Mr I. Mohammed – Head of History

Mrs N. Hartt – Head of Opening Minds and the Sixth Form, teaches History throughout the Key Stages

Mrs C. Yates – Teaches History throughout the Key Stages, Teacher Training mentor and SENCo

Mr E. Harvey – Head of Law and Business Studies, teaches History across the Key Stages


  • To develop a chronological framework of British, European and world-wide historical events (753BC-1992)• To develop a chronological framework of British, European and world-wide historical events (753BC-1992)
  • To appreciate the diversity of human experience
  • To understand more about individuals as citizens and members of society
  • To learn to develop choices, attitudes and values – and argue a point of view!
  • To construct lessons from the past in order to inform the present
  • To develop literary devices so that historical writings and documents can be understood, compared, analysed, evaluated and synthesised
  • To develop techniques in planning and writing longer pieces of historical responses
  • To prepare students for further and higher study as well as the world of work (both in terms of knowledge and skills)

Course Calendars and Curriculum Mapping

Key Stage 3


A Level – Year 12

A Level – Year 13

Aspirational Curriculum

Intent, Implementation and Impact


Year 7

Opening Minds

In year 7, some History is taught through a competency based curriculum called Opening Minds. Students learn a variety of skills that enable them to become more effective learners. Students spend part of a day each week, with one teacher, working in the Opening Minds room on cross-curricular projects that develop their: competency for learning, citizenship, relating to people, managing situations and managing information. Some of these projects include historical themes and content.

Topic 1: The Romans (753BC – AD476)

Students also have one lesson of History per week. In this first Year 7 History module, students will study the establishment, rise, workings and fall of the Roman Empire.  The key questions to consider will be:

  1. What do you know about the Romans?
  2. How did the Roman Empire begin?
  3. Who were the Emperors?
  4. Why did the Romans invade Britain?
  5. Who was Boudicca?
  6. Why was the Roman Army so effective?
  7. How did Roman roads and technology make life better?
  8. What did the Romans do for fun?
  9. What religion did the Romans follow?
  10. What legacy have the Romans left us?
  11. Why did the Roman Empire fall?

Medieval Rulers and the Ruled (1066-1500)

This second module provides the opportunity for a theme based overview of the relationship between the rulers and ruled in Medieval England. There is some depth study when considering the rule of William I as this overlaps with the events of 1066. The idea of invasion and settlement (and collision!) is part of the study of 1066. The choice of the content gives all pupils an understanding of the main events in Medieval England as well as a small appreciation of events in Wales and Scotland when looking at the reign of Edward I. Furthermore there is a chance to study the Crusades as an event running parallel to the main part of the module – this religious conflict is covered when looking at the reign of King Richard I. Other monarchs studied include King John, Richard II and Richard III.

Year 8

Module 1: Tudors and Stuarts Rulers and the Ruled (1485-1750), with project on Mughal India 

This study provides an opportunity for a theme-based overview of the relationship between the rulers and ruled in Tudor and Stuart England. Key issues such as monarchy, parliament, power and religion that run throughout the period are studied in depth, and the continuity and change of this explored whilst keeping the chronology of the period in perspective. Life for ordinary people during this period is examined and contrasted with both the situation in the UK today and other countries at that time. In keeping with a multi-cultural school, some study of black and Asian people and cultures is included to give students with diverse backgrounds a clearer understanding of how their cultural history connects with Tudor and Stuart history. Links with the second unit on African Kingdoms and the Year 9 unit of slavery are also highlighted to create context and an understanding of change and continuity across time periods.

Module 2: Rulers and the Ruled – Pre-colonial African Kingdoms 

This study provides opportunity for an overview study of African Kingdoms from c.700 up to c.1850. The course begins with a contextual overview, allowing students to understand what life was like for the African people of this period. The course then focuses in on different Kingdoms enabling students to look at common themes of religion, power and education across a variety of Kingdoms. Students are encouraged to look at key similarities but also to identify difference and the reasons for this. We will study the Kingdoms of Benin, Mali and Kongo to name a few. We also reflect on the historiography of the period and how the History of Africa has been told by Europeans. This is a particularly key part of the course that allows students to question the way that History has been recorded and what motives have affected this. It teachers us what Africa was like well before the slave trade as well as during and after and allows us to link with the Year 9 unit of Empire and Slavery.  A genuine depth study of African Civilisations emerges as a core part of our curriculum.   

Year 9

Module 1: Britain 1750-1900  

A study of how expansion of trade and colonisation, industrialisation and political changes affected the United Kingdom, including the local area.

Key themes for study:

  1. Causes and processes of the Industrial Revolution (some local History covered e.g. Soho House)
  2. Social and economic consequences of industrialisation
  3. Britain’s changing role in the World
  4. Political change in Britain

(This module is started at the end of Year 8.)

Module 2: The Era of the Second World War and the Twentieth Century

A study of some of the significant individuals, events and developments from across the twentieth century, including the two World Wars, the Holocaust, their impact on Britain, Europe and the wider world. The main focus is on the Second World War.

Key themes for study:

  1. What was fighting like in the First World War?
  2. Why did World War I lead to a Second World War?
  3. The experience of Britain in the Second World War
  4. The main battles and tactics used during the conflict
  5. The defeat of Germany and Japan in the Second World War

GCSE AQA History

Why Study History?

History will provide you with an understanding of the last century and beyond through the personalities and events that have shaped it. It will also give you many useful skills and abilities that are highly valued by employers. History at GCSE will improve your abilities in thinking about and communicating ideas. It will give you confidence in handling your own and other people’s opinions. It will also help you to increase your skills in analysing evidence and organising information. History is accepted as a qualification for a wide range of careers where the skills of analysis and assessment are valued such as law, journalism, banking and education. Many of our students have gone on to study Law, Politics, Journalism, Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry at university.

Paper 1 (50% of GCSE)

Section A: Period Studies – Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship.  This 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.  The social, political and economic policies of Hitler will be considered.

Section B: Wider World Depth Studies – Conflict and Tension, 1918-1939.  This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states during the inter-war years.  From the peace settlement after the First World War to the causes of the Second World War, this module investigates why peace failed in the years between both World Wars.

Paper 2 (50% of GCSE)

Section A: Thematic Studies – Britain: Migration, Empires and the People: c790 to the present day. 

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world.  It will consider both invasions and conquests.  It will study Britain’s relationship with Europe and the wider world.  Looking at the people coming in and out of Britain, the study will also focus on the causes, impact and legacy of the British Empire.  From the Viking invasion to Indian independence, this module will cover over a 1000 years of British and imperial history.

Section B: British Depth Studies – Elizabethan England, c1568-1603

This option allows students to study in depth the last 35 years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign.  This study will focus on the major events of Elizabeth’s reign considered from an economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoint.  It will also investigate foreign policy with a look at the Spanish Armada of 1588.  In this module students will also be given the opportunity to examine a historical site in depth.  This investigation will be examined in this section and will form 10% of the overall course.  Students will be expected to think about the site’s relevance and its link to Elizabethan England as well as apply the concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence in the context of the specified site.

Learning Styles

History is challenging, thought provoking and fun. We aim to use a variety of different teaching techniques, which will involve individual work, group work, role-play, PowerPoint presentations, team building scenarios and ICT. Throughout the course, students use a wide range of sources to develop skills in the use of historical evidence. Students will be expected to engage with different activities enabling them to be part of the teaching and learning experience.


Each student will have their own set textbook and the History Department has a wide range of recently published books and resources, all specifically written for GCSE. We have many DVD’s and videos containing archive film and newsreels on all the major topics studied. The Department also has a notice board through which students can keep up to date with the latest developments and events in the subject of History. Students are also encouraged to use local libraries and the Internet to follow up their own interests.


Students will be assessed through a range of homework and test-based tasks. This will include peer-assessment and evaluation. Students will sit two written exams each lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. These will each make up 50% of the total GCSE mark.


A Level History OCR

Who is the course for?

A grade 6 at GCSE in this subject is required to progress on to A-Level History. Those students who haven’t studied GCSE History but wish to opt for A-Level History will need to achieve a grade 6 in English Language and meet all other school entry requirements.

What will you learn?

Students will study four units throughout the A-level course. The units have a sufficient chronological range enabling students to reflect on the theme of change and continuity as well as cause and consequence within the period. Students will be expected to see events in the wider historical perspective. The units include a study of important individuals, societies, changes, events and issues as well as an appreciation of different historical perspectives such as aesthetic, cultural, economic, ethnic, political, religious, scientific, social and technological. The course will provide students with a rich and diverse historical experience.

Unit 1 (25% of A-Level) – From Pitt to Peel 1783-1853
British Period Study: British Government in the Age of Revolution 1783-1832
Key Topics:

  1. Why did Pitt the Younger dominate politics (1783-93) and how successfully did he face the challenge of the French Revolution (1789-1801)?
  2. How and why was Lord Liverpool able to survive the radical challenges of 1812-22?
  3. How Liberal were the Tory governments of 1822-30?
  4. Foreign Policy 1783-1830: Britain’s changing world role.
  5. Why was the Great Reform Act passed in 1832?

Enquiry Topic (historical sources):  Peel and the Age of Reform 1832-1853

  1. How effective was Peel as a party political leader from 1832 to 1846?
  2. Peel and the social question 1832-1846.
  3. Peel and pressure groups.

Unit 2 (15% of A-Level) – The USA and the Cold War in Asia 1945-1993
Key Topics:

  1. Western policies in post war Asia 1945-1979
  2. The Korean War (1950-1953) and its impact to 1977 (also an interpretation topic)
  3. Indochina 1945-1967
  4. Wars in Vietnam and Cambodia 1968 to 1993 (also an interpretation topic)

Unit 3 – Themes in History, Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992 (40% of A-Level) is on the struggle of citizens in the United States to gain equality before the law without regard to ethnic origin, gender or wealth. Students will cover a range of examples from across the period looking at how the experience of Afro Americans, Trade Union and Labour Movements, Native Americans and Women changed throughout the years. Students will learn about the main developments and turning points relevant to the theme that they are exploring. There will also be an expectation to evaluate and analyse historical interpretation passages.

Unit 4 – Topic-Based Essay (20% of A-Level)

  • A single 3,000-4,000 word essay
  • A personal and independent study of student’s choice.
  • Each student will have a supervisor that will guide them through the process.
  • The investigation must include evidence of using primary and secondary sources, but the bulk of marks will be for analysis, evaluation and reaching substantiated judgements.

How you will learn

Students will have the opportunity to develop historical skills and content through a range of techniques. These include group work, team building scenarios, role-play, debates, power point presentations and many others. Students will be expected to engage with different activities enabling them to be part of the teaching and learning experience.

How you will be assessed

Each unit is formally assessed by a written exam. Unit 1 is a 1 hour and 30 minute paper, unit 2 is an hour and unit 3 is 2 hours and 30 minutes. The first unit has an essay element as well as testing the ability of students to handle and evaluate historical sources. The second unit will also have an essay section as well as test the ability of students to evaluate different historical interpretations. Unit 3 will require you to evaluate interpretations and respond to two essay questions. Unit 4 is a coursework element which will be written at the start of Year 13 and researched at the end of Year 12.


Students can progress on to university in order to study in a number of fields including Law, Politics, Archaeology and Journalism.


The History Department tries to run regular educational visits.  These serve to enhance the experience of students who study the past.  Visits to museums, conferences, performances and Belgium (battlefield visit) all help students understand and interact with the past in a different and real manner.

Click here to see some of the extra-curricular activities that students have been involved in.