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KS3 Geography

In KS3 pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of key issues on a local, national and global scale. The units they will cover over Year 7 and Year 8 are Geographical Skills, Tourism, Energy, Ecosystems, Natural Hazards, China and India. Over each unit of work pupils will learn about different case studies around the world giving them the opportunity to explore different cultures and societies. Pupils will also learn about the physical, human and cultural characteristics of different places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world as global citizens.

KS4 Geography

Geography is optional at Key Stage Four and is a popular choice with pupils. The following is key information regarding the course.

Exam board:

OCA Geography A (Geographical Themes) (9-1) J383 (from 2016) - Syllabus & Past papers on the OCR Website shown below.

Exam Information:

There are 3 papers:

1.       Living in the UK Today    (30% of GCSE)
2.       The World Around Us     (30% of GCSE)
3.       Geographical Skills           (40% of GCSE)

The compulsory fieldwork component:

Fieldwork adds ‘geographical value’ to study, allowing learners to ‘anchor’ their studies within a real world context. Fieldwork must be undertaken:

·         Outside the classroom and beyond the school grounds

·         On at least two occasions

·         In contrasting locations

·         In both physical and human geographical contexts

Careers information:

“Geography graduates have one of the highest rates of graduate employment, pursuing a wide range of career paths. Put simply, there is no such thing as a geography job; rather there are multiple jobs that geographers do” (The Royal Geographical Society)

Geography careers offer opportunities to develop solutions to some of the most pressing issues for modern society, including climate change, natural disasters, overpopulation, urban expansion, and multicultural integration.

Useful websites and books:





·         My Revision Notes: OCR GCSE (9–1) Geography A ISBN: 9781510418936

Religious Education

KS3 Religious Education

Throughout KS3 students learn to form their opinions on different ethical and moral topics. Religious Education allows them to discuss big questions and improve their evaluative skills. It is an opportunity to develop knowledge of religious and non-religious points of view and allows them to explore some of the biggest influences in society. In Year 7 pupils will study belied, life after death and religion in the media. Then in Year 8 they will look at prejudice and discrimination, poverty, life of Jesus and science and religion. 

KS4 Religious Education

RE is optional at Key Stage Four. The following is key information regarding the course.

Exam board:

AQA GCSE RELIGIOUS STUDIES A (9-1) -8062 (from 2018) – Syllabus & Specimen papers on the AQA Website

Exam Information:

There are 2 papers:

1.       The Study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices (50% of GCSE). Religions to be studied are Christianity and Islam.

2.       Thematic Studies (50% of GCSE). Themes to be studied are relationships and families, religion and life, crime and punishment and human rights and social justice.

Careers information:

Studying theology and religious studies allows you to explore how religious beliefs and practices shape and influence the world we live in.

Religious Studies graduates move into a variety of careers: law, travel, advertising, human resources, diplomacy, publishing, journalism, the media and teaching.

Useful websites and books:




·         AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837033-8

·         AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Islam Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN-13: 978-0-19-837034-5

·         AQA GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A Publisher: Hodder Education ISBN-13: 9781471866852


KS3 History

In KS3 students will be introduced to History in a secondary environment. Here they will learn about British History from 1066-1900 covering topics such as the medieval times, Black Death, Tudors and Stuarts, Industrial Revolution, Black History and the World Wars. The History department aims to bring about a life-long interest and enjoyment of history and an awareness of how History has crafted the society we live in today.

KS4 History

History is optional at Key stage 4. The following is key information regarding the course.

Exam board:

AQA – Syllabus & Past papers  on the AQA Website

Exam Information:

There are 2 papers:

1.       Understanding the modern world (50% of GCSE)

2.       Shaping the nation (50% of GCSE)


Chosen options at Harborne Academy:

Paper 1

Paper 2

Period Study

Wider world depth study

Thematic study

British depth study

Germany 1890 – 1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Conflict and tension: 1918 - 1939

Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

Norman England: c1066 – c1100

Careers information:

Employers value the research, analytical, teamwork and communication skills that history students develop throughout their degree. Those who study history should be practised in applying lessons of the past to help resolve problems of the present, and have the ability to apply an analytical mind set to all kinds of situations and challenges. These problem-solving and analytical skills are relevant in just about any industry which has a focus on current societies and future developments, particularly in the fields of business, politics and academia.

Useful websites and books:

·         GCSE Pod, Bitesize KS4 History, S-cool the revision website,

·         My revision notes.   AQA GCSE (9-1) History ISBN: 9781510455610

·         Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and dictatorship Revision Guide and Workbook ISBN: 9781292204765

·         Conflict and tension, 1918-1939 Revision Guide and Workbook ISBN: 9781292204772

·         Health and the people: c1000 to the present day Revision Guide and Workbook ISBN: 9781292204789

·         Norman England, c1066-c1100 Guide and Workbook ISBN: 9781292204796

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