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 an ancient history study surrounding the Roman Empire, more specifically surrounding key history skills; chronology, causation and source skills. 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 periods. 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. Key skills in year 8 focuses on consequences and interpreting the opinions surrounding historical events from historians.

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 1. There are two examination papers, each worth 50% of the final GCSE course. The first half of Paper 1 revolves around a period study which 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.

For the second-half of Paper 1, students study a wider world depth study, focusing on conflict and tension in the Middle East, more specifically in the Gulf and Afghanistan during the years 1990-2009. Students will develop skills surrounding causes of conflict and tension, including why conflicts occurred and the difficulty in resolving the tensions which arose in this timeframe. This study also considers the role of key individuals in shaping change and how this affected foreign relations, for instance Saddam Hussein.

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 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.

A-Level History

The examination board for A-Level History is Edexcel. Further details about the course can be found here https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/history-2015.html

There are 4 units in total: 3 exams and 1 piece of coursework. All assessments are completed at the end of Year 13.

Year 12:

Year 12 focuses on the search for rights and freedoms in the twentieth century with links to the following units:

‘In search of the American Dream: the USA, C1917-96’

This option is a breadth study, whereby students will learn about the dramatic political, economic and social transformation of the USA in the twentieth century, an era that saw the USA challenged by the consequences of political, economic and social inequalities at home and of its involvement in international conflict.

Topics studied for this unit include:

  • World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts
  • African-American, Hispanic, Native American, women’s and gay civil rights
  • The ‘Roaring Twenties’ and the Great Depression
  • The Presidency of Ronald Reagan


South Africa, 1948-94: from apartheid to ‘rainbow nation’

This option is a depth study of South Africa during it transition from white minority rule to the free elections of 1994, a long and dramatic process where black South Africans fought against white oppression and apartheid.

Topics studied for this unit include:

  • The impact of World War II and the introduction of apartheid laws
  • The ANC and the Sharpeville Massacre – the role of Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment on Robben Island
  • Black Consciousness under Steve Biko and the Soweto Uprising
  • Winnie Mandela and ‘necklacing’ – “with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we will liberate this country”


Year 13:


Students will complete a piece of coursework surrounding historical interpretations and how historians have debated controversial areas of history. Students may pick their own topic, which can also include exam content. Most popular choices are Nazi Germany, but other options can be chosen.

Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485–1603

This is a breadth and depth unit takes an early-modern history focus, with studies revolving around rebellion and disorder under the Tudor period. There are strong links to the behaviour of the people, stemming from the actions taken by the Monarch at the time. The option enables students to explore the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has seen.

Topics covered include:

  • Changes in the power of the Monarch and Parliament, in addition to the attitudes of the people towards those in a position of power.
  • The War of the Roses – Henry VII.
  • The Henrician Reformation – Henry VIII and the separation from Rome.
  • Kett’s Rebellion – disorder under Edward VI.
  • Queen vs Queen – the challenge of Mary, Queen of Scots, towards Elizabeth I’s reign.
  • The issue of Ireland – the Tyrone Rebellion.

History Wall