“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

Martin Luther King. Jr


Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At the Horizon School we believe that all students are part of the local, national and global communities. So that they can play an active part in each of these areas it’s imperative that our students understand how societies have changed, how the world around them has developed and what it means to be a citizen not only of the UK but also the world. Teaching students Humanities enables students to develop identity as well as improving their analytical and decision-making ability. Students will understand different cultures, religions and regions of the world. This will improve their cultural capital and increase their employability.

Furthermore, Humanities empowers students with deeper understanding of how to be the best person they can be. Students are also able to understand the cause and consequence of past events. This then educates students about how to deal with circumstances that bear a significant resemblance to those of decades or centuries ago.  The study of Humanities at the Horizon School will empower students to become active members of society, giving them the tools and the skills to navigate not only the world of work but also their worlds outside work.

With specific focus on history we strive to ensure that our students are learn about a diverse range of time periods and societies so that they become better citizens of the world they live in. In Geography we aim to empower our students to understand why the world is the way it and how their personal choices impact on the world around them. In RE we aim to instil understanding and appreciation for a range of beliefs and cultures, whilst in Citizenship we aim to pull all stands of humanities together to empower our students to be the best person they can be. Individual students will be taught at their level of ability and targeted in specific ways that allow them to access the qualification at the level suitable to their needs.



What do we teach? What does this look like? Why is it sequenced in this way?

For many students at The Horizon School, limitations in their literacy & numeracy skills has an overwhelming impact on their ability to access a mainstream curriculum.  We, therefore, place great emphasis on these in all subject areas with targeted intervention being applied to some students.  With regards to Humanities a great emphasis shall be placed on improving reading and writing skills. Students will be received personalised guides for each unit. There will also be work taking place in conjunction with English department to improve literacy outcomes and writing techniques. In relation to Geography, links will be made with Maths and Statistics to ensure student improve their data analysis and graph reading skills.

 Regular assessment throughout the year informs staff and students of progress and attainment. Students are increasingly aware of strengths and weaknesses, and are able to address these in class and at home using their personalised guides.

 Year 11’s at The Horizon School follow a condensed curriculum and are placed on a Pathway either Support (Grade 1-3), Core (Grade 4-5) or Higher (Grade 6+).  This curriculum is personalised based on assessments and gaps in learning.


What will this look like? By the time students leave our school they will:

At the end of Key Stage 4 we aim for all students to have achieve a minimum expected grade and encourage students to exceed this through mastering the content at their allocated tier.


Our KS3 Humanities Curriculum aims to ensure students:


  • Can explain why key historical events happened and how they now affect their lives today
  • Are able to reason and develop historical arguments
  • Can put events in chronological order with aim of explaining how events are linked
  • Develop inquisitive skills when looking at historical evidence


  • Have a good knowledge of human interactions with the physical world.
  • Can locate landscapes within physical environments / ecosystems
  • Can identify familiar and unfamiliar features on maps/photographs.
  • Recognise how climates differ and understand the impact of climate change


  • Can compare and contrast world religions and explain the key differences using examples
  • Can evaluate the importance of religion and how it affects the lives of its believers
  • Can explain how religious beliefs and practices have changed over the past 100 years

Our KS4 History Curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • Are able to develop narrative accounts of historical periods with a focus on cause and consequence.
  • Can select appropriate evidence to support their arguments
  • Comprehend, interpret and analyse historical sources to ascertain their usefulness
  • Reason like historians, making deductions and inferences based on evidence and personal knowledge.

Our KS4 Citizenship Curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • Are able to explain and assess the way the UK government functions
  • Understand how laws are created
  • Recognise the importance of human rights
  • Understand what makes a good citizen


Our KS4 History and Geography ELC curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • Gives the students opportunity to achieve a certified award
  • Allows students to complete assessments ‘when they are ready’
  • Helps build confidence and engagement in History or Geography
  • Provides excellent progression for students able to progress onto GCSE studies
  • They can lead onto work-based learning, apprenticeship and employment


In order for this to happen, the Humanities leader (Mr O’Neill) and the SLT take responsibility for the monitoring of the History curriculum and the standards achieved by the students.

 Data is collected half termly and reported to the SLT. All teachers contribute to a termly Pupil Progress meeting where the data is analysed and targets are made by highlighting ‘stuck’ pupils and focusing on next steps.

The Humanities lead will monitor for appropriate pitch and progression at least once every half term.

This monitoring takes the form of:

  1. Lesson observations and feedback
  2. Learning walks and student voice conversations
  3. Planning scrutiny followed by support where necessary
  4. Books scans on a frequent basis
  5. Termly data analysis

 Career Opportunities

Humanities subjects often suffers from less obvious links to specific jobs. Students will often say they see no point in studying this subject as they don’t want to be a ‘history teacher’ or they don’t like RE. Whilst Humanities based subjects don’t have as many direct links to certain vocations as subjects like Maths (Accountant, banking, etc) or ICT (Web designer, games developer, etc), the skills needed to succeed in GCSE Humanities subjects are transferable to almost all professions. In History students must be able to:

  • Think critically
  • Interpret complex information
  • Develop opinions and back them up with evidence
  • Show empathy
  • Think creatively
  • Develop excellent communication skills.

These skills are essential in almost all professions and the Humanities department will look to match these skills on a lesson by lesson basis to the career’s individuals are interested in. Additionally, being historically, geographically and culturally aware is an essential skill as a citizen of the UK and the global community. This gives students cultural literacy and makes them far more employable.

 Humanities is related to the following careers or pathways into them:

  • Law
  • Human Resources
  • Charity work
  • Banking and finance
  • Media and journalism
  • Travel and tourism
  • Policing and security


Positive Feedback

The staff at The Horizon School, Hartlepool take time to listen and build relationships with all the students.

Annais (Student)

I have a better relationship with the teachers at The Horizon School, Hartlepool. They listen to me and help me with my work

Sean (Student)

Teachers have high aspirations for pupils and their next steps in life...Pupils are well prepared to leave school after Year 11.

OFSTED Inspectors