dr Karolina Watras
Historia Sztuki, Uniwersytet w Cambridge, Courtauld Institute of Art w Londynie
dr Karolina Watras
Historia Sztuki, Uniwersytet w Cambridge, Courtauld Institute of Art w Londynie
  • Humanities investigate how we understand and interpret our experiences as human beings: who we are and how we relate to one another.

    At Akademeia High School, all the humanities subjects work closely together to provide our students with broad interdisciplinary frameworks of how past societies developed and how they influenced the contemporary world.

    Students are encouraged to examine past events and cultural developments from a number of perspectives: History, Polish, English and World Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, History of Art and Visual Culture.

Across these subjects, students learn analytical and interpretative methods inherent to each discipline while developing an ability to make connections between different ideas. Our aim is to educate students who not only value but also actively pursue a critical and creative engagement with the world around them.


In the first year of History, students follow an extensive chronological curriculum, focusing on periods and events that had a major impact on the relationship between citizen and state.

They also learn the key historical skills of interpreting and evaluating primary and secondary sources as well as understanding causes and effects of historical change.

The course prepares students for more in-depth studies in the History A-Level curriculum while providing a contextual background for other humanities.

History keeps changing as the past is continually reinterpreted

and used to justify everything from popular attitudes to government policy. This is why our students focus on developing skills in textual interpretation, source evaluation, and most importantly, the critical analysis of evidence and arguments. It is precisely these skills which will allow our students to see through the ways in which the historical past is used and abused today, avoid being manipulated, and select reliable sources of information in their daily lives.

This approach to History is a source of satisfaction for me and for our students, who enjoy engaging in historical debates and developing their own independent interpretations.

Jan Ladziński

English and World Literature

English and World Literature gives a unique opportunity to study English Literature as part of a wider global culture.

Through carefully selected case studies, students develop an ability to independently analyse literary texts while learning how to place them within specific literary contexts and genres.

From Norse and Celtic myths, through the legends of King Arthur, Romantic poetry, and twentieth century American drama, the course is a tour de force journey through the history of literature and ideas. It provides an invaluable basis for further studies in English Literature and Languages A Levels.

Of all subjects, the study of English Literature is

amongst the most intellectually and culturally enriching. Students undertaking courses at both pre-A and A Level will be equipped to analyse a wide range of texts in order to understand their significance, encompassing fields of linguistic, philosophical, and historical enquiry.

Seeking to understand the crafting of the great literary works in the Western canon helps students hone their own communication skills to an expert level.

Bella Szala

Religious Studies

It is impossible to make sense of the contemporary world without an understanding of the nature of religion and the role that it plays in that world.

Religious Studies offers the possibility to investigate the creation and interpretation of religious texts over consecutive historical periods.

In their first year, students can thus follow the development of major world religions, something which they can pursue further at A Level, when they also engage with philosophy of religion and ethics.

Polish Literature and Culture

The Polish curriculum actively stages a dialogue between past and present as well as national and international contexts.

It invites students to consider Polish cultural heritage through the prism of contemporary society and their own experiences.

Historical texts are studied in conjunction with contemporary literature and in the context of broader visual and material culture including film, mass and popular media.

In the study of Polish language,

we include the most important works both from Polish and world literature. Through analysis of historical literary works, we try to find a key to understanding the present.

It is most important to me that our students learn to think independently and are able to assess critically what they read.

Stefan Głowacki

History of Art

In History of Art we study how visual culture can shape and express human relations.

The subject introduces key visual analysis skills while inviting students to place past and contemporary artefacts within broader socio-cultural contexts. Art has served as a means of conveying various forms of authority and it has been a mode of interrogating social and cultural conventions.

In the History of Art A Level, students are encouraged to build further on these thematic approaches when examining artworks in the light of patronage, status, gender, nationality and ethnicity.

The modern world is visual:

vision has a long history of being the privileged sensory channel used by humans to perceive and explain the world they happen to live in. The primacy of vision is only reinforced in today’s reality where all spheres of our existence including social, professional and political are mediated through the image. From clothes to advertising and dating to social media campaigns we are both creators and consumers of pictures on a scale unprecedented in the past.

Art History at Akademeia High School traces the development of these visual traditions and equips students with tools to break down and analyse any image in its form as well as in relation to its historical context.”

Magdalena Strzelczak


Our Philosophy and Cognitive Science courses not only teach extensive history of philosophical thought but also encourage students to examine different ways of knowing and how our ethical systems affect life in society.

Philosophy complements Humanities and Social Sciences studies, encouraging students to draw across the disciplines while taking an autonomous and self-reflective approach to their learning.

Philosophy is an exercise in both free thought and logic,

a discipline that calls for imagining the most incredible and abstract scenarios while submitting to the rigor of clear reasoning.

Studying philosophical writings and engaging in philosophical discussions greatly broadens student horizons, inspiring the ability to see the world from many perspectives – not just for what it is, but also for what it could be.”

Dr Magdalena Szalewicz

YEAR 10 (iGCSE 1) In Year 10 everyone studies the six core humanities subjects:
– Critical Thinking
– English Language (streamed programme, IGCSE exam taken at either the end of Year 10 or 11)
– Polish
– History
– Visual and Musical Culture
– A Modern Language: German, French, Italian, Spanish, or Russian (streamed programme, IGCSE exam taken at either the end of Year 10 or 11)
YEAR 11 (iGCSE 2) In Year 11 those wishing to specialise in humanities will continue with the following subjects:
– English Literature (IGCSE exam taken in year 11)
– Integrated, interdisciplinary Humanities Curriculum:
World Literature
Global History (IGCSE exam taken in year 11)
History of Art
Religious Studies
YEARS 12 – 13 ( A Level) In Humanities and Languages, students can choose from:
– English Literature
– History
– History of Art
– Philosophy
– Religious Studies
– Modern Languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian
– Polish is taken by Polish native speakers as an additional A Level with one weekly class
Thanks to Humanities

I see the world in a multidimensional way – I can see it, taste it, hear it, say it and fully experience it from the inside out, thanks to the power of word and image.

Current A Level Student

Humanities work closely with the Creative & Performing Arts and Modern Languages Departments.

They provide a springboard for students pursuing creative subjects such as Art, Design, and Media, and for those wishing to develop a deeper knowledge of other languages and cultures.

Our students have received offers from the following top universities:

  • King’s College London, Culture, Media & Creative Industries
  • University of Edinburgh, History and Economics
  • Oxford Brookes University, English Literature with Creative Writing
  • University of Exeter, Film & Television Studies
  • University of York, Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance
  • University of Brighton, History of Art
  • University of Brighton, Media Studies
  • University of the Arts London, Media Communications
  • Goldsmiths, University of London, Anthropology and Media
  • Cardiff University, Journalism, Media and English Literature
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