History Department

Head of Department: Dr M. McPartland

The History key stage 3 syllabus (year 7-9) focuses on the acquisition of the skills necessary for success at GCSE and A level. This is done through a wide range of units of work from a study of the Roman Empire to the Holocaust and World War Two.

In year 7 students are faced with a series of enquiry questions:

Why was the Roman Army so successful?
Was Julius Caesar a tyrant?
Why did William of Normandy win the Battle of Hastings?
How did the Normans control England after the conquest?
How bad was ‘Bad’ King John?
Why did the Black Death cause so much loss of life?
Why were the Peasants revolting?
Why did Scotland hate the English so much?

In year 8 students are faced with the following enquiry questions:
Why was the Abbot Richard Whiting brutally executed in 1539?
Why was the world turned upside down in the 1640s?
Were all 19th century factory owners terrible employers?
Why was Britain on the verge of revolution in the early 19th century?
What lay behind the horrors of the slave trade and why was it abolished?
Should Britain be proud or ashamed of its Empire?

In year 9 students study the following enquiry questions:
Why did the First World War break out in 1914?
Was the Battle of the Somme a complete disaster?
Why did Black Americans need to fight for civil rights in the 1950d and 60s?
Were the British Army really led by donkeys in the First World War?
Was Britain partly to blame for World War 2?
How has D-Day been represented in film?
How and why did the Holocaust happen?

GCSE – Years 10 and 11

At GCSE students study the Edexcel syllabus:

Paper 1 - Thematic Study and Historic environment :
Option 11: Medicine in Britain, c1250–present


The British sector of the Western Front,
1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches
Paper 2 - Period Study and British Depth Study
Option B1: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88
Option 24/25: The American West, c1835–c1895
Paper 3 - Modern Depth Study
Option 31: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

A level

At A level students follow the AQA syllabus. The course is assessed through 3 units; two 2 hour 45 minute exam papers and a 3000-3500 work coursework essay. Students study the following units:

Component 1: Breadth Study – 40% of the final grade
1D Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702
Component 2: Depth Study – 40% of the final grade
2J America: A Nation Divided, c1845–1877
Component 3: Coursework – 20% of the final grade
African-American Civil Rights 1877-1980

Year 9 vist the First World War Battlefields in France and Belgium also Year 10 visit Quarry Bank Mill as part of their coursework.

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