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What will students be studying in History this year?

In Year 7 students will begin to develop the skills they will use throughout Key Stage 3 – skills in handling evidence, interpretation and causation.  Students will also be introduced to chronology in History as well as developing their skills in debating and writing arguments.  The Year 7 history course starts with foundation lessons where students are introduced to different types of evidence and look at what Britain was like before the Norman Conquest. 

The content of the course follows the development of Norman Britain from 1066 and studies key events of the mediaeval period such as the murder of Thomas Beckett, the Magna Carta, the impact of the Black Death and the peasant’s revolt.  In addition, student study history from a female perspective with a fascinating look into the lives of women in the Middle Ages as we look at ‘Her Story’.  Content is taught alongside the development of the key historical skills and various assessments are used throughout the year to test and chart the progress of students in these areas.

Students in Year 7 have two History lessons a week which allows us to build a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding.  At the end of Year 7, students will also have studied Richard and the princes in the Tower, religious changes under the Tudors and the Elizabethan age.

Students in Year 8 will begin by looking at Elizabethan England before moving on to the Stuart age, the Gunpowder Plot, the English Civil War, the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution. Students understanding of this period will be focused on power, privilege and politics so in summer term, the focus will be on the everyday lives of people who built Victorian Britain and contributed to the ‘age of empire’ Students will gain a greater insight into the living and working conditions of mill and factory workers during the Industrial Revolution which will give them a different perspective from their studies thus far.

In Year 9 students should be proficient in the skills they have developed since Year 7 – skills in handling evidence, interpretation and causation.  Students in Year 9 will follow a course of modern world history, beginning with the Age of Empire and ending with a study of how society changed after the Second World War.  Students will study the causes of World War One and an in depth look into what it was like to fight on the Western Front.  Students will look at the interpretations of Field Marshall Haig and whether he deserves his nickname ‘the Butcher of the Somme’ .  Students will look at the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Hitler in the inter war years. We will discuss the merits of appeasement  before looking at how the League of Nations failed to stop Hitler in the 1930s and how foreign policy and the failure of diplomacy led to the outbreak of war in 1939. 

What are the major assessments this year?           

Students will complete six assessments over the course of the year, allowing them two opportunities to develop in each area. Assessments are reviewed yearly and are subject to change with most taking place during lesson time, we have found this to be beneficial for students in terms of teacher support.   

What will the current performance grade be based on and what do the levels mean?

Current performance is based on the assessed work she completes throughout the year and her end of year examination. Her oral contributions in class will also inform staff about her level of engagement with the subject.  All students are issued with a generic mark scheme for each key skill and an expectation of where they should be in Years 7-9. 

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

She should talk to her teacher first as it could be a simple matter of misunderstanding a task or a topic. She should try and be specific about what she finds particularly challenging and the support offered may differ depending on the nature of the challenge. She may be paired with a 6th form subject student leader in History who can offer longer term support or with a student in the year above who will have recent experience of the Year 8 course.

How can I support my daughter?

The best way to support your daughter is by talking to her about what she is studying in History and about how she is getting on. Students should be encouraged to complete homework in a quiet area of the home without the distractions of siblings, television or mobile phones/ipads.  

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students will be asked to undertake research from time to time and this will be written in her planner as part of her homework. Students who regularly review their class notes and chapters from their textbook are more likely to consolidate their historical knowledge and gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the past.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the History department at if you have any queries about your daughter’s progress in History.

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