History is the study of human motivation – what has made people do what they did in the past and when there were so often so many possible options for them. In this way everyone can relate to History; it is about people in the past who are not always that different from us – although as you will see some times they can be very different indeed.
Obviously those who teach the subject find it interesting – and that is our aim for the pupils as well. Through a wide variety of teaching methods and a lot of enthusiasm we study both topics and skills.
We look at some of the big mysteries in History; did Richard III kill the Princes in the Tower for example. We devote a whole day of pupil independent learning to look at various suspects that might have been Jack the Ripper.
We look at topics that help us to understand the world today. The Crusades still have an impact on the situation in the Middle East. The Cold War still impacts on Western relations with the Russia.
We look at topics that develop an understanding of human rights such as the Nazi treatment of the Jews.
We look at topics that focus on Citizenship and British values such as the importance of Magna Carta and the English Revolution of the 17th century.
In History pupils develop the skills of developing arguments, finding appropriate and trustworthy facts and try and convince others that their view is correct.
In History pupils develop the skills of source analysis; can you trust what you see or read and hear?
We aim to make History both interesting and fun.
We also aim to be as relevant as possible; the following is an outline of what we offer but every year we look at new topics dependent at times on the background and interests of individual pupils.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 we cover British History from 1066 onwards, with healthy diversions into other cultures and continents, and all the way up to the events of 9/11 in 2001.
In Year 7 we focus on the Medieval world from the battle of Hastings in 1066 onwards. Topics range from the Black death to the Crusades and from urban history to the relations with Wales and Scotland. Each year we visit a castle in North Wales and then the pupils make a model castle of their own.
In Year 8 the focus is on the Tudors and Stuarts alongside stand alone topics of the Slavery trade, with a visit to the Slavery Museum in Liverpool, and the Industrial Revolution with a trip to Styal Mill in Cheshire.
In Year 9 we look at the political movements and events that have shaped the modern world. We analyse a whole series of isms from liberalism to conservatism and socialism and from communism to Nazism and religious fundamentalism. There is particular focus as well on the two World Wars and especially the First World War with the present centenary commemorations. Each year we visit the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester and there is a biennial long weekend trip to the battlefields of France and Flanders.
History is regularly the most popular option choice at the end of year 9 for GCSE.
GCSE History is the OCR Modern World option. There are three examined units. The first considers the origins of the Cold War from 1945 – 75. Taking in such topics as the break down of the wartime alliance and the beginnings of the Iron Curtain, the Cuban Missile Crisis – the nearest the world ever cam to all out nuclear devastation – and the American failure in Vietnam. In connection with this topic we visit the Cold War museum at Cosford.
The depth study is the USA 1919-1941 which begins with the boom years of the 1920s- flappers, gangsters, Prohibition – and then the economic problems of the 1930s with the Depression and Roosevelt’s New Deal. A regular trip every few years is to New York and Washington.
A British History source paper considers Britain between 1890- 1918 with topics such as Votes for Women and the early aspects of the Welfare state with pensions, acts for children and the like.
Coursework is a 2000 word essay on some aspect of Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945.
A Level history is once again with OCR. Again it is one of the most popular choices at this level. We teach a diverse range of topics across the four papers. These are:-
Britain between 1930 – 1997. The topic begins an in depth study of Winston Churchill with both his failures in the 1930s and successes of the 1940s.
The Crusades and the Crusader States 1095- 1192. This is a topic which is very relevant to the world today and especially present events in the Middle East. We consider the motives for the Western crusaders, their clashes with the various Moslem groups in the first series of crusades and the cultural clashes between the Christian kingdom of Outremer and its neighbours.
Civil Rights in the USA 1865- 1992. This topic covers the expanding rights, and occasional set backs, of groups as disparate as black Americans, Native Americans and women.
Project. This is completely your own choice; an extended essay on any topic from history which you find interesting.
Beyond the Classroom
History is all around us and the above should give some idea of the variety of trips that take place from local History to much further abroad. We may just walk to the local War Memorial, travel to a Cold War underground bunker in Cheshire or venture much further afield – Berlin, New York, Beijing just to mention a few.