History

All members of the department teach across the full age and ability range up to A level. The department’s philosophy and practice is based upon collaboration and the sharing of resources and ideas. We look to use a variety of strategies to ensure pupil engagement access and enjoyment in all our lessons and we strive to support them to succeed in History by working with them on their strengths and weaknesses within the subject. All classrooms have a number of display boards and the department is proud of the high standards of work that pupils produce.

In Key Stage 3, each year group is divided into two populations and are taught in mixed ability groups within a cluster of subjects: English, History, Geography and R.E. In Key Stage 3 History, pupils receive 3 x 60 minute lessons per fortnight. The curriculum offers a wide range of topics across Key Stage 3 to provide areas of interest for all pupils. In Year 7 we focus on The Romans and Medieval Realms, Year 8s study The Tudors and Stuarts and The Industrial Revolution periods and Year 9 look at slavery and civil rights, World War 1 followed by Hitler, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

We actively encourage all of our pupils to participate and challenge themselves within lessons and to learn independently through individual and group work, decision-making exercises, role-play, simulation/empathy games and extended writing. A healthy mixture of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities within lessons are used to engage pupils and our results  have been excellent and well above national averages. We ensure that pupils are always fully aware of the grades they are achieving through assessment and classwork, as well as their target grades using the new 0-9 grading system recently adopted by the school, following changes made by the Department of Education.

The Year 7 course begins with a transitional scheme of work on crime and punishment which introduces pupils to key historical skills such as prioritising information, looking at cause and consequence and how to analyse a source. Pupils then develop these newly acquired skills and their subject knowledge by focusing on the Romans which covers a variety of topics such as The Roman army and what life was like in Roman times. Additionally, pupils will study a topic known as medieval realms, this gives them the opportunity to advance their subject knowledge by studying The Battle of Hastings, castles and medieval life. Within these topics they will analyse a variety of historical sources on the Middle Ages, forming judgements about their reliability

Building on from Year 7, pupils will further enhance their historical skills in Year 8 by studying The Tudors and Stuarts. These topics allow pupils to develop their source analysis skills and their understanding of how the past has been interpreted by analysing a variety of sources on a multitude of Tudor Monarchs. Pupils will then investigate how one man initiated England’s only Civil War and the impact of this. Finally, pupils will study how Britain was transformed in the Industrial Revolution and will complete an independent project on a time period of their choosing in the twentieth century. The focuses on historical skills within these topics will allow pupils to be able to confidently analyse historical sources and gain an awareness of different ways the past has been interpreted.

In Year 9 pupils will refine their historical skills in the context of the Twentieth Century World. They will develop their empathy skills when studying how slaves were treated in the transatlantic slave trade and will be able to reach a judgement on how the position of African American people had changed towards the end of segregation in 1960’s America. Pupils will then study the causes of World War 1 and the conditions on the Western front. They will analyse a variety of historical sources and consider the different interpretations of how World War 1 has been portrayed in films and TV dramas, including Blackadder and All Quiet on the Western Front. Finally, pupils will embark on an enquiry, of how one man was allowed kill 11 million people, researching the rise of the Nazi Party and key aspects of the Holocaust.

In Years 10 and 11 History is taught in mixed ability groups. History is the most popular option within the school, often attracting up to 75% of the year group. There are 5 teaching groups in the current Year 10 and 11.

Two AQA GCSE specifications are offered to pupils. Pupils can either opt for Russia in the 19th Century or Germany. All students study the popular WW1  module and the Health/Medicine unit. For each specification there are local studies which accounts for 25% of the overall assessment. Pupils receive 5 lessons per fortnight at Key Stage 4. There are 2 field trips for both specifications which take place in Year 10 and 11. Pupils are given the opportunity to visit Quarry Bank Mill or the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Nottingham and all students visit Thackray Medical Museum.

GCSE results are well above the national average.

Students opting for History at AS/A level have increased greatly over the last three years after an extensive curriculum review. There are 26 students in the current Year 13 and 50 in Year 12. Students receive 10 lessons per fortnight. All members of the department teach AS/A level, the teaching of units is allocated to subject expertise. A Modern and Early Modern (Tudor) A level is offered to students, following the AQA specification.

EARLY HISTORY

Component One – Spain and the age of discovery
Component Two – The Wars of the Roses 1450 – 1499
Component Three – The Triumph of Elizabeth and the crisis of the Monarchy 1547 – 1650 (personal study)

MODERN HISTORY
Component One – USA 1890 – 1945
Component Two – Britain 1951 – 2007
Component Three – Ireland and the Union 1797 – 1928 (personal study)

These are well established within the department. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the planning and execution of all extra-curricular activities.

Year 7 – Medieval Day, Tatton Park, Cheshire
Year 8 – Tudor Trail, 3 day excursion to London
Year 8 – Blists Hill Victorian Museum
Year 9 – G&T Historians trip
Year 10/11 – Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire/Beth Shalom, Notts.
Year 10/11 – Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
Year 10 – Week long excursion to Krakow, Poland
Year 12 – Weekend Field Trip to London
Year 12 – The Battle of Bosworth
Year 12 – Manchester John Rylands University Library
Year 13 – Houses of Parliament/visit from local MP