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Social Sciences

economics

Economics is more relevant now than ever before. In the last decade, the global economy has been blighted by an historic financial crisis, and national economies have been tested to their limits in response. Austerity in Britain and sovereign debt crises abroad have heightened the tension and, since the 2016 referendum, Britain is also negotiating the most complex arrangement in its history – its removal from the EU, a highly integrated economic and political organisation. In Europe and America, central tenets of free market economics are challenged by populist policy-makers concerned with rising rates of inequality or dwindling living standards. Meanwhile, at the international stage, globalisation has experienced a crisis of confidence, with America electing a President partly committed to dismantling an economic system created by the United States. There is simply no better way to understand the full implications of this situation, as well as the causes for it and the potential solutions to it, than by studying Economics at A level.

Through microeconomics, students are given the opportunity to examine whether consumer behaviour is indeed rational, questioning the central assumption of centuries of economic thinking, and reflect on new considerations from psychology and sociology on the need to consider the non-rational sources of human behaviour. Business activity is analysed closely, giving students the chance to consider contemporary events from an informed position, for example, by asking whether the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda will benefit consumers, or how the continuing dominance of online behemoths undermines fair competition online.

Geography

The Geography department at Burgess Hill Girls seeks to provoke and address key questions about the natural and human worlds, encouraging an understanding of contrasting perspectives. It develops knowledge of place and environment, an understanding of maps, and a range of transferable investigative and problem-solving skills both inside and outside the classroom.

As such, the Geography department aims to prepare pupils for university, employment and adult life. Geography provides a focus within the school curriculum for understanding and resolving issues about the environment and sustainable development, providing an important link between the natural and social sciences.

As pupils study Geography they encounter different societies and cultures, helping them to realise how nations rely on each other and inspiring them to think about their own place in the world, their values, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.

History

Burgess Hill Girls has an enthusiastic History Department which strives to develop our students into confident and inquisitive individuals who will have a fuller understanding of the world they live in today. Through the development of analytical and discussion skills, we show the relevance of History and the impact it has upon the present day on a personal, national and international level.  We encourage students to think critically and want them to develop and articulate their own opinions about the past.

Our curriculum at Key Stage 3 covers a very broad range of History. In Year 7 we study the history of England from 1066 to 1450.  This allows students the opportunity to experience medieval days, (with some sword play!) and castle trips. We also study Britain from 1500 to 1750, examining how the United Kingdom was forged.

We begin Year 8 by examining the Industrial Revolution with a particular focus on the dreadful conditions workers faced in factories. Students go on to examine the 20th century world where they complete a depth study on how women gained the vote. From this we progress on to studying the causes, events and outcomes of the First World War.

History has always been a popular subject choice at GCSE and A level. We study the Pearson Edexcel GCSE course which covers Nazi Germany, the Cold War, Crime and Punishment from 1000 to present, and Anglo-Saxon and Norman England. The A level course is the AQA examination covering Russia 1854 to1964 and Britain 1952 to 2007.

Our historians produce balanced and well supported arguments. They learn how to extract information from historical sources and how to question their reliability, purpose and utility. History is complex and dynamic; through the investigation of cause and consequence and change and continuity, Burgess Hill Girls students grow in their understanding of the world, and as individuals.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies enables pupils to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions ever asked.  Whether you consider yourself religious or not, whether you believe religion has played a positive or negative role in history, it is an incontrovertible fact that religious belief has been with humanity since the very beginning. It is an attempt to explain those things for which we do not otherwise have an answer: why are we born, why do we suffer, what happens to us when we die?

Here at Burgess Hill Girls we study religion in order to learn more about how different aspects of human life—politics, science, literature, art, law, economics—have been and continue to be shaped by changing religious notions. By studying different religions, we can also come to understand how different communities of believers — past and present, East and West — have used their religious traditions to sustain and transform themselves.  More than ever before, the world we live in is both multicultural and global. It is almost certain that you will meet someone from any and all religious traditions at work or on the street. This makes it even more essential that our students cultivate their ability to understand and interpret other people’s religious traditions.

So, what can you do with Religious Studies? The study of religion helps you to learn how to think critically, listen empathetically, speak thoughtfully, and write clearly — all of which are skills that will be of great use no matter what you go on to do in life. It will also help you to better live and work in our increasingly diverse society. Students of religion go on to careers in a wide variety of fields including teaching, medicine, the social service, law, journalism, international business, diplomacy and many more besides.

Politics

Politics involves studying how we order our society, how we distribute power amongst ourselves, and how we administer order and allow for social change. Politics is not remote from everyday life; it is relevant to almost every aspect of the world around us. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to understand how the world works, and how they can change it. For any student at a loss about Britain’s changing relationship with the EU and the globe, or confused about the instability in Parliament, or enthralled in the melodrama of the Trump administration, or seeking a greater understanding of the value of liberty and social justice, Politics is an excellent choice. Politics students learn about the processes and institutions at the heart of government and how democratic systems operate. We study electoral systems, political parties, pressure groups and the influence of the media. We look in details at the relationship between Parliament, the Prime Minister, and the legal system, and study where power effectively lies in the UK.

We also examine the ideologies that define modern political thinking. Through liberalism we study the development of the concept of liberty and how political systems could uphold it. Through conservatism we learn about the importance of the past when analysing the present. Through socialism we consider the capacity of the state to deliver an equal standard of living for all. Through feminism, we consider the process of female empowerment and how it has been championed and upheld. With each ideology, we study key figures to gain a full appreciation of their words and values, providing a clear and coherent account of the history of Western political thought. The course also studies US politics up close. We evaluate the true effectiveness of American democracy, and look in detail at the relationship between the President and the other branches of government

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