The study of history gives us an understanding of the society we live in. The eras we study give us an insight into the lives and loves of a variety of individuals and people not so different to ourselves. Students develop a knowledge and understanding of past societies of, for example, medieval peasants, civil war soldiers and suffragettes fighting for a fairer world. History helps us to develop the skills we need for the modern world. Students learn to analyse and evaluate a wide range of source materials such as news reports, diaries, personal and official accounts. They learn to apply their knowledge to the modern world which helps them to make informed and balanced judgements.
There is a dedicated history classroom based within the humanities block with access to laptop computers. In addition, history is taught in the Sixth Form block, again with easy access to modern ICT facilities.
In Year 7, History is taught for 2 hours a week. Students are encouraged to be active in their learning and to develop personal, learning and thinking skills, as well as core historical skills. The subject content covered in Year 7 includes a range of key events and changes within the medieval era. Students consider the importance of the 1066 Normal Invasion, the human and economic cost of the Black Death, the far reaching effects of the crusades, the importance of the Magna Carta on democracy, Thomas Beckett’s murder, the peasants’ revolt, life in the Middle Ages for rich and for poor, and the significance of castles in this period. Assessment focuses on historical skills such as source evaluation skills, or explanation of causation and consequence. Overall, Year 7 history is an in depth study of medieval life which aims to equip students for effective learning in history and more widely through Year 7 and beyond.
In Year 8, history is taught within a humanities rotation, giving us four hours a week of in depth teaching time. This enables a range of activities to develop skills and knowledge of society from the Tudors to the beginning of industrialisation including Henry VIII and changes to the church, Edward VI, Mary, Elizabeth, the gunpowder plot, civil war, the industrial revolution, crime and punishment and local history.
Year 9 history is taught with one hour a week, exploring the changes and challenges Britain has faced from industrialisation to modern times. Subject content includes the British Empire, the slave trade, suffragettes, the causes of WWI, fighting in WWI and the holocaust. The skills needed later for GCSE studies are embedded in Year 9 in particularly.
All of these areas are used to develop the skills of understanding, analysis and evaluation. Some eras and events such as the reformation, the holocaust and votes for women are covered in more depth to allow full appreciation of these key changes in society.
GCSE History is a very popular option. Students study the AQA syllabus and take the following options:
This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism.
International Relations: Conflict and Tension 1918-1939:
This is a wider world depth study. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement after World War One. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day:
This option focuses on the following questions:
- Why has there been progress in the health of the British people?
- How and why has the pace and scale of medical development varied at different times?
- What impact has medical progress had on people and society?
- How and why have different factors been more important than others for individual medical developments?
- What is the significance of key individuals or events in the history of medical development?
Elizabethan England, c1568-1603
This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies. For example, students will study the difficulty of Elizabethan being a female ruler, the impact of Raleigh and Drake’s voyages, Elizabeth’s religious settlement and the Spanish Armada.