History - The Christ's School - Richmond -



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 we hope 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, interpretation and problem solving. In order to communicate their ideas, we aim to teach students clear, rational writing.

We have three classrooms, each equipped with an interactive whiteboard. The department also enjoys the use of laptops, that a regularly used for research purposes. Our teaching staff includes Ms Hoyle, who is Head of Department and two other subject specialists teachers, Ms Harris and Mr Heitzman.

History is an exciting and enjoyable subject to study at Christ’s.  We have the largest GCSE numbers and large Key Stage 5 numbers to prove it! Lesson are varied, many are enquiry based to allow students to explore historical evidence for themselves. Other lessons use media or games to help everyone learn about the past. Importantly, 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 term. They then look at life in Britain in the medieval period. 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, evaluation and essay writing, which are developed further at Key Stage 4.

Topics covered

Year 7:

  • 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. 

Year 8:

  • 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. 

Year 9:

  • 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 and establishment of the United Nations. 


Key Stage 4 - GCSE

The History department follows the AQA History B GCSE specification. In year 10 students study two units which focus on the USA in the twentieth century. Specifically they study a unit which looks at the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and then ‘Race Relations’ in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They also study a unit on Hitler’s Germany. In Year 11 students study the international relations aspect of the course in which they learn about the origins of the Second World War and the origins and development of the Cold War. Students also complete two pieces of controlled assessment (worth 25%), the theme of these vary from year to year.

Topics covered Years 10 and 11

  • Medicine Through Time: Medieval medicine, Renaissance medicine, discoveries during the Nineteenth Century, discoveries and establishment of NHS in the Twentieth Century. 
  • Medicine on the Western Front: Breakthroughs in medicine as a result of World War One. 
  • USA in conflict and home and Abroad: Race Relations 1954 - 1968; Vietnam War. 


Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

At AS level students study two units. The first focuses on the development of China through the twentieth century – specifically focusing on Chairman Mao. The second unit is study of Russia, from Lenin to Yeltsin. At A2 students will undertake a British political unit (TBC) and they will complete an extended piece of coursework using primary and secondary sources. The History department uses the EdExcel exam board curriculum.


The History department organises a number of trips across the school including:

  • Year 7 – The Tower of London
  • Year 8 – Hampton Court Palace
  • Year 9 – France/Belgium battlefields tour and small group work with the Richmond Museum.
  • Year 10 – Imperial War Museum (linked to controlled assessment)

The History department is also involved in the Humanities Society. This is a weekly lunchtime club which explores different Humanities based topics every week through presentations, guest speakers and debates.


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.





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.

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