The History Department aims to develop a lifelong interest in the study of History in all students. Through this study the students will acquire the skills and perspectives that will enable them to lead successful and enriching lives. The content of all of our courses allows the students to make sense of current affairs by relating to the past and to develop a moral perspective, a sense of empathy and a tolerance of a range of opinions. Our teaching introduces all of our students to the distinctive methodology of the historian, in particular varied and exciting enquiries based on evidence with a focus on enriching other areas of the curriculum at the same time.

Key Stage Three:

In Year Nine, pupils study the History of the 20th Century, through a number of themes:

  • Was the First World War truly the “War to end all Wars?”
  • What made the Roaring Twenties “roaring?”
  • How does power corrupt?
  • What is the significance of the Second World War as a modern World War?
  • What have human beings learnt from the Holocaust?
  • How fair was the World in the 1960’s?

Highlights include a Battlefields trip running to the Ypres Salient and the Somme in November 2020, a Holocaust Survivor coming in to speak to our Year Nine pupils in Holocaust Memorial Day, and topics that give our pupils a wider understanding of the World today.

Key Stage 4  
Exam Board (to include details of exam) Exam Board : AQA

History students in year 10 and year 11 will have the opportunity to study a wide variety of History over the two year linear course, including one period study, one thematic study, one wider world depth study, and one British historical environment depth study. The exam is linear and students sit two papers at the end of their course – Paper 1, Understanding the modern world and Paper 2, Shaping the Nation. Details of each section of the course are outlined below:

Course Content Paper 1 – Understanding the modern world

  • Period study – Germany 1890 – 1945 Democracy and Dictatorship: This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.
  • Wider world Depth Study – Conflict and tension in Asia, 1950 – 1975. This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It considers the role of nationalist movements in causing and sustaining conflict. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War in Asia and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations

Paper 2 – Shaping the Nation

  • Thematic study – Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day. This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted on the core themes. Students will have the opportunity to see how some ideas and events in the wider world affected Britain.
  • British Historical Environment Depth Study – Elizabethan England c. 1559-1603 This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies. Within this module students will be examined on a specific historical site in depth. This site will be specified by the exam board 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.

Students will sit a 2 hour written paper at the end of year 11 for Paper 1 and Paper 2. Both papers are worth 50{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of the total GCSE.

Useful Subject & Revision websites https://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse S-Cool History GSCE Revision

PiXL History App https://historyapp.pixl.org.uk/

Exam success
Key Stage 5  
Exam Board (to include details of exam) and entry requirements Exam Board: OCR

In Year 12 and Year 13 pupils will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of History, studying topics they briefly studied at GCSE, and new topics as well. Historical knowledge, source skills and interpretations are at the forefront of everything that is taught, with three exams at the end of Year 13.

Course Content Two Year Course

Unit One, British Period Study and Enquiry: Mid Tudor Crisis and the Later Tudors 1547 – 1603.

Section One: Enquiry – Mid Tudor Crisis

  • The Stability of the Monarchy – how did Edward Vi’s age, and Mary Tudor’s gender affect the crown? How did this impact England? Covering factionalism, rebellions, religious change, poverty, economic developments and the infamous Lady Jane Grey.

Section Two: British Period Study – Elizabethan England.

  • Elizabeth and religion, influence of Puritanism, foreign situation and cause for religious developments.
  • The nature of the Elizabethan Monarchy, Government and Parliament
  • Elizabeth’s management of financial, economic and social affairs
  • Elizabethan later years 1588–1603


How it’s assessed:  1 ½ hour exam: 4 sources, how far do they support the view that… (30 marks) Essay based. (20 marks.) = 25{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of overall grade.

Unit Two – Non British Period Study: Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany, 1919 – 1963.

  • The establishment and development of the Weimar Republic: 1919–Jan 1933
  • The establishment of the Nazi Dictatorship and its domestic policies Feb 1933–1939
  • The impact of war and defeat on Germany: 1939–1949
  • Divided Germany: The Federal Republic and the DDR 1949–1963


How it’s assessed: 1 hour, Pick either question 1 or 2.  A.Which of the following… (10 marks.) B. Statement – how far do you agree? (20 marks.) = 15{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of overall grade.


Unit Three – Thematic study and historical interpretations: Popular culture and the Witchcraze of the 16th and 17th Centuries.

This theme focuses on the rise and decline in witchcraft during the 16th and 17th centuries and how far it emerged out of the popular culture of the time. It will examine the reasons for the increase and subsequent decline in persecutions, the nature of the Witchcraze, the reactions of the authorities and its impact on society. Learners should consider the Witchcraze in a variety of countries and regions in order to be able to establish patterns and make comparisons; (however, essays will not be set on particular countries). There are a wide range of European countries, as well as America, that can be used as examples and learners should draw on a range of examples from these. The strands identified below are not to be studied in isolation to each other. Learners are not expected to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the specification content, except for the named in-depth studies, but are expected to know the main developments and turning points relevant to the theme.


Thematic Studies:

  • Popular culture
  • The main reasons for the growth and decline in the persecution of witches
  • The persecuted
  • Responses of the authorities to witchcraft

Case Studies:

  • The Witchcraze in Southern Germany c.1590–1630
  • Hopkins and the witch hunt of 1645–1647
  • The Salem witch trials

How it’s assessed: 2 ½ hour exam – Evaluate 2 interpretations, how convincing? Essay based, breadth question (covers whole time period.) (25 marks.) = 40{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of overall grade.

Unit Four: Non Examined Assessment = 20{0fa29e37a5ff5b819bc9d205477dcf2080d55da20457d57d8c85d351a6dec1cb} of overall grade.

This is the students opportunity to conduct their own research and produce a 3,000 – 4,000 word essay from a list of questions, some examples include:

  • To what extent were the failures of the Police force to blame for the failings in the Jack the Ripper case?
  • Assess the view that the German people were active and enthusiastic supporters of the Holocaust.
  • To what extent was the development of anaesthetics the most important development in 19th Century Medicine?
  • Assess the view that Indian soldiers’ contribution to the First World War was vital to the Allies success
  • Assess the view that the death of Emmett Till was the spark that started the modern Civil Rights Movement.

This is internally marked, and moderated by OCR.

Useful Subject & Revision websites
Exam Success Many of our students have gone on to continue their studies of History at university level at a wide range of prestigious institutions across the country.

Contribution to SMSC

The study of History prepares all students for the complex and culturally varied society which they live in. It helps them to understand the values of our society and develops a sense of empathy and a tolerance of a wide range of opinions.

This is inspired in the students in particular with a study of:

  • A Battlefields trip to Belgium and France giving the students at all levels a chance to be involved in the remembrance ceremonies surrounding the centenary celebrations of World War One.
  • Local Oral History . Involvement in the ‘Engineering the Past’ community history project. Students interview members of the local community to to record their memories of Redditch at war and Redditch in the 1950s and 1960s.
Subject History
Contribution to Wider Curriculum (if appropriate) History plays a key role in developing excellent literacy and numeracy skills through the study of the disciplines required to be successful in History. A key emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy is placed in all schemes of work and enquiries throughout all the key stages of education.
Subject Club Regular revision clubs for GCSE students held each week from January of each year including:

  • Changing your grade from 7 to 8+ at History
  • Improving source investigation skills at GCSE History
  • Key knowledge and understanding revision for GCSE history