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Humanities Faculty


“Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in.  It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future.  What could be more important than that?” (Michael Palin, 2007).

Geography is all about inspiring students to learn about the world around them, to travel and to see the world, but also to understand their place in the world as a Global Citizen.  We cover a variety of topics and teach in a range of ways to ensure students consider different view points and understand the knock-on effects and layers of complexity in the world in which we live.  Students will cover both physical and traditional geography topics, as well as human disciplines which are ever changing.  More importantly, they will appreciate how the two overlap and interact to see that humans affect the physical environment and vice versa.

Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all students study Geography with topical schemes of work that are taught in a variety of ways to develop student’s geographical skills and prepare them for GCSE. Below is a sample of the topics studied in Years 7 and 8.

– In Year 7 students begin by investigating ‘What is Geography?’ before undertaking a unit on Energy and Resources, looking at non-renewable and renewable energy and problems/benefits associated with each.  Another unit is 'Rivers' where students investigate the processes that lead to the changing profile of a river as it travels downstream and the features found along a rivers course.  An exciting and engaging unit is 'Plate Tectonics' where students investigate the processes that drive earthquakes and volcanic activity and the effects these events have on human activity.  We also look at Global development and why some countries have higher birth and death rates and why some countries have longer life expectancies and higher literacy rates.

– In Year 8 students begin by studying ‘Population Change’ with a focus on population problems in rich and poor countries.  Also covered is ‘Tourism’ in different landscapes, the impact this activity has on people and the environment and how this can be managed sustainably.  Another topic covered is ‘Settlement’ in which students examine the locations of settlements, the problems that occur within urban areas and the ways in which these can be solved or managed.

Key Stage 4
During Key Stage 4, the current Year 10 and 11 students follow the AQA A syllabus, which is broken down into six units of study.

Paper 1 Physical Geography topics:

– The Restless Earth

- Water on the Land

– The Coastal Zone

Paper 2 Human Geography topics:

- Population Change

– Changing Urban Environments

– Tourism

Students are assessed via two examinations (37.5% each) and a controlled assessment (25%).  The controlled assessment requires students to carry out an investigation, whereby they collect fieldwork along the Loughton Brook river, writing up their findings under controlled supervision.

Current Year 9 students have embarked upon the new AQA specification which has now been fully accredited.  The specification offers a wide range of human and topics which are aimed at preparing students for the challenges their generation will face.

Paper 1 is a physical paper covering various hazards, extreme weather, coastal and river landscapes and a variety of ecosystems.  Paper 2 is a human paper which covers a variety of urban issues and challenges, the varying economic wealth of countries and the associated quality of life, and the challenges of resource management, e.g. global disparities in water, food and energy distribution.  The final paper, Paper 3 tests students analytical and decision making skills and their knowledge of fieldwork techniques.

In order to meet the requirement of Paper 3, we will be embarking on two separate fieldwork trips, where we will collect data on both a physical and a human area of study e.g. we will visit the Loughton Brook river in Epping Forest to take physical measurements in the field.  To meet our Human fieldwork obligation we may visit Romford Shopping area, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Students are assessed via three examinations:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (35%)

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35%)

Paper 3: Geographical applications (30%)

The Geography Department believes strongly in the benefits and enrichment of field trips. In addition to the compulsory fieldwork trips that all students have to undertake to pass the course, we also provide the opportunity for Key Stage 4 students to attend field trips to Italy and Iceland where they have the exciting chance to experience Geography in action.

                                               Italy School Trip                               Epping Forest Fieldwork Trip                    Iceland School Trip


'Study the past if you wish to shape the future' (Conficius).

The History department prides itself on inspiring young people to make the world a better place.

We aim to teach our students about more than just what happened in the past.  We believe that young people should learn how the past affects society today and the lessons that can be learnt from past civilisations.

Students are given a clear picture of how all events, no matter how far away they seem, have a profound impact on the way we live our lives today.  We encourage our students to analyse, evaluate and question decisions made and consider how this has shaped modern society.

The department is always keen to use innovative techniques to develop our students interest in History.  Our designated Twitter page and YouTube Channel help to engage students.

'Watch the news on TV, or read a newspaper and you'll soon see for yourself the importance and value of studying History.  The major events that shape our lives - from the global economic crisis to 9/11 - cannot be properly understood without reference to their historical roots .  Studying History gives us the tools to better understand our world and appreciate how the past influences the present and the future.' (Professor Vic Gattrell, History Fellow at the University of Cambridge).

Key Stage 3

We build on students prior knowledge from KS2; studying the following topics:

Year 7

Local History: the history of Havering up to 1900; the importance of RAF Hornchurch during the Second World War; Havering inside 1945 and the current demography of the borough.

Norman Conquest: English society in 1066; the three contenders to the throne; the Battle of Hastings; castle building (with a project where students create a model castle) and how the Normans changed England.

Church vs. State: the rivalry between English Monarchs and the Church, including: the murder of Thomas Becket; The reign of King John; Henry VIII and the English Reformation.

The English Civil War: the causes of the Civil War; the reasons for parliament's victory; life in England under Oliver Cromwell and the Restoration and Glorious Revolution.

The French Revolution: the causes, events and consequences of the Revolution for France and the wider world.

The Impact of the Railways on British Society: introduces students to the effects of the industrial Revolution.  Students then complete an independent project about how the growth of railways in Britain afefcted society.

Year 8

History of Slavery in the Americas: reasons behind slavery; the key features of the triangular trade; life for slaves; the campaigns for abolition; the American Civil War and the eventual abolition of slavery.

Civil Rights in the USA: the causes of conflict between the black and white communities in the USA; the Ku Klux Klan; the Jim Crow Laws; segregation in action; the role of Martin Luther King and other individuls and groups and the significance of the 'I have a dream' speech.

Law and Lawmaking Through Time: how the notion of crime and punishment in Britain has changed and developed from Roman rule until the modern day, including how attitudes to crime have changed.

The Case of Jack the Ripper: living and working conditions in the East End of London in the 1880s; Jack the Ripper's victims, the roles of the Metropolitan and City Police forces; evidence available at the time and asks questions to consider the answer to the question: 'Who was Jack the Ripper?'

The Effects of War on Civillans: how the experience of civillians at times of war has changes in Britain, with students independently producing a project about the Home Front during both world wars.

The History department believes in the importance of developing students' interest in the subject in and out-of-classroom context.

Some of the extra-curricular activities we offer are:

- 4 days visit to Krakow: this trip includes visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Schindler's Factort and guided tours of the city.  Previous attendees have described the trip as 'life-changing' and 'something that everyone should do'.  This trip takes place every two years and is offered to students in Years 9, 10 and 11.

- Ypres Salient: annually, all students in Year 9 are offered the opportunity to visit the city of Ypres in Belgium.  This trips includes visiting preserved First World War trenches, Tyne Cot and Langemarck cemeteries and observing the Last Pots Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

- National Service of Remembrance: again, this trip is offered annually.  Students are invited to attend the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Westminster and the field of poppies, which is displayed outside Westminster Abbey.

- British Museum: students are offered the opportunity to spend a day exploring the exhibits at the British Museum.

- Jack the Ripper Walk: this trip will be offered annually to Year 10 students as part of their study of the case of Jack the Ripper.

Student Development


In PSHE students learn about Sexual Health and Relationships as well as Substance abuse. In Citizenship topics such as The Law, Crime and Punishment, Media, Britain a multicultural society, Government and the European Union are covered.

Lessons are engaging and are both teacher and student led. Speakers are invited to facilitate some lessons and trips to Havering College, Romford Magistrates Courts and Parliament are organised annually.

GCSE Citizenship students must complete two Active Citizenship Campaigns. Some of the campaigns that was done in the past include; Healthy Schools, Fair Trade and International Day.

The department has an interactive white board, camera and video recorder.

The exam board used is OCR and both the short and full course is offered.

Religious Education

As R.E. teachers we walk a tightrope between engagement and objectivity. We have to see faiths as an outsider would view them but retain the ability to make judgement as to what will benefit students at Redden Court, creating the best possibilities for personal growth.

The R.E. department has grown in leaps and bounds since 2002. It still remains a popular option for Students sitting GCSE at KS4, although not included in the Ebacc. In 2007 RCS was the first secondary school to receive the Michael Edwards award for the most innovative teaching and learning in Havering. May it long continue along this vein?

R.E. is an academic field of study that examines the secular beliefs, behaviours and institutions. It contributes to student’s wider development including SMSC and also SEAL. It also enables students to explore contentious issues, develop an opinion whilst still respecting others viewpoints. Students are given the opportunity to carry forward they own personal search for what is true and what is good.

Our aim as a department is to make R.E. accessible to all students of faith and secular stances. We also aim to enable students to develop positive attitudes to learning and the beliefs of others. We want them to also should develop self-awareness, respect for all, open-mindedness, appreciation and wonder. Another aim is to engage them in argument and thought –provoking activities thereby learning to disagree respectfully.  Lastly to ensure students are prepared for this world by creating a high quality learning environment with a positive contribution to society.

While the KS3 students, (Years 7 and 8) attempt to answer the big questions in life like, ‘Why are we here?’ or ‘where do we go when we die?’ GCSE KS4 concentrates on human rights, moral decisions, genetic engineering, war and peace, justice, bullying and attitudes to drugs and alcohol. It helps students to think through the big issues in life and helps to remove ignorance that causes prejudice, hatred and violence. It also serves to protect them from indoctrination.

Staff List

Head of Faculty and Teacher of Geography

Mrs K. Raftery

Geography Subject Leader

Miss H. Webster

Teacher of Geography

Miss K. Gilbert

Assistant Head Teacher and Teacher of Geography

Miss T. Greaves

History Subject Leader   

 Mr J. Benstead

Teacher of History

Mrs L. Baker

Teacher of History

Miss N. Bowler

Subject Leader for RE and Citizenship
Mr M. Cockle