History is a popular and engaging subject that allow students to gain an understanding of key events from Britain, Europe and the wider world.  It encourages students to ask questions and discover the answers for themselves.  The subject not only allows students find out about the past but also it allows them to work on skills that they can use in a wide range of subjects.

During year 7 students begin by comparing life in the Old Stone Age, New Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age before looking at the impact of the Norman invasion of England in 1066.  They will then find out the gruesome truths of living in Medieval England through a study of the Black Death.  Lastly they will look at the changing nature of Christianity in Tudor England.

Year 8 begins with a discovery of the British colonisation of America through studies of three colonies; Roanoke, Jamestown and Plymouth.  Students will then learn how Oliver Cromwell increases parliament’s influence over the monarchy during the English Civil War before a study of the Salem witch trials in 1692.  They will end the year by looking at the slave trade of the 1700s.

Year 9 history allows students to look at key events of the 20th century including trench warfare during World War One, the differences and similarities between communist Russia and capitalist America in the 1930s, the rise of Hitler, World war Two and the Holocaust.

At GCSE we currently follow the Edexcel History B specification.  This will change from September 2016.  We currently study:

  • The American West 1845-1895
  • The Vietnam War
  • Medicine and Treatment Through Time
  • Transformation of Surgery 1845-1918


New GCSE – first examination 2018.

The American West, c.1835 – 1895.

This unit tells the story of the clash of culture between the white Americans and the Plains Indians.  It focuses on the expansion westwards by the white Americans and how this completely alters the lifestyle and culture of the Native Americans.

Medicine in Britain c.1250 to present day.

In this unit you will discover the changes and continuities in medicine from the Middle Ages to modern day Britain.  You will focus on the different ideas about how disease was caused and the different approaches to preventing and treating illness.  Students will be asked to think about why changes have occurred and explain the impact of factors such as the government, religion, science, technology and war.

The British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918: injuries treatment and trenches.

This unit is based on the historical environment of Flanders and Northern France during World War One.  You will learn about the trench systems and how mines and tunnels were used.  There will also be a focus on the types of injuries that soldiers had as well as how these were treated.  This unit allows you to use a range of local and national sources to develop your understanding.

The USA, 1954-1975: conflict at home and abroad.

This modern depth study firstly focuses on the treatment of black Americans in the 1950s and 60s.  You will learn about the civil rights movement and the importance of key individuals, including Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, as well as the role of the government, including President Kennedy.  The second part of the unit focuses on the USA’s involvement in the Vietnam War.  You will learn about the reasons why the USA went to fight in Vietnam, the tactics of the two sides and the protest movement in the USA.

 Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588.

This unit allows you to discover about the key events in the early reign of one of our most famous and interesting monarchs: Elizabeth I.  You will learn about plots and revolts against the young Queen, the Spanish Armada and the age of exploration.  In this unit you will also focus on what it would have been like to live in Early Elizabethan England.


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Extra-curricular opportunities:

In year 8 we offer the chance for 42 students to spend two days visiting the battlefields of World War One.  We spend a day in Ypres, Belgium and the second day on the Somme in France.  This helps enhance understanding of World War One and give students a chance to speak to experts of the topic.  The tour is organised and run by Anglia Tours.

We also organise trips to theatre productions and have taken students to see Private Peaceful and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Head of Department:

Ms Lois Nethersell


Exam board – Edexcel History B

Unit Percentage of final mark When will it be studied? Textbook used
The American West 1840-1895 (Unit 2B) 25% Autumn year 10 Schools History Project, The American West by Rosemary Rees (ISBN – 978 1 846904 43 1)
The Vietnam War (Unit 4 CA5) 25% Spring and summer year 10 Vietnam 1960-1975 by Steve Waugh and John Wright (ISBN 978 1 444 10952 8)
Medicine and Treatment Through Time (Unit 1A) 25% Autumn year 11 Medicine and Health Through Time by Ian Dawson, Dale Banham and Dan Lyndon (ISBN 978 0340 98670 7)
Transformation of Surgery 1845-1918 (Unit 3A) 25% Spring year 11 Medicine and Health Through Time by Ian Dawson, Dale Banham and Dan Lyndon (ISBN 978 0340 98670 7)


There are no set revision guides that we endorse as provide students with revision booklets that we produce.

The Vietnam War unit is the controlled assessment unit which is work 25% of the final grade.  This consists of three questions that students will answer in class.