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.
In Key Stage 3 History, pupils receive three 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 a transition project and Medieval Realms, Year 8 pupils study the Tudors, the Stuarts and the Industrial Revolution, and Year 9 look at World War One followed by the suffrage movement, Nazi Germany, and finally 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 the history of Sandbach, 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 by focusing on 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 evaluating a plethora of historical material 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. The focus 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 begin by studying the causes of World War One and the conditions on the Western front. They will analyse a variety of historical sources and consider the different interpretations of how World War One has been portrayed in poetry and dramas. They will further develop their interpretation skills in their study of suffrage by considering how accurate the film Suffragette is in representing the movement. Finally, pupils will embark on an enquiry, of how one man was allowed to 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 an extremely popular option within the school. There are four teaching groups in the current Year 10. 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 Britain and Health unit. For each specification there is a local study that accounts for 25% of the overall assessment. The local study focuses on Elizabethan England. Pupils receive 5 lessons per fortnight at Key Stage 4. There are 2 field trips for both specifications that take place in Year 10 and 11. Pupils are given the opportunity to visit Krakow, Poland in Year 10 and all students visit Thackray Medical Museum in Year 11. GCSE results are well above the national average.
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 A Level with the teaching of units allocated to subject expertise. A Modern and Early Modern A Level is offered to students, following the AQA specification.
Component One – The Tudors: England, 1485 – 1603
Component Two – The Sun King: Louis XIV, France and Europe, 1643 – 1715
Component Three – The Wars of the Roses, 1399 – 1483 (personal study)
Component One – The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865 – 1975
Component Two – The Making of Modern Britain, 1951 – 2007
Component Three – Ireland and the Union 1798 – 1923 (personal study)
Year 7 – Medieval Day, Tatton Park, Cheshire
Year 8 – Tudor Trail, three day excursion to London
Year 8 – Blists Hill Victorian Museum
Year 9 – G&T Historians trip
Year 10 – Week long excursion to Krakow, Poland
Year 11 – Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
Year 12 – Weekend Field Trip to Edinburgh
Year 12 – The Battle of Bosworth
Year 12 – Manchester John Rylands University Library
Year 13 – Houses of Parliament/visit from local MP