The History department prides itself on our diverse and engaging curriculum that reflects our local community and our multicultural society. We believe that History is a subject that helps us to orientate ourselves and that it is intimately connected to our lives. We aim to provide an intellectually stimulating learning experience for all students; developing their critical thinking, historical literacy and communication skills through the study of pertinent, engaging and thought-provoking historical enquiries.
Key Stage 3
The year 7 curriculum is designed to give students a foundation of history through studies of the ancient and medieval world. Students are introduced to the key features of the discipline of History in order to build an understanding of the skill and methods of historians. We explore how historians make histories through a study of Africa’s historic relationship with religion. We study the succession crisis of Empress Matilda, and the extent of the sovereignty of the medieval monarchs. Students then explore the contributions of Islam to Science before going on to learn about the key historical episode of the English Reformation. Students conclude the year with a study of Mughal India.
The focus for year 8 is injustice and activism. Students study these themes through the histories of Native Americans, The Transatlantic Slave Trade and its role in the construction of race and the nature of race after abolition. They also gain an understanding of how power in Britain shifts through the development of Parliamentary Authority as well as people power through The Match Women Strike and a Local History study: The Grunwick Strike, 1976 and Women’s suffrage struggles.
Key Stage 4
The focus for year 9 is conceptual and contextual preparation for the GCSE units. The key historical topics studied are the First World War, The Russian Revolution, The Holocaust, India and World War Two, The experience of the Windrush generation and the life and legacy of Muhammad of Ali.
Students study in depth the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
In Year 10 The period study (America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality) focuses on the development of the USA 1920-1973 during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the ‘American Dream’ whilst others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination and prejudice. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in bringing about change.
The topic of Conflict and tension in Asia, 1950–1975 enables year 10 students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It considers the role of nationalist movements in causing and sustaining conflict. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War in Asia and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
The year 11 thematic study Migration, Empire and People, c.790- present day will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.
Key Stage 5
The A Level course begins with a study of the historical theme of ‘in search of rights and freedoms’ in year 12. Paper 1 covers the unit ‘America c.1917-1996: In Search of the American Dream.’ This unit explores the social, political, economic and cultural developments in the USA during this period. Paper 1 is assessed by a 2 hour 15-minute paper covering two depth study questions and one question evaluating two interpretations of the Ronald Reagan Presidency.
Paper 2 covers the unit South Africa, 1948–94: From Apartheid State to ‘Rainbow Nation’. It studies the development of the Apartheid system and freedom struggles of resistance. Paper 2 is assessed by 1 hour 30-minute paper covering an analysis of primary sources, and a question on a specific historical episode.
In Year 13 students focus on Britain’s historic relationship with Ireland in the unit Ireland and the Union, c1774–1923. This course looks at nationalist struggles for freedom and independence from Britain and Britain’s changing policy towards Ireland in this period. To complement this study, students go on a study-trip to Dublin (Ireland) to gain a deeper insight into this critical history. This unit is assessed by a 2 hour and 15-minute paper where students answer questions evaluating a primary source, a topic in depth and a thematic breadth study.
Students also complete an independent coursework essay of up to 5,000 words comparing and critically evaluating three contrasting historical interpretations.