The aim of the History Department is to inspire curiosity, promote enjoyment and develop the skills our students need to make informed judgements about the past.
Across all key stages, students study British and World History to gain a broad understanding of the events, forces and ideas that have shaped the world we live in today. We encourage students to develop a research based understanding and appreciation of History; they learn to investigate, develop source analysis and evaluation and look critically at the way the past has been interpreted.
At BHGS we aim to provide a curriculum of historical study to inspire curiosity and develop the knowledge and skills our students need to make critically informed judgements about the past and question the world today. Our curriculum is designed to be ambitious to engage students in historical enquiry and rich knowledge, so that they become confident, knowledgeable historians. We expect students to understand the significance of History, considering its relevance for understanding the world and its importance in developing tolerance, respect and equality.
We endeavour to challenge all students to be the best that they can become, to work both independently and collaboratively to develop critically informed, substantiated judgements. Learners will analyse, interrogate and evaluate sources and interpretations of the past and information in the world today. The curriculum will provide students with the core knowledge required to be successful through providing examples of clear, coherent narratives concerning people, institutions, places and events. Learners will gain a sense of period through large-scale historical narrative as well as small-scale stories.
Our aim is to develop students who are resilient, lifelong learners of history. History equips students with ambition and aspirations so that they become happy and successful members of society, showing curiosity in the world and people around them, both in the past and today. Learners develop skills to critically question information in the modern world and challenge discrimination and prejudice. The coherent curriculum allows pupils to draw links between cross curricular themes, developing connections between local, national and global events and issues, and also through extra-curricular trips and cross curricular opportunities, events and competitions. History provides opportunities for deep learning that accelerate our students’ understanding of the world around them, allowing all to have an appreciation for, and engagement with, the common and differing experiences of people in history and today.
Year 7: Taught as part of combined Humanities: Conquest, Trade and Beliefs c.1000-c.1500:
- What is History?
- Did the Norman Conquest ‘transform’ England?
- Was Medieval England ‘Measly’?
- How did the Silk Roads shape the medieval world?
- Why was the Kingdom of Benin so powerful?
- Why is Timbuktu described as the ‘Jewel’ of the Mali Empire?
- Why was Baghdad at the centre of the Islamic Golden Age?
Year 8: Religion, Revolution and Empire c.1500-c.1900:
- Why are the Tudors significant monarchs in English History?
- What kind of reform was the Reformation in England?
- How diverse was Tudor society?
- Was there an Elizabethan ‘Golden Age’?
- Why did the British become empire builders?
- How did experiences of the British Empire vary across the globe?
- How should we write the history of the British Empire?
- How did the transatlantic slave trade impact Africa, Britain, and the Caribbean?
- Who caused the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade?
- Was the Industrial Revolution ‘Liberty’s Dawn’?
- Why was the 19th Century an ‘age of popular protest’?
- Why was the East End susceptible to crime?
- What does ‘The Five’ reveal about gender in Victorian London?
- Why did the police fail to solve crime in the East End?
Year 9: Conflict, Ideology and Protest c.1900-c.2000.
- Why did war become ‘more likely than peace’ in 1914?
- How was the First World War a global conflict?
- What ‘long shadows’ did the First World War cast?
- Who fought for women’s suffrage in Britain?
- Did the Suffragettes ‘win’ the vote for women in 1918?
- Why did Hitler rise to power in Germany in 1933?
- How did different groups experience the Nazi regime?
- Why did the world go to war again in 1939?
- How did the Nazis implement the ‘Final Solution’?
- How should we remember the Holocaust?
- How did the Second World War shape the modern world?
- What did emancipation from slavery in America promise and deliver?
- Did the African American Civil Rights Movement achieve its aims?
- How did British society change in the 20th Century?
- How did people campaign for equal rights?
- Ongoing teacher assessment
- Formal half-termly assessments
- Formal exam in Year 8 and Year 9
Year 10 & 11: GCSE: Edexcel History (1HIO) British and World History
British Thematic Study with Historical Environment:
- Medicine in Britain c.1250-present day including the British Sector of the Western Front (Paper 1: 30%)
- Period Study: The American West c.1835-c.1895 (Paper 2: 20%)
- British Depth Study: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c.1060-88 (Paper 2: 20%)
- Modern Depth Study: Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941 (Paper 3: 30%)
- All three exam papers will be sat at the end of the two year course.
- Ongoing teacher assessment
- Internal end of unit assessments (half-termly)
- Mock exams at the end of Year 10 and in Year 11
Year 12 & 13: A Level: AQA Linear A Level History (7042)
- British Breadth Study: The Tudors: England, 1485-1603 (40%)
- Non-British Depth Study: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945 (40%)
- Historical Investigation – coursework: Civil Rights in America, 1861-1968 (20%)
- Both exam papers will be sat at the end of the two year course.
- Coursework will be completed prior to the exams.
- Ongoing teacher assessment
- In class assessments
- Mock exams in Year 12 and Year 13
Ypres, Belgium and Somme, France Battlefields residential: World War One
Bletchley Park: Home of the codebreakers: World War Two
The Tower of London: Anglo-Saxon/Norman England
The Old Operating Theatre and Imperial War Museum: Medicine
The Guardian Newspaper: Civil Rights
The National Archives and Westminster Abbey: The Tudors
Berlin, Germany residential: Weimar and Nazi Germany
History Detectives – KS3: Weekly after school enrichment club for budding Historians!
Parallel Histories – KS4/5: Weekly after school enrichment club for studying controversial histories and debates.
House Competitions throughout the year: For example; Big Humanities Quiz, Hard Boiled Humanities Easter Egg Competition, Historical Writing Competition.
Range of useful websites for KS3 and KS4:
BBC KS3 History: https://www.bbc.com/education/subjects/zk26n39
BBC KS4 History: https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/zw4bv4j
Timelines TV: http://www.timelines.tv/
BBC Teach youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4KN50fal7f45fx2DqG7ttg/videos
GCSE Edexcel website: Information and past papers:
A Level AQA website: Information and past papers:
Google classroom is used to recommend articles, TV programmes, podcasts, exhibitions, wider reading, and additional courses that the department feels would develop students understanding of various topics.
The school library holds a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books linked to all the topics studied across all key stages. History specific fiction reading lists are provided at the beginning of each term.