History

Year 7

Year 7 students study a unit of history pre-1066 with the following units studying periods of history from the Norman invasion in 1066 to the Making of the United Kingdom and the Act of Union in 1707. In their first unit of study, students are introduced to the question, "What is History?" Students learn about the key skills required of them in the study of History; chronology, bias and reliability, source investigation.  Students learn about prehistoric Wessex and the nearby site of Stonehenge. In their second and third units of study, students learn about how monarchs have ruled during the middle ages and renaissance. Students learn to interpret monarchs and make decisions about whether they were powerful leaders. Students in Year 7 then learn about the English Civil War and the Making of the United Kingdom.

Year 8

In their first unit of study, students learn about the transatlantic slave trade, emancipation of slaves in America and the civil rights movement. Students go on to learn about the British Empire, including a case study focusing on India and the impact of the Industrial Revolution on Britain. Students learn about the beginning of the 19th century in Britain, including social reform and the Suffrage Movement. Students then study the causes and events of the First World War and carry out their own research on a fallen soldier from a local town or village.

Year 9

Students learn about the 20th century with a focus on the significance of the First World War and the treaty of Versailles. Following this, students learn about the inter-war years, the rise of Hitler and the causes of the Second World War. Students then learn about the major turning points of the Second World War and finish the year examining the Cold War and finally the Vietnam War. This entire KS3 curriculum is designed to support students in their understanding of a wide-range of historical events, chronology and key people and fully supports their learning if they choose to take History at GCSE.

Year 10

The GCSE examination board used for History GCSE is AQA. Further details about the course can be found here.

In Year 10, students study content and exam skills required for paper 2 of the examinations. There are two examination papers, each worth 50% of the final GCSE course. The first unit is a thematic study; Health and the People from 1000AD to the present day. Students are examined on their ability to analyse the utility of a source, the significance of key themes in health and medicine, and factors relating health and people over time. For example, the impact of individuals or the government on health and medicine. The second unit studied for paper 2 is Elizabethan England. This is a depth study focusing on the reign of Elizabeth I from 1658-1603. Students learn about Elizabeth's court and parliament, life in Elizabethan times and troubles at home and abroad. Students are assessed on their ability to analyse interpretations of the past. As part of this unit, students are required to answer a question about the historic environment of Elizabethan England which makes up 10% of the course and includes the in-depth study of a specific site which the exam board chooses each year. Students learn about the following aspects of the site; its location, function, structure, people connected with the site, design, how the design reflects the culture, values and fashions of the people at the time and how important events or developments from the depth study are connected to the site. .

Year 11

The GCSE examination board used for History GCSE is AQA. Further details about the course can be found here.

In Year 11, students study content and exam skills required for paper 1 of the examinations. There are two examination papers, each worth 50% of the final GCSE course. The first unit students study is a wider world depth study, focusing on conflict and tension between the years 1894 and 1918. This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of the Great Powers and other states. It focuses on the causes, nature and conclusion of the First World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred, and why it proved difficult to bring the war to a conclusion. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations. The second unit studied for paper 2 is a period study focusing on Germany from 1890 to 1945, looking at democracy and dictatorship.

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. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Year 12

The examination board used for AS Level History is AQA. Further details about the course can be found here.

Unit 1 focuses on Stuart Britain and allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • How far did the monarchy change?
  • To what extent and why was power more widely shared during this period?
  • Why and with what results were there disputes over religion?
  • How effective was opposition?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Part One: Absolutism Challenged: Britain, 1603-1649
Monarchs and Parliaments, 1603-1629

  • The Political Nation and the social basis of power: the importance of land ownership; rival forms of wealth including merchants.
  • James I: character and views on monarchy; court and favourites; Charles I: character and views on monarchy; court and favourites.
  • The financial weakness of the Crown and attempts to reform and strengthen royal finance.
  • Religion and religious divisions: challenges to the Church of England from Catholics and Puritans and the development of Arminianism.
  • Relations and disputes with parliaments: parliamentary privileges; finance; religion; foreign affairs.

The state of relations between Crown and Parliament by 1629 and the reaction of the Political Nation; the extent of breakdown between Crown and Parliament and the Political Nation Revolution, 1629-1649

  • Divisions over religion: Arminianism and Laudianism; Puritanism and the emergence of Millenarianism.
  • Political divisions: the Personal Rule and the extent of opposition to it in England, Scotland and Ireland; the Short and Long Parliaments and the leadership of Pym; divisions and the outbreak of Civil War.

The First and Second Civil Wars: England, Scotland, Ireland and the reasons for royalist defeat

  • Social divisions: the emergence of political and religious radicalism in the 1640s; the Levellers and Millenarian groups.
  • Post-war divisions between Army and Parliament and the failure to secure a post-war settlement.
  • Regicide: the basis for regicide and the King's response.

Unit 2 focuses on Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945. This option provides for the study in depth of a period of German history during which a newly developed democratic form of government gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime. It explores political concepts such as 'right' and 'left', nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. It also encourages reflection on how governments work and the problems of democratic states as well as consideration of what creates and sustains a dictatorship.

Part One: The Weimar Republic, 1918-1933
The Establishment and early years of Weimar, 1918-1924

  • The impact of war and the political crises of October to November 1918; the context for the establishment of the Weimar Constitution; terms, strengths and weaknesses.
  • The Peace Settlement: expectations and reality; terms and problems; attitudes within Germany and abroad.
  • Economic and social issues: post-war legacy and the state of the German economy and society; reparations, inflation and hyperinflation; the invasion of the Ruhr and its economic impact; social welfare and the social impact of hyperinflation.
  • Political instability and extremism; risings on the left and right, including the Kapp Putsch; the political impact of the invasion of the Ruhr; the Munich Putsch; problems of coalition government and the state of the Republic by 1924.

The 'Golden Age' of the Weimar Republics, 1924-1928

  • Economic developments: Stresemann; the Dawes Plan; industry, agriculture and the extent of recovery; the reparations issue and the Young Plan.
  • Social developments: social welfare reforms; the development of Weimar culture; art, architecture, music, theatre, literature and film; living standards and lifestyles.
  • Political developments and the workings of democracy: President Hindenburg; parties ; elections and attitudes to the Republic from the elites and other social groups; the position of the extremists, including the Nazis and Communists; the extent of political stability.
  • Germany's international position; Stresemann's foreign policy aims and achievements including: Locarno; the League of Nations; the Treaty of Berlin; the end of allied occupation and the pursuit of disarmament

The Collapse of Democracy, 1928-1933

  • The economic, social and political impact of the Depression: elections; governments and policies.
  • The appeal of Nazism and Communism; the tactics and fortunes of the extremist parties, including the role of propaganda.
  • Hindenburg, Papen, Schleicher and the 'backstairs intrigue' leading to Hitler’s appointment as chancellor.
  • Political developments: the Reichstag Fire; parties and elections; the Enabling Act and the end of democracy; the state of Germany by March 1933

Each unit is assessed in a 1 hour 30 minutes examination at the end of Year 12.

Unit 1 (worth 50% of AS grade):

  • Two questions (one compulsory).
  • 50 marks.
  • 50% of AS.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to interpretations (25 marks).
  • Section B - one question from two (25 marks).

Unit 2 (worth 50% of AS grade):

  • Two questions (one compulsory)
  • 50 marks.
  • 50% of AS.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period (25 marks).
  • Section B - one question from two (25 marks).

Year 13

The examination board used for AS Level History is AQA. Further details about the course can be found here.

Students continue their studies of unit 1: Stuart Britain
Part Two: Monarchy restored and restrained: Britain, 1649-1702
From Republic to Restored and Limited Monarchy, 1649-1678

  • The consolidation of the Republic: Scotland and Dunbar; campaigns in Ireland; Charles II and Worcester.
  • Political divisions and experiments: Republicanism and the Rump; Millenarianism and the Parliament of Saints.
  • Cromwell and his aims; the Protectorates; Major-Generals and the relations with the Political Nation.
  • Charles II and the nature of restored monarchy; rule through parliament and ministers; Clarendon; the Cabal and Danby.
  • The emergence of Court and Country 'parties': causes, significance and consequences.
  • Religious divisions and conflicts: the defeat of Millenarianism; the restoration of the Church of England; Protestant Dissenters; conflict over Catholic influence at Court.

The Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy, 1678-1702

  • Political developments and conflicts: Exclusion, its aims, methods and its failure; James II and the attempts at absolutism and the restoration of Catholicism.
  • The ‘Glorious Revolution’: causes and nature; its consolidation in England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • Divisions within the Political Nation and the emergence of Whigs and Tories and their impact.
  • Religious changes: religious toleration and changes to the position of Anglicans, Protestants and Catholics.
  • Government under William and Mary: the importance of political parties and ministers; the changing influence of Crown and Parliament and the reasons for the development of limited monarchy.
  • The condition of Britain and its monarchy by 1702: the significance of the Act of Settlement; the balance of power between Crown and Parliament; the condition of the Church of England and non-conformism and Catholicism.

Students continue their studies of unit 2: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945
Part Two: Nazi Germany, 1933-1945
The Nazi Dictatorship, 1933-1939

  • Hitler's consolidation of power, March 1933–1934: governmental and administrative change and the establishment of the one-party state; the Night of the Long Knives and the impact of the death of President Hindenburg.
  • The 'Terror State': the police, including the SS and Gestapo; the courts; extent, effectiveness and limitations of opposition and non-conformity; propaganda: aims, methods and impact; extent of totalitarianism.
  • Economic policies and the degree of economic recovery; Schacht; Goering; the industrial elites.

Social policies: young people; women; workers; the churches; the degree of Volksgemeinschaft; benefits and drawbacks of Nazi rule.
The Racial State, 1933-1941

  • The radicalisation of the state: Nazi racial ideology; policies towards the mentally ill, asocials, homosexuals, members of religious sects, the Roma and Sinti.
  • Anti-Semitism: policies and actions towards the Jews, including the boycott of Jewish shops and the Nuremberg Laws.
  • The development of anti-Semitic policies and actions; the effect of the Anschluss; Reichkristallnacht; emigration; the impact of the war against Poland.
  • The treatment of Jews in the early years of war: the Einsatzgruppen; ghettos and deportations.

The impact of War, 1939-1945

  • Rationing, indoctrination, propaganda and morale; the changing impact of war on different sections of society including the elites, workers, women and youth.
  • The wartime economy and the work of Speer; the impact of bombing; the mobilisation of the labour force and prisoners of war.
  • Policies towards the Jews and the ‘untermenschen’ during wartime; the Wannsee Conference and the 'Final Solution'.
  • Opposition and resistance in wartime including students, churchmen, the army and civilian critics; assassination attempts and the July Bomb Plot; overview of the Nazi state by 1945.

Unit 3 is a Historical Investigation where students undertake their own independent enquiry.

The Historical Investigation must:

  • Be independently researched and written by the student.
  • Be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing of between 3000 and 3500 words in length.
  • Draw upon the student's investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this.
  • Place the issue to be investigated within a context of approximately 100 years.
  • Be an issue which does not duplicate the content of Components 1 and 2.

Students will be required to identify an issue or topic they wish to study and develop a question from this issue or topic as the focus of the Historical Investigation. The issue or topic to be studied and the question which stems from it must place the issue or topic in the context of approximately 100 years of history. The question could be based on British history or non-British history or could be a multi-country issue. However, it must not duplicate content studied in Components 1 and 2. The Historical Investigation could identify an issue and a related question which traces a development over approximately 100 years. Alternatively, it could focus on a narrower issue, but place it the context of approximately 100 years.

Examples of possible approaches:

  • A broad issue and related question which analyses its development over approximately 100 years, for example: assessing how Puritanism changed during the Seventeenth Century; or assessing the extent to which the condition of the Russian peasant improved over the period 1850-1950.
  • A more specific issue in the context of approximately 100 years, for example: assessing the extent to which the Glorious Revolution successfully settled relations between Crown and Parliament in the context of the Stuart period; or assessing the extent to which Tsar Nicholas I changed the nature of Tsarist rule set against the period of Catherine the Great, Alexander and Nicholas I.

Issues which relate to international, national or local developments are appropriate, as are investigations which adopt specific historical perspectives such as cultural, social or technological.

However, in choosing the issue, students need to take the following into account:

  • Is there a range of primary sources and primary material available to support individual investigation?
  • Is the issue and related question one which has promoted debate and differences of interpretation amongst historians?

Units 1 and 2 are assessed in a 2 hours 30 minutes examination at the end of the year 13 course.
Unit 1:

  • Three questions (one compulsory).
  • 80 marks.
  • 40% of A Level.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to historical interpretations (30 marks).
  • Section B - two from three essays (2 x 25 marks).

Unit 2

  • Three questions (one compulsory).
  • 80 marks.
  • 40% of A Level.

Two sections

  • Section A - one compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period (30 marks).
  • Section B - two from three essays (2 x 25 marks).

Unit 3 is a coursework unit of 3000-3500 words

  • 40 marks.
  • 20% of A Level.
  • Marked by teachers.
  • Moderated by AQA
Trip to Tank Museum

Trip to Tank Museum

Corfe Castle Trip

Corfe Castle Trip

History Wall

History Wall

History Wall

History Wall