Humanities Faculty – Curriculum Intent
At Paxman Academy, we want our students to leave each Geography lesson with an enriched understanding of how the world works.
As our students progress through Key Stage 3, their growing knowledge of the world should deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes across the world, and how different landscapes and environments are formed and used.
Our curriculum has been designed to cumulatively build upon each topic, so that previously acquired knowledge is reviewed and developed throughout the curriculum, leading to knowledgeable students who are able to effortlessly recall key features of human and physical geographical processes. Each Geography topic is placed within a specific location, so that students are able to locate the geographical concepts they are learning about in the context of the wider world. This also enables our students to develop a real sense of place knowledge at home and abroad as they progress through the curriculum, whether they are studying a lack of development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or how geological processes have formed in the Peak District.
In addition to this, fieldwork is carefully planned to strengthen our student’s understanding of certain topics, while developing their geographical skills in a practical context. These in-depth place studies allow students to apply their geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to many processes, as well as regions across the world, including Africa, the Middle East and Russia.
Each unit is carefully planned to ensure that we are building up the powerful knowledge that we believe will enable our students to understand the world around them, while also developing the skills of decision-making, assessing and evaluating different geographical issues, encouraging our students to think like Geographers.
The History curriculum at Paxman Academy has been designed to empower our students by making them informed about who we are, why we are here, how Britain has been shaped, and how we can understand the modern world.
Our chronological Key Stage 3 curriculum enables our students to improve at history by building up an increasingly complex knowledge of the past, which relies upon their understanding of prior topics. For example, our students’ understanding of the religious rollercoaster that is 16th century England is enriched by the fact that they have a secure knowledge of the origins of Christianity in England, following Augustine’s conversion of the Anglo-Saxon pagans in the 6th century. Our students develop a knowledge-rich understanding of the past, which allows them to really secure a deep understanding of how Britain’s history has developed and changed, as well as that of the wider world.
Each topic studied is carefully planned to focus on important substantive concepts that are revisited throughout the curriculum, such as empire, trade, tax and rebellion. The frequency of these concepts within the curriculum ensures that pupils are able to make concise and analytical links between events, time periods and regimes, and in doing so become skilled historians. A Year 8 student, for example, studying rebellions from the left and right in post-war Germany, is already familiar with the concept having studied numerous examples across history prior to this point, whether it is the Harrying of the North, or the Pilgrimage of Grace. As each topic is led by a fertile enquiry question, there is a real sense of purpose within each lesson.
Our students accumulate secure knowledge over time, which really engages with them with the discipline of history. Through these topics, our students are able to use their knowledge and understanding to immerse themselves in current and world affairs, informed by their deep understanding of the past.
The RE curriculum at Paxman Academy aims to ensure each of our students has a deep understanding of our culturally and religiously diverse world. We have an unashamedly knowledge-rich RE curriculum, which devotes a series of lessons to each of the major world religions, as well as exploring non-religious world views, in addition to the subjects of philosophy and ethics.
RE lessons at Paxman Academy are intended to ensure that each student is empowered with a coherent understanding of the beliefs and practices of the major world religions, in order to understand and appreciate different cultures around the world. We do, however, also appreciate the value of a thematic approach, and teachers therefore regularly get students to compare the beliefs and practice of religions of these religions, and explore the links between these different faiths. In doing so, our students develop a deep understanding that across the world, there are similarities that link people together, just as there are differences that shape our identity.
The knowledge that our students accumulate throughout their time at Paxman Academy aims to promote the values of mutual respect, tolerance and understanding different cultures and communities. Britain is now a very diverse society, finding out about the beliefs and lifestyles of all people is integral to allow our students to think about what they believe, and reflect on their own choices and thoughts. This contributes to the development of our student’s ideas and opinions, and encourages them to think about who they are, and what kind of values, ethics and beliefs they hold most dear.