Head of Department: Helen Harris
Staff Contact Details:
The aim of the History department at Christ’s is to stimulate a curiosity about the lives of people living in the past. By learning about those who have shaped our local, national and international communities students will develop a sense of their own identity within the world in which they live. This helps to place value on their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. An understanding of the past helps to bring greater understanding of the present; through which students can form their own opinions about the world in which they live, using the mistakes of the past to guide them. We also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, evaluation, interpretation and problem solving. In order to communicate their ideas, students will learn to write clearly and analytically.
History is an exciting and enjoyable subject to study at Christ’s. Lesson are varied; many are enquiry based to allow students to explore historical evidence for themselves. Other lessons may use media or games to help all ability levels to learn about the past. From Year 7, historical skills are developed for those who want to study History at GCSE, A-level and beyond.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 History students gain both a breadth and depth of knowledge of Britain from pre-1066 to the present day. In Year 7 students focus on Historical Skills in the first half term. They then look at life in England in the medieval period, starting with the Norman invasion. In Year 8 students focus on the Tudors and Stuarts and the British Empire. In Year 9 students study the Industrial Revolution and both World Wars. Across the three years students learn skills such as source analysis and evaluation, historical interpretations, and essay writing, all of which are developed further at Key Stage 4
- What is History? A skills based course introducing students to the key skills and terminology needed to study history at secondary school.
- The Battle of Hastings: Contenders to the throne, what happened, why William won, how William secure his position in the long term.
- Middle Ages: Role of the Church, Murder in the Cathedral, life of monks and nuns, living conditions, King John, Magna Carta, development of Parliament, the Black Death and Peasants' Revolt.
- Tudors: Richard III and Battle of Bosworth, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and the Reformation, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I including the Spanish Armada.
- Stuarts: Causes of the English Civil War, events of the English Civil War, the Restoration, the Glorious Revolution and the decline in the power of the Monarchy.
- Empire: Size and scale of the British Empire, impact of Empire on India, Mughal India, was the Empire a force for good? Triangular trade, development of slavery in the Americas, struggle to abolish the slave trade.
- Industrial Revolution: The invention of machines and development of factories, the impact of factories on the growth of towns and living conditions, changes in transportation, changes in the franchise (Suffragettes).
- World War One: Causes for the outbreak of war, life in the trenches, weapons, Battle of the Somme, role of the generals, armistice.
- Inter-War Years: Treaty of Versailles, Wall Street Crash and Great Depression in Germany, rise of Hitler, Hitler's foreign policy.
- World War Two: Phony War, Evacuation from Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Holocaust, end of the war including the dropping of the atomic bomb.
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
The History department follows the Edexcel History (9-1) GCSE specification.
Years 10 and 11:
Medicine Through Time c1250 – present & Medicine on the Western Front 1914 – 1918
Early Elizabethan England 1558 - 1588
The Cold War 1941 - 1991
The USA, 1954 – 75, Conflict at Home and Abroad: Race Relations and the Vietnam War.
Topics covered Years 10 and 11
In Year 10 students study:
Medicine Through Time c1250 – present: This unit focuses on one theme over time, examining the change and continuity across nearly 800 years. This is complemented by an historic environment unit: Medicine on the Western Front 1914 – 18, which examining the change brought to medicine by one specific event, World War One.
Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588: In this unit students study the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, from her ascension to the throne in 1558 through to the Spanish Armada in 1588. It covers the political, social and economic issues that Elizabeth faced domestically, as well as the international opportunities and challenges brought by the exploration of the New World.
In Year 11 students study:
The Cold War 1941 to 1991: This unit covers the rise of tensions between the superpowers after World War Two, the development of nuclear weapons and the arms race during the 1950s and 1960s, Détente in the 1970s, and ultimately the collapse of communism in the USSR in 1991.
The USA, 1954 – 75, Conflict at Home and Abroad: This unit is divided into two topics – Race Relations and the Vietnam War. In the Race Relations unit students study the changing relationship between races in the USA. The unit begins with the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling in 1954, through the struggles of the 1960s and the role of Martin Luther King, ending with an examination of the progress made by the mid-1970s. The Vietnam war unit covers the gradual involvement of the USA in Vietnam during the 1950s, full scale conflict in the 1960s, and the Vietnamisation process in the 1970s.
Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level
The History department follows the Edexcel History GCE specification.
Years 12 and 13
Russia 1917 – 1991
Mao’s China 1949 – 1976
Agitation, protest and Parliamentary Reform in Britain c1780 – 1928
Russian Revolution (coursework)
Department booklets are produced and provided for the student at the start of the school year. Students are expected to complete one piece of homework that is appropriate for their gradepath, every two weeks. This may include revision or preparation for an assessment.
Students will be set a weekly piece of homework. This is usually a GCSE practice question, or preparation for an assessment.
Students will be set a weekly essay, or preparation for an assessment. In addition, they will also be set reading or note-taking where appropriate.
ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR
The History department organises a number of trips across the school including:
Tower of London (whole cohort)
National Archives session on Domesday Book (Able and Ambitious only)
Hampton Court Palace (whole cohort)
National Archives session on Slavery (Able and Ambitious only)
Imperial War Museum (whole cohort)
National Archives session on World War One (Able and Ambitious only)
World War One Battlefields (whole cohort)
National Archives session on Elizabeth I (Able and Ambitious only)
Lecture Day on either Russia or China.
National Archives session on Chartism
National Archives session on Suffragettes
The study of History can open doors to a number of exciting career paths. Many politicians, journalists and lawyers studied History at university. History is as a ‘facilitating’ subject and is highly regarded by universities. This is because History develops a number of academic skills that can be applied to a variety of degrees and careers and is therefore an excellent A-level choice.
Edexcel GCSE History (9-1)
Course Code: 1HI0
Edexcel A Level History
Course Code: 9HI0
Textbooks and Revision Resources
Invasion, Plague and Murder: Britain 1066 – 1485 (Oxford)
Renaissance, Revolution and Reformation: Britain 1485 – 1750 (Oxford)
Industry, Reform and Empire: Britain 1750 – 1900
Industry, Reform and Empire: Britain 1750 – 1900 (Oxford)
Technology, War and Identities: A World Study After 1900 (Oxford)
Medicine Through Time c1250 – present (Hodder)
Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588 (Hodder)
My Revision Notes: Medicine in Britain c1250 – present (Hodder)
My Revision Notes: Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588 (Hodder)
Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941 – 1991 (Hodder)
The USA, 1954 – 75: Conflict and Home and Abroad (Hodder)
My Revision Notes: Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941 – 1991 (Hodder)
Communist States in the Twentieth Century (Hodder)
Communist States in the Twentieth Century (Pearson)
My Revision Notes: Russia 1917 – 1991 (Hodder)
My Revision Notes: Mao’s China 1949 – 1976 (Hodder)
Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain 1780 – 1928 (Hodder)
Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain c1780 – 1928 (Pearson)
My revision Notes: Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain 1780 – 1928 (Hodder)
BBC Bitesize is a fantastic resource for KS3 and KS4 pupils. It has lots of quizzes and short videos to help students revise for assessments.
We also recommend: