History in Key Stages 3 and 4
This Department is a pro-active thriving and successful area of the school. The aim is to teach skills which, learned through the study of history, can be usefully applied to other subjects and situations.
We want pupils to understand what matters to people; what motivates them and how they think and feel. Our aim is to make students aware of the wealth of historical sources that provide information; to examine such evidence in a critical way; to interpret maps and graphs and other diagrams and to communicate clearly both orally and in writing what has been learned.
To achieve this, lessons are both varied and balanced, taking account of the very different ways in which pupils learn. The aim here is that teaching and learning are two-way. Pupils are encouraged to listen carefully and both pose and answer questions.
Years 7, 8 and 9
The Year 7 History curriculum starts with an introduction entitled 'What is History?' and this is followed by a study of the Roman Empire. The last unit of this year’s work is Medieval England and this is supported by the trip to Saltwood Castle which takes place during Enrichment Week.
Early Modern History is the theme of the Year 8 specification. The pupils examine the nature of the European Reformation and Counter-Reformation and follow this with a study of the Making of the United Kingdom through the vehicle of the Tudor and Stuart period. The pupils visit Penshurst Place to enjoy the Armada Experience.
Pupils complete their Key Stage 3 specification focussing on modern historical topics. They study the impact of the British Industrial Revolution in the first half of the year and then proceed to the causes and the course of the First World War. There may be an opportunity for the pupils to visit the site of the battle of the Somme in the summer term. This last topic is chosen because it is excellent preparation for those pupils who opt for GCSE History in Year 10.
Years 10 and 11
The GCSE History course offered is Modern World History. The pupils study a core content course of international relations: The Inter-War Years 1919-1939 and this is followed by a depth study of the USA 1919-1941, which are both examined in the summer of Year 11. In Year 11 the pupils study Germany 1918-1945 and the Controlled Assessment coursework question is set on this. At the end of this year the pupils examine how far British society changed between 1890-1918, mainly through the study of relevant historical source material.
The pupils’ work is supported by a trip to the Imperial War Museum in Year 10 and an attendance at the Hitler on Trial Conference in Year 11.