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Exam Board: OCR


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Subject Overview

The aim of the History Department is to encourage interest in and enjoyment of the past. We achieve this through a range of exciting and engaging activities and learning styles and we encourage our students to creatively explore events and people that have filled our past and will shape our future. 

KS3 Year 7: See Project Based Learning (PBL) – Medieval History including The Norman Conquest and the Black Death.

KS3 Year 8: See Project Based Learning (PBL) World War 1 and World War 2

KS3/4 Year 9: Students currently have 3 History lessons per fortnight. In Year 9 they will 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). We will also cover skills which will be useful in other subjects and more generally in life like analysing the usefulness of sources of information and gaining the ability to clearly structure an argument or explanation.

This will include:

Elizabethan England and events such as the Spanish Armada and whether it was a Golden Age or not.

We will also look at 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.

We will also look at how Hitler rose to power from 1919-1933 and how this changed life in Germany between 1934 and 1945.

GCSE Overview 

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. Over the course of our two-week timetable, students will have 5 one-hour lessons. 

Exam Board: OCR SHP GCSE History B

British Theme

The People’s Health 1250-present day

World Period

The Making of America 1789-1900

British Depth

The Elizabethans 1580-1603

World Depth

Living under Nazis Rule 1933-1945

Site Study

History around us – Corfe Castle



KS4 Year 10 and Year 11

The five Historical Modules will be taught simultaneously across the two years of the GCSE. This means that students will constantly be going over information from each of the modules and this should aid in the retention of knowledge.

The British thematic study on ‘The People’s Health’. Students will learn about the factors that affect public health, in particular how living conditions, sanitation, food quality and affected people living in Britain and learn about how people responded to epidemics such as The Black Death. They will study from Medieval times (1250) to present day.

The British depth study focussed on ‘Elizabethan England 1580-1603’. 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

The British Site Study focusses on an area of local History – Corfe Castle.  This will include a field visit to Corfe Castle itself. They 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.

The World Period Study focusses on ‘The Making of America 1789-1900’. 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.

The World Depth Study focusses on ‘Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945’. 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 finally it will look at attempted resistance and opposition to Nazi rule.

Exam Details

There will be 3 exams all at the end of Year 11 in the summer exam series:

  • Paper 1 – 1 ¾ hours (The People’s Health c.1250- present day and The Elizabethans 1580 - 1603) 40% of final mark
  • Paper 2 – 1 hour Local site study – (Corfe Castle) 20% of final mark
  • Paper 3 – 1 ¾ hours (The Making of America 1789-1900 and Living under the Nazi Regime 1933-1945) 40% of final mark

There is no coursework.