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History

The History Department is an experienced, stable and successful curriculum area which seeks to only not work towards examination success, but to develop life-long learners and enthusiasts for the subject.  The Department seeks to model and consequently inspire each and every student to engage with the stories and lessons of the past; to take personal responsibility for their own learning, to prioritise self-discipline and behaviour of learning, and to engage in, and enjoy the rewards of, working with purpose.

The nature of the discipline is wide-ranging:  students acquire a broad range of historical knowledge and chronological understanding which includes a sense of change and continuity over time; and an appreciation of the development of cultures and society.  Source skills; questioning skills; analytical writing and critical thinking are the tools with which history students unpack the complexity of the past, but equally understand the present and navigate their futures.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Pupils will study a carefully crafted curriculum which will trace a human narrative from Roman Britain through the Middle Ages and Early Modern Britain to the 21st Century Global Society we live in today.  Emphasis is placed on the promotion of certain core skills such as communication, causation, the use of evidence, change and continuity, the ability to identify and appreciate a range of perspectives and the need to discern different interpretations of the past.  The teaching approach will use a careful balance of active learning; independent study, and historical enquiry. 

 

Key Stage 4

The course follows the School’s History Project, focusing on four option topics:
 
1.       Crime and Punishment through time, c1000- present
2.       Super power relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991
3.       Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588 
4.       Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939
 
The Examination
 
Pupils are required to sit three examinations:-      

Paper 1 worth 30% - 1 hour 15 minutes
Paper 2 worth 40% - 1 hour 45 minutes
Paper 3 worth 30% - 1 hour 20 minutes

All units are assessed in the final year of the 2-year GCSE course.
 
Paper 1: Thematic study - Crime and Punishment through time, c1000-present
 
Pupils will study the change and continuity of crime and its punishment throughout History.  For example comparisons will be drawn between the years of the ‘Bloody code’ and modern day Britain’s judiciary system.  Pupils will also study the effectiveness of the various systems and begin to question and consider the moral implications of the differences in the punishment of crime.
 
Paper 1: Historic environment – Whitechapel, c1870-c1900: crime and policing
 
Pupils will study the relationship between the conditions in the East End district of Whitechapel and their impact on crime and policing in Britain at that time.  
 
Paper 2: Period study – Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991
 
Pupils will study the relations between the USA and the USSR from allies in WWII, through the Cold War until its ending with the fall of the Soviet Union.
 
Paper 2: British depth study – Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588
 
Pupils will study the complexities of Elizabethan society, with a particular focus on challenges to the government, religious divisions and social and economic problems.
 
Paper 3: Modern Depth Study – Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1939
 
Pupils will study the impact of WWI on German society and its long-term consequences for the new Weimar Government.  In addition pupils will explore the rise of Hitler and the change in life under the Nazis for the German people.
 
The History course has a heavy emphasis on literacy and requires pupils to have good comprehension skills and a willingness to read additional sources.

 

Key Stage 5

History A’ Level is a two year course. There will be no AS examination at the end of year 1.
 
Course Content and Assessment:
A Level:        Life in Nazi Germany: 1933-1945
                    The making of Modern Britain: 1951-2007
A (personal) historical enquiry: The Tudors 1486-1603
 
Unit 1 - The Quest for Political Stability: Germany, 1871–1991 - This is a breadth study unit which will enable pupils to study the unification of Germany as a Sovereign State, its collapse, and the failure of democracy between 1919-1933; the rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler’s subsequent dominance and control of German society and its long term damage on Germany during the second half of the Twentieth Century.   The content is arranged under the following areas:
·        The consolidation of Prussian States, and the Unification of Germany under Bismarck 1871
·        The development of Germany under autocratic power and its collapse in 1918
·        The establishment and failure of the Weimar Republic
·        The Nazi consolidation of power, 1933-34
·        Nazi propaganda and mass indoctrination
·        Nazi Organisations and the co-ordination of German society
·        The impact of war on the German people, 1939-1945
·        The division of Germany and the effects of World War Two
·        The collapse of Communism and the unification of Greater Germany
 
Unit 2 - The making of Modern Britain: 1951-2007 - This is a depth study which examines the changing nature of Britain after the landmark ending of Clement Atlee’s post-war Labour government and the return to power of the Conservatives under Winston Churchill.  The content is arranged under the following areas:
·        The post-war consensus, 1951-1964
·        The end of consensus, 1964-1975
·        The Thatcher revolution, 1975-1990
·        Conservative decline and the triumph of New Labour, 1990-2007
 
The Examination
Students are required to sit three examinations:- 
A Level:        Unit 1 worth 40% - 2hours 30 minutes (three questions)
                        Unit 2 worth 40% - 2hours 30 minutes (three questions)
Unit 3 worth 20% - a (personal) historical enquiry – 3500 words
 
Career Options: History is a well-regarded subject and is useful for pupils interested in careers in law, journalism, government and political life, but also for vocational careers such as teaching and social or youth work.  

 

Departmental Achievements

For the last 10 years the Department has consistently achieved significantly above the national average of A*-C Grades; more specifically achieving 80% in 2016 & 84% in 2017 with 32% of those students gaining A and A* Grades.

 

Co-Curricular Activities

There are opportunities to extend the learning of history beyond the classroom: history film club; KS3/4/5 study support and foreign historical visits (also in conjunction with other departments so as to encourage transferrable skills) are just some of the opportunities provided to students within the department.

 

Staff

Miss G. Ellis                    Department Leader of History

Mr J. Partridge                 Teacher of History

Miss C. Boileau              Teacher of History

Mrs L. Kearney Teacher of History

Mr J. McDonald Teacher of History/Geography