A Brief Introduction to the History Department
Our history curriculum is ambitious and engaging. Students learn about periods from 1066 onwards, pursuing enquiry questions, that inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more such as "To what extent was medieval England a place of fear and decay?" and "Why did Charles II execute dead men?". Our curriculum studies scholarship from some of the best historians in the field, and develops in students not only their knowledge and analysis of historical events and claims, but also their ability to write wonderful responses as historians in their own right. Their studies will support the pupils in gaining a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of changes and relationships between different groups. History aims to build understand of their own identity and challenges of their time.
Key Stage 4 covers Years 10-11 and so pupils in Year 9 will make their option choices. In Year 9 the students will refine their historical skills through two units of study. The Holocaust is covered in our first unit, we look at the definitions, life for the Jewish people before Nazi rule, common misconceptions as well as looking at the wider responsibility of the Holocaust. Our second unit in Year 9 is the ‘Roaring 20s’ this looks at the development of America in the inter war years, the rise of organised crime, race relations and economic history. At GCSE one unit introduces students to the causes and key events within the Cold War. The particular emphasis is that on Conflict in Asia, focusing on the Korean and Vietnam wars. Alongside this work, students will be continually developing their exam skills through the regular cycle exam style assessed questions and extended answers.
The topics studied in Years 10 and year 11 are Germany 1890 – 1945 (with specific focus on Hitler’s Germany), Norman England and our Thematic study, Health and the People – looking at the development of medicine from 1000 to today. (They are able to use their own lived experiences of the COVID outbreaks in this unit.)
This is a rich and rewarding course that will both engage and challenge students throughout.