Humanities all together or separate

(15 Posts)
icecreamvan Thu 06-Oct-16 22:36:16

This might seem like a daft question/observation.

I've been going to school open evenings and have only just noticed that most schools round us offer humanities (I think that is geography and history only) in Year 7 and 8 rather than separately.

My son loves history. Does that mean that I should find a school that does separate history from the beginning? When I say he loves history I mean it is almost a passion.

Balletgirlmum Thu 06-Oct-16 22:38:26

I would definatly be looking for separate. They use such different skill sets.

NicknameUsed Thu 06-Oct-16 22:41:33

They do that at DD's school, then splt into the separate subjects in year 9. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? DD got an A in history and A* in geography GCSEs, so it can't have had a detrimental effect.

Sadik Thu 06-Oct-16 22:47:41

They were separate at dd's school, so this is just a thought - but are they genuinely taught together? Or is it like science, where in yrs 7 through 9 it's timetabled as 'science', but they do 1/2 term physics, 1/2 term biology etc on rotation. Because if that's the case, I can't see any particular disadvantage to concentrating on one subject for a time, then moving to the other.

icecreamvan Thu 06-Oct-16 22:54:32

I don't think they're taught together. I think its a few weeks of history and then a few weeks of geography. Or perhaps a term of each, I need to check.

The only reason I'm wondering if it is a problem is DS is excited about learning history at secondary school and I suppose if its a subject on its own rather than shared he'll get more enjoyment from it.

BackforGood Thu 06-Oct-16 23:09:16

Like sadik, my dcs did a 'rotation' , same as they do in Science, in PE, and in DT............ 6 - 8 weeks of one subject then change. Might just be history /Geog or might be more (like PE where they do 6 weeks football, 6 weeks gym, 6 weeks basketball, 6 weeks athletics, etc. Etc
Just marked on the timetable as 'humanities' / 'science' / 'PE' etc.

If they block like this, they will usually get twice as many lessons a fortnight than if they run them alongside each other. So maybe 4 'humanities' a fortnight rather than 2 history and two geography. So for half the year he will get to do twice as much history.

icecreamvan Thu 06-Oct-16 23:21:24

Oh, I'll look into that and see. Thank you.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 07-Oct-16 00:17:59

It's been done differently for all three of my DC at the same school, but they still have done the same amount of each.

Setting in Y8 or Y9 was done for Humanities as a whole also.

Chestersidiot Fri 07-Oct-16 07:48:06

Our school teach Hum in 7-9 which is Hist/Geog/RE. Modules roll-on over the year and will (roughly) be History followed by Geog followed by RE. They have multiple lessons a week. Hum is the most popular subject and they get the best A level results in the school. Teachers really enjoy the variety it brings (they teach their specialist subject at KS4 and KS5).

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 07-Oct-16 08:08:52

Our school has separate Geog and History for y7/8. (GCSEs from y9 so can choose both, separate or none)

Traalaa Fri 07-Oct-16 10:13:04

DS has an hour of history and an hour of geography a week and that was from start of secondary. He likes both, so I'm glad they're not combined, but as others have said if they get two lessons a week of 'humanities', then they'll probably end up doing the same amount as if they were split into two different subjects.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sat 08-Oct-16 05:53:45

I'd be looking at the teacher qualifications. I would hate to teach 'humanities'. I'm brilliant at RS and History, however with my highly disappointing C grade in Geography, you wouldn't want me teaching that to your child!

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 08-Oct-16 08:50:27

I think in your circumstances I'd be asking each school some quite specific questions about history. Tell them your son is passionate about it and ask what's available to support his interest. Is there a history club? How many specialist history teachers are there? (Because DoctorDonnaNobles point about qualifications is a good one). How many kids go on to take history A level? Do they do well? That might be a good indicator about whether they teach it well lower down the school.

I suspect the answers would help you get to the bottom of the joint humanities thing and how it works.

Chestersidiot Sat 08-Oct-16 09:49:20

It is unlikely you will find a Hum teacher who has high level academic qualifications in History and Geography and RE. I was sceptical about the mixed approach. However, as I said, at our school Hum is consistently the most popular with students, has high take-up at A Level (and GCSE because we don't actually enforce Hist or Geog on anyone) and the best exam results in the school (which is 'outstanding' -for what it's worth- and over-subscribed). Schemes of work are written and resourced by subject specialists and there is frequent formal and informal support for non-specialists. We have a full complement of H/G/RE teachers, we are not covering gaps.

Obviously teachers who don't want to teach mixed Hum don't come and work for us. Some come loving the idea. Some come open-minded. But a department who genuinely work together, a school people actually want to teach in, children who (generally) really want to be taught, great take-up and results....well, I would say definitely investigate but don't just concentrate on the GCE results of the staff.

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 08-Oct-16 10:22:12

Perhaps the question about qualifications is simply do any of the Humanities teachers have a strong History background. If they are all actually Geographers or RE specialists, then History might be the poor relation. But if there's a keen historian in the mix and (for example) they run a club for history geeks over lunchtime, than OP's son could be in his element.

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