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Head of Department: Mr J Pratt (Acting) 

Teachers: Mr G Chisholm; Ms R Codlin, Mr A Hammond, Mr S Rockell, Mr J Stuart

The History Department has consistently achieved top results at both GCSE and A-Level. The History curriculum covers a wide range of topics; it is both challenging, interesting and thought provoking. Teachers within the department are passionate about the subject and organise a number of trips from visits to Battle Abbey to the Battlefields of Ypres. There is also a weekly debating society in which current affairs are discussed. The department is popular amongst students with a high uptake at GCSE and A-Level with many opting study History, Politics or International Relations at university.

We have been the lead department in the Humanities Specialism awarded to the school in 2007-8 and Ofsted have recognised ‘outstanding teaching’ in their recent inspections (2008, 2013).

Co-curricular activities
Year 9 Ypres, Year 10 Berlin, History Club, Debating Society, and Mock United Nations Assembly. At times of national elections we run 'in school' mock elections.

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. (H. G. Wells)

Years 7, 8 and 9

Year 7: Britain 1066, the Norman Conquest, to 1500:

  • Why and how did the Normans invade and conquer Britain?
  • How successful were the English in extending their rule?
  • How did this conquest affect society and people’s lives?
  • How powerful was the monarchy?
  • What was the impact of other cultures in the Middle Ages?

Year 8: Britain 1500-1850:

  • Why and how did Europe change between the 1450s and the 1530s?
  • How much did the Tudors change Britain?
  • Were Britain and France transformed by revolution between 1600 and 1815?
  • Why and how did Britain become the centre of a great empire and what were the consequences of this?

Year 9: Britain 1750–1900

  • How did Britain change between 1750 and 1900?
  • Why was the Great War called the ‘war to end all wars’?
  • What were the key social and political changes in Britain and Europe between 1918 and 1939?
  • Why did World War Two result in ‘total war’?
  • What were the major turning points in the war?
  • What were the major issues arising from the war?

National Curriculum 

GCSE: Years 10 and 11

GCSE Course Content

Year 10

Curriculum Outline:

  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91

Year 11

Curriculum Outline:

  • Thematic study: Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000-present
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39

Exam Board: Edexcel

Link to Specification:

A Level: Years 12 and 13

Entry requirement: GCSE grade 6 in History. 

Course content: The A-Level History course allows students to develop a deepened historical knowledge and understanding of a number of pivotal periods and events that have shaped the world we live in today. The course will enable you to develop important transferable skills including, critically evaluating evidence, researching and using historical documents, producing reasoned and thoughtful arguments, presentation and interpersonal skills.  History is an academic subject and consequently, it is well respected by universities and gives access to a wide range of employment opportunities.

Year 12 Curriculum Outline




% of A2


Russia 1917-91: from Lenin to Yeltsin

Breath Study with interpretations.

Students will study the Bolshevik rise to power and the maintenance of Communist control from Lenin to Brezhnev. The final question will assess different interpretations of the decline and end of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev.


(60% AS)


Mao’s China, 1949-76

Depth Study

An in-depth study of Mao’s China from the end of WW2 until his death. Students will be required to complete both a depth essay as well as a source based question.



Year 13 Curriculum


The experience of warfare 1790-1918

Themes in breadth with aspects in depth

Students will investigate the changing nature and experience of warfare from the Napoleonic wars to end of WWI. This exam will involve two essays focused on depth and breadth as well as a source based question.



Interpretations of Appeasement during the 1930s


Students complete an independently researched enquiry on historical interpretations. This unit requires students to complete a 3000-4000 word essay.


Exam Board: Edexcel

Link to Specification:


Careers Education

  • The Department has a successful track record of students proceeding to study History, Politics or International Relations at University. A number of students have gone on to study the subject at Oxbridge.
  • The Department provides specific guidance to students applying for History and develops important skills outside the classroom through the Debating Society, extensive reading lists and a wide range of books that help students to investigate Historical periods outside of the curriculum.
  •  The Department also provides advice for those students who require extra support for any applications to higher education.