"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The History Department is committed to developing a sense of the significance of the past and its people and an understanding that an awareness of historical events might be applied to the political, social, economic and religious issues of the present.
History Department Objectives
History is concerned with the study and appreciation of the past. It contributes to pupils' understanding of the world and its interdependence, achievements and aspirations.
The Department aims to give pupils an appreciation of the events and people that have shaped the past and in turn, the world they live in. It works to assist the development of lively, enquiring minds that question and construct rational argument. In addition, the Department seeks to develop the history skills of pupils, such as extended writing and source work and to make access across the key stages a smooth transition. There are many cross curricular links to subjects such as English, Citizenship and RE.
In all years the Department uses a variety of skills, including source work, debates, and visual, written and oral presentations. A variety of textbooks and other resources - including pictures, video, music, and interactive whiteboard activities are used to enable students to develop their historical skills and appreciation of the subject.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students follow an ‘Integrated Humanities’ course, which covers History, Geography, Citizenship and Religious Studies. The topics covered are:
- The Crusades - from a religious and historical perspective
- Living the British Life
- Earthquakes & Tsunamis
- Tudor England
- Rivers and Coasts
- Crime & Punishment
From Year 8 students start to prepare for GCSE in subject-specific lessons. In History, the aim is to develop a passion for History as well as introduce skills and knowledge that will help at KS4. The topics covered are:
- The First World War
- Who was Jack the Ripper?
- Why did the Nazis get into power?
- The Holocaust
- An introduction to the Cold War
Each year we invite in a guest speaker from the Holocaust Educational Trust.
In Year 7 students are taken on a trip to the Tower of London each year
In Year 8 guest speakers are invited in from the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE we follow the Edexcel History specification. This covers a broad range of time periods as well as both British and World History. The exam papers are:
Paper 1 – Thematic Study
(1 hour 15 minutes)
- Medicine in Britain from 1250-present day - what factors have caused change and continuity across different ages and aspects of society? What key events, people and developments have shaped medicine and how can we make comparisons between the different periods studied?
- The British Sector of the Western Front - students develop the skills to analyse historical documents with a focus on medicine and surgery during the First World War
Paper 2: Period Study and British Depth Study
(1 hour 45 minutes)
- Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1945-1991- The Origins of the Cold War; Cold War Crises e.g. the Cuban Missile Crisis; The End of the Cold War
- Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1558 - a detailed study of society, people and events. Pupils need to show an understanding of how the different aspects of the period fit together
Paper 3 - Modern Depth Study
(1 hour 20 minutes)
- Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 - This depth study focuses on a substantial and coherent short time span and requires students to understand the complexity of a society or a historical situation and the interplay of different aspects within it. Pupils learn to analyse historians’ views of the past as well as documents from the time.
Key Stage 5
History is rigorous, challenging and designed to give a broad programme of study.
It is split into four key topics:
- Russia 1917-1991: from Lenin to Yeltsin
- Mao’s China, 1939-76
- Disorder and Rebellion Under the Tudors, 1485-1603
- Coursework: 4,000 word essay on either 20th century Russia or the Holocaust
The History department encourages students to take a mature approach to their studies and expects each individual to be responsible for their own learning, working with their teachers in order to be as successful as possible.
Assessment is through terminal examinations after two years’ study. Students may have the option of taking an AS examination at the end of year 12 to assess their understanding of the first year’s content. The AS award is a stand-alone qualification and the result does not contribute to the overall A Level grade. Students are taken to examiner workshops each year as part of their revision and exam preparation.