Humanities Mission Statement
The Humanities department is leading the way with the school's new vision of High-Performance Learning (HPL). Now that we have been accredited (the first and only school in Africa!) we have created learning conditions for pupils to succeed based upon growth mindsets. We encourage our pupils to take risks without fear of failure and try to ‘lift the lid on learning’, enabling more pupils to try more challenging work thus helping to raise attainment. We believe there is a moral imperative to develop curricula that do not put a ceiling on pupil achievement. The department promotes Enquiry Based Learning (EBL), one of the 7 pillars of HPL, getting the pupils fully engaged to solve problems and gain new skills to take on the challenges of the 21st century. We explain where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies, and environments are interconnected in a drive to become more sustainable linking to the United Nations 2015 Goals. In particular, we play a pivotal role in raising awareness and tackling Climate Crisis issues. We believe this is our moral purpose and obligation as the leading school in Alexandria.
The Humanities Curriculum has been crafted by our specialists to the bespoke needs of our BSA pupils. It is both inspirational and aspirational and caters for the post-educational needs in the rapidly changing world. We have developed a culture of committed shared values in the department, equipping pupils with a tool kit and the skills to be resilient learners. Our teachers have a desire for all pupils to succeed and belief that they can. We have created a supportive climate in which everyone’s voice matters and collaborate to solve problems, discuss and debate issues of this century. Teachers here have created a shared thirst for learning and develop that sense of awe and wonder.
The Humanities Curriculum has been designed as spiraling EBL themes and through embracing rich Geography knowledge in line with the ‘ knowledge rich curriculum’. The pupils’ accumulation of knowledge helps them to approach fieldwork more maturely. The curriculum supports pupils in anchoring Geography processes in their long term memory, so that it becomes knowledge they can always access in their working memories. This knowledge spirals upwards in intensity as pupils travel through the key stages. We are stretching and challenging the hearts and minds of pupils throughout their school journey with extension work.
We equip our pupils with learning power and character traits through field trips. These soft skills are linked to HPL such as the Concern for Society value, which helps provide the pupils with the cultural capital to invest in the future. The shared values of BSA help the pupils to develop an all-encompassing love for learning by being outdoors. This ecotherapy helps to improve mental and physical wellbeing through engaging in outdoor activities in nature and lies at the heart of our curriculum. What a wonderful way to learn at BSA.
Fieldtrip Matrix for Geography
Please click on the below website addresses from the school to see what wonderful field trips the Humanities Department are leading:
- The highest Mark in Africa, GCSE History - Nabil Felix Dowidar-Jackson
- Haya Kassem
The Big Vision, The BSA Way
A big part of the Humanities vision is the promotion of the ‘Green Agenda’ and tackling the Climate Crisis. The recent focus on plastic in the ocean campaigns inspired us to do our first beach clean-up on the Corniche this year. The Minister of Environment recently read out in parliament one of our pupil's letters about protecting the environment. We work closely with Banlastic and Go Clean to further the environment crusade. Furthermore, we have been heavily promoting reusable products designed by BSA pupils such as a BSA water bottle and carrier bag. The Eco Warriors gang have been instrumental in introducing and promoting recycling through the whole of BSA, ranging from paper to plastic which is collected daily by the Kafr Abdou Community Group. Also a campaign to save energy in Egypt’s current energy-starved situation has been implemented. We even provided the original idea for this Group by our regeneration project in the Allenby gardens next to the British Consulate a few years ago. A longtime charity favourite is raising money for Water Aid and trying to encourage the principle of the universal right to access to clean water and sanitation. It’s clear that the department is hands-on when it comes to project work and is making a difference in the community! “Act local and think global” is our motto which interlinks with the school principles of Global Citizenship and HPL Concern for Others focus. Also, we are promoting sustainability and acting responsibly in line with the new Sustainable Development Goals with the United Nations. Check out our pictures below showing the green agenda.
“I really enjoy Geography because we do lots of different activities like debates, which really help me to learn.”
“We need Geography; it teaches us about real-world problems.”
“Geography is amazing because it expands our knowledge and teaches us how to think for ourselves.”
Edexcel IGCSE Geography overview
Geography is optional at IGCSE and A Level.
Here are a few of the key skills developed in Geography:
- develop and apply practical geographical enquiry skills
- undertake geographical investigations that include both primary and secondary
data collection and presentation, analysis and drawing conclusions
- develop and apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork
- develop their awareness of global issues and recognise the need for a
Paper 1: Physical geography Externally assessed • 70 marks 40%
- Section A: Coastal environments
- Section B: Hazardous environments including fieldwork from Coasts
Assessment Examination of 1 hour and 10 minutes, consisting of two sections. The questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data-response and open-ended questions.
Paper 2: Human geography
105 marks 60% of the total International GCSE Content summary
Assessment Examination of 1 hour and 45 minutes, consisting of three sections. The questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data-response and open-ended questions.
- Section A : economic activity and energy and urban environments.
- Section B fieldwork-related question on: urban environments.
- Section C: fragile environments and climate change or development and human welfare.
We encourage and challenge our pupils not just in lesson time but at home. Here are some useful websites to consolidate and further research topics:
There are two papers for International Edexcel AS Level:
IAS Unit 1: Global Challenges
Externally assessed Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
90 marks 60% of the total IAS 30% of the total IAL Content overview
- Topic 1: World at Risk
- Topic 2: Going Global
- Section A: Data response and short-answer questions.
- Section B: Choice of longer/guided essay questions, on either Topic 1: World at Risk or Topic 2: Going Global. IAS
Unit 2: Geographical Investigations
Externally assessed Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes Availability: January and June
60 marks 40% of the total IAS 20% of the total IAL Content overview
- Topic 1: Crowded Coasts
- Topic 2: Urban Problems, Planning and Regeneration
- Section A: Data response and short-answer questions on Topics 1 and 2: Crowded Coasts and Urban Problems, Planning and Regeneration.
- Section B: Compulsory short-answer questions on research and fieldwork investigation.
- Section C: one fieldwork question on Topic 2: Urban Problems, Planning and Regeneration.
Edexcel International GCSE History overview
History is optional at IGCSE and A Level.
Paper 1: Depth Studies
Pupils study two depth studies.
Germany: development of dictatorship, 1918-45
A world divided: superpower relations, 1943-72
Paper 2: Investigation and Breadth Studies
Pupils study one historical investigation and one breadth study.
The Middle East: conflict, crisis and change, 1917-2012
Summary of the paper in History:
Paper 1: 50% of exam total. 1 examination of 1 hour and 30 minutes
Paper 2: 50% of exam total. 1 examination of 1 hour and 30 minutes
Useful websites to consolidate and further research can be found on:
International A Level Edexcel
This course is modular and is not solely examined at the end of the two-year course. Pupils have the flexibility to re-sit any module during different times of the two-year course.
Edexcel International Advanced Subsidiary GCE in History. Course code: XHI01
Unit 1: Depth Study with Interpretations
Unit 2: Breadth Study with Source Evaluation
Russia, 1917-91: From Lenin to Yeltsin
Unit 1: 1 paper of 2 hours
Unit 2: 1 paper of 2 hours