Why do we learn history?
In history, pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions.
History fires pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions – skills that are prized in adult life.
Where could History take me in the future?
Studying history can lead to a great number of excellent careers as diverse as the media, government, heritage organisations, conservation, teaching, archives, museums and galleries, the police and law.
This diversity is because studying history allows students to develop transferrable skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Head of Department
In addition to regular knowledge quizzes and multiple-choice style questions, pupils also write paragraphs and essays in response to the enquiry questions.
At GCSE, pupils will follow the Edexcel specification, studying British and world medieval, early modern and modern history. Pupils will regularly write answers in response to questions historians have asked about the periods and topics we are studying in order to show the knowledge and historical thinking they are developing. Each term there will also be a formative assessment, consisting of exam-style questions.
Year 7 - History
|1 World views in 1000AD
What drove Baghdad’s thirst for knowledge in the years 762-1000?
What light can one saint’s story shed on western Christian worlds?
|2 Contested power, contested land
How disruptive were the Normans in England?
Why did Alexios’ empire survive?
What can the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine reveal to us about the medieval world?
Why did the barons keep rebelling against their English rulers?
|The Byzantine Empire in 1050
Western Christian world
|Norman England to 1087
Byzantine Empire (Alexios and First Crusade)
Eleanor of Aquitaine
The Third Crusade
Barons challenge English monarchy
|3 Empires: expansion and collapse
What does the story of Mansa Musa reveal about Medieval Africa?
How did one village respond to the Black Death?
|4 Stability and instability
What do the Wars of the Roses reveal about power and instability in fifteenth-century England?
What kind of change was the Renaissance?
|Edward I’s expansion in Wales and Scotland
The Black Death
|Late medieval kingship (Wars of the Roses)
Science & art (Renaissance)
|5 Revolutions in religion
What changed in the village of Morebath from 1519 to 1574?
|6 Silver and Gold
How have historians overcome the challenges involved in studying the Inkas?
Why was the world ‘opening up’ to Elizabeth I and her people?
How are historians uncovering the lives of African Tudors?
|Reformation in Germany
The Break with Rome
Reformation and resistance (Morebath)
Year 8 - History
|1 Expanding empires, connected worlds in 1600
How does Ruby Lal use sources to construct her story of Nur Jahan?
How did African kingdoms become more connected with the wider world?
|2 Contested power, contested ideas, contested land
How close did England really come to a Puritan reformation?
How much did Pepys’s world really change?
|The Mughal Empire
The story of Nur Jahan
The research of historian Ruby Lal
Kingdom of Benin
Kingdom of the Kongo
|Puritanism and politics 1603 to 1657
‘World turned upside down’ 1642 to 1660
Ireland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
The Stuarts 1660 to 1715
|3 Destroyed communities, created communities
How far were enslaved Africans able to resist being dehumanised?
How similar were Virginia and Massachusetts?
|4 Worlds in motion: minds, migrants and machines
Why was land the site of conflict in England between 1600 and 1850?
What can historians infer about industrial worlds from working people’s voices?
How have historians clashed over what the American Revolution was for?
British colonisation in North America
The East India Company
The American Revolution
|5 Revolution and rebellion, reaction and reform
How far did abolition transform life for Jamaicans between 1760 and 1870?
What did the Chartists want?
|6 The elite response: reform from above
Why are different stories told about Britain’s journey to democracy?
Why does it matter what we call the 1857 conflict in India?
Experiences & agency of black peoples in Caribbean
1832 Reform Act
Political reform and the extension of the franchise
Year 9 - History
|How fast was the journey to democracy in Britain?
How far did the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand cause the First World War?
What do the stories of the ‘often forgotten armies’ reveal about the Western Front?
|Peterloo Massacre and the Chartists
Development of trade unions and the formation of the Labour Party
Campaigns for female suffrage
Causes of the First World War
Global nature of the First World War
Diverse experiences of the First World War
|What were the Bolsheviks trying to achieve?
How did Jewish people resist anti-Semitic persecution between 1933 and 1945?
What king of conflict was the Cold War?
Overview of the Second World War
Holocaust (and more recent genocides)
Berlin Blockade and Berlin Wall
Cuban Missile Crisis
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
|How did women and children help to shape the heart and soul of the Civil Rights Movement?
Who ‘decolonised’ in the twentieth century?
How far was Britain transformed in the post-war era?
US Civil Rights Movement, with a focus on the contribution of women and young people
Year 10 - History
At GCSE, there are four papers students prepare for:
Paper 1: Migrants in Britain, c800–present and Notting Hill, c1948–c1970
Britain has been shaped by migrant communities over a long period of time. This topic is the story of changes that encouraged, enabled, necessitated or forced migration, and the experiences of migrant groups.
Pupils learn about Notting Hill after the Second World War, showing how it became a centre for migration from the Caribbean and the influence of migrants.
Paper 2P: Spain and the ‘New World’, c1490–c1555 – The Aztecs and the Inkas
This topic illustrates a key theme in early modern history – a clash of cultures. The lack of understanding, a greed for gold and the use of violence can be seen in many examples throughout history. The choice of topic is a useful reminder that a Eurocentric view of the world is limiting and helps pupils to appreciate that different cultures have flourished across the world.
Paper 2B: Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88
In this topic, pupils will learn about threats to the security of the country from home and abroad, differing views on religion, the education of young people, attitudes towards the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society in early Elizabethan England.
Paper 3: The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad
Between the end of the Second World War and the mid-1970s, many African Americans, and white supporters, increasingly fought for equality. The extent of progress by the mid-1970s, and even today, is fiercely debated.
This period also saw the USA involved in an extremely costly war in Vietnam – costly in terms of human lives on both sides, in financial terms, and in terms of the USA's reputation both at home and in the wider world.
|Migration in medieval England, c800-c1500
Spain and the ‘New World’, c1490-c1555
|Vikings in England
Normans in England
Migration of merchants and Jewish people to England
Columbus’ first voyage and Spanish colonisation of the Caribbean
Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire (Mexico)
Spanish conquest of the Inka Empire (including Peru)
|Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88|
|Elizabeth I’s religious settlement
Challenges to Elizabeth I at home and abroad
Elizabethan culture and society
|Migrants in Britain, c1500-present|
Migrants in early modern England, c1500-c1700