Our aim in history is to help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. In lessons we aim to inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. We aim to equip students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
What will students study?
Students extend and deepen their chronological knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, so that it provides a well-informed context for wider learning. Students 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. Students 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.
By the end of Key Stage 3, students are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the programme of study:
Key Skills: An introduction to History
Medieval Britain 1066-1509: Norman Conquest
Medieval Britain 1066-1509: Middle-Ages
Britain 1509-1745: The Tudors
Britain 1509-1745: The Stuarts and Civil War
Britain 1509-1745: Change in London
A Local History Study: Hertfordshire and Welwyn Garden City
World History: Voyages of discovery
Britain 1745-1901: Industrial revolution
Britain 1745-1901: Imperialism and Slavery
Wider World 1901-Present: Martin Luther King
Britain 1901-Present: The Titanic
Wider World 1901-Present: World War One
Wider World 1901-Present: Causes of World War Two
Wider World 1901-Present: Events of World War Two
Europe 1901-Present: The Holocaust
We follow the Edexcel exam board GCSE 1-9. The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods and societies in local, British, and wider world history; and of the wide diversity of human experience. Students will also engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers and develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context. Developing an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them is also a key skill. Students will need to organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and reach substantiated conclusions.
The programme of study includes:
Paper 1 – 30% Thematic study with historic environment:
Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city. This allows students to explore changing definitions of criminal activity, the changing nature of law enforcement and perceptions of justice. Students will uncover both personal stories and religious, social and political issues which influenced each era. There will be a focus on Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city for the historic environment study (worth 10 %) This will involve a day trip to London to see relevant sites and exhibits.
Paper 2 – 40% Period Study and British Depth Study:
Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91. Why did tensions break out between the USA and the USSR after 1945? Why was there nearly a nuclear war in 1962 over Cuba? How did the Cold War end?
Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88 In this age of warriors, 1066 seems to be a pivotal moment in British History with a battle that led to military occupation by a foreign elite. A study of before and after the conquest will also reveal the underlying direction of the country was already in motion. Some of the features of today’s kingdom were put in place by the Anglo-Saxons.
Paper 3 – 30% Modern Depth Study
Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39. How was Germany affected by the end of World War 1? Why did Hitler become Chancellor of Germany? How did Hitler keep control of Germany? Were there any good things about living in Nazi Germany?
We follow the Edexcel exam board A Level Route H. The aims and objectives of History A-Level are to enable students to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for history and an understanding of its intrinsic value and significance. They will acquire an understanding of different identities within society and an appreciation of aspects such as social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity, as appropriate, and build on their understanding of the past through experiencing a broad and balanced course of study. Students will develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with curious and enquiring minds as well as developing their ability to ask relevant and significant questions about the past and to research them. They will acquire an understanding of the nature of historical study, for example that history is concerned with judgements based on available evidence and that historical judgements are provisional. Students need to develop their use and understanding of historical terms, concepts and skills and make links and draw comparisons within and/or across different periods and aspects of the past. Lastly, they need to organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways, arguing a case and reaching substantiated judgements.
The programme of study includes:
Paper 1: Britain Transformed 1918-97. This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918–79. They will consider responses to the challenges of war, fluctuations in the economy, technological advancement and the desire for greater social equality. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1918–79. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: what impact Thatcher’s governments had on Britain, 1979–97.
Paper 2: USA Boom, Bust and Recovery 1920-55. This option comprises a study in depth of economic and social change in the USA from the post-war boom of the 1920s, through depression, recovery and war, to the transformation of many aspects of US society in the years immediately after 1945. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of economic change and its long-term effects, the growing demands by black Americans for social equality, and the cultural changes driven by individuals and by technological change.
Paper3: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII, 1399-1509. This option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the dramatic developments in late medieval England that centred around the personalities and political skills of a series of kings, queens and their powerful subjects, and the impact of these developments on the kingdom. Within the primarily political focus on the nature of kingship and authority in
England, this option also explores the wider social and economic contexts of political struggle.
Paper 4: Coursework Currently on The New Deal. Students will carry out an independently researched enquiry requiring you to analyse and evaluate historical interpretations and to organise and communicate the findings.
How can I support my child in this subject?
To support your child in history check your child’s organiser to see when they should have homework and check it’s being done with adequate effort. All homework is set on ClassCharts. Read through work with students and ask them questions about it – encourage them to jot down questions and queries. Make sure they understand assessment criteria and feedback
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
Ensure on a weekly basis that your child has the correct basic equipment for school (ie. pens, pencils, ruler, rubber, glue stick and colouring pencils).
Celebrating successes in this subject
In history we celebrate the success of students in lessons through the rewards system and house competitions. Teachers use reward points every lesson to recognise the effort, attainment and presentation of students. Each term subject prizes are given to students whose work has gone above and beyond what we might have expected. The very best students in each year group are also recognised when they are given the subject prizes in the celebration of achievements evening.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
Previous extra-curricular visits have included:
A visit to the Imperial War Museum.
A trip to Whitechapel – Jack the Ripper Tours.
A cross-curricular residential trip to Normandy.