Studying history fosters understanding of how the world around us has been shaped and helps young people to become responsible citizens through debating moral questions such as the decision to use the Atomic Bomb at the end of the Second World War. As well as developing transferable skills such as the ability to handle evidence and construct arguments, students are encouraged to become critical thinkers who don’t accept other people’s opinions at face value. They are taught to ask questions and challenge perceptions and stereotypes.

Who works in the History Department?

Mrs Jackie McEwan - Subject Leader

Mr Devlin - History Teacher

Mr Alex Murray - History Teacher

Throughout Key Stage 3, students will explore two main overarching themes: the development of Church, Monarchy and State and how everyday life has changed for ordinary people in Britain over time. Students will begin in Year 7 with a study of the Norman invasion of 1066 and the impact of conquest. They go on to investigate the challenges faced by the medieval monarchs and how England’s relationships with her neighbours developed over the course of the Middle Ages. In Year 8, we continue to study how the balance of power continued to change and develop in Tudor and Stuart times. The key focus in Year 9 is how the modern world was shaped by the World Wars.

Each year we will examine different case studies to find out about life in the past and to make comparisons with the 21st century. Students will be encouraged to identify trends and turning points and suggest reasons for the developments and patterns identified. Case studies include:

  • Year 7: Medieval society and what life was like for peasants
  • Year 8: The impact of Henry VIII's Reformation
  • Year 9: The development of medicine

Every year students will also have the opportunity to study an aspect of the History of another country:

  • Year 7: Native Americans
  • Year 8: The Atlantic Slave Trade and life for slaves in the Americas
  • Year 9: Hitler’s Germany and the Holocaust

As well as acquiring knowledge, students will also develop skills, which are not only essential for further study of the subject at Key Stage 4, but also very valuable for other subject areas. In History, students are encouraged to think critically and independently. They are encouraged to question different viewpoints and consider why it is possible to have different interpretations of the same historical event or character. Successful students will be able to construct an effective argument, selecting relevant evidence to support their point and communicating their ideas effectively.

At Key Stage 4, we follow AQA GCSE History. Students have to study four modules, which are assessed externally at the end of the two years. The first unit in Year 10 is Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship. This unit focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. Students will look at the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of the Nazi regime. Students will also complete a wider world depth study in Year 10, Conflict and Tension: 1918 – 1939, which explores how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues that caused it.

British Depth Studies in Year 11 focuses on key developments and events in the History of Britain. We follow the medieval option: Norman England and the establishment of Norman rule. This also includes the study of an historical site such as a castle or cathedral. Students are also required to complete a thematic study which enables learners to understand change and continuity across a long sweep of history. We have opted for Health and the people: c1000 to the present day. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted upon the core themes. Students will investigate how a range of factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time. For example:

  • war
  • superstition and religion
  • chance
  • government
  • communication
  • science and technology
  • the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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