The study of History is important for a variety of reasons. If students are to grow up as informed citizens it is vital that they have an understanding of the world they live in. To do so, they must have a knowledge and understanding of how events in the past have shaped the world today. History is also important in developing many key skills important for adult life. It has an important role to play in improving literacy and developing skills of rigorous enquiry and analysis.
The department promotes the enjoyment of History through a variety of teaching methods and it is a very popular option both at GCSE and A level. There are eight specialist history teachers in the department, three of whom also teach Government and Politics at A level. The department is well stocked with a wide range of textbooks and audio-visual resources and all four History classrooms are equipped with interactive white boards.
The department offers a wide variety of enrichment opportunities.
In KS3, pupils are encouraged to explore History in many different ways. This includes creative projects like castle construction and WWII projects. They also get the opportunity to study their local history during WWI.
In Year 8, pupils are offered the opportunity to visit the WWI battlefields in Belgium.
At Key Stage 5, students are offered the opportunity to visit Russia on a six day residential trip to enhance their studies and understanding of the culture.
Year 7 are taught in mixed ability groups. Pupils study history in depth and in breadth by focusing in on specific topics like the Norman Conquest and the Gunpowder Plot as well as broader topics, such as changes in religion or change and continuity over time in areas like transport, fashion and food. Pupils are very much encouraged to develop their skills of judgment, for example a balloon debate on which monarch to save.
In Year 8 pupils are organised into sets according to ability. They are encouraged to look at issues in the world today and investigate their historical routes. In the first term they concentrate on the development of the franchise. They start by looking at recent elections and referendums before tracing the routes back to the Chartists and the Suffragettes. The second term focuses on ideas of democracy, dictatorship and freedom by looking at complex issues, such as African-American slavery, communism and Nazism. In the final term pupils consider how war has shaped the Twentieth Century.
KS3 Steps of Progress
History is a very popular option at GCSE. Pupils are taught in both set groups based on ability and mixed-ability groups.
Currently year 11 and year 10 are following the Eduqas syllabus.
They are studying:
- Medicine and Health through Time, c. 500 – present
- Germany in Transition, 1918-1939
- Development of the USA, 1929-2000
- Elizabethan England, 1558-1603
Year 9 will follow the Edexcel syllabus and will begin this course after October half term.
They are studying:
- Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.
- Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
- Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91
- The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad.
History A Level
History is a very popular subject at A level. The Department follows the OCR syllabus.
In Year 12, students follow the new OCR course study Y113 - Britain, 1930-1997, which contains the Enquiry Topic, Churchill, 1930-1951 and the Period Study, Britain, 1951-1997. They also follow the course Y219 – Russia, 1894-1941.
In Year 13 they study Y306, Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors, 1485-1603 and complete an independent study of approx. 3500 words. The Department runs a long-standing, bi-annual trip to Moscow and St Petersburg which is always extremely popular.
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