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History

History is not only the study of the events of the past, but also the study of how the past is represented and how we, as students of the past, can interpret the information that we receive. It teaches students to be critical, particularly by analysing historical sources and evaluating the validity of different perspectives. These are crucial skills in a modern world where people have access to an ever increasing amount of, often contradictory, completely unfiltered, information.

History is taught to all students in Key Stage 3. History GCSE is offered as an option in Key stage 4. It is also offered at both A Level and IB in the Sixth Form.

Course Offerings

Course Title Qualifications Obtainable Awarding Body
Key Stage 4 Courses
GCSE History Edexcel
Key Stage 5 Courses
A Level History Edexcel
IB History IBO
Year 7
Curriculum Content: Students have three lessons per fortnight. They focus on British history, starting with the Norman Conquest including the Battle of Hastings and the different claims to the throne in 1066. They then examine life in Medieval Britain, such as the daily life of a peasant. They then look at Tudor History, focusing on the lives and decisions of Henry VIII and Elizabeth in particular. They then examine the causes and events of the English Civil War and finally the impact of the Industrial Revolution, particularly on the lives of the young.
Year 8
Curriculum Content: Again, students have three lessons per fortnight. In Year 8, students have the opportunity to study more modern History, often with a global element. They begin with an examination of the campaign to get women the vote in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, looking at events such as Emily Davidson’s death at the Derby. They then examine the causes, events and conditions of the First World War. Finally the impact of the British Empire is examined, partly on Britain itself and partly on the areas of the world that were colonised.
Year 9
Curriculum Content: Throughout GCSE (years 9-11), students have 4 hours of History per fortnight. The GCSE consists of 4 units (Medicine, Germany, Richard and John and Conflict in the Middle East) spread over three exams. There is no coursework element.

 

In Year 9, students study the Medicine Through Time element of the GCSE. This examines beliefs about the cause of disease, attempted cures and prevention from the middle ages to the present day. Students look at factors that cause change and evaluate the importance of different events. They also focus on looking at sources in the context of their historical environment by looking at treatment on the Western Front during the First World War. At the end of the year, students start their unit on Germany, looking at the early years of the Weimar Republic and the problems it faced, such as hyperinflation and political revolts.

Year 10
Curriculum Content: In Year 10, students pick up the German unit and study the recovery of Germany in the so called “Golden Era” of the Weimar Republic. They then look at the causes of Hitler’s rise to power and the impact that the Nazis had on Germany. Throughout this topic, students are asked to consider different historical perspectives and to use their own knowledge to make judgements about these. They then move on to study the reigns of Richard I and John, examining concepts of medieval kingship and the impact that Richard’s crusading and the Magna Carta had on Britain.
Year 11
Curriculum Content: In Year 11, students study conflict in the Middle East from the foundation of the state of Israel through the 6 Day and Yom Kippur Wars to the attempted peace process of the 1990s. This unit focuses on the explanation of consequences of events and decisions made. Students take their GCSEs at the end of Year 11.
Year 12 A Level
Curriculum Content: Students study the A Level in two distinct chunks, with one teacher focusing on the more modern History (Communist states, papers 1 and 2) and the other on the Tudors (Paper 3 and the Coursework). In Year 12, the Communist side of the course focuses on the USSR, looking at leadership, the economy, control of the people and social change in the period 1918-1985. They then look at the reasons for the collapse of the USSR in the period 1985-91, examining the different perspectives of historians on these events.

 

The Tudor side of the course focuses on events under the two Henrys (Vii and VIII), focusing on the threats to their reigns, the severity of these threats and how they were dealt with. At the end of the year, work starts on the coursework, a historiographical piece on the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Year 13 A Level
Curriculum Content: The second year of A Level completes the Communist side of the course with the study of Mao’s China. This examines the establishment of Communist rule over China following the Civil War, the economic policy of the CCP including the disastrous Great Leap Forward, the events of the Cultural Revolution and the social impact of Mao’s policies.

 

The Tudor course involves the completion of the coursework and the study of the final three Tudor monarchs, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth, with the same thematic approach of looking at challenges to leadership.

Year 12 IB
Curriculum Content: IB is divided into standard and higher. Students who study higher history will also study the standard units. Standard involves Paper 1 (a source paper), Paper 2 (an essay paper) and the IA (coursework). Higher students additionally study Paper 3 another essay paper)

In Year 12, standard students study single party states. Specifically, they examine the rise of Hitler and the impact that Hitler had on Germany. They then study the rise of Castro in Cuba and Mao’s period in charge of China. They finish the year by starting their Internal Assessment, effectively coursework where they can choose to study any topic of their choice.

Higher students study Russia from 1850-2000. In Year 12, this means that they study the last three Tsars of Russia, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. They also study the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rule of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev.

Year 13 IB
Curriculum Content: In Year 13 standard students finish their Internal Assessment and study two further units, one on the Cold War and a source based unit on civil rights in the USA and Apartheid in South Africa.

At Higher level, the Russia unit is completed with a study of the rule of Brezhnev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin.