The History Department is a thriving Department as the subject continues to be a popular option at both G.C.S.E. and at AS/A2. The aims of the History Department are to build upon the enthusiasm of pupils for the subject, to broaden the students’ knowledge and understanding of the past and to develop their skills of analysis and interpretation. We aim above all to encourage independent learning and personal intellectual development.

All members of the Department are well qualified History graduates who are full of enthusiasm for the subject and are proud of their ability to make the past come alive for our students.


Princes Teaching Institute

TPTI 2012he History Department is proud to announce that in 2014 we have again been awarded the PTI Mark for

  • Increasing challenge within the curriculum
  • Further enthusing pupils with activities beyond the curriculum
  • Developing the staff’s own specialist subject knowledge
  • Developing subject-based links outside school




Frequently Asked Questions

How large are class sizes?

Key Stage 3: maximum 30, Key Stage 4: maximum 28, Key Stage 5: maximum 20.

How are classes organised?

At Key Stage 3 they are taught in their form groups; and at Key Stage 4 and 5 in mixed ability groups based on option lines.

What is the % of non examination units at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5?

25% at Key Stage 4 and 20% at Key Stage 5.

Are educational visits organised?

Key Stage 3 is under review at the moment but we hope to announce some exciting outings very soon. At Key Stage 4 a visit is planned to the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds for Year 10. For Year 11 the GCSE Controlled Assessment is based on a trip to Styal Mill. Every year or two a trip to Rome or Berlin is also organised for Key Stage 4 and 5 students.





Extra Curricular Activities


Historical Research Group Y12/13   Tuesday 12:40 – 1:15 B3 Mr H Dickson
Sixth Form Film Club   Wednesday 12:40 – 1:15 B2 Mr H Dickson
Horrible Histories Club   Thursday 12:40 – 1:15 B2 Mr H Dickson
History Lectures KS4 and KS5   Various Times To be advised To be advised Mr H Dickson
History Christmas Competition, All Years Sep – Dec   To be advised To be advised Mr Flanagan



Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9

What do we teach?

The pupils are taught predominantly British history in a roughly chronological order.

In Year 7 this begins with the Norman invasion in 1066 through the Middle Ages to the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381 and the Lollards. This is followed by Henry VIII & Edward VI and the English Reformation in the C16th.

In Year 8 pupils learn about the later Tudors; Mary I and Elizabeth I; the Stuarts, Charles I and the English Civil War, 1625-49. The course continues with life during the Industrial Revolution and the Victorians, 1750-1900, focusing on economic and political change.

In Year 9 pupils learn about aspects of the Twentieth Century: the causes and effects of the First and Second World Wars, 1914-1945, and, time permitting, the Cold War after 1945 and the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union.

What do pupils learn?

Learning history is no longer simply a timeline of significant dates, events and personalities. We aim to encourage pupils to think for themselves, to be objective and critically analytical. Learning about the past is not simply a memory test; after all, our understanding of the past is based on interpretations which are subject to criticism and change.

Of course, we still learn about key events and individuals but there are also 4 themes which we keep coming back to during Key Stage 3.

Our themes are Changing Lives & Beliefs, Power & Protest, Conflict & Co-operation and Diversity.

We also focus strongly on historical thinking and historical skills especially extended writing and the analysis and interpretation of different types of evidence.

We do not teach everything in each of the periods but choose topics that are both fascinating in their own right, fit our themes and allow us to develop the pupils skills of thinking, writing and analysis.

History is not taught just using the textbook; particular interests and our expertise also allow us to pursue topics in more or less detail and to go off at tangents, often following the interests of the pupils. Nor are history lessons solely teacher led. All lessons are interactive and rely upon the input of pupils in discussions, role plays, class presentations and projects.

Reading & resources

All pupils have a copy of the textbook in each year.

We use the Longman Thinking Through History series as our textbooks, which are ideal for both our thematic and skills led approach and full of great ideas to make pupils think, as well as really interesting activities and approaches to topics.



Key Stage 4 - GCSE

The GCSE course is the AQA Schools History Project. The girls follow two main courses for the examinations.

– Unit 1 – The History of Medicine – 35% of the marks
– Unit 2 – History of Germany 1919-1945.- 40% of the marks

Both units will be examined in the summer of Year 11.

In addition to the examined units, there is a Controlled Assessment – Styal Mill. – 25% of the marks

5% of the overall mark will be awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The Controlled Assessment will be completed in the first term of Year 11, following a site visit to Styal Mill. Candidates will submit their responses to three structured questions which they prepare under controlled conditions.

Key Stage 5 - AS Level

AS Level

At AS we offer our students a choice of two different syllabuses.


Unit 1 – Britain 1603-1642
Unit 2 – Peter The Great of Russia, 1682- 1725


Unit 1 Tsarist Russia, 1855-1917
Unit 2 – A New Roman Empire? Mussolini’s Italy, 1922-45.

Key Stage 5 - A2 Level

A2 Level

At A2 we offer our students a choice of two different syllabuses.


Unit 3 – British monarchy: the Crisis of the State, 1642-1689 (this can only be studied by students who have studied Britain 1603-1642 and Peter the Great at AS).


Unit 3 – British State and People, 1865-1915 (this can only be studied by those who have done Tsarist Russia and Mussolini at AS).

Unit 4 – Both syllabuses have a fourth unit which is the Independent Enquiry. This will be based on the investigation of a historical issue selected by the student from a list of options prepared by the department and it will cover a period of a hundred years. This will give the students the chance to do a substantial piece of independent research and writing.