The Place And Importance Of History In The Curriculum
'History fires students' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Students consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people's actions. As they do this, students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, students find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view - skills that are prized in adult life.' SOURCE: National Curriculum documents
Our department aims to:
- Guide students in learning facts about the past
- Promote active learning and enquiry
- Expand students' knowledge of local, national and international communities
- Develop the skills of the historian, particularly evidence handling skills, and enrich students' educational experience
- Create an awareness of evidence and key historical concepts
- Provide an appreciation of change and continuity
- Cultivate an understanding of cause, historical empathy and chronology
History up to Year 9
History is taught as a separate subject throughout the school within the faculty of Humanities. At this level students are taught in form groups. Students will cover a number of topics whilst developing the following skills
- Chronological understanding
- Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past
- Historical interpretation
- Historical enquiry
- Organisation and communication
Some examples of topics covered up to Year 9 are: The Roman Empire, Medieval England, Early Modern Britain - The Reformation, Tudors, English Civil War, England 1750 - 1900 - The Industrial Revolution, Slavery and Empire, World Wars 1 and 2, The Holocaust and the Civil Rights movement.
At GCSE the AQA Modern World History (B) syllabus is followed. At this level, History is an option although a Humanities subject must make up a part of any student's GCSE selection. The course objectives of GCSE History include an understanding of the nature and use of historical evidence, and the development of essential skills such as the handling of source materials, detection of bias, and the ability to analyse and construct a logical argument.
Topics covered include:
- From Tsardom to Communism: Russia, 1914-24
- Hitler’s Germany, 1929-1939
- Race relations in the USA, 1955-1968
- International relations: The Cold war and the collapse of Communism,1945-1991
- Controlled Assessment: The British people in the First and Second World Wars
AS AND 'A'LEVEL
The Edexcel syllabus is followed.
Unit 1: Historical themes in breadth. (25%)
This looks at issues of power, influence and control in society, including politics, values and beliefs. The unit requires students to address two linked themes with a range of perspectives such as social, religious, political and cultural.
Content: The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism.
- The Road to Unification: Italy c1815-70
- From Second Reich to Third Reich: Germany 1918-45
Assessment: Written exam. 1 hour 20mins. Two essay questions.
Unit 2: British History Depth Study. (25%)
This unit explores issues of power, influence and control in society within the context of British history. This is studied in depth using source material.
Content: Britain c1860-1930: The Changing Position of Women and the Suffrage question.
- The changing personal, educational and political position of women.
- The campaign and achievement of votes for women.
Assessment: Written exam. 1 hour 20mins. Source-based questions.
Unit 3: Depth studies and historical controversies. (30%)
This study allows students to explore issues of challenge and conflict within societies and the impact those challenges had on the period studied. The unit also requires students to work with secondary sources selected to provide evidence of differing views about historical controversies.
Content: France 1786-1830: Revolution, Empire and Restoration.
Assessment: Written exam. 2 hours. Two questions: one essay and one source-based.
Unit 4: Historical Enquiry (20%)
Here students will study key aspects of a theme over a 100 year period to develop understanding the process of change over a long period of time. They will be investigating long and short-term significance within this period.
Content: Challenging Authority: Protest and Reform1789-1889
Assessment: Coursework. Two equally weighted questions. Total word limit of 4000 words.
Part (a): Students carry out an enquiry into the short-term significance of a key individual or event in the period. Students have a choice as to the focus of their investigation. Part (b): Students investigate the process of change over the 100 year period and answer a teacher- set question on the significance of a factor.
The majority of students continue from AS to 'A' Level and a large number of girls choose to do History at university.
Work in the classroom is enhanced by historical trips and visits. These are varied and include sixth-form History conferences, a Holocaust memorial visit to Auschwitz, the “Cold War payback” trip, visit to the Black country museum and visits to the National Archives and to Reading museum.
History A-Level Reading List