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The History department strives to deliver consistent, challenging and thought-provoking lessons. It is important that students realise that the people here before us, though similar to us in many ways, were also remarkably different. It is also important that students understand how our society has evolved, and why we are what we are now.
The story of the past is a fascinating one and we place great importance on how we know what happened, by studying the evidence available and using the discipline of history to create great historians.
The most important skills we cultivate are the development of strong subject knowledge and the ability to read widely and write clearly. To get better at History as a discipline is to develop knowledge of history.
History is a literary subject in an increasingly non-literary world. In History, pupils will go beyond videos and the internet and go into books. Good factual knowledge and understanding of the past can only come from wide reading. Extended writing is another fundamental skill of History. But we do not want chroniclers; our pupils critically assess the past and develop their own views on which explanations seem most convincing; thereby developing their critical thinking skills.
Year 7 & 8
In Year 7 and 8 students study British History from the Romans to Modern Day. This allows students to reflect how Britain came to be Britain as we know it today. Students also study a wide range of world history including Islamic Civilisations, The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Civil Rights Movement, World War One, World War Two and the Holocaust. All of these topics help widen students understanding of the world today.
History lessons at Key Stage 3 help students rethink their own perspectives and inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about history that will, we hope, remain with them for the rest of their lives. Pupils will learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh up evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
History helps people understand the complexity of our lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well their own identity and challenges of our time. History lessons are challenging at Key Stage 3 and prepare them for GCSE by introducing students to all styles of questions and skills they will need to master by Year 11, as well as maintaining a strong focus on the mastery of knowledge.
In Year 9, students start by studying Crime & Punishment over a thousand years of history.
Students start this journey in the 11th century and study how crimes, methods of law enforcement and the purposes of punishment have changed all the way through to 2018. This allows students to understand change and continuity and explore the different reasons for change including the roles of the economy, society, government and religion.
Students also engage with some of the most important parts of British History including the Norman Conquest, the Gunpowder plot, the witch hunts and the First World War. As part of this topic, students also complete an historical environment study where they look at the context of Whitechapel in the nineteenth century and explore Crime and Punishment in Victorian London.
Year 10 & 11
In Year 10 and 11 students begin their GCSE studies. Students will first study Elizabeth I and Early Modern England. Students will learn the different challenges facing the Queen and reach a judgement as to whether she introduced a Golden Age to England.
The study of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany is one of the most important topics student study at history. Students learn how the rise of this dictatorship was able to happen by assessing the different causes including economic, political and social factors.
Finally, students study Superpower relations and the Cold War which gives students a deeper understanding of the different political ideologies that exist and the complex relationship between USA and Russia. Throughout their GCSE, students are expected to engage in a wide range of academic literature as well grappling with complex sources and interpretations to reach an understanding of the past.