History is a vital subject in the curriculum of the school: it significantly helps the students to become mature, responsible and thinking adult citizens by acquiring a sound appreciation of the history and heritage of this and of other countries and by developing those skills that foster an enquiring and critical mind.

As a department we aim to provide all students with an excellent standard of teaching leading to the development of historical knowledge skills that will also contribute to their learning across the whole curriculum. We ensure that students of all abilities have access to appropriate challenge, and that a variety of approaches are used in our lessons. We have high expectations of our students and make sure that they fulfil and in many cases exceed their potential. History forms part of the National Curriculum and is offered to all Key Stage 3. It is an ‘option’ subject at Key Stages 4 and 5. We currently have 2 classes in Year 10 and 11 and one AS group.

In Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability groups for two hours a week. Year 8 students have 1 hour week. Our current policy is to set pupils for History, in partnership with the Geography department, for Year 9. Year 9 follow a two week timetable which see them have 1.5 hours a week on average for History and Geography

Thematic Study: Crime and Punishment in Britain

Students learn about the continuities and changes in the history of crime and punishment.  The course ranges from the medieval period to the present day.

The unit focuses on a list of key questions:

  • That different type of crimes were committed in different periods?
  • How was the nature of punishment changed over the period?
  • Who determined the laws and punishments?
  • How have the ideas about the nature of crime, the causes of crime and the nature of punishment changed?
  • How effective were law enforcement and punishments in preventing crime?

British Depth Study: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c1060-88

This topic largely focuses on the Battle of Hastings, how effectively the Normans established control and particular features of Norman rule.  Students begin by learning about Saxon society and its leaders in order to contextualise the changes brought about by the Normans.  They study the Anglo-Saxon resistance in particular areas of the country and the success to which these were dealt with by the Normans and learn about changes made to the Church, social structure and government.

Period Study: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91

This unit gives students the opportunity to investigate the origins, events and outcomes of the Cold War.  Students will focus on the causes of increasing tensions between East and West and the development and intensification of the Cold War before focusing on particular flashpoints such as the Prague Spring, construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The impact and influence of key individuals with regard to both increasing and limiting tensions is also a key focus.

Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39

This topic focuses on the causes of Hitler's rise to power and its impact in Germany in the period 1918-1945.  Students learn about the developments and conditions of Weimar Germany in order to understand the reasons why the Nazis gained power.  They study the reactions of individual people and groups to developments within Germany, and learn about a variety of aspects of life in Germany under Nazi rule, including youth groups, propaganda, terror and the Holocaust.

At Key Stage 5 we follow the A-level History syllabus.

We believe that the following units compliment GCSE History.  Many students have studied Weimar and Nazi Germany.  Units 1 and 2 allow you to study other dictatorships in Europe, albeit Communist.  Units 3 and 4 allow you to develop your ability to work as a historian though engaging with sources and interpretations.

Unit 1: Russia, 1917-91 from Lenin to Yeltsin

Communist government of 1917-45; How did the Communist Party come to power and how did it keep that power?

Industrial and agricultural change; War Communism, New Economic Policy, how did Stalin try to catch up with the western world through his Five Year Plans?  You will examine reasons for stagnation in the USSR's economy after 1964.

Control of the people; media propaganda and religion, cult of personality of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the secret police and the monitoring of dissidents and how the state managed and reacted to social change.

Social developments 1917-85; social security, employment, housing and social benefits and the promotion of a stable society.  Attitudes and how they changed, towards women, children and the family unit.

What explains the fall of the USSR, c1985-91?

Unit 2: The German Democratic Republic (East Germany), 1949-90

Establishing and consolidating communist rule in the GDR, 1949-61; the division of Germany, creation of East Germany and the building of the Berlin Wall

The development of the East German state, 1961-85; economic change, creation of GDR identity through mass media and sporting successes

Life in East Germany 1949-85; housing, education, the changing status and role of women, repression and control e.g. the Stasi and Free German Youth.  Western influences on the GDR through travel, television, films and popular music.

Growing crises and the collapse of the communist rule in the GDR, 1985-90; the problem of economic stagnation in the 1980s, Gorbachev's influence, the events of 1989 and the end of the GDR.

Unit 3: Poverty, public health and state in Britain, c1780-1939

The impact of industrialisation on health, the impact of epidemics, changing attitudes to public health, growth of the government's role of individuals Jenner, Chadwick, Snow and Stopes.  The government introduction of old age pensions, National Insurance and means tests.  Ideas about self-help and charity, social welfare reforms.  The impact of war and the Depression.

Unit 4: Coursework

This element of the course will let you engage with the work of historians regarding the Cold War.