Learning pathway in secondary: Humanities

Humanities is a continually developing subject which helps pupils both understand and look to shape the world around them. At Wellington College International Hangzhou, we focus primarily on British History and its impact on the wider world and the geographical based lessons focus on topics that effect the local surroundings and the wider world. This allows Wellington to fully prepare our pupils to be true ‘global citizens’ that can play an active role in a rapidly developing world. Due to the nature of the subject many aspects of the course dovetail with other subjects. The syllabus for key stage 3 is based on the UK National Curriculum requirements and the year will be split into topics through which key skills will be studies.

In this article, Mr. Joseph Owen, Head of Humanities, together with Mr. Matthew Perkins, geography teacher, offer a brief overview about the history and geography subjects covered in Key Stage 3.


At Wellington College International Hangzhou, we are very fortunate to have pupils from different nationalities, cultures and beliefs which helps make history an engaging and lively subject. As we have such a diverse cohort, pupils come to us with different interpretations of history which results in friendly debates in class.

We follow the British curriculum during Key Stage 3. In Year 7 the curriculum focuses on ancient history, medieval history and developing chronology skills. Topics include the Romans, Normans and the Tudors. In Year 8 and 9 the curriculum focuses on world history and thematic approaches, connecting themes together. Topics taught in Year 8 include the Triangular Slave Trade and the British Empire. In Year 9 pupils learn about World War I and II and the roaring twenties in America. Our curriculum is designed to prepare pupils for the rigour of IGCSE History by having the following skills embedded into the Key Stage 3 curriculum; being able to identify causes and consequences, assessing utility and reliability of sources and being able to understand and explain different interpretations.


At Wellington College International Hangzhou, pupils are encouraged to become critical thinkers who do not merely accept information. They are provided with the opportunity to conduct independent research and fieldwork outside of the classroom. Pupils are taught how to analyse, evaluate and reflect on their learning. Geography is a dynamic subject and, at Wellington, we make use of current sources and real-life examples at a local, national and international scale.

In Year 7, pupils start with regional studies, including the physical features and population of Asia. Later in the year, they focus on China, including the climate, environmental issues, rural-urban migration and megacities. In Year 8, pupils develop map skills, including calculating distance, direction, bearing and grid references. They also explore weather, climate, air pressure, tropical cyclones and climate regions around the world. In Year 9, pupils analyse plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes and why people choose to live in dangerous or restless parts of the world.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum follows the British curriculum and is designed to prepare pupils for IGCSE Geography. The analysis of sources, such as photographs, maps and tables, is a key component as well as pupils making use of evidence to support their verbal and written responses. Pupils are taught to investigate the causes and effects of global issues (such as deforestation and traffic congestion) and then attempt to create sustainable solutions.

Applications are now being welcomed for the 2021-22 academic year. However, if you are moving to Hangzhou prior to the next academic year we are very happy to accommodate your requirements. We can offer you and your family a personalised tour where you will meet the Master and experience our excellent teaching and learning. Please contact admissions team via (+86-571) 8239 6366 or admissions.wcih@wellingtoncollege.cn for more information.