Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts


Head of Department: Mrs Sophie Rider

Studying History ensures we all have an idea of where we have come from – and where we might be going! In History students are able to develop their understanding of historical terms and concepts while also exploring the significance of events, individuals and societies of the past. They also learn how to effectively communicate their knowledge and understanding of the selected periods of time we study.

Key Stage 3 History

Students study History for 3 hours per fortnight during Key Stage 3.

In Year 7, students begin by learning the fundamentals of historical studies, such as chronology, the analysis and interpretation of historical sources, and how we can apply knowledge and understanding. We put these studies into practice with a study of the Medieval period of English history following the Norman conquest and taking in feudalism, the Doomsday book, peasant life (and revolt) and the Magna Carta. Students will also carry out a Local History Project Study and the return to the UK for a study of the Tudors and Stuarts, including the monarchy, troubles over religion, civil war and the role of Oliver Cromwell.

In Year 8 we travel overseas to study the history of the black peoples of America, exploring slavery and the slave trade, the Civil war, segregation and the Civil Rights movement. In the second half of the year we complete a study of the Industrial Revolution:how an agrarian economy gave way to industrial manufacture and production, and it consequences on transport, economy, politics and society over 150 years.

In Year 9 we arrive in the 20th Century were we explore the causes and consequences of the two World Wars, examining the links between them and their impacts through the personal experiences of individuals and a wide range of visual and written sources. Our main focus during this study is Weimar and Nazi Germany. In the Summer term students then move on to study the reign of Henry VIII, considering his authority and policies at home and abroad.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Horrible Histories Theatre Trips and, in Year 9, our 4 day Battlefields trip to Northern France and Belgium.

Key Stage 4 History

GCSE Historians actively engage in the process of historical enquiry to develop as effective and independent students and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.

The GCSE curriculum in History explores the following topics:

  • The American West 1840-1895, including the Indian way of life, threats to settlers, Cowboys, Homesteaders, Mormons and the conflict between them.
  • Global Terrorism: the events of 9/11, the reason why and the reactions to it. (Controlled Assessment)
  • Medicine Through Time from prehistoric times to the modern day including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Medieval Medicine and developments in the 19th Century.

We follow the OCR syllabus. The course is assessed through a combination of controlled assessment (on the terrorism topic) and two examination papers.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: a GCSE student revision conference.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

In the Sixth Form we offer History A Level if students wish to take their studies further. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.


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