History aims to instil the understanding that everyone’s lives are affected by the past, from small stories we build bigger pictures, from local, national and international history we build a better understanding of our present. We foster independent thinking and encourage the analysis and evaluation of others’ arguments and opinions. We focus on the core historical skills of chronological understanding, interpretations of the past, continuity and change in and between periods, cause and consequence, and significance. We teach our students to use these skills to tackle historical enquiries.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 aims to develop students’ confidence to question, investigate and justify ideas.
As such, at the heart of KS3 historical study is three questions:
- How were people in the past ruled?
- How did they live?
- What did they believe?
Throughout KS3 students will refer back to these three questions in a chronological journey of British history from 1066 to the modern day. In doing so, students will develop a confidence in their exploration of the lives, beliefs and power structures that shaped each period of time, encouraging them to make comparisons and judgements.
We try to ensure that our students are exposed to a variety of histories; social, economic, military and political to give them a breadth of knowledge and understanding. Pupils are encouraged to develop their own conclusions about the past, from examining the Black Death as a force for change, to extent to which certain groups are ‘hidden from history’.
Key Stage 4
Our Year 10 and 11 students follow the AQA GCSE course. The units studied are: America - inequality and opportunity 1920-1973; Conflict and tension 1945- 1972; Britain - health and the people c.1000 – the present day; Elizabethan England 1568 - 1603. At Key Stage 4 there is a greater focus on written communication as well as the use of evidence, and pupils learn how to argue, evaluate and explain clearly. History remains a popular GCSE, as it develops skills that are useful in such careers as the media, government and administration, social work, education and law, amongst others.
Key Stage 5
In Key Stage 5, we offer the AQA A Level History course. In Year 12 and 13, students will study two units – Unit 1 Russia Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964 and Unit 2 The Wars of the Roses 1450–1499. There will also be a coursework unit in Year 13 investigating the causes of the greater right for women during the period 1855 - 1975. This course allows students to develop their critical thinking skills, handle evidence with ease and construct thoughtful arguments. Our A-level historians often find that the skills and knowledge they develop are well complemented by subjects such as sociology, psychology, religious studies, geography and English. Our students have gone on to a range of careers including teaching, legal and judicial roles, social work and politics.
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