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History is a study of the past.  It has a distinct methodology which teaches students how to enquire, understand and interpret the past and the importance of sources as evidence.  History raises the awareness of moral, cultural, political, religious, economic and social perspectives of people in the past which may be present in today’s society.  It is important that all students should learn about history for it influences all aspects of our lives.  It shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong, and helps students to make sense of the world in which they live and to prepare students for adult life.

History is studied by all students at Key Stage 3 where they learn a range of topics to ensure a breadth of knowledge.  For example in Year 7 students will study Medieval Britain, the Native Americans and a History of Medicine through time.  In Year 8, students study how Britain developed into the British Empire, and slavery.  In Year 8 we also introduce students to the History of the 20th Century, looking at key events such as the Holocaust, the apartheid in South Africa and other fascinating topics that have had such an impact on our world. 

Students begin their GCSE in Year 9 with an in depth study of World War I and World War II.  This prepares them well for the new GCSE Edexcel History Syllabus which in part focuses on the 20th century after WWI.  The main areas of study include modern history units such as Germany 1918-1939 and the Cold War 1943-1991. Students will also study the Medieval Period, focusing on the reigns of King Richard I and King John. Finally, the GCSE course will include a thematic unit, which will cover the History of Medicine from 1250 to the present. This will also include a special unit on medicine on the western front during the First World War.

At A level, students continue with Edexcel and will start by studying revolution in early modern and modern Europe. This includes a breadth study of the causes and long term consequences of the English Civil War 1625-1701, as well as a depth study of the Russian Revolution 1894-1924. The A Level will also include a third unit on The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580–c1750. Finally, A Level students will also complete coursework on historical interpretations of the First World War.

Grouping and Setting

History is taught in mixed ability classes at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.  History is an option subject for GCSE and part of the English Baccalaureate.


Students complete an interim and landmark assessment every half term.  Students are given feedback on their work based on both of these assessments and complete improvement prompts based on these ensuring that they know how to improve their work.


The department runs a debating club to stretch and challenge our students with contributions from across the Humanities Faculty.  Two Year 13 students every year take part in the Lessons from Auschwitz programme.