History, the most exciting, momentous, wonderful and important things that have ever happened to anyone who has ever lived. History tells us who we are and how we got here. We need History more than ever to make sense of our changing world – Dan Snow
History is a large department, which is part of the Humanities Faculty, as such we teach in a dedicated Humanities building and have five classrooms. The department currently consists of five teachers that teach across the Key Stages. We have our own laptops for students to use and are well resourced.
All students study History in Key Stage 3. In Year 7 and 9, students have four lessons a fortnight whilst students in Year 8 will complete three lessons of History a fortnight. Students in Key Stage 4 have five lessons a fortnight with the subject continuing to be a popular choice. Currently, we have five classes in Year 10 and four in Year 11.
Students in Key Stage 3 follow a chronological study of History. Throughout each topic, students are challenged to use the narrative of the subject to evaluate the causes and consequences of the topics studied. We also challenge the students to develop their historical skills in order to consider the provenance of the sources that they use.
In Year 7, students are given an introduction into chronological understanding and how; as historians we learn about the past. Students spend the rest of the first term studying the Battle of Hastings before consider why William was victorious. For the rest of the academic year students investigate the impact of the Norman Conquest on England and the wider life of people in the Middle Ages. By the end of the academic year students will have investigated what motivated people to go on a crusade and whether it was successful before completing an investigation into where power lay in Medieval England.
In Year 8, students spend time studying the turmoil of both the Tudor and Stuart Dynasties. Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to evaluate the impact and legacy of the dynasties in the 21st Century. Students move on to studying the role of the British Empire and its legacy as well as the Industrial Revolution. Finally, students complete their studies in Year 8 by investigating the slave trade and its abolition.
The Year 9 curriculum is a transition unit for the GCSEs. Students complete investigations into the causes of the First World War along with evaluating the different interpretations of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. In addition, students complete investigations into the terms and legacy of Versailles as well as the rise of dictators in the inter war years; a pre-requisite of Weimar and Nazi Germany for GCSE. Finally, students will complete a period of study on the Holocaust before completing their Key Stage Three studies by investigating the Second World War. This will provide the historical context for GCSE studies on the Cold War
The expectation is that by the Summer Term, students in Year 9 will have begun the GCSE curriculum in advance of Year 10; regardless of option choice.
GCSE students follow the Edexcel curriculum for the new 9-1 GCSE.
History GCSE is split into three different exam papers.
Paper 1- British Thematic Study with Historic Environment
Paper 2 – Period Study and British Depth Study
Paper 3 –Modern Depth Study
Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment, c.1000 to Present with a historic environment study on Whitechapel, c.1870-1900: crime, policing and the inner city. This exam paper is worth 30% of the total GCSE.
The exam on Crime and Punishment is worth 20% of the marks in this paper whilst the study on Whitechapel is worth 10%.
Paper 2 – This paper is split into two topics. Students will study Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-1991 followed by a study on Early Elizabethan England.
This exam paper is worth 40% of the total GCSE. Each topic is worth 20% each.
Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939
This exam paper is worth 30% of the total GCSE.