History is the study of people who have lived in the past. Their lives are documented in a variety of mediums such pictures, diaries, letters and photographs. It is the role of an historian to unravel the secrets contained within these artifacts that enable us to interpret how individuals and societies have created momentous events, how nations have risen and fallen and to analyse other great changes which have affected the political and social condition of the human race.
Pupils are taught historical skills that will enable them to make their own judgments about events and people. They will analyse primary sources so that they can create inferences and a hypothesis. Throughout the year, they will go on to study the medieval world and learn how The Black Death affected society and how it was viewed by the people of that era. Pupils will debate whether Richard III was an evil or a good king. In the last term pupils continue their studies in a chronological manner and study The Tudors and Stuarts. Henry VIII and why he had so many wives will be discussed as will his break from Rome. His daughters will also be deliberated to ascertain if they were kind or cruel monarchs. Lastly, we question if the Gunpowder Plot was really an act of treason or was it an act to restore England back to its rightful religion.
Pupils study history in a themed approach. They start the year debating The Black Peoples of America and how slavery started in the Western world. They go onto look at the life of a slave and why slavery was eventually abolished.
Their next topic is Crime and Punishment which starts from the Medieval era by studying the Trials by Ordeal and asking if they were fair or not? The module covers all the major time periods and culminates with a case study of the last man to be hung in Britain – Derek Bentley – which allows pupils to debate should the death penalty still exist in today?
The last module pupils study is World War II, where they encounter Hitler and why the war started. Events such as D-Day and The Battle of Britain are analysed in order for pupils to understand how the war was eventually won. Their studies culminate in a case study of The Holocaust which allows them to have an insight into one of the worst atrocities to be carried out in the twentieth century.
Pupils start preparation for Year 10 and analyse sources that relate to the medical experiences during World War I. Diaries, hospital records and letters from this time period allow pupils to make judgments as to how effective the medical facilities were on the front line and what sources they would need to review in order to gain a fuller understanding of the time period. This module is in-depth and will last until the spring term after which they go onto study medieval medicine, in particular how people viewed the cause, treatment and prevention of illness.
Pupils continue with the medical theme, where they encounter the great medical heroes who have altered medicine, such as Pasteur and Fleming. Considering all the key time periods, they look at the causes, treatment and prevention of illness and this allows pupils to understand the similarities and differences that have taken place in medicine through out time.
The last term is based on the life of Elizabeth I. The plots that were carried out to undermine her rule are debated, as is her relationship with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. Pupils learn how she reigned over the seas and was able to beat the Spanish in the Armada. New discoveries during this time period are studied which will demonstrate that during Elizabeth’s reign England was deemed to be in a Golden Era.
Pupils look at the American West and learn how the indigenous people lived and what their beliefs were. The module covers how the white man gained land for farming and mining that in turn created social tension amongst all people in this land. Key events such as The Battle of Little Big Horn are studied along with the changes that occurred towards the Plains Indians.
The last module to be studied is Weimar Germany and the Nazis. Here pupils gain an understanding of how Germany coped with the effects of World War I and how the country was able to rebuild itself. Pupils gain an understanding of how one of the world’s most infamous men was able to gain control of Germany via legal means. Pupils then go onto to study why groups were persecuted and what it was like to live in Germany as a normal citizen.
Pupils will follow the Edexcel History Course Option H – Britain Transformed, 1918-79 and The USA, 1955-92: Conformity and Challenge.
Paper 1 – Britain Transformed, 1819-79 – This option is the breadth study, in which students learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918–79. They will consider responses to the challenges of war, fluctuations in the economy, technological advancement and the desire for greater social equality. This option also studies historical interpretations of the impact that Thatcher’s government had on Britain during 1979-97.
Paper 2 -The USA, 1955-92: Conformity and Challenge – This option is the depth study of the USA in the years 1955–92, from post-1945 affluence, through racial and political protests in the 1960s, to the rise of right-wing groups in the 1980s and the development of bitter divisions between Democrats and Republicans. Pupils will gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges posed by the American political system by popular protests and the different styles of leadership. Pupils will also analyse the effects on society due to the various economic, social and cultural changes that took place during this time period.
Pupils go on to study The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580-c1750 and Coursework.
Paper 3 – The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580-c1750 – This option comprises two parts: a breadth focus which looks at long-term changes and a depth focus which looks at the detail on key episodes. Both of these topics explore the nature of the witch craze and how it declined in the eighteenth century. Pupils will study changing attitudes to witchcraft in addition to the social, economic, political and intellectual challenges that people faced during this time period.
Coursework – The purpose of this module is to enable pupils 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 main focus of the work is to understand the nature and purpose of the historian. Pupils need to form a critical view based on relevant reading around a historical question, problem or event. They will need to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians.