Looking at the past can often link with current worldwide affairs. Our students take an interest in the topics offered at GCSE because they want to understand why we live the way we do today or they have an interest in particular periods of history.

We offer units covering from the Middle Ages through to the present day. We study the American West, investigating why the traditional life of the Plains Indians was wiped of within sixty years. Elizabethan England covers reasons why Elizabeth became queen, her relationship with her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots and the threats of invasion from foreign powers. Nazi Germany investigates how and why Hitler rose to power, use of propaganda and the consequent persecution of minority groups in Germany.

Crime and Punishment looks at what was considered a crime and how people were punished from the time of the Battle of Hastings to the 20th Century. This includes the use of and abolition of the death penalty and an investigation into the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

Students can participate in an archaeology project uncovering events and artefacts from the past. Recent excavations have included working at the Bamburgh castle site.

Studying history is a really interesting subject and has helped me develop my written and evaluation skills, which will help me in the future.
Year 11 student

Year 7

Learning outcomes

During the first year of studying history pupils will gain a greater understanding of the skills needed to study history.  They will learn about chronology, significance, reliability, usefulness, how to make an inference and support a judgement.  These skills will be learnt through the teaching of a variety of topics.

Topics taught

  • Celts, Romans and Anglo Saxons with a skills focus.

  • Normans

  • Black Death

  • Peasants’ Revolt

  • Reformation

  • The Tudors

  • The rule of Elizabeth I

Year 8

Learning outcomes

Year 8 students will develop and apply their historical skills, with a focus on inference, explanation and evaluation to reach a reasoned judgement.  They will develop their understanding of interpretations of history and how to evaluate historical accounts whilst challenge misconceptions by using evidence.

Topics taught

  • Slavery

  • Causes of World War II

  • Dunkirk

  • The Battle for Britain and the Blitz

  • The Home Front during World War II

  • DDay

  • The War in the Pacific and the atomic bomb

  • The Holocaust

  • Anne Frank

Year 9

Learning outcomes

Students in Year 9, 10 and 11 will study the Edexcel GCSE history specification.  Students will begin with a British depth study and a non- British period study in Year 9.  This focuses on short time periods in detail. Students will gain an understanding of the past whilst developing their analytical skills by making inferences and developing balanced arguments, with a focus on cause and consequence.  Students will also develop their literacy skills and develop writing techniques.

Topics taught

  • American West

  • The early settlement of the west

  • Development of the Plains

  • Conflicts and conquest

  • Elizabethan England

  • Queen, government and religion

  • Challenges to Elizabeth at home and abroad

  • Elizabethan England in the Age of Exploration

  • Writing historically

Year 10

Learning outcomes

In Year 10, students will cover a modern depth study where they will focus on a modern period of history in detail. This is a source based unit where students will study the finer points of source analysis and interpretation, enhancing skills in critical evaluation and using evidence to pursue a logical argument and make a reasoned judgement.  Students will also begin Year 11 content. This is a thematic study that allows students to investigate continuity and change in Britain over time. As part of the thematic study, students will also complete a case study.

Topics taught

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany
  • The Weimar Republic
  • Hitler’s rise to power
  • Nazi control and dictatorship
  • Life in Nazi Germany
  • Whitechapel: Crime, policing and the inner city
  • Crime, punishment and law enforcement in medieval England
  • Crime, punishment and law enforcement in early modern England
  • Writing historically

Year 11

Learning outcomes

In Year 11 we have the opportunity to revisit the depth studies covered in both Year 9 and 10. The content of the GCSE is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study and apply them to the range of topics covered throughout the GCSE. 

Topics taught

  • Crime, punishment and law enforcement in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Crime, punishment and law enforcement in recent times
  • Writing historically
  • Review of Year 9 content for GCSE exams
  • Review of Year 10 content for GCSE exams
Studying history has really helped me to improve my analytical skills in all my lessons. It has become my favourite lesson as it is engaging and interesting. Studying history allows you to access and develop skills that will help you in all subjects.
Year 11 student