history wire fence camp

Mission statement

History contributes to the school curriculum by helping students to become independent thinkers who are open minded, good at problem solving and who understand how and why people behave as they do. History teaches students the art of oral debate and how to express clear personal points of view. These are very important skills which are vital in everyday life and which are essential in many forms of employment.


  • To make History exciting, interesting and inspirational in order to motivate pupils and encourage well informed debate, using a wide variety of learning activities and teaching materials.
  • To enable pupils to know about significant events in British, European and World History in order to appreciate how things have changed over time.
  • To show pupils the connections between past and contemporary events and why History is, therefore, both important and relevant in today’s world.
  • To help pupils understand society and their place within it, so that they develop attitudes, values and a sense of their heritage, appropriate for life in a complex, non-sexist and multicultural society.
  • To develop in pupils the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.


Key Stage 3

When are the assessments/examinations?

Assessments will be set at the end of each half term and each term and an exam will be sat at the end of each year in the summer.

Course outline. What will I study?

Starting in September 2013 students in Year 7 and Year 8 will study some of the major political, religious and social changes and developments in British, European and World history between 1066 and the present day. Topics will cover the development of political power, changing relationships between the major European powers and how the lives, beliefs, ideas and attitudes of ordinary people changed during this time. Students will also learn about the growth of the British Empire and its impact on people in Britain and overseas including a study of the Slave Trade, the changing nature of conflict between countries and peoples and its impact on national, ethnic and religious issues, including the two world wars and the Holocaust.

Students in Year 9 in September 2013 will complete their KS3 studies by learning about some of the major political, religious and social changes and developments in British, European and World history between 1914 and the present day. Topics will cover the changing nature of conflict between countries and peoples and its impact on national, ethnic and religious issues, including the two world wars, the Holocaust and other genocides and the role of European and International institutions in developing cooperation.

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 7

What is history?The Battle of HastingsThe Norman ConquestThe Feudal SystemThe murder of Thomas Beckett 




King JohnCrime and PunishmentCrusade!Marco Poloand ChinaVillages and TownsWhat did people fear?

The Peasants Revolt



The TudorsHenry VIII andthe English ReformationElizabeth IThe Poor LawsEntertainmentGunpowder, Treason and Plot

King versus Parliament

WitchcraftThe Great Plague and the Fire of LondonThe Glorious RevolutionThe French RevolutionImmigration to BritainJack the Ripper  An Historical Fieldwork Study in the local communityHave recent developments helped save or destroyed Walsall canals industrial heritage Public HealthWorking children in factories and coal minesLife in the WorkhouseThe Slave Trade
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Year 8

The causes and course of World War IThe Alliance SystemTrench WarfareConscriptionPropagandaThe Battle of the Somme  The Treaty of VersaillesDictatorship versus DemocracyWhat caused World War IILife in Nazi GermanyDunkirkThe Battle of Britain  Life on the Home Front during World War IIEvacuationThe BlitzRationingPearl HarbourStalingradD Day HiroshimaThe HolocaustOscar SchindlerThe United Nations The End of EmpiresIndian IndependenceMartin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement The Cold WarNuclear holocaustImmigrant experienceCultural changeTerrorism
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Year 9

World War IThe Alliance systemTrench WarfarePropaganda The Battle of the SommeThe Treaty of VersaillesDictatorship versus Democracy? The causes of World War IILife in Nazi GermanyDunkirkThe Battle of Britain Life on the Home FrontPearl HarbourStalingradD DayHiroshimaThe Holocaust  The United NationsIndian IndependenceMartin Luther King and Civil Rights The Cold WarImmigrant experienceCultural changeTerrorism

Key Stage 4

GCSE History

Exam Board OCR.

How will the course be graded? GCSE  A*-G

When are the examinations?

Exams will be sat at the end of the two year course in the summer.

Course outline. What will I study?

Topic 1: Medicine Through Time covers the causes and treatments of illness and disease throughout world history, including operations on skulls in the Stone Age, the Black Death, limb amputations without anaesthetics in the 16th Century and sewers and cesspits in Victorian times.

Topic 2: Britain 1815-51 covers protests and riots over how people were treated, why the poor feared life in the workhouse, appalling living and working conditions in towns and factories, emigration and the growth of the railways.

Both topics will be available on the VLE.

Coursework requirements / What will I have to produce?

A953, Topic 3: This assignment is worth 25% of the GCSE marks and will cover a study of China from the start of communist rule in 1949 to the present day.

You will study a wide range of sources including books, television, film, newspapers, magazines and the internet, before writing one 2000 word essay which is completed in an 8 hour controlled assessment.

Exam Structure

A951, Paper 1, is worth 45% of the GCSE marks. You answer four questions in 2 hours on Medicine Through Time and Britain 1815-51.

A952, Paper 2, is worth 30% of the GCSE marks. You answer six questions in 1½ hours on a Medicine Through Time topic, which you are told about in advance.


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 10


Prehistoric treatments.Ancient Egyptian medicine.Ancient Greece: Asclepios, Hippocrates and the Four Humours.Public health and Galen in Roman Times. Health and hygiene in the Middle Ages: natural or supernatural?Renaissance medicine. Vesalius and anatomy. Pare and surgery. Harvey and the circulation of the blood. Jenner and vaccinationsPasteur and the germ theory of disease. Koch and bacteriology.Fleming and penicillin. Nightingale and caring for the ill.Lister and antiseptics. Simpson and anaesthetics. The impact of industrialisation on living conditions and health and hygiene. Public health systems in the 19th century.  Transfusions, organ transplants and plastic surgery. The impact of the NHS. How near to revolution was Britain in 1815?Why did so many people demand electoral reform?How did the ruling classes react to working-class protest?Why was the 1832 Reform Act passed?  How were the poor treated before 1834?Were pauper’s treated cruelly in the workhouse?What were the consequences of the New Poor Law?
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Year 11

How did people improve living conditions in towns and working conditions in factories?Why did so many people emigrate?  Why and how were the first railways built and what impact did they have on Britain?Why did Chartism develop and why did it fail?  What was communism like in China under Mao Tse Tung? The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The invasion and occupation of Tibet?  What was China like under Deng Xiaoping? Economic reformand political repression.Controlled Assessment. Students respond to an OCR set task. A951 Medicine.  A study in development: revision activities.A951 Britain 1815-51. A study in depth: revision programme.A952 Historical Source Investigation revision. Not applicable.

Key Stage 5

AS and A2 level History

Exam Board OCR.

How will the course be graded? GCSE  A – E

When are the examinations?

Exams will be sat at the end of each year’s course in the summer.

Course requirements

No prior knowledge of the subject is required: you do not need to have studied GCSE History in order to do AS or A level History.

Course outline. What will I study?

AS level

AS level History is a one year course which is a ‘stand-alone’ qualification in its own right. Students must study two units on Early Modern and Modern History:-

F962 Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-63: Germany after World War I; the Rise of Adolf Hitler; Nazi rule in Germany; the Holocaust; the consequences of World War II and the Cold War.

F963 The English Civil War and Interregnum 1637-60: The personal rule of Charles I; the causes, course and outcome of the Civil Wars; the trial and execution of the king; Cromwell as Lord Protector.


Each unit is assessed by a one and a half hour external examination.

Each exam is worth 50% of the total AS level marks.

A2 level

After AS level, students may decide to continue History for a second year to achieve an A level qualification. Students must complete a thematic study and coursework.

F965: The thematic study, The Changing Nature of Warfare 1792-1945, focuses on soldiers, weapons, tactics and technology, from the battlefields of Waterloo to World War II, from muskets and machine guns to the atomic bomb.

F966: The coursework consists of two essays on a topic of the student’s own choosing, based on a study of Russian Revolutions 1894–24 which focuses on why the 1905 and 1917 revolutions occurred, the establishment of a Communist government and to what extent Lenin was merely a dictator who took and held power by force.


The Changing Nature of Warfare is assessed by a two hour external examination, which is worth 30% of the total A level marks. The coursework essays are worth 20% and are marked by your History teacher. (The remaining 50% comes from the AS level!).

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 12

Module F962

How strong was Weimar Germany in the 1920s?To what extent was the period 1924-29 a time of recovery?Why did Weimar fail?  How and why did the Nazi party come to power in 1933?How effectively did Hitler establish Nazi authority 1933-45?  To what extent did the Nazi’s transform German society?How successful were the Nazis at controlling the Third Reich? Why and with what consequences was Germany divided after the Second World War?To what extent did Communism transform the GDR? How far did western democratic structures succeed in the FDR?How successful was Adenauer as Chancellor from 1949 -63? Introduction to A2. Warfare 1700-1789.Why has The Eighteenth Century been described as the age of ‘limited warfare’? 
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Year 12



The breakdown between King and Parliament.1933-y,stablish Nazi authority,Why, within two years of the collapse of Personal Rule, did civil war break out? The main events of the English Civil War 1642-46.Why did the Royalists lose the First Civil War? Why was a settlement impossible between 1646 and 1649?The trial and execution of King Charles I in 1649. Who was to blame for the King’s execution?The strengths and weaknesses of Cromwell’s Commonwealth. Foreign policy during Cromwell’s protectorate, 1653-58.The collapse of the republican experiment. Introduction to A2 courseworkInterpretations and Investigations.


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 13

Module F965

The Wars of Revolution: The Challenge to the Kings.How did the Napoleonic wars change the nature of warfare?   War in the Industrial Age 1815-1914.What were the improvements in military and non-military technology and what impact did they have?  The First World War.How did World War One represent a fundamental change in the nature of warfare between 1792 and 1918?  The Second World War.In what ways was the Second World War different from all other wars across the period studied? The Changing Nature of Warfare 1792-1945.What have been some of the most striking changes in the nature of warfare during this period? Not applicable.
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Year 13 Module


Why had there been so little political and economic progress in Russia between 1894-1905?Who were the opponents of Tsarism? Why was the war between Russia and Japan in 1905 such a disaster?To what extent was the tsarist government responsible for the 1905 revolution?  How far did World War One encourage opposition to the tsar?What was the role of Lenin and the Bolsheviks during 1917? How did the Bolsheviks consolidate their power 1917-24?Interpretations coursework. Students respond to an OCR set source based task. Investigations coursework.Students respond to an essay task of their own ents wild te expected to pioary REvolution.ia.choice based on the programme of study Russia 1894-1924. Not applicable.

Learning Resources

There are three specialist History rooms, B2, B3 and B4 which are well equipped with interactive white boards utilising DVD and video players, a visualiser and a wide range of textbooks which cater for the needs of all students at different reading levels across Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. A trolley containing 16 laptops can be booked and are kept in the store room by B3. There is a bank of learning resources catering for pupils of different abilities which support the schemes of work across all Key Stages. A wide variety of DVDs and videos are also available as well as interactive resources such as Boardworks, LiveText and numerous internet sites (the zone subscribes to ActiveHistory.co.uk so that all pupils have free access).

Key Successes

History has been one of the most popular options at GCSE for many years. The GCSE moderator’s report described the History Department as ‘very professional and conscientious which has produced some exemplary pieces of work. Your standard of student attainment is second to none, and your top-end is some of the best work I have seen, they are almost undergraduate standard’. The pass rate at A Level has been 100% since 2011.

Meet the Staff

There are three members of the zone who between them deliver the History Curriculum:

  • Miss S. Owen -Lead Practitioner Teacher of History
  • Miss H. Somerton – Teacher of History/li>

Enrichment Activities

To enrich students’ experiences and broaden their horizons the following enrichment activities have taken place in the last five years:

A professional theatre group visited school and performed a play about the Middle Ages to all Year 7 students in 2009; in previous years English Civil War re-enactors have given a demonstration to Year 8 students and Year 9 Gifted and Talented students have been on a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Nottingham.

In 2009 all GCSE students visited Walsall’s Local History Centre and completed a fieldwork study along Walsall’s canals as part of their GCSE coursework while Year 11 students attend a ‘Medicine through Time’ day at the Thinktank in Birmingham every year as part of their GCSE revision.

In 2010 a professional theatre group visited school and performed a play to Year 9 students which celebrated the achievements of Black people in British history. All Year 9 students also took part in the ‘Shared War Project’, an initiative funded by the local authority where a military historian from the Asian community visited school over a period of several weeks to work with students emphasising the contribution and sacrifice that soldiers from the Indian subcontinent made in the defeat of fascism during the Second World War.

In 2010 Year 10 students visited Stafford Castle as part of their GCSE course.

In January 2011 Year 11 students attended a workshop run by Foreign Service Officers from the United States embassy as part of President Obama’s commitment to engage with young people.

In April 2011 the Outreach Officer from the University of Birmingham’s Medical School, and one of her colleagues, ran a series of workshops in school all day relating to Medicine, Health and Disease through Time with students from Years 9, 10 and 11.

In July 2011 Year 10 students visited Dudley Castle to learn about Medieval medicine which was part of their GCSE History examination.

Two Year 12 students take part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project every year,  incorporating a visit to Poland, organised by The Holocaust Educational Trust and a weapons expert has visited Year 13  students as part of their A level studies on Warfare.

In 2011 all Year 13 students attended a conference on the Russian Revolution.

In 2012 and 2013 all A level students attended a two day conference on German history in Birmingham to listen to lecturers from Oxford Brookes, Liverpool, Lancaster and Teesside Universities and University College London.

In 2013 Year 9 Gifted and Talented students travelled to Keele University to listen to an Auschwitz survivor and take part in workshops organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

In 2013 all A level students attended a series of seminars at Newman University College led by a former A Level examiner and a specialist in 17th Century English History came to school to run a series of workshop revision sessions on the English Civil War to help prepare the students for their final examinations.

Last updated: April 2016