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History has an important role in helping students to understand who they are and where they are in the broader context of their place in society, the world and in time.

We aim to help students develop successful working relationships with others through group activities and role-play; as well as developing their self-discipline, independent learning and problem-solving skills. We use a range of active teaching and learning techniques. These include textbooks and resources; visits and trips; and, the use of ICT.

Key Stage 3

Students learn about a wide range of fascinating topics. In Year 7 pupils will find out about the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Medieval England. In Year 8 pupils will find out about The Slave Trade, the Tudors and Stuarts and The Agricultural Revolution. In Year 9 Pupils will find out about The Industrial Revolution, World War One and Two, and the Kennedy Assassination.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about History outside of the classroom. In Year 7 we run a trip to Warwick Castle to complement our studies on Medieval England. We organise a trip to Hampton Court Palace in Year 8 to support the students’ work on Tudor England. In Year 9 we run a series of trips to France and Belgium to visit the World War One trenches and cemeteries. In Year 9 we run a popular World War Two project competition. Students are asked to research into an aspect of World War Two that takes their interest. The winning projects from each class are given prizes, and the very best projects are awarded book tokens by a local historian.

Students will be formally assessed at different points throughout the year on a variety of different historical skills. Students will be asked to display their knowledge and understanding of different topics, and skills in causation, interpretation, research, evaluation and chronology.

Key Stage 4

History is a very popular option at Key Stage 4. The department delivers two courses at GCSE to make the subject accessible to all students.

Modern World History

This course studies a number of significant themes and events of the 20th century. In Year 10 students study Nazi Germany from 1933-1939. This is followed by a course entitled ‘The Divided Union’, which is a study of American domestic history from 1945-1980 and includes topics such as McCarthyism, Civil Rights, Student protest and the Watergate Affair. In the summer term course work on Jack the Ripper will be completed. In Year 11 the Cold War is covered in the topic ‘Superpower Relations’ from its beginnings in 1945 to its conclusion in 1990. The final piece of course work on ‘The 1960’s’ is then completed. Finally, students complete this course with the study of ‘American involvement in Vietnam’. The examination consists of two papers that test both knowledge and evidence skills. Coursework is worth 25% of the final mark and is a compulsory element of the course.


In Year 10 students study ‘The American West 1845-1890’ including a close look at the Plains Indians, the various settler groups and the eventual destruction of the Native American culture. A piece of coursework is then completed on ‘The Northern Ireland problem’. The study in development on ‘Crime and Punishment’, which covers the period from Roman to Modern times, is started in the summer term. This follows the patterns of change and continuity, as well as in depth topics such as Jack the Ripper. This is then completed in Year 11. In the autumn term of Year 11 pupils will complete their final piece of coursework on ‘Portchester Castle’. This involves a field trip to the castle in September. The break down of the examination process is similar to the Modern World, but the structure is more accessible for many students.

There is a trip to the London Dungeon and the Imperial War Museum open to all Year 10 pupils studying History in the summer term.

Trips and visits

The department is committed to bringing the curriculum alive and runs a number of trips across the key stages. In Year 7 we take several coaches to Warwick Castle as part of Events Day activities in July. In Year 8 a trip to Hampton Court is run in the Spring term. In Year 9 we organise trips to Belgium and France to visit the World War One battlefields and cemeteries of the Western Front. This usually involves trips on three or four different dates to accommodate the demand. At Key Stage 4 there is a trip to the London Dungeons and the Imperial War Museum and, for those following the SHP course, a field trip to Portchester Castle. Students at AS/A2 Level attend lectures and conferences in London and elsewhere to prepare them for undergraduate life. There is also a Berlin trip that runs every two or three years.

The department arranges visits to the school by individuals and groups who can add another dimension to the learning of pupils and students. These include a Holocaust survivor; local people sharing their experiences of the Second World War; Falklands veterans; local museum staff (who bring in artefacts and documents); and Living History groups.