GRADE 8 / YEAR 9 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 contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places-including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
    • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
    • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs
    • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing.
  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • 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 rigorously to 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 Overview

Term 1

Unit 1 – Map Skills                                                 

Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit children explore the world’s oceans and continents. They will learn about longitude and latitude. They will develop map skills by practicing planning and scaling of maps, as well as using 4 and 6 figure grid references.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Unit 2 – Tourism                                     

Approximate length: 4 weeks

In this unit, the children explore the tourism industry. The students discuss how tourism impacts and area, referring to advantages and disadvantages. They evaluate how and why people choose to go on holiday.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Unit 3 – World Development

Approximate length: 4 weeks

In this unit, the children explore world development. The students discuss the factors that affect the development of a country, and why some countries are more economically developed or less economically developed than others.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

Term 2

Programme of Study 

Term 3

Unit 7 – WW2                       

Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit, the children explore the main events of WW2. They look at the significant battles such as the Battle of Britain and D-Day, and how they helped shape Europe into what it is today.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • 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 rigorously to 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.

Assessment

Formative: Throughout the units, the students will complete graded work, quizzes, roleplays and investigation activities which allows the teacher to assess the students’ progress and 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.

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