Which subjects are in our faculty?

  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Religion and Ethics

What do we do?

The subjects offered in our world studies faculty ensure – through a knowledge-rich curriculum – that our students understand the world we live in today, developing the skills and knowledge required to function effectively in society.


Geography covers a variety of exciting and relevant topics at key stage 3.  In year 7, students begin by studying the world around them, followed by map skills.  Students across the Community phase study a range of physical and human geography themes including; natural hazards, rivers, ecosystems, coasts, economic activity, development alongside place examples which include; Africa, China and India.

Throughout key stage 3, students develop their teamwork and investigation skills, together with report writing and graphical skills. We keep students up to date with global affairs ensuring geography is challenging, enjoyable and relevant. We enhance students local and global knowledge.

At GCSE, students study a range of topics on the natural world, human challenges and geographical investigation.

Students have the opportunity to complete fieldwork activities each year.


History at Kirkby College focuses on students developing core knowledge of a wide range of historical events – they also develop a solid understanding of key historical concepts and skills. We ensure our students can draw their own conclusions based on evidence, rather than simply accepting information at face value.

Lessons are enjoyable, diverse and interesting, instilling in students a passion for learning and resulting in critical thinkers prepared for future studies. Enquiries are often linked to modern examples enabling students to find links with their own experiences.

In year 7, students build their skills through an in-depth study of Medieval England exploring the Norman Conquest and the Black Death. Following this, in year 8 they consider change through a study of crime and punishment and then focus on modern history in year 9, examining key questions, such as ‘what have we learned from the events of the Holocaust?

The foundations of successful study at GCSE have been laid in key stage 3.  There are four areas of study, each of which builds knowledge and skills:

  • Medicine and health through time (c1250 – present)
  • The American West
  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918 – 1939)

Modern foreign languages

Learning languages at Kirkby College builds on students’ previous experiences, whichever languages they have previously studied. From year 7, all students will study French from year 7 developing their language learning skills through a range of topics into year 8. By the end of year 8, students should be able to understand and produce short paragraphs which include opinions and familiar examples of the past and future tense.

During year 9, students work towards a Level 1 FCSE qualification in preparation for beginning their GCSE course in year 10, producing a portfolio of assessments across three topic areas.

At key stage 4, students build on the content they have previously covered in years 7-9 as they prepare for GCSE exams. They are introduced to more complex texts and exposed to authentic literature in the target language – staff support students to become more spontaneous in speaking and writing, and also develop strategies for identifying key information when listening and reading.

Students cover the following themes at key stage 4:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international, and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Religion and ethics

Religion and ethics is an interesting subject with increasing importance as we live in a multi-faith society – respect, tolerance and understanding of different religious communities is an ever-present issue.  Students gain an informed understanding of some world religions with a key focus on making religion and ethics relevant. We cover topics that encourage critical thinking and analytic skills, and challenge students to form opinions on controversial and thought provoking issues.

At key stage 3, students study a variety of spiritual, moral, cultural, and ethical issues.

Year 7 students begin with a study of the six main world religions with a specific look at belief structures, culminating in challenging students to define their own beliefs. Students also learn about ethics and animal rights. Year 8 students begin with a unit on believing in God before moving on to learn about inspirational figures such as Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King and how they fought for their causes. In year 9, students cover a range of topics such as matters of life and death including euthanasia and abortion.

In key stage 4 students can develop their understanding further and study a GCSE in religious education. The course focuses on the beliefs and teachings of Buddhism and Christianity; however, students also explore issues such as:

Religion and life

Relationships and families

Crime and punishment

Human rights and social justice

What enrichment is on offer?

  • Geography fieldwork
  • Curriculum visits, including Leeds Thackery Museum and Warwick Castle
  • Residential trip to Normandy (runs every 2 years)
  • Memorial days – Holocaust and Remembrance Day
  • French and Spanish cinema and food experiences


Head of faculty – Mrs Michelle Smith

Email address: msmith@kirkbycollege.notts.sch.uk