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Faculty of Humanities

Faculty Leader: Mrs R Porter

The incorporation of Geography, History and Religious Education and Philosophy and Ethics encompasses the full range of Humanities within one area.

We aim to promote a shared vision of creating   a plethora of opportunities for students to study topics and joint projects across these disciplines through a variety of media. Under normal circumstances, a number of field visits and extra-curricular activities throughout the year will further enhance students’ learning and enjoyment of these diverse subject areas. Last year, at Easter, a number of History, Geography and RS and A Level students joined us for our trip to Rome. This year, we hope to resume our plans for our Grand Tour of Ancient Greece in 2022.

In Year 7, students follow a integrated curriculum that covers the subject areas of Geography, History and RE.The course gives students the opportunity to bring their own experience  to  discussions  and allows for choice within set tasks, in order stimulate interest and enthusiasm for learning.The course takes students through topics ranging from Medieval Monarchy, Rites of Passage and Topical Geography and incorporates the Four Purposes of the New Curriculum for Wales with a heavy emphasis on supporting students to be ethical, informed citizens who are creative, ambitious and capable learners and self-managers.


Acting Lead for KS3 Humanities with responsibility for Geography and Geology: Mrs R Fry

Geography is a unique subject! It bridges the worlds of science and social science and seeks to interpret the ‘real world’ for students of all ages and abilities.

Particularly important is the opportunity for all students to take part in fieldwork. Geography is a popular and successful option subject at GCSE and in the Sixth Form.


In Years 8 and 9, students follow a modular course that covers the full range of the diverse and exciting subject. In Year 8, students study Africa and in Year 9, Asia. We investigate their formation, from physical, political and human perspectives. Students are challenged to look at how modern Africa and Asia impacts upon the world and how our choices impact on these regions. At all times, students will be challenged on their thinking and opinions on topics that vary from the impact of conflict to the rise of China and the impact of tectonic hazards such as earthquakes. Students will develop skills that will enable them to under-stand the constant changes taking place in the dynamic world around them. Fieldwork opportunities include visits to Cardiff and the local region.


The course challenges students to look at the world around them and to see the way that it impacts upon peoples’ everyday lives.

The new WJEC GCSE Geography specification adopts an enquiry approach to the study of geographical information, issues and concepts. It enables learners to become critical and reflective thinkers by engaging them actively in the enquiry process. Content is organised around key questions and our students are encouraged to pose geographical questions of their own.

As ever, fieldwork is an essential aspect of this qualification. By posing enquiry questions, learners develop the ability to relate these concepts to real world situations in order to make sense of wider spatial patterns.

Our enquiry approach enables learners to develop the ability to think ‘like a Geographer’ and:

  • think creatively by posing questions that relate to geographical processes and concepts that include questioning about spatial pattern and geographical change
  • think scientifically by collecting and recording appropriate evidence from a range of sources, including fieldwork, before critically assessing the validity of this evidence and synthesising their findings to reach evidenced conclusions that relate to the initial aim of their enquiry
  • think independently by applying geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts

In so doing we develop an appreciation that Geography can be ‘messy’ i.e. that real geography does not always match typical or predicted outcomes.


The modular course enables students of all abilities to succeed in the subject.

This new WJEC GCE AS and A-Level in Geography encourages learners to apply geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. In turn this will enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the world’s people, places and environments in the 21st Century. With a broad mix of Human and Physical Geography, our students develop both knowledge and understanding of contemporary geographical concepts together with transferable skills that will enable them to progress to higher education and a range of employment opportunities.

We use contemporary real-world contexts and engagement with, and practical application of, geographical skills and techniques in the field.

This mix of both Physical and Human Geography, explores people-environment interactions and we have many opportunities for fieldwork at the local level to enable learners to pose enquiry questions.

The subject content has an appropriate level of rigour and challenge for a GCE A level qualification. Regular fieldwork to various local locations form an integral part of the qualification. In addition to this, enrichment fieldtrips take place to Southern Italy alternating annually with a trip to Iceland. This is conducted in conjunction with the Science Department. The extensive computer facilities and use of Internet research means students may access academic papers to consolidate learning.


Subject Leader: Mrs R Porter

History is a popular subject at Monmouth Comprehensive School. We believe that understanding our past is vital to understanding our present and to forging our future. Taught by a passionate and committed team of historians, we offer our students a unique doorway to explore their past through the use of a variety of media and learning opportunities. To support our classroom learning we use artefacts and skills based learning to allow our students to enquire into the past, using their knowledge and skills with confidence and independence. We believe such variety allows our students to build a range of essential transferable skills from literacy, numeracy and digital competency to critical thinking, citizenship and empathy.


Here, our students can explore and discover History in a local, national and international context. Year 8 students explore monarchy, warfare and anarchy from Henry VII to the Civil Wars, voyage to the New World, abolish the International Slave Trade and assess the impact of the Industrial Revolution.

Year 9 students embark on an overview of the 20th Century ‘Extreme History’ including crime in late Victorian London, the Titanic, trench warfare during World War One and the rise of Hitler. Our fieldtrip to Belgium further enhances our students’ experience of History through empathy and reflection.


History is a popular option at GCSE. The course allows students to enhance their understanding of change over time through the development of warfare and its impact on society, the impact of the rise of Hitler and life in Britain during the Second World War and Government initiatives to aid recovery such as the birth of the NHS and the Welfare State. The Controlled Assessment component promotes the analysis of a range of sources and interpretations in order to make informed judgements on key issues of the American Civil Rights Movement.


Our successful and well-subscribed course allows students to further their understanding of the history of Europe from 1878 to 1989, including in-depth studies of the two World Wars, the Cold War, the formation of the European Union as well as Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The British History component focuses upon Welsh and English history from 1783 to 1848, and considers the extension of the franchise, urban and social protest, factory reform and public health issues. The course concludes with an exploration of American history 1890-1990. In Year 12, students visit the Houses of Parliament. 


Subject Leader: Mrs S Perry Phillips

The beliefs, practices and values of several world religions delivered in a dynamic and thought-provoking way has led this subject to be extremely popular in the school. All students are encouraged to think about the different beliefs that people hold throughout the world. This equips young people with the knowledge and skills to live in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society.


Students are given the opportunity to investigate topics on Freedom and Responsibility, Beliefs about life after death, The Power of Religion, Judaism, Rites of Passage, Religion and Conflict, Evil and Suffering, Islam and Religious attitudes to prejudice and discrimination. The use of IT is encouraged to support autonomous learning and to investigate issues further. Learning is supported by audio-visual stimuli and artefacts of the different religions studies, with an emphasis on experiential learning.


Religious Studies at GCSE is an objective and academic study of people and how religion affects their lives in this country and abroad. Philosophical and Ethical issues and fundamental questions of life and death are an integral part of this study. Assessment will be by means of two written examinations at the end of Year 11.

All students have opportunities to develop their skills in Religious Education at Key Stage 4. This is covered in the Welsh Baccalaureate course and gives students the opportunity and freedom to explore moral issues through various viewpoints of different religious teachings. All students are encouraged to develop their own opinions about the different moral issues as well as to appreciate that others may hold different views.


At A Level, students follow the WJEC specifications for Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics and Hinduism giving them the opportunity to explore fundamental questions of human existence.

Year 12 students take part in a Global Choices conference in which they have the opportunity to debate with faith representatives from a variety of traditions and to develop discussion, communication and critical argument skills.

Religious Education does not attempt to lead students towards a particular faith but it teaches tolerance of, and respect for, the differences which exist between people