GRADE 7 / YEAR 8 HUMANITIES COURSE SYLLABUS 2020-2021

Course Outline

Overview

The Humanities Department Syllabi at GEMS Wesgreen International Secondary School strive to enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes so as to develop an informed and critical understanding of social, environmental, historical and political issues so as to reinforce and stimulate curiosity and imagination about local and wider environments. The Curriculum provides a strong foundation to enable students to foster an understanding of, and concern for, the interdependence of all humans, all living things and the earth on which they live. To foster in students a sense of responsibility for the long-term care of the environment and a commitment to promote the sustainable use of the earth’s resources through his/her personal life-style and participation in collective environmental decision-making. 

Learning Outcomes

The aims of all subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.

The aims of the Humanities Syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Develop appropriate knowledge of the location of globally significant places –including physical and human characteristics.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, sketches numerical and writing.
  • Know and understand how people’s lives have shaped countries and how these countries have also influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Gain and organise a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’ and ‘parliament’.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorouslyto make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Unit Overviews

Term 1

Unit 1 – Geographical Skills                            

 Approximate length:  1 week

In this unit, students will acquire the prerequisite knowledge, understanding and skills needed to identify and locate places on a map and to think geographically.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, sketches numerical and writing.

Unit 2 –Map Skills                                                 

 Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit, students will study map features and map skills in more detail to locate places, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, sketches numerical and writing.

Unit 3 – Ecosystems                                

Approximate length: 4 weeks

In this unit, students will examine different ecosystems; their location, how they shape physical landscapes and how human interaction affect them.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Develop appropriate knowledge of the location of globally significant places –including physical and human characteristics.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, sketches numerical and writing.

Unit 4 – Earthquakes and volcanoes                        

Approximate length: 4 weeks

In this unit, students will study natural hazards, their location, impact and measures to reduce their impact.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Develop appropriate knowledge of the location of globally significant places –including physical and human characteristics.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, sketches numerical and writing.

Term 2

Programme of Study 

Assessment

Formative: Throughout the units, the students will complete graded work, quizzes and investigation activities that allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

Summative: Students will complete exams at the end of each term to assess their attainment and progress.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment Pathways:

Small groups, (up to 15 students) will meet F2F. Where there are more than (15) Blended Learning will take place. According to the timetabling of classes also, there will be RL sessions where specified. All subject Units can be taught using any of these pathways. Students will collaborate and engage more with each other on set tasks in the break out rooms and collaboration spaces online. Lessons will be taught live as opposed to asynchronously. If a teacher is ill to point of being unable to deliver a lesson online, this lesson will be done asynchronously. During live lessons students will be requested to demonstrate a skill or understanding in short audio/ video recordings of themselves analysing, evaluating, explaining, showing (restricted time period). They will create Sway and other MS document presentations as instructed. Discussions will ensue among students and their peers and they will engage, respond and feedback using the chat feature. Students will be asked to watch video clip(s) and read a print/ broadcast/ another medium link and do a review, summary, explanation, give their opinion regarding the topic. They will be asked to design storyboards using a MS document for presentation. Rubrics will be attached as additional guide to support students’ progress and attainment. These are only a few of the techniques and methods that will be engaged during lessons.

Assessments:

Option 1: We will have a designated assessment week. All classes scheduled to complete online assessments that day will remain at home. On this day they can complete maximum 2 assessments for the day (grades 6 –8), 3 assessments for (grades 9 and above).

Option 2: During blended learning sessions the students who are at school will bring their laptop/device and complete the assessment online while the others who are at home (RL) will complete it on their device at home. Each assessment lesson will request an additional supervisor/invigilator to monitor those in the class while the teacher monitors the screen. Students in the class can even have their desk/back facing the teacher to create an extra precaution/ awareness to students that the teacher along with the supporting invigilator is also supervising. If a student forgets their device teachers will have the printed copies to distribute.  This option will also take place during a designated assessment week.

Option 3: We will continue to conduct continuous assessment as was done during RL/Term 3 in the AY 2019/2020.

Next Steps

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