Curriculum Leader: Miss T Bowen
‘Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it’ Edmund Burke
The History Department is ambitious, high achieving and creative, staffed by six experienced teachers. It is our aim to promote learning in a lively and engaging way that combines fun with academic rigor. We are well resourced, with 5 classrooms, each with interactive whiteboards and books for all Key Stages.
The curriculum we offer is broad and enriching, designed to develop an appreciation for and enjoyment of History.
To further develop students’ passion for History, the department offers a range of extra-curricular activities and students are encouraged to expand their interest in History outside the classroom. We also work closely with the University of York to provide enrichment opportunities.
Miss T Bowen TBo
Miss H Smith HS
Mrs K Jenner KJ
Mrs A Martin AM
Ms L Booth LBo
Mr B Abbott BA
In Years 7, 8 & 9, students are taught History in three one-hour lessons per fortnight. Students are taught in mainly mixed ability groups in Year 7 and set in Year 8 & 9. Lessons at KS3 are based on developing skills and promoting active and accessible learning.
The curriculum at KS3 follows a broadly chronological framework.
- Year 7: Medieval Realms (1066-1500) and the Making of the UK (1500 – 1750).
- Year 8: The Industrial Revolution (1750-1900), Empire and Slavery, and Twentieth Century World up to 1939.
- Year 9: Events of World War Two, Decolonisation and the Cold War, 1945-60
Students are given opportunities to extend their learning outside of the classroom with a range of visits to places of interest including a trip to Fountains Abbey in Year 7 and a 1st World War Battlefields trip to Ypres for Year 8 in the summer term.
Please have a look on the VLE for homework tasks and extra reading resources for History in Years 7, 8 & 9.
History is a popular choice at KS4, with currently 6 groups in Year 10 and 11. Students are taught in mixed ability groups and sets where this is possible for 5 hours per fortnight.
At Key Stage 4, students are entered for AQA GCSE History (link below). Final assessment will take place at the end of Year 11 in the form of two separate examinations (2 hours each).
In preparation for these examinations, students study 4 units:
Paper 1: Understanding the Modern Word:
- America 1920-1973
- Conflict & Tension 1945-1972
- Thematic Unit: Power & the People (a study of protest through time from the 1215 Magna Carta to modern day protests about Climate Change and Brexit)
- Depth Unit: Norman England 1066-1100 and a site study of the Historical Environment. For students taking the exams in the summer of 2021 the site chosen by AQA is the White Tower, London. For students taking the exam in 2022 the site study is Castle Acre Priory, Norfolk. When possible and practical we try to take the students to the site in question but we encourage families to go and explore for themselves too.
Over the course of the two years, students will be assessed regularly and their progress tracked. Formal mock examinations take place at the end of Year 10 and in the autumn term of Year 11. In order to extend students’ learning, we offer a range of extra-curricular activities including theatre trips and a trip to Berlin in the October of Year 11. In the spring term of Year 11, students are provided with an extensive revision programme in preparation for their final exams, which take place at the end of Year 11.
Our VLE is packed with online learning and revision resources that are designed specifically for our course content. All GCSE History students should be using the site from the moment that they start the course.
Further information and guidance on this course can be found at: www.aqa.org.uk
At KS5 the Department offers courses in both History and Politics. Both courses have proved to be popular and successful with 2 classes for History and 1 class for Politics in Years 12 & 13.
Through varied and creative teaching methods, within a supportive academic environment, students are encouraged to become independent, evaluative learners, studying History to the highest levels.
Academic study is complemented by a number of extra-curricular enrichment opportunities, which aim to broaden and develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject in different contexts. Recent opportunities have included Lecture days in London & Manchester for both Politics & History; an NEA History workshop to prepare students for their coursework assignments; visits to York University Library; and trips to Parliament and The Supreme Court for the Politics students.
The following A Levels are offered:
- History (AQA):
- Unit 1: Britain 1485-1603 (2hrs 30 exam)
- Unit 2: Russia 1917-53 (2hrs 30 exam)
- Unit 3: Non-Examined Assessment (NEA). Students start this in June of Year 12 and complete it by February of Year 13. Students are given a range of optional subjects to write about ranging from the Crusades and the Black Death; to Early Modern Civil War Britain and Early Modern China; to Modern American, Irish, African or German History; to topics surrounding Democracy and Women’s Rights in Britain. Students are able to find a topic that interests them and conduct serious historical research which sets them up brilliantly with the analytical skills that they will need for University study and further into employment.
If you need further information on this course there is lots of useful information on the AQA website www.aqa.org.uk.
- Politics (Edexcel)
- Component 1 – UK Politics and Core Political Ideas (incorporating units on Democracy and Participation, Political Parties, Electoral Systems, Voting Behaviour and the Media. Core Ideologies are Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism)
- Component 2 – UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas (incorporating units on the Constitution, Parliament, PM and Cabinet, the Supreme Court and the European Union. For our Non-Core Ideology we look at Feminism.
- Component 3 – Government and Politics of the USA (incorporating units on the US Constitution and Federalism, Congress, the US Presidency, the Supreme Court and Civil Rights, Democracy and Participation and Comparative Approaches)
Each exam is 2 hours with a combination of source based and knowledge based essay questions. The USA paper also has shorter answer comparative questions. The papers are equally weighted at 33.3% of the full A level each. The course is a popular choice with students. At present there is one teaching group in Year 12 and one group in Year 13. Many students continue to study politics or related subjects at degree level. If you need further information and guidance on this course it can be found at www.edexcel.org.uk.
In addition to this the department subscribes to pre-chewed politics an invaluable learning and revision resource. Politics students should ask Politics teaching staff for the entry codes to this site.
- Yr 7 visit Fountains Abbey.
- Yr 8 visit Ypres on a 3 day 1st World War Battlefields Trip.
- Yr 11 visit Berlin on a 4 day trip in October as part of their study of the Cold War.
- Yr 12 attend History and Politics lectures in Manchester and London as part of their A level studies.
- Yr 12 Politics students also visit Parliament and the Supreme Court.
- Several of our Yr 12/13 students have had the opportunity to take part in the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project, including a trip to Auschwitz.
- Yr 13 Politics students have also been offered a biennial trip to Washington.
- Yr 13 Politics also attend an annual conference at the British Library Eccles Centre for American Studies where they get to meet Republican and Democrat Congressmen and women and ask them questions about their work in the heart of American government.
- We have been involved in Workshops as part of Holocaust Memorial Day and the peripatetic Anne Frank Exhibition has been resident in the department.
- We run several theatre trips. Recently we have been to see Goodnight Mr Tom, Birdsong and War Horse.
- We are also members of the Historical Association and their thriving youth wing have organised regular talks and experiences for our older students thinking of studying History at University. In recent times a trip to the Borthwick Archives at the University of York and a talk from an Oxford University Historian on how to prepare for the Oxford entry exam have been provided. Students who are interested should speak to their History teacher or go directly to Miss Bowen. The link to the site is below,