This subject stream is centred on human beings, our cultures and civilisations. Students will explore how humans have shaped the physical world and the world of ideas. In addition, they will consider how the physical world has in turn shaped human activity.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, young people will work fluidly, analysing issues of language, literature, history, philosophy, religion and human geography, to get an understanding of how and why human civilisation has developed as it has.
Students will master the vocabulary and grammar needed to describe and analyse the present, the past, and future imaginings of human civilisations. Skills development will run alongside knowledge acquisition as students learn to read critically, write powerfully, work with primary sources, and use technical diagrams and data to understand and explain the world.
Through this stream, students can work towards iGCSEs in English Language, English Literature, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Philosophy.
Download a copy of our Year 7 Arts Curriculum: Sample Curriculum
Explore the Arts in more detail
English Language and Literature
We believe that the study of literature and the mastery of language are central to a young person’s intellectual development.
Our English Language and Literature programme is designed to expose students to wonderful examples of English language writing, while nurturing in them the technical and creative skills to be able to express themselves fluidly and powerfully in writing.
We have a robust creative writing programme that encourages students to regularly express themselves through fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. This runs alongside our literary criticism programme which teaches students how to evaluate the use of language.
We are very proud of the fact that we follow a world literature programme here at Dartford Excelsior. We believe that the study of literature is a gateway to understanding the world beyond one’s experience. Each year we select books that truly reflect the internationalism of the English language and the universality of the human experience.
In all this we aim to hone in students a love of discovering alternative narratives as well as a robust command of the English language, through which they can share their ideas with the world.
We are proud to teach a truly world history programme here at Dartford Excelsior, which takes into account the contributions made by all peoples to the development of civilisation.
Students will follow the histories of peoples in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, learning to see that our cultures and ideas are the result of the interaction of all peoples that currently and have previously lived on the planet.
Another distinguishing feature of our historical studies is our emphasis on independent research, engagement with primary and secondary sources, and the consideration of history as a subjective discipline. Students will develop an appreciation for the historic politicisation of histories. In this way they will develop an awareness of their own abilities to shape the development of future historical narratives.
At iGCSE, our history programme is one of the most challenging courses we teach, as we teach far beyond the syllabus. However, with our emphasis on essay writing and the development of independent thought, it is the course within which students can most develop and stretch their ideas, grappling with narratives in group and individual tutorials.
Religion and Philosophy
Studying religion is to study how people understand themselves and their purpose on the planet. Our religious studies programme aims to guide students in their thinking about morality, spirituality and religious practice.
Our programme explores the relationship between religion and science and politics, examining questions on the existence of God and religion as statecraft. Students will have the opportunity to engage in intellectual discourse, grappling with issues of life and death such as euthanasia and the morality of war.
Students will also study the histories, philosophies and practices, not just of “major” religions, but also of other religious practices often left out of the syllabus including, African and North American animism, Aboriginal totem, and the minority faiths of the Middle East and Asia. Through the study of religious practice, students will learn understanding and tolerance for other world views.
Human and Physical Geographies
The teaching of human and physical geographies is very important in helping young people to develop their compassion for the world and peoples around them.
Addressing issues such as the fragility of ecosystems, the exploitation of finite natural resources, and the challenges and opportunities of migration, this course is perhaps the most relevant for young people looking to truly understand and have an impact on their world today.
Our aim is to develop in young people a passion for the planet, nurturing them into responsible global citizens with consideration for the effects of human action on the physical and biological environment.
Utilising the latest technology and empowering students to explore their own worlds for inspiration, our dynamic programme produces enthusiastic geographers brimming with a deep understanding of the world around them.