Head of Department: Mrs K Sarbatta
Faculty Staff: Mrs S Cousins, Miss A Thomas-Stone, Mr M Leaman
Level of teaching: 
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

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.

Key Stage 3 Learning Journey

Year 7

1066-1603. This period encompasses the Norman invasion, Medieval power struggles, life in the Middle Ages, the Black Death and revolting peasants. We also cover the Tudors, English Reformation and the end of the Tudor dynasty.

Year 8

1603-1900. 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 British Empire, 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

1B Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship
This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They 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 – Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

This unit 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

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

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

Recommended Entry Requirements

  • Grade 5 GCSE History
  • Grade 5 GCSE English Language

Why History?
In this fascinating subject, you will learn about some of the greatest personalities and most significant events of the past, why things happened and what significance they had. The course looks at a broad spectrum of historical topics including:

  • Evaluating how effectively the Tudors restored and developed the powers of the monarchy,
  • Assessing the extraordinary reign of Elizabeth I in England and her triumph against all odds,
  • Analysing the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from WWII as superpower and
  • Exploring concepts, ideas and events such as anticommunism, social equality, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War and their consequences for America.

In addition, you will complete some independent research.


40% – Component 1
Breadth Study – The Tudors: England 1485 – 1603
40% – Component 2
Depth Study – The American Dream: Reality and Illusion 1945 – 1980
20% – Component 3
Historical Investigation: An independent research study of 3,000 words on a topic of your choice.

Recommended Reading

AQA A level History: The Tudors 1485-1603 by D Ferriby et al.
AQA A level History: The American Dream: Reality and Illusion 1945-1980 by V Sanders
AQA History: My Revision Notes for The Tudors and for The American Dream.

Resources & Links:

Recommended Resources

Podcast Ideas – History

BBC Bitsize GCSE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zxjk4j6

AQA GCSE Specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145

KS3 Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zk26n39

Simple History Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC510QYlOlKNyhy_zdQxnGYw


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 in Year 7, the Black Country Living Museum in Year 8, Bovington Tank Museum and the Battlefields of Ypres in Year 9. We also offer a range of experiences in sixth form such as visits to Berlin, Rome, Hampton Court, Shepton Mallet Prison, Bristol Crown Court, plus many more.

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