History


Head of Department: Mrs S Cousins
Faculty Staff: Mr D Bird, Mr M Gailey, Mr M Leaman
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth

The study of History fires students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps students develop their own identities and adopt a considered and responsible view of the world through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. Students find out about aspects of the history of Britain, Europe and the world, and develop a chronological overview that enables them to make connections within and across different periods and societies.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Using a chronological approach, students study aspects of British, European and world history from pre – 1066 to the present day. Emphasis is placed on developing key skills throughout the Key Stage, and students are given regular opportunities to undertake their own historical enquiries.

Year 7

1066-1485. This period encompasses the Norman invasion, Medieval power struggles, life in the Middle Ages, the Black Death and revolting peasants. Students will also learn about the Italian Renaissance.

Year 8

1485-1900. Within this time period students will learn about the causes of the English Civil War and how it was fought, the emergence of Great Britain, the Industrial Revolution, and slavery and its’ abolition.

Year 9

The 20th century. Students will focus on the First World War, the Inter-War Years, The Second World War, the Holocaust, aspects of the world post-1945, and how Britain has changed since 1950.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course Code: GCSE History A AQA 8145
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145

This course is a lively, interesting and challenging opportunity to study History.  It encourages the student to explore crucial and controversial issues in a variety of creative ways and closely traces how the past has directly influenced the world today.  We aim to help students acquire knowledge of the past through interesting and varied learning activities, such as fieldwork, group work, role play and debates. This course is ideal preparation for A Level courses in the humanities.

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements:

  • one period study
  • one thematic study
  • one wider world depth study
  • one British depth study including the historic environment.

Year 10:  Understanding the modern world

Section A: Period studies – America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation

This period study focuses on the development of America during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of expansion and consolidation – the expansion to the west and consolidation of the United States as a nation. Students will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Section B: Wider world depth studies – Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945–1972

This wider world depth study focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

Year 11: Shaping the nation

Section A: Thematic studies – Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted on the core themes.

Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment – Norman England, c1066–c1100

This option allows students to study in depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising controversies.


Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: 7042 (A Level)
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/as-and-a-level/history-7041-7042

Students who take this course:
Will gain insight into a fascinating subject that allows you to learn about some of the greatest personalities and most significant events of the past. Learning about history and the past is important in helping you to understand why things happened and what significance they had.

It is preferable that students should have a Grade 6 or higher in History at GCSE and/or Grade 6 in English at GCSE. In exceptional circumstances other candidates may be considered. Students should have an interest in people, their actions and responses to events. Students will need to analyse problems, debate issues, construct arguments and read widely around the subject.

Course Description:
The course looks at a broad spectrum of historical topics. This includes investigating regime change in 15th Century England and the successful consolidation of Tudor power; assessing the extraordinary reign of Elizabeth I in England and her triumph against all odds; and exploring the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, and their consequences for America. In addition, students will complete an independent enquiry.

For more information on A Level History, click here.

Enrichment and Links:

Students’ learning experiences are deepened and widened outside the classroom by a programme of educational visits designed to enhance and enrich the students understanding of the history they have studied. These include the opportunity to visit Chepstow Castle, the Imperial War Museum, the Battlefields of Ypres, Sherborne Castle and Washington D.C.

There are many first-class resources available online – please contact Mrs Cousins for recommendations and links.

History News