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Exploring the Tapestry of Time and Terrain: Unveiling the Thrills of Geography and History at Network International School and beyond

Exploring the Tapestry of Time and Terrain: Unveiling the Thrills of Geography and History at Network International School and beyond

On 19th January, Tr Tom, as Head of Humanities and Teacher of History, and Tr Jon, as Head of Secondary and Teacher of Geography, spoke to parents about the benefits of studying the Humanities: History and Geography.

Network International School Yangon - Coffee Morning on Humanities Subject

Humanities?

Studying Humanities subjects is worthwhile for several reasons: they offer a broad and multifaceted understanding of the human experience, society, culture, and history. By studying History and Geography, students also gain transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, data interpretation and analytical skills. All of these are desirable qualities to have for an employer. 

History

History provides essential lessons from the past, shaping our understanding of the present and guiding informed decisions for the future. It is a subject which excites students and sparks their curiosity about the world. It should make them wonder how the world became like it is today. History is not just about dates, wars and monarchs. It allows students to appreciate change and continuity, become empathetic and understand contemporary issues which the world is facing. History helps our students to truly receive a holistic education at Network. 

KS3 History

At Key Stage 3, we foster a creative and inquisitive learning environment that allows the students to build the necessary skills for IGCSE History. Our students study a breadth of time periods, from ancient history to the twentieth century. This allows students to have a comprehensive understanding of human history. Students also study Burmese history at KS3, as it is important to know about the country in which they are living. 

Network International School Yangon - Teaching and learning History

KS4 History

At Key Stage 4, students are well prepared to complete the IGCSE course in History. The students will focus on the twentieth century in more detail but will already have some prior knowledge from KS3. Students will continue to develop their source analysis and academic writing skills in preparation for the final IGCSE exams.  

KS5 History

At A Level, historical theory is introduced. The students will understand why different historians have a different perspective on the same event. This skill is typically a challenge for the students to master but it is also a rewarding experience. By the end of the A Level History course, students will have a strong historical essay writing proficiency and solid analytical and evaluation skills. 

History Skills

As previously mentioned, by studying History, there is a multitude of transferable skills, which are developed. However, the students will also acquire good time management skills, become good decision makers and learn from historical mistakes and successes. The subject not only enhances the students intellectually but also personally. History students will enter their adult life as respectable and mature citizens of the world. 

History at University

History is a popular and well respected degree at university. After achieving an A Level in History, students have a plethora of degree choices to which they can pursue. They could focus solely on History or choose a more specific course such as Ancient History or Modern History. Some universities also offer degrees in regional history, such as Asian History. Alternatively, students can choose to study other social sciences at university. There are plenty of courses to which History lends itself well, such as Law, Politics and International Relations. 

Network International School Yangon - Teaching and learning History

Careers from History

There is no set route to follow for a History graduate. The degree opens many doors. The stereotypical career route which History graduates follow is the education industry. However, a large number of history graduates pursue a career in business, marketing and management as they have the transferable skills to suit the sector. Other common careers for History graduates are journalism and publishing, law and politics, and research and archival sciences. This demonstrates that History provides the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in many different fields. 

Geography

“What’s the capital of Spain?” “What’s the difference between the Australia and New Zealand flags?” These are often the types of questions that geographers are expected to answer, but Geography goes much deeper than just knowing facts and figures about places. Geography is about an understanding of our planet: it is about the interactions between the natural world and the human population; it is about the problems on the planet and the potential solutions. 

KS3 Geography

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to prepare students for the IGCSE course, but also to develop key skills and to enthuse and inspire students. We want them to develop a love for the subject and take an interest in the topics that are being discussed. As the oldest British school in Myanmar, the curriculum includes British geography, Myanmar geography and global geography.

KS4 Geography

At IGCSE, the course includes both human and physical geography topics, but also considers how the two are interconnected. The topics are delivered under three themes: Population and settlement, The natural environment; and Economic development.

There are two papers to highlight the multifaceted nature of Geography: one theory paper and one skills paper. Students are also required to conduct fieldwork, which is done across Yangon and compares the urban environment along a transect across the city.

Network International School Yangon - Teaching and learning Geography

KS5 Geography

At A Level, the course is taught by two teachers. One teacher covers Core Physical Geography and Advanced Physical Geography, while the other covers Core Human Geography and Advanced Human Geography. The topics covered are:

  Physical Human

Core Geography

(Year 12)

  • Hydrology and fluvial geomorphology
  • Atmosphere and weather
  • Rocks and weathering
  • Population
  • Migration
  • Settlement

Advanced Geography 

(Year 13)

  • Coastal Environments
  • Hazardous Environments
  • Global Interdependence
  • Economic Transition

 

Geography Skills

In Geography, students are required to write essays and reports, so writing is a crucial skill to develop. However, students will also deliver presentations, so develop presentation skills and the use of presentation software packages. Through considering problems at different scales, students are required to think creatively about potential solutions and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 

What particularly helps Geography to stand out is the skills that students develop around fieldwork. Through fieldwork, students are required to collect data, potentially by observation, but also potentially through talking to other people. They then need to collate the data, present the data, analyse the data and finally evaluate. These are all crucial skills in almost any workplace and so they are highly valued in any career.

Geography at University

The skills developed through Geography, as well as a global awareness and understanding, means that Geography at A Level can be used in an application for any subject at university.

In the event that a student has enjoyed Geography so significantly, they may be inclined to study it at university. Geography at university takes many guises and allows students to focus on all sorts of areas of Geography, from culture to tectonics; from identity to limestone landscapes; from international development to glaciation. There is something for everyone who has an interest in the planet, through studying Geography.

Network International School Yangon - Teaching and learning Geography

Careers from Geography

Then, what’s next? Well, a degree in Geography can open all sorts of doors for students. There is an obvious link with those wishing to go into business, but an understanding of international development can lead to a career in global finance or NGO work; an understanding of urban growth can lead to a career in architecture or urban planning; an understanding of climate change can lead to a role in sustainability in almost any industry; an understanding of cities and the management of their reputations can lead to a career in marketing; an understanding of society and social issues can lead to a career in law...These are just to name a few opportunities for students who go on to study Geography at university.

What’s next?

Studying the Humanities offers diverse benefits, cultivating critical thinking and global awareness. History and Geography provide insights into societal evolution and cultural landscapes, fostering a deep understanding of the past's impact on the present. Students gain valuable skills such as research and analysis, preparing them for various professions. Overall, they equip students with essential knowledge and skills for navigating the complexities of the modern world, and we hope that many Year 9s will choose to continue their studies in these subjects into IGCSE and that Year 11s will do the same into A Level.

There are three further Parents’ Coffee Mornings in Term 3, and we hope that many of you will be able to attend them over the coming weeks:

  • 16th February: Network as a Learning Environment - Principal Stephen
  • 1st March: The Importance of Reading  - Tr Mandie
  • 15th March: Applying to UK universities - Tr Jacob


Tom Roberts
Head of Humanities
Network International School
 

 

  • Secondary School
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Network International School Yangon - Anti Bullying Coffee Morning

Following a focus on community and inclusion through International Week at the end of Term 1, a focus on Bullying seemed the most appropriate topic for the first Parents’ Coffee Morning of Term 2. Therefore, Tr Jon spoke to parents about what we mean by bullying, what we do about it and how parents can support.