Humanities Faculty


Humanities is one of the largest and most popular faculties at Sponne, with specialist staff teaching a diverse range of subjects related to the world and people around us. Humanities subjects include History, Geography, Religious Studies, PHSE, Sociology, Psychology, Children's Play, Learning and Development and Health and Social Care.

Humanities can be described as the study of the many ways in which people, from every period of history and from every corner of the globe, process and document the human experience. Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. These modes of expression have become the Humanities subjects we teach today. Knowledge of these records of human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.

Humanities students are attractive to many future employers because of their personal transferable skills. Many of the skills that are gained during Humanities lessons are highly sought after in almost every job. In Humanities lessons, students will gain experience of summarising, arguing and debating issues as well as presenting their work in a variety of ways.

The Humanities faculty at Sponne develops independent, enquiring, confident minds, well-prepared to meet any future challenge head-on.

Social Sciences

The Social Sciences is part of the Humanities faculty and includes four subjects: Sociology, Psychology, Health & Social Care and Children’s Play, Learning & Development (CPLD). The Social Sciences is a popular set of subjects at Sponne School.

At KS4, students are able to choose GCSE Psychology or Children’s Play, Learning and Development. At KS5, A level Psychology and Sociology are available as options.


Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Most students opt to study Psychology at GCSE and A Level.

GCSE Psychology (Years 9, 10 and 11)

GCSE Psychology Exam Board: AQA

GCSE Psychology introduces students to the fundamentals of psychology, developing critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills. At GCSE, students study:

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Geography is our unique window on the world, developing a sense of awe and wonder in students that few other subjects can match.

Geography is a popular subject at Sponne, which covers a broad curriculum, enabling students to engage with, explore their place within, challenge perceptions of and develop a passion for the built and natural environment. Knowledge of different processes and concepts are contextualised with studies of places and landscapes from across the world. The vast range of skills that are used to communicate in Geography are well sought after by employers, and with the collection and use of spatial data on the rise, these skills will continue to be in demand. Teaching methods are equally as broad in the department, and is enriched by a wealth of digital resources as well as of out-of-classroom learning experiences from our locality to residential fieldwork trips for both GCSE and A Level courses. Geography is exclusively taught by four specialist teachers across four teaching rooms.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum draws explicitly on the knowledge, skills and experiences developed during Key Stage 1 and 2, and provides greater emphasis on Geography as a unique discipline, whilst building passion for the subject by discovering international locations and physical phenomena in more detail. Fieldwork and Enquiry Skills are built on-site with an investigation in each year. Students are taught in their mixed ability form groups through Year 7 and 8, three times a fortnight.

In Year 7, students study the following topics:

  • What is Geography?
  • Brazil
  • Glaciation
  • China
  • Weather & Climate

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Personal, Social, Health, Education (PSHE) is part of the Humanities Faculty and is taught to all students, in mixed ability groups, once a fortnight. PSHE lessons are taught mainly by PSHE specialists supported by other members of the Humanities faculty. The Tutorial Programme delivered by tutors also supports the delivery of the PSHE curriculum. The PSHE curriculum includes Careers and Financial Education and delivery is supported by external providers, organisations such as the School Nurse Team and local employers.

The content of the curriculum is designed to support students in their personal development and to reflect what it is like growing up in modern Britain and the curriculum meets the Statutory Requirements for ‘Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education’. It also supports the school’s commitment to SMSC, British Values and Wellbeing and therefore is reviewed regularly to ensure it meets the needs of the students. We aim to engage and inspire our students to be passionate about the world in which they live and inquisitive about their place within it. 

Students learn to be effective problem-solvers and risk-managers and are encouraged to question, think, and reflect, not to pre-judge; to be confident in their opinions and not to be afraid to have their opinion challenged by others.

More details about Careers can be found HERE

The current Programme of Study for PSHE (2021/22) is as follows:

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Religious Education

Religious Education is part of the Humanities Faculty and is taught to all students in Key stages 3 and 4. RE lessons are taught mainly by RE specialists supported by other members of the Humanities faculty. Pupils in key stage three will participate in one lesson a week, followed by one lesson a fortnight in key stage 4. Religious Education is also offered as a GCSE and A Level Philosophy is available as an option for 6th form students. 

In Religious Education (RE), pupils enter into a rich discourse about the religious and non-religious traditions that have shaped Great Britain and the world. RE at Sponne enables pupils to take their place within a diverse multi-religious and multi-secular society. RE is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It affords pupils both the opportunity to see the religion and non-religion in the world, and the opportunity to make sense of their own place in that world.

In RE we aim to develop three types of knowledge  

  • Firstly, ‘substantive’ knowledge: knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions.
  • Secondly, ‘ways of knowing’: pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion.
  • Thirdly, ‘personal knowledge’: pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study.

The RE department also offers an extra curriculum opportunity for years 8 and 9 in the form of a Philosophy Club. Pupils who choose to participate could achieve an extra qualification in Philosophy awarded by the New College of the Humanities.

The current Programme of Study for Religious Education  (2021/22) is as follows:

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At Sponne all students study History in Years 7 and 8. History is a very popular option subject and most students currently opt to study GCSE History with many continuing to A Level. History gives students the opportunity to discover and debate a range of interesting topics from the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world. The study of History encourages students to ask questions of the world and to analyse and evaluate evidence from the past.

Key Stage 3 History (Year 7 and Year 8) 

Year 7 Topics: Medieval Britain 1066-1485, The Tudors 1485-1603, The Stuarts 1603-1715

Year 8 topics: Changes in Britain 1750-1900, Slavery to Civil Rights, The First World War. The Second World War and beyond

Some of the issues we will explore include:

  • Why were castles built?
  • What were the consequences of the Black Death?
  • Why did Henry VIII break away from the Catholic Church?
  • Why was Charles I executed?
  • Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?
  • What was life like in a cotton mill?
  • What was the Atlantic Slave Trade?
  • What was the US Civil Rights movement?
  • What caused the First World War?
  • What was life like in the trenches?
  • Why did the Nazis come to power in Germany?
  • What was life like in Britain during the Second World War?
  • Was America right to drop atomic bombs on Japan?

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Contact Us

Sponne School

Brackley Road
NN12 6DJ

Telephone: 01327 350284