All of our work in History is based around key questions that our budding historians will investigate. Our philosophy in History is that there is no right or wrong answer to a question; it all depends on justifying their opinion and having the evidence to back it up.

Our course begins in 1066 with William’s conquest at Hastings and investigates right through to the Vietnam War. During Years 7-9 students will, among other things, be re-enacting the Battle of Hastings, solving a murder in a cathedral, and writing a letter home from the Front Line in World War One.


Throughout the course we aim to increase the students’ chronological understanding, while at the same time considering the significance of certain events in terms of causes and consequences. We also encourage the students to challenge their own interpretations of the past by scrutinising evidence.

Many of our lessons in Years 7-9 involve the use of the students’ iPad as they are used for research, watching video clips, creating presentations and a whole variety of other functions.

Year 10 students – along with all students across the country – will begin the new GCSE. The course we have selected is AQA GCSE History 8145. The options we have selected cover Britain and Germany from 1890-1945, Elizabethan England, and the changing roles of people in Britain from 1170 to the present day. This course will involve at least one field visit to a location suggested by the exam board to fully understand a historic environment. As in Years 7-9, a student’s iPad will be integral to their learning.

In Year 11 we study the OCR B Modern World course. This ranges from the struggle to gain the vote for women in Britain, through to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, and onto the Cold War.

Areas of Study

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Year 7



·      What is History?

·      Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?

·      Why was William successful at controlling his kingdom?

·      What caused the design of castles to change?

·      How far do you agree that it was better to live in a medieval village than a medieval town?

·      Why was the Church so powerful in the medieval period?

·      How far do you agree that Thomas Becket was responsible for his own death?

·      How important was the signing of the Magna Carta in providing rights for the people of England?

·      “Henry VIII only reformed the Church in England so he could have a divorce”. How far do you agree with this statement?

Year 8



·      Was it good to live in Tudor England?

·      “John Hawkins was responsible for the slave trade in England.” How far do you agree with this statement?

·      Which of the following was most responsible for the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada:

– The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

– The actions of Sir Francis Drake

·      “Charles I was completely responsible for the English Civil Wars and deserved to die.” How far do you agree with this statement?

·      Why was the New Model Army so successful?

·      Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

·      “Conditions for children during the industrial revolution were appalling”. How far do you agree with this statement?

·      Why were the Chartists unsuccessful?

·      Why did Stoke-on-Trent become ‘The Potteries’?

·      Was Stoke-on-Trent typical of an industrial city?

Year 9



·      Which of the following was most responsible for World War One:

– The shot fired by Gavrilo Princip

– Anglo-German rivalry

·      Why did so many men join up to fight in WW1?

·      Why did the trench system develop?

·      How far do you agree that the Battle of the Somme was a success?

·      Was the Treaty of Versailles a ‘Good Peace’?

·      “Women got the vote because of their important role in WW1.” How far do you agree with this statement?

·      Was Communism good for Russia?

·      What was life like in Germany after WW1?

·      How did Hitler gain control of Germany?

·      Why is it important that the Holocaust is never forgotten?

·      “The atom bomb has made the world a safer place.” How far do you agree with this statement?

·      How did Britain change after WW2?

Year 10



Conflict and Tension 1894-1918

Part 1: The causes of the First World War

·   The Alliance System

·   Anglo-German rivalry

·   Outbreak of WW1

Part 2: The First World War: stalemate

·   The Schlieffen Plan

·   The Western Front

·   The wider war

Part 3: Ending the war

·   Changes in the Allied Forces

·   Military developments in 1918 and their contribution to Germany’s defeat

·   Germany surrenders

Germany 1918 – 1945

Part 1: Germany and the growth of democracy

·   Kaiser Wilhelm and the difficulties of ruling Germany

·   Impact of the First World War

·   Weimar democracy

Part 2: Germany and the Depression

·   The impact of the Depression

·   The failure of Weimar democracy

·   The establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship

Part 3: The experiences of Germans under the Nazis

·   Economic changes

·   Social policy and practice

·   Control


Elizabeth 1568 – 1603

Part 1: Elizabeth’s court and Parliament

· Elizabeth I and her court

· The difficulties of a female ruler

Part 2: Life in Elizabethan times

· A ‘Golden Age’

· The poor

· English sailors

Part 3: Troubles at home and abroad

·   Religious matters

·   Mary Queen of Scots

·   Conflict with Spain

Part 4: The historic environment of Elizabethan England

Students will be examined on a specific site in depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich students’ understanding of Elizabethan England.

Year 11



Paper 1 – Germany 1918-1945

·      What did the Nazi Party stand for in the 1920s?

·      Why did the Nazis have little success before 1930?

·      Why was Hitler able to become Chancellor by 1933?

·      How did Hitler consolidate his power in 1933?

·      How much opposition was there to the Nazi regime?

·      How effectively did the Nazis deal with their political opponents?

·      How did the Nazis use culture, propaganda and the mass media to control the people?

·      Why did the Nazis persecute many groups in German society?

·      What was the purpose of the Hitler Youth?

·      How successful were Nazi policies towards women and the family?

·      Were most people better off under Nazi rule?

·      How did the coming of war change life in Germany?


Paper 1 – Cold War

·      Why did the USA-USSR alliance begin to break down in 1945?

·      How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?

·      How did the USA react to Soviet expansionism?

·      Who was more to blame for the start of the Cold War, the USA or the USSR?

·      How did the USA react to the Cuban Revolution?

·      Why did Khrushchev put missiles into Cuba?

·      Why did Kennedy react as he did?

·      Who won the Cuban Missile Crisis?

·      Why did the USA get increasingly involved in Vietnam?

·      What were the different ways that the USA and the Communists fought the war?

·      Whose tactics were the most effective – the USA’s or the Communists’?

·      Why did the USA withdraw from Vietnam?



A variety of assessment methods are used, including online assessments and written assignments. Each of the questions in the area of study section above is specifically designed to allow the students to experience the styles of question they will encounter in the GCSE exams.

Firefly/Extended Learning

The GCSE course specification and lots of other key material can be found on the Firefly History page.

Links to useful Resources/ Exam Specifications/ Apps

Kerboodle – Used by Years 7 and 8 for a number of their lessons. Accessed during lessons on their iPads.

Extra –curricular activities

A number of visits are arranged each year including visits to the Commandery in Worcester to study the English Civil Wars, the National Memorial Arboretum to consider the impact of war, and also Whittington Barracks where students get to experience over 100m of re-enacted World War One trench.