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History

The History Department is a thriving department and a very popular option at both GCSE and A-Level.  The department aims to stimulate the interest of pupils and then build on this enthusiasm to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the past and to develop their skills of analysis and interpretation.

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

The History department is proud to announce that in 2019 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.

 

 


 

Extra Curricular Activities

The history department believe that learning should not stop inside the classroom and therefore provide a range of extra-curricular activities and trips for all key stages.  Horrible Histories club is open to all students in KS3 and offers a chance to take part in quizzes, projects and games while extending their knowledge of topics not covered in the main curriculum. 

Every year group has the chance to go on a trip which enhances their learning of the topics and themes that they are studying that year.  At KS3 Year 7 visit Skipton Castle, Year 8 go to the People’s History Museum and Year 9 visit the Imperial War Museum.  At KS4 Year 10 develop their understanding of medicine through the ages by going to the Thackeray Medical Museum and Year 11 visit the focus of their historical site study for GCSE.  Year 12 and 13 enhance their experience of academia by attending lectures by eminent professors in the topics that they study and make the trip to Newark to visit the Civil War Centre.

We also provide foreign trip opportunities at KS3 and KS5.  The Year 9 trip to the site of the WW1 battlefields is a very popular trip that is both intellectually stimulating and allows student to reflect on issues surrounding war and remembrance.  The department is also currently planning a trip to Russia in conjunction with the Citizenship department, particularly apt for students studying or planning to study the subject at A-level.

 


 

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 students focus on the concept of monarchy and power and how it changes over time.  This begins with the Norman invasion in 1066 through the Middle Ages to the black death and the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381.  This is followed by a study of the Tudor monarchs where students will reflect on the extent to which the concept of monarchy has changed over the period.

In Year 8 the emphasis on the development of democracy and rights in Britain.  The pupils learn about the Stuart Kings, James I and Charles I and the causes and consequences of the English Civil War.  The course continues with life during the Industrial Revolution 1750-1900, focusing on economic and political change, with a specific focus on the development of democracy.

In Year 9 students turn their attention to the concept of conflict through the lens of the twentieth century.  They will learn the causes and effects of the First and Second World Wars, 1914-1945 and then how warfare changed with the development of the Cold War.  Pupils also consider other changes during the twentieth century through the study of America in the 1920s with a particular focus on issues such as civil rights.

What do pupils learn?

The study of history is not simply a timeline of significant dates and events. We aim to encourage pupils to think for themselves, to form their own opinions 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.

We also aim to develop a range of historical skills, including 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 students to develop these skills and their understanding of how the past fits into our modern understanding of society.

History is not taught just using the textbook or just 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

AQA Specification

History is recognised as a strong academic subject and as such elicits a high degree of respect from university admissions tutors.  The skills gained are extremely transferable, and are acknowledged to be of value in a wide range of studies and professions.  The GCSE forms an appropriate basis for those continuing with history at A-Level and beyond; such students often go into business, accountancy, the Law, teaching and academia and a wide range of other careers. 

This new specification enables candidates to study history both thematically and in depth.  The course contains a significant element of British history together with a wider world depth component. The new GCSE history course is structured as follows:

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

Section A: Germany 1890-1945

This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism.

Section B: Conflict and tension, 1918-1939

This wider world depth study focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals, groups and events in shaping change such as Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.

Paper 2: Shaping the nation

Section A: Britain: health and people c1000 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time.  This component of the course is very helpful for those hoping to study Medicine or Dentistry, or other health professions; interviewees for these courses report that admissions tutors often question them about it, because of the knowledge gained and also the skills it develops. 

Section B: Elizabethan England 1568-1603

This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. Candidates with explore issues such as Elizabeth’s relationship with Mary Queen of Scots and conflict with Spain; leading to the Spanish Armada of 1588.

Assessment

This qualification is linear, meaning that the students will sit 2 papers at the end of year 11 as follows:

Paper 1:

Understanding the Modern World

2 hours

50% of final grade

Paper 2:

Shaping the nation

2 hours

50% of final grade

Key Stage 5 - AS Level

AQA specification

Why study history?

As well as being a fascinating and engaging subject in terms of content, the mental training from history at A-Level is an asset which will benefit the student in any profession, and indeed throughout life. The skills to be developed on the course are the ability to analyse and comment on evidence, the writing of fluent, well-structured answers and the recall and selection of relevant factual material.  They will thus be able to reach reasoned judgements.

Where can history take you?

History is a gateway into many and varied jobs.  Clearly it is the basis of careers in museums and archives, as well as leading to the teaching profession at all levels.  However, most history students enter occupations such as the civil service, accountancy, and business, particularly in personnel or management.  History at degree level is also well regarded for those hoping to enter the Law.  Skills such as research and critical analysis are highly valued in all careers.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

6th form History Film Club

Lectures at the University of Manchester

Opportunity to visit either New York or Moscow

Opportunity to participate in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project

 

We offer a choice of 2 A-Level History courses at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

History course 1-Russia, English Revolution and Women’s Suffrage

Unit

Content of Unit

Assessment

Weighting

1

Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855-1964

2 hours 30 minutes written examination

40% of the final grade

2

The English Revolution 1625-1660

2 hours 30 minutes written examination

40% of the final grade

3

The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign 1832-1928

Completion of a 4,500 words NEA (non-examined assessment)

20% of the final grade

 

History course 2- The Tudors, The American Dream, and Women’s Suffrage

Unit

Content of Unit

Assessment

Weighting

1

The Tudors 1485-1603

2 hours 30 minutes written examination

40% of the final grade

2

The American Dream reality and illusion 1945-1980

2 hours 30 minutes written examination

40% of the final grade

3

The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign 1832-1928

Completion of a 4,500 words NEA (non-examined assessment)

20% of the final grade