History fires students’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world

Teaching Staff:

  • Mr J.Curran – Subject Leader
  • Ms C Kattirtzi – Headteacher
  • Mrs G Lyne
  • Mrs R Lee-Johnson

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, following reforms to the History GCSE qualification brought in nationally in from 2016, the AQA History 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:

  • Germany, 1890-1945: the effects of the First World War, problems with democracy and life in Nazi Germany
  • Conflict and tension between the East and the West, 1945-1972: the Cold War and international crises
  • The development of medicine and health in Britain, c1000AD-the present day (subject to confirmation)
  • Elizabethan England, c.1568-1603
  • A case study of a historical site from Elizabethan England, such as Hardwick Hall


History is a consistently popular subject in the Sixth Form at Kendrick. Most students complete the full A Level qualification. Each year, a number of students go on to study History at university, including Oxbridge.

The course

The A Level course, similarly to the current GCSE syllabus, mostly focuses on modern history, but studies societies which are new to students to present a fresh challenge. The course includes sections of essay-writing, analysis and evaluation of contemporary source material and historians’ interpretations. These build on skills introduced in earlier years. We teach the A Level syllabus offered by the OCR exam board:

Two units will be studied by both A Level and AS Level students:

  • Modern Britain, 1930-1997, including a source-based study of Winston Churchill, 1930-51
  • The French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1774-1815

Two additional units will be studied by A Level students only:

  • Russia and its Rulers, 1855-1964
  • A coursework essay of 3000-4000 words, worth 20% of the qualification, where students will have some choice of topic


Work in the classroom is enhanced by historical visits. In Years 7-9 students are able to visit Reading Museum, the Black Country Living Museum and the battlefields of the Western Front from the First World War. GCSE students have the opportunity to view a performance of a hypothetical trial of Adolf Hitler. In the Sixth Form students are able to attend subject conferences, the National Archives and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Reading lists A-level History History Enrichment