The Faculty

Mrs E Cavanagh (Maternity Leave) Head of Humanities/Head of History
Miss M Cave Assistant Headteacher/ Teacher of Humanities 
Miss R Douglass Teacher of Humanities
Ms T Jenkins Teacher of History (Maternity cover for Mrs Cavanagh)
Mrs J Lee Teacher of Psychology
Ms J Huzzey Head of Philosophy & Belief / PSHE / Citizenship
Mr A McLean Head of Geography
Miss S Mullen Teacher of Humanities
Mr I Murdoch Teacher of Philosophy & Belief 
Mrs S Robinson Teacher of Humanities

The faculty incorporates geography, history, philosophy and belief, psychology and citizenship. At the heart of our subjects are people; their thinking, actions and impact. The purpose of the humanities subjects are to develop informed and engaged citizens who have a broad understanding of societies, cultures and the environment. We aim to cultivate an atmosphere of curiosity about the world we live in: past, present and future. 


Geography at St Katherine’s inspires our students to develop an enquiring mind into how their world works and how they can shape, change and improve it.

Students learn about the physical and human world through a diverse and exciting range of topics.  We aim to ensure that key geographical abilities including map skills, graphical skills, numerical and statistical skills, literacy and the geographical enquiry process, are embedded into our curriculum.

Year 7 units are:

Being a Geographer

Geographical Frontiers

Brilliant Biomes

Crumbling Coasts

Population Problems

Year 8 units are:

Wild Weather

Journey to Japan

Wasteful Species

Unequal Planet      

Staggering Landscapes 

Year 9 units are:



Rainforests at Risk

Climate Crisis

Geography of Human Rights

KS4 Curriculum

At GCSE, we study EDEXCEL B. The course approaches learning through a set of topical and contemporary enquiry questions to engage and challenge students. We explore a range of issues affecting the world, the UK and our local area.

Unit 1 – Global Geographical Issues

Hazardous Earth

Development Dynamics

Challenges of Urban Growth

Unit 2 – UK Geographical Issues

The UK’s physical landscape

The UK’s human landscape


Unit 3 – People and Environmental Issues

People and the Biosphere

Forests under threat

Consuming resources

Fieldwork at GCSE

It is a national requirement that all GCSE Geographers undertake two occasions of fieldwork that covers one investigation into the physical world and one into the human world.  They are examined on their fieldwork in Unit 2. 

Able Gifted and Talented

The St Katherine’s Geography Department values academic excellence and we strongly believe in a culture of independence. Our Geography students have a comprehensive independent learning offer from Year 7 to Year 11. 

Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students to the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film. Regular films showing that supplement the curriculum include Hotel Rwanda, Supervolcano and 2012.



KS3 Curriculum

St. Katherine’s encourages students to analyse the world around them. We develop the skills needed to examine the wealth of evidence that survives from the past in order for students to reach their own judgements.  At GCSE we follow Edexcel SHP History courses, studying medicine and surgery.

We follow a chronological approach with a strong emphasis on the skills used in history to reflect and build the foundations of the concepts, processes and issues studied at GCSE and A Level.

Year 7 Units

  • An introduction to the key skills used in History
  • Medieval Realms

Year 8 Units

  • The Tudors
  • The Tudors and Stuarts
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • The Industrial Period

Year 9 Units

  • World War One
  •  Germany 1918 - 1939
  • The Holocaust
  • Diversity

KS4 Curriculum

We study the Edexcel History specification at GCSE. 

GCSE Units

Unit 1 – A Thematic study and historic environment – Medicine in Britain, c1250-present and
The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-1918: injuries, treatment and the trenches
Unit 2 – A Period study of International history and a British depth study – The American West
and Henry VIII
Unit 3 – A Modern depth study – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939

Philosophy and Belief

We encourage students to explore the world of Philosophy, Ethics and Religion and to reflect on their own ideas and the world in which they live. Students are given the skills to become reflective independent thinkers and encouraged to be open-minded and curious about the world around them. The KS4 curriculum builds on the themes developed in KS3 and students study the OCR GCSE course in Philosophy and Applied Ethics and the EdExcel ‘A’ Level syllabus.

KS3 Curriculum

Year 7 Units

  • What matters?
  • What does it mean to be good?
  • Whom am I and what do I believe?
  • The Island

Year 8 Units

  • Buddhism
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Islam
  • Christianity
  • Wealth and Poverty

Year 9 Units

  • What happens when we die?
  • How can we make society a fairer place?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • The philosophical problem of evil and suffering
  • Crime and punishment

KS4 Curriculum

There are eight units studied at KS4 that deal with a variety of ethical, philosophical and religious issues. Where religious views are studied they are Christian. The students are examined by four one hour examinations at the end of Year 11.

Year 10/11 Units

KS4 Philosophical and Ethical Issues include:
● Relationships (families, sex, marriage and gender equality)
● Life and Death (the origin of life, the value or otherwise of human and animal life, Life after Death, Abortion and Euthanasia)
● Good and Evil (the nature of good and evil and the religious responses to the
philosophical problem of evil and suffering, Crime and Punishment and forgiveness)
● Human Rights (Human Rights, Social Justice, Wealth and Poverty and Religion in the 21st Century
● We also study the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Buddhism

Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film and from September 2013 the Philosophy and Belief department will seek to run a Philosophy club along the lines of the P4C programme outlined above.

Able, Gifted and Talented

The St Katherine’s History Department values academic excellence and we strongly believe in a culture of independence. Our History students have a comprehensive independent learning offer from reception in Year 7 through to Year 11. 

Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students to the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film. Regular films showing that supplement the curriculum.

Contact details

Ellie Cavanagh, Head of Humanities:

Courses and Qualifications

GCSE Geography Edexcel
GCE  Geography Edexcel
GCSE History Edexcel  
GCE History OCR
GCSE Philosophy & Belief WJEC Eduqas