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Knights and Castles, Tudors and Stuarts, Cavaliers and Roundheads, heads rolling off the guillotine of revolutionary France, imperial expansion into India and Africa and the bullets, bombs and firestorms of the Western Front and World War II:  in History, we aim to develop in pupils a life-long interest in the past by helping them to understand what has happened and inspiring them with the stories of real people who lived before them. We deepen their knowledge about people, places, and events from history in order to develop their understanding of why the world is as it is today and how it came to be so.  Yet we also take it deeper, asking morally reflective questions, such as the extent to which the behaviour of this or that statesman was morally justifiable, and the arguments for and against this or that form of government.  Pupils should understand why events unfold in particular ways, why similar events have had different consequences, and the impact that one individual can make on the outcome of events, why there have been periods of significant change at certain points in the past, and why we remember particular events but others have been ignored.  We also want pupils to know that History is not just a set of events that happened, but also that it is living and changing, that historians rewrite the past and interpretations change - often to suit present purposes - helping pupils to develop their rhetorical and critical powers and ability to critique the trustworthiness of a source of information.

key stage 3 

At Key Stage 3, we cover a broad overview of British History from William the Conqueror in 1066 to 1918, including in-depth focused studies of key events, individuals and turning points. We also study the events of the French Revolution and the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the two World Wars.

key stage 4

The content and requirements for History have undergone significant change in the GCSE reforms. The emphasis has moved from the study of a relatively short period of time to a substantial and broader study of content drawn from medieval, early modern and modern history, with assessment weighted to distinct historical principles in each of the separate modules of study. An interesting range of content gives pupils the opportunity to learn about and investigate the past in a wide and varied study designed to inform and stretch GCSE candidates. The study of history gives pupils an understanding of the past, helps them to make sense of their own world and develops critical skills.

Outline of syllabus

British Thematic study--Power: monarchy and Democracy in Britain c.1000 to c.2010

Pupils will understand change and continuity across British history, including the most significant characteristics of different ages.  This includes a broad sweep of time in which Britain is ruled by monarchs and which then develops into constitutional monarchies and finally parliamentary democracy.

A British depth study--The English Reformation c.1520—c.1550

This depth study focuses on the English reformation from religious, social and economic perspectives as well as the psychological impact of religious change on the ordinary people of England.

Non-British depth study--Germany 1925—1955: the People and the State.

Pupils will focus on the relationship between the German people and the Nazi regime that ruled Germany from 1933—1945. The depth study ranges from 1925—1955 in order to provide the context for the Nazi period in Germany.

Period Study--International relations: the changing international order 1918—2001.

Pupils will understand the unfolding narrative of substantial developments and issues associated with the twentieth century and thus contribute greatly to ‘Explaining the Modern World.’

A study of an historic environment--Castles: Form and Function c.1000—1750

Pupils will undertake a study of Kenilworth Castle which will allow them to practise and develop their ability to use evidence effectively.


Assessment is entirely by examination through three written papers taken at the end of the course. There is no coursework.

Wider opportunities

A journey to the Battlefields of WW1 is offered in the fourth form.  Pupils studying history GCSE are also encouraged to attend the History Society talks, given by visiting academics, writers and other professionals from the field of history.

Awarding Body: OCR                                                        Specification: GCSE (9-1) History A
                                                                                                (Explaining the Modern World) J410