History is about real people and places - an exploration of fascinating past times and how they have influenced the present and will shape the future. The aim of the History Department is to encourage interest in, and enjoyment of, the past, creatively exploring historical events and the people influencing or affected by them.


Key Stage 3

Year 7 & 8 - Through Project Based Learning, students will explore medieval history, including the Norman conquest and the Black Death, World War 1 and World War 2.

Year 9 - Students begin to further their knowledge on subjects which will help them when they move on to GCSE or that will leave them with a fairly broad base of historical knowledge should they choose not to study history any further. They will gain skills which will be useful in other subjects and in life more generally, such as analysing the usefulness of sources of information and gaining the ability to clearly structure an argument or explanation. Their studies will include:

  • Elizabethan England and events such as the Spanish Armada and whether it was a 'golden age' or not.
  • American history, including the Atlantic slave trade and how it affected the development of the USA, the US civil war and the reconstruction after the war, among other events.
  • How Hitler rose to power from 1919-1933 and how this changed life in Germany between 1934 and 1945.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 & 11 - When choosing their options for GCSEs, students are encouraged to take either History or Geography – they can also choose to take both. These are both extremely popular subjects and equip students with many transferable skills that will support their other studies.

During their studies, students explore five historical modules which are taught simultaneously across the two years of the GCSE. This means that students will constantly be going over information from each of the modules, aiding the retention of knowledge.

  • The People’s Health’ (British thematic study): students will learn about the factors that affect public health, in particular how living conditions, sanitation and food quality affected people living in Britain and they will learn about how people responded to epidemics such as The Black Death. They will study from Medieval times (1250) to present day.
  • Elizabethan England 1580-1603’ (British depth study): this investigates the reign of Elizabeth I, including the complex religious issues she faced and her relationship with Spain including research into the Spanish Armada. Students will assess her legacy as ‘one of the greatest rulers’ and they will use evidence to decide how effective her rule was.
  • Corfe Castle (local history site study): students will learn about the history and development of the castle and castles in general, key events which affected the development of the site and also the monarchs who ruled over it e.g. King William I and King John. A field trip to Corfe Castle will be taken.
  • ‘The Making of America 1789-1900’ (world period study): parts of this story are widely misunderstood and involve conflict and persecution. Students enjoy learning about the fate of the Native American Indians, the African Americans, and the story behind the settlement of modern America.
  • ‘Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945’ (world depth study): students will learn about how Hitler established his dictatorship based on fear and persecution and they will learn about how life changed for all German people during this period. The study will help students to understand the Nazi racial policy against the Jews including a study of the Holocaust and a look at attempted resistance and opposition to Nazi rule.

Further Information

Exam Board: OCR History