In History, Year 7 will be taking a broad journey through almost 700 years of British History. Starting with what England was like before the Norman Conquest and ending with the Stuart dynasty. Students will look at key moments and events, as well as what life was like for the ordinary man, woman and child. Units will be as follows:
- The Romans
- The Norman Conquest
- Life in Medieval England
- The Tudors
- The Stuarts
In History, Year 8 will be continuing the broad journey through almost 500 years of British History. Students will look at the impact of a period of rapid change and revolution, the Empire and the consequences of Imperialism, the transatlantic slave trade, how one bullet resulted in a World War and the impact of the Russian Revolution. Units will be as follows:
- The British Empire and slavery
- The Industrial Revolution
- World War One
In History this year, the aim is to explore why attempts to maintain peace following World War 1 failed, and how we entered a century of conflict looking at the impact of the Second World War and The Cold War. Students will also explore the social and moral aspects of the Holocaust and Civil Rights movements. Students will also look at how the War on Terror developed, looking at how warfare has changed over time. Units will be as follows:
- The Inter-War years
- Outbreak of the Second World War
- The Holocaust
- Civil Rights
- The Cold War
- War on Terror
The study of history stimulates an interest and understanding of where we have come from. It helps young people understand the complex and dynamic changing world to understand how this contributes to the key historical events of today. It allows pupils to build up their own opinions of the past by looking at different viewpoints from a selection of periods and gives them an opportunity to investigate the past and make their own judgements. In history, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our lessons. At the very core of our department are our widely experienced staff who between them have a wealth of knowledge and interests, allowing for a diverse curriculum. We also believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities, getting students to bring together all of the big questions looked at within a unit of work to answer one over-arching enquiry question. Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of primary and secondary sources such as newspapers, photographs, , models and artefacts. Students take part in debates and discussions around key concepts and enquiry questions. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities and wherever possible, we involve them in 'real' historical activity, as well as looking at their local area. We have incorporated within each unit of work a lesson at least on Northampton and how that time period affected Northampton as a whole. We also encourage students to reflect on their learning through feedback and dialogue in their books. We believe that this is crucial to develop critical historians who possess the 'Growth Mindset' ethos. The History department aims to provide a stimulating and rewarding Historical experience for all and helps students become thoughtful historians and independent thinkers who are able to express themselves clearly and respectfully.
We see our key objectives as:
- Providing time to appreciate a range of historical events from around the globe in depth.
- Giving the opportunity to gain an insight into different events and how they have affected a range of people from across the world.
- Allow pupils to make links between events that have happened in the past and events affecting us today.
History encourages thought, thorough investigation and analytical debates, as well as drawing upon inference, explanation and judgement skills.
As a department, we believe that History is important to a student’s programme of study for a number of reasons:
- History teaches lessons about the past, present and future.
- It allows us to understand the world we live in & how we got here.
- History teaches us valuable skills; being critical, building arguments, evaluating evidence, how to communicate and problem solve.
If you choose to study History at GCSE, we follow the Edexcel 9-1 History course. In year 10 we focus on Paper 2 worth 40% of your overall GCSE grade, before starting to look at paper 1 - Medicine through Time course, worth 30%. In year 11, we will focus on paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 before embarking on an extensive revision programme in preparation for the exams.
Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1945-1991
As part of the depth study, students will study how the world was nearly on the brink of a nuclear war throughout the period 1945-1991. It will focus on how two superpowers aimed to dominate Europe, aiming to spread their ideological beliefs, as well as develop their nuclear weapons to try and ensure a period of tension.
Early Elizabethan England 1558-1603
As part of the British depth study, this unit will focus on the struggles Elizabeth I faced when she became Queen in 1558. The prejudice against her being female, and the idea that she was not a legitimate heir to the throne. It will focus on her ability to successfully defeat the most powerful country in Europe at the time, Spain, as well as look at how she improved life for the poor people.
British Medicine through Time 1250-2000
As part of a thematic depth study, students will study how medicine and public health developed in Britain over four distinct periods (The Middle Ages, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and Modern Age). It will consider how far medicine progress within and across these periods, whilst looking at the impact of medical development and the factors that aided or hindered medical progress.
Topic will include;
- The Middle Ages: The Black Death, Surgery, The Four Humours and role the Church
- The Renaissance: Vesalius, The Royal Society, William Harvey and the Reformation
- The Industrial Revolution: Changes in Surgery, The Germ Theory and Vaccinations
- The Modern Age: The NHS, DNA, Penicillin and Modern Treatment & Surgery
- Case study: Injuries sustained during WW1 and the struggles that medics on the front line faced whilst trying to treat the injured servicemen.
Year 11: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939
As part of a modern depth student, students look at Germany in the aftermath of the First World War where it became a democracy for the first time in its history under the Weimar Republic, and the ensuring struggled this new government had in its first decade. We also ask students to consider the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party from its origins in Munich 1919 to Hitler become the Fuhrer of Germany in 1934. Lastly, students will look at life under Nazi rule until the declaration of war in 1939, which a specific focus on Nazi methods of control and life for women, children, workers and minorities.
Topic will include;
- The Weimar Republic: The Treaty of Versailles, Ruhr Crisis, Hyperinflation and the Stresemann Era
- The rise of the Nazis: The NSDAP, Munich Putsch and how did Hitler become Chancellor then Fuhrer
- The Nazi dictatorship: Propaganda, Censorship, Fear and Terror
- Life in Nazi Germany: Education, the role of women, persecution of Jews and how did Germans benefit under Nazi rule
A-Level History Year 12 and 13:
In years 12 and 13 we follow the Edexcel route G course focusing upon Nationalism, dictatorship and democracy in 20th century. Our unit choices are as follows:
Paper 1: Germany and West Germany, 1918-1989: Nationalism, dictatorship and democracy. Within this unit we will study –
- Political and governmental change, 1918-1989
- Opposition, control and consent, 1918-1989
- Economic development and policies, 1918-1989
- Aspects of life in Germany and West Germany, 1918-1989
- How far was Hitler’s foreign policy responsible for the Second World War?
Paper 2: The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911-1946. Within this unit we will study –
- The liberal state, c1911-1918
- The rise of Mussolini and the creation of a fascist dictatorship, 1919-1926
- The fascist state, 1925-1940
- Challenges to, and the fall of, the fascist state, c1935-1946
Paper 3: The British experience of warfare, c1790-1918. This unit will be studied in year 13 and will focus upon the following –
- Britain and the French Wars, 1793-1815
- The Crimean War, 1854-1856
- The Second Boer War, 1899-1902
- Trench warfare on the Western Front, 1914-1918
- The war in the air, 1914-1918
- Changes in organising the military 1790-1918
- Changes in the role of the people, 1790-1918
Paper 4: The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment. The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians
Students are free to choose their enquiry topic. Students in the past have focused on:
- Did Hitler plan the Holocaust?
- Was Germany primarily responsible for the outbreak of the First World War?
- Were America justified in dropping the atomic bomb?
- Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War?
- Were Spanish tactics the main reason why the Spanish Armada was defeated?
- Was religion the main cause of the Witchcraft craze during the Medieval period?
A one page wonder (max) detailing your departmental philosophy and approach
The study of history stimulates an interest and understanding of where we have come from. It helps young people understand the complex and dynamic changing world to understand how this contributes to the key historical events of today. It allows pupils to build up their own opinions of the past by looking at different viewpoints from a selection of periods and gives them an opportunity to investigate the past and make their own judgements.
In history, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our lessons. At the very core of our department are our widely experienced staff who between them have a wealth of knowledge and interests, allowing for a diverse curriculum. We also believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities. Children consider asking as well as answering historical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of primary and secondary sources such as newspapers, photographs, videos, music, models and artefacts. Children take part in debates and discussions and they present reports to the rest of their class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities and wherever possible, we involve them in 'real' historical activity. For example, the research of local environments or the use of the internet to investigate archives or museum databases. We also encourage students to reflect on their learning through feedback and dialogue in their books. We believe that this is crucial to develop critical historians who possess the 'Growth Mindset' ethos.
The History department aims to provide a stimulating and rewarding Historical experience for all and helps students become thoughtful historians and independent thinkers who are able to express themselves clearly and respectfully. We see our key objectives as:
- To help students to develop Historical knowledge and understanding.
- To introduce students to historical enquiry and develop the skills of chronology, causation, interpretation, critical thinking and extended writing.
- To help students to develop a sense of identity through learning about the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world, and to help them to develop their own informed opinions and attitudes.
As a department, we believe that History is important to a student’s programme of study for a number of reasons:
- History teaches lessons about past, present and future
- • It allows us to understand the world we live in & how we got here
- • History teaches us valuable skills; being critical, building arguments, evaluating evidence, how to communicate and problem solve
Where can History take you?
It is easy to see how learning something like IT at school can help you when you start looking for a job. With a subject like history, it may be harder for you to identify a clear career path. Sometimes students are even encouraged to drop history in favour of something more ‘practical'.
In fact, history is very practical, because it involves:
- Learning about people - how they interact, the motives and emotions that can tear people apart into rival factions or help them to work together for a common cause (useful knowledge for team-building at work!)
- Learning about countries, societies and cultures - so many of today's conflicts and alliances have their roots in the past; how can you negotiate with, trade successfully with, or report on a country if you know nothing of its history?
- Learning to locate and sift facts - to identify truth and recognise myth, propaganda and downright lies (useful in every aspect of life!)
- Presenting what you've learned in a way that makes sense to others - whether in graphs, essays or illustrated reports - and having the confidence to defend your findings.
All these skills are valuable in a whole range of jobs. So instead of only looking at ‘careers in history' you could also look at careers where it will help a lot if you've studied history.
Completion of a bachelor's degree in History or a history major is an enriching experience that allows you to study and research the major social, political, cultural and economic events of the past. Because the skills gained on a History degree are so wide-ranging, graduates are employed by almost every type of employer. A Bachelor's degree will help you to gain some entry level roles, such as research assistant, administrative assistant or management trainee. Your career opportunities will widen dramatically if you also have a Master's degree or doctorate. You'll also be able to gain higher level jobs. Typical careers include:
- Working in archives and research
- Teacher (primary and secondary)
The top 20 places to study History at university include:
- St Andrews
- London School of Economcs
- King’s college London