In Year 7 students start with an introductory unit ‘What is History?’ In this unit students are encouraged to develop their investigative skills and use a range of source to solve ‘historical mysteries.’ Students really enjoy a C.S.I based lesson which focuses on Tolland Man. This unit is taught using a range of active learning techniques with the focus on students teaching each other to enable them to become independent learners.
Students then embark on a study of Anglo-Saxon Britain with particular focus on the Saxon Hoard before moving on to Medieval Britain. The Medieval Britain unit begins with an examination of The Norman Conquest, before moving on to study life in Medieval Britain and the nature and distribution of power in medieval society. Students will develop an understanding of the significance of the following events, Magna Carta, the Black Death, the Murder of Thomas Beckett, and the Peasants’ Revolt.
In the final term the students study the changing nature of the church under the Tudor Monarchs and develop an understanding of how the power of the monarchs changed by studying the Stuarts and the English Civil War.
The highlight of the year is the annual castle building competition, where students have to design and build their own scale model of a medieval castle. The Castle is judged by members of the History Department from a local University. Great fun is had by all.
Students in Year 8 study the impact of Britain and its Empire on a number of different areas. To begin with students study the Native Americans and how the impact of settlers affected their culture. We then look at whether the British Empire was a force of good for India. This is followed by a term looking at the Slave Trade. We begin by looking at the experience of slaves in the Americas Students will then look civil rights in the USA and the changes that occurred after slavery was abolished.
A key assessment for Year 8 is the Autobiography of an American Slave which recounts the experiences of a slave from their life in Africa to their eventual freedom following emancipation. Students are encouraged to develop their historical empathy skills and their literacy skills as they are required to use the historical facts and personalise them.
We finish the year with a look at the Victorian Era closer to home. Through a study of the London of Jack the Ripper we build up a picture of life in the Victorian cities. We then compare this to Leamington Spa of the Regency and Victorian period by studying the development of Leamington as a spa town.
The highlight of the year is the annual Totem Pole competition, where students have to design and build their own scale model of a Native American Totem Pole. The Totem Pole is judged by members of the History Department from a local University.
In Year 9 students study the impact of war in the 20th Century. We begin by studying the outbreak of World War One and develop and understanding of why it was known as the Great War. We then look at a number of different aspects of the Second World War. These include the events of World War Two and the impact of the war on Coventry with a unit entitled “Did Coventry Keep Calm and Carry On?”
Students will then complete a detailed study of the Holocaust using a range of primary sources. We work closely with Holocaust Educational Trust in completing this study. Amy Graves, a member of the history department, is a trained educator for the Holocaust Educational Trust.
We finish the year with a look at the Cold War and its impact, including lessons on Berlin, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam.
The highlight of the year is the annual First World War art competition, where students have to produce a piece of art work of their choice, which they feel depicts ‘life in the trenches’ during the First World War. The competition is judged by members of the History Department from a local University.
A range of teaching strategies and activities are used across the key stage.
Homework and Assessment
Our system of homework is designed to foster independence in our students as well as develop the skills of a good historian. We set homework projects half termly, which build on the content from the lessons and also allow our students to undertake research to develop their understanding. Each project is broken down into weekly tasks and is focused on developing a different historical skill.
All homework is marked to a set assessment criteria.
The History department provides a number of support programmes for our students at all levels. Homework offers different levels of challenge and is sent to students via edulink.
Booklists and mark schemes are available on moodle. Students have access to the school library, where members of the department can be on hand to give guidance and support, student are also able to use the computers and resources of the library.
The History department follows the AQA syllabus for GCSE History which involves two exams at the end of year 11.
- Conflict and tension, 1918–1939. This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states including the Great Powers. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. It 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 and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
- Germany, 1890–1945: 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.
- Britain: its health and the people from the Normans in 1000AD to the present day. They will study how health developed in Britain over a long period of time and they will investigate the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place.
- Norman England 1066-1100. This option allows students to study in depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. This depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
All students in Year 10 and Year 11 receive homework weekly. Homework can be knowledge recall/organisers and exam practice questions. All homework is completed in assessment books.
Students will be assessed formally each half term and will sit mock examinations at the end of Y10 and in December in Year 11.
All homework will be made available on Edulink.
- Access to revision notes on moodle.
- Access to revision packs on moodle.
- Access to past papers and exam style questions on moodle.
- Revision booklets and activities on moodle.
- Two weekend revision sessions in year 11.
- Exam technique session in Year 11.
- Revision breakfast prior to each exam.
- Weekly intervention during school.
- Trip to Berlin – In KS4 we offer a three day trip to Berlin to support our study of Germany.
- Topography of Terror – museum on Nazi terror and is on the site of the Gestapo and SS offices.
- Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
- The Jewish Museum
- DDR Museum – Museum on what it was like to live in East Berlin and East Germany.
- Checkpoint Charlie.
- Stasi Prison Museum
- Tour of the Reichstag building
- Weekly intervention across KS4
- Holiday and weekend revision sessions
What next? Careers with History
The History A-Level is a highly regarded academic qualification among the universities and employers alike. The ‘Which’ consumer guides wrote the following in their ‘Which subject, Which career? ‘ Historians are regarded as having had an education that trains their minds to assemble, organise and present facts and opinions and this is very useful quality in many walks of life and careers…history is an excellent preparation for very many other jobs.’
History graduates often go on to work in various fields such as Law, Journalism, Business, Economics and Politics.