps in knowledge and allowing them to build upon their key skills (see progression charts). Baseline tests are conducted at the start of year 7 and the curriculum is adapted accordingly. Students have one lesson per week that is a mixture of History and Geography topics).

Further study option- AQA Unit Award Scheme in History or Geography.

Curriculum – KS3

KS3 History

  • History at Maplewell Hall School allows our students to develop a love of learning and allow curiosity to grow through the various challenging historical enquiries that are taught in year 7, 8 and 9. The curriculum allows students to explore interesting, relevant, sensitive and thought provoking topics. This enables students to study the past from a variety of standpoints and to make connections and comparisons over time. We teach our curriculum in a chronological time frame to allow our students to make connections between events and further develop their knowledge and understanding of History. We have selected a curriculum that covers various periods of History to ensure that it provides relevance to our students as they learn about British history and that of other cultures.
  • Throughout the History curriculum students develop their understanding and application of key concepts using evidence, interpretations, significance, change and continuity and cause and consequence. These concepts are used as tools for students to make sense of, and understand the content that is delivered, thus preparing them for further study.
  • Our new curriculum at KS3 embraces and celebrates the diverse History of our students at Maplewell. We want our students to embrace and develop a love of learning about History. This is at the core of our KS3 as we have selected topics that aim to develop curiosity and inquisition. Teaching through historical enquiries is at the heart of our curriculum as it builds knowledge and skills simultaneously, along with building in challenge and intrigue. Much of our curriculum follows the National Curriculum as we want our students to have a broad understanding and awareness of where they live and what has helped to shape Britain, but we have also built in enquiries that teach the History of different cultures. Students are taught skills that help them challenge their views and misconceptions on Historical events, for example through analysing Historical sources and interpretations. Written and oral literacy is developed throughout the curriculum which provides them the stepping stones needed for GCSE.

KS3 Geography

“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?” Michael Palin, Ex-president of the Royal Geographical Society

  • At Maplewell Hall School, Geography inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The Curriculum equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge should help them to deepen their understanding of the world and their place in it.
  • Pupils are exposed to issues and environments outside of their everyday experience through providing opportunities for fieldwork and investigations, which allows them to consider our changing world, and their role within it.
  • The KS3 curriculum at Maplewell Hall School is designed to ensure that pupils are engaged and inspired, while gaining a wealth of knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in geography.
  • In addition to knowledge, pupils will gain and practise challenging skills through fieldwork, GIS, graphicacy and data investigations, which enable them to analyse and consider our changing world, and their role within it. Through their study of Geography, pupils will develop and practise essential critical thinking skills including relational thinking, classification and decision making, as well as quantitative and graphical skills such as statistical tests, map reading, interpreting graphs and diagrams.

KS3 and KS4 Curriculum plans

The link to the Curriculum Plans is available HERE.

Curriculum – KS4

Whilst Humanities is not currently offered at KS4, the new progression model curriculum that has been implemented this year has been designed to prepare students for GCSE Geography and History at the end of year 9 and will be offered shortly.


Assessment in Humanities is an ongoing process. Students are assessed formatively throughout each lesson to assess their academic progress and for the teacher to reflect and evaluate on their teaching methods used and curriculum content delivered. At the end of each lesson teaching staff record student’s progress on a markbook system by using the criteria ‘beginning, developing, secured and mastered’. Summative assessments are conducted once each half term (a total of 6 a year) and DIRT stickers completed for reflection by the students (3 per year). Peer and self assessment opportunities are also built into lessons and are recorded with purple pen in students books.

Knowledge Organisers

‘For students to succeed in a particular area, they must have a foundation of factual knowledge, understand those facts in the context of a conceptual framework and organise knowledge in order to facilitate retrieval and application’ Bransford et al, 2000. We can see knowledge organisers as a way to enable this, in a much more systematic way than traditional revision guides and textbooks.

Due to research into the effectiveness of knowledge organisers and Maplewell Hall School’s recent Autism accreditation status we have decided to use knowledge organisers to support students in class and at home. These will include key words to support subject specific literacy and carefully chunked information to create a visual schema for our students. Thy will also enable students to visualise the bigger picture of a topic.

Knowledge organisers for each year group in Humanities will be available shortly.

Key skills progression charts

Please click HERE for the Geography progression chart.

Please click HERE for the History progression chart.