“The farther backward you can look the farther forward you are likely to see.” — Winston S. Churchill

History is important in helping young people understand how the past has shaped the present, and will affect the future.  It also enables young people to learn the historical skills of analysis, comparison and synthesis.  These skills are highly relevant to each student’s employment potential.  History provides an opportunity to consider issues of justice and morality, and contributes to the fostering of positive values in our students.

Key Stage Three Curriculum

Students study a range of topics at Key Stage Three.

In Year 7, students consider who the best Medieval King was by learning about monarchs and their actions between 1066 and 1450.  They also learn about what it was like to live in Medieval England and have the opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom in our Forest School.

In Year 8, students study the 16th and 17th century exploring the Tudor monarchs and the huge changes they brought to society and the impact of the English Civil War. They also have the chance to complete a personal project on an aspect of life in the 17th century such as witchcraft, the Great Fire of London or The Plague.

In Year 9, students decide if the period 1750-1900 was ‘An Age of Progress’.  They then complete their studies by looking at what the 20th century will be remembered for.

Key Stage Four Curriculum

Students study Edexcel iGCSE History. The GCSE is made up of four units;

- GERMANY 1918-1945 - An overview of the significant changes in Germany from the end of WW1, the 1920s and Depression, the rise of Hitler and life under the Nazis.

- CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE USA, 1945-74. An exploration of significant events in the quest for Civil rights in the USA from the end of WW2 until the mid 1970s following the war in Vietnam.

- THE USA 1917-1929. An exploration of life in the USA from their participation in WW1 and through the ‘Roaring 20s’ until the Wall Street Crash.

- CHANGES IN MEDICINE 1845-1945. A breadth study exploring innovations and changes in medicine, the impact of war and new medical discoveries and procedures up until the end of WW2.

A Level Curriculum

Students study OCR History A - H105 (AS) and  H505 (A2).

At AS students study European and British History in the 16th century.  This is divided into two papers.  One paper is based on the reign of Philip II of Spain and the other is based on ‘the Mid-Tudor Crisis’ which spans the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

At A2, students sit one examination based on Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992.  Topics include African American Rights, Women’s Rights, Trade Unions and Native Americans.  Students also have the chance to complete a personal study of a topic of their choice from any period of History as their coursework element.

Digital Learning

The History Department uses digital learning in a variety of ways. The main use in History is for research purposes as students will always achieve the highest levels and grades by looking at different interpretations of the past.  Within lessons, students have also used a range of activities from websites such as BBC History, SchoolHistory.co.uk and Historyonthenet. Classes have also completed activities on their iPads on Socrative and Popplet.


The department has had a History film club for a number of terms, giving students the chance to see events in History from another perspective. The staff in the department also run their own enrichment activities.  Mr Russell supports the PE department with football and cricket and Mrs Casey runs a dance club at lunch time. The department has entered students into the St Hilda’s College Oxford History Essay Prize Competition with all applicants achieving Highly Commended with their entries.

Where might the subject lead?

Apart from the vast general knowledge that comes with studying History, students have the chance to learn vital skills which are applicable in many professions including law and medicine. Students learn how to conduct research, judge the use of evidence and present an argument. These skills are useful in any future career.