History is not intended to simply be “one thing after another”, a study of “great men”, nor a collection of isolated facts. Our aim is for students to use their knowledge to develop the skills of a historian: to evaluate primary evidence; identify and analyse interpretations; construct arguments, both written and verbal, to make substantiated judgements; and to work independently. These skills, together with specialist first and second-order historical vocabulary and concepts are incorporated throughout the curriculum. They are also sequenced so that students have the opportunity to revisit and build on their skills to facilitate progress. Across the Key Stage 3 topics, history colleagues are encouraged to use their knowledge and professional judgement to adapt lessons for students of all aptitudes, the vast majority of whom are taught in mixed ability groups with some banding based on English performance in Years 7 and 8. We emphasise the shared school value of working hard and doing your best and help students become at ease with doubt – there are very few absolutes in history.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, pupils extend and deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, so that it provides a well-informed context for wider learning. Pupils identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time. They use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways. They pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response. They understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
Key Stage 4 and 5
Britain, Health and the People:
This thematic study enables students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments and their impact on British Society.
Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship
This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and how these have influenced change.
Conflict and Tension 1918-1939 :
This topic focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations. Elizabethan England, c1568-1603: This topic allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
British period study: The Early Stuarts: 1603-46
Non-British period study: Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany 1918-63
Thematic study: Tudor Rebellions
Historical Investigation - A personal study based on a topic of student's choice.
3,000 – 3,500 words
20% of A-level