Mr P Baines – Head of History
Mrs K Judge
Miss V Smith
Mr A Martin

Department Overview

The history department is made up of a very experienced team of teachers who have taught history at every level for several years. The department is a highly qualified one which contains graduates of Oxford, Warwick, Cardiff and Durham Universities. The ethos of the department is centred around a determination to pass on our enthusiasm for the subject to the students. To this end we employ a large variety of teaching methods including everything from re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings for all Year 7s to the building of model First World War trenches in Year 9.
We offer a variety of trips for students and have visited many destinations in this country and abroad including Prague, Paris, London and York. We also visit subject specific locations like the city of York and Surgeons’ Hall Museums in Edinburgh.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 we look at:
• Introducing history skills
• Imperial China
• The Norman Conquest
• Medieval England
In Year 8 we look at:
• Richard III
• The Tudor monarchs
• The Reformation in Britain and Europe
• The English Civil War
• Oliver Cromwell and Charles II
• The Glorious Revolution
• The Jacobites
• Slavery and the British Empire
In Year 9 we look at:
• The origins and fighting of the First World War
• The peace treaties of 1918-9
• The rise of fascism in Europe
• Life in Nazi Germany
• The Holocaust
• The origins and fighting of the Second World War
• The Cold War
Every KS3 year completes at least three graded assessments and a summer exam which are marked according to the 1-9 grading system.
In Year 7 we run a medieval day where students can experience some of the aspects of medieval life like warfare, food and castle building. We also do a reconstruction of the Battle of Hastings for the whole year
In Year 8 we visit the historic city of York to prepare our students for their assessment about the impact of the Tudors on the city.
In Year 9 we visit the Imperial War Museum North to help better understand the First and Second World War and to prepare students for aspects of the History GCSE.


Why study History?
History is vitally important to develop an understanding of our modern-day world, and equally ourselves. It also allows the student to develop skills of thinking, questioning, weighing up evidence and making judgements. The historian Alan Bullock argued that those who fail to study history will suffer from “cultural amnesia”. We would add that, as well as being so worthwhile and useful; history is an exciting and stimulating subject. It is also a course which is worthwhile in its own right, even if students are not planning on studying history at a higher level, and appeals to those with a broad range of interests.
It provides opportunities for a wide range of skills to be developed and for a variety of historical periods to be studied.
Features of the course:
This interesting history course will build on work done in Years 7 and 8. Students actually begin looking at the GCSE content and syllabus in the second half of Year 9.We have aimed to cover political, economic and social topics, while also including some military history. We have also looked to include several different countries. Ultimately, we believe that all of the topics are wholly relevant to today’s student of history. The final topic will include the study of a particular historical site that changes every year. There is no coursework element.
Students will have a variety of opportunities to visit historical sites of significance including Thakray Medical Museum in Leeds and the named historical investigation site for that year. We also take students to the Imperial War Museum North during their initial study of the GCSE course in Year 9. Extra materials and reading are made readily available to students who wish to develop their knowledge and skills beyond the GCSE syllabus. We also help arrange work experience to historical sites and museums for those students who are contemplating studying history at university. We currently have links with both Carlisle Archives and Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life.
What opportunities for progression does it offer?
It provides an excellent base for studying history at A-Level and beyond. It also provides both knowledge and skills that are invaluable when looking at A-Level government and politics and A-Level economics. In a wider sense, GCSE history gives one the capacity to absorb and analyse a variety of sources and then create structured and academic responses that deal with that information. This is a highly sort after skill at university and in the world of work.

A Level

Why study Medieval History?
History helps you to discover how your world evolved. It helps you to develop skills to look beyond the headlines and to ask critical questions. It teaches you to express your own opinions with clarity and precision. History helps you learn how to think and process information and understand the origins of modern political and social problems.
Historians have always made a virtue of the importance of making objective judgements based upon wide reading and an understanding of multiplicity of conflicting sources. We value the ability to write clear, literate, synoptic, analytical prose that represents a balanced assessment of the evidence but which is not frightened of drawing bold conclusions. History training therefore imparts vital transferable skills that are extremely useful in many jobs.
What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?
You must have an interest in this period of history and be interested in studying it in more detail. You should be prepared to read more widely around the subjects being discussed and present written work that is beginning to show an ability to justify and explain your thinking.
Features of the course:
In the breadth study students move beyond Western European history to the great civilisations of Byzantium and the Middle East in the age of the crusades. They contain every element of social, political and economic history. For example, the motivation to join a crusade combined the social power of God and the church, the economic impact of poverty in Europe and the political machinations of ambitious noblemen. This course will look at the first four crusades finishing with the infamous sacking of Constantinople in 1204.
The depth study of royal authority and Angevin kings covers the reigns of three monarchs as they struggle to separate their dynasty from their Norman predecessors. The first, Henry II, began the period as arguably the most powerful monarch in Europe, with lands stretching from the Scottish borders to the Pyrenees. His son, Richard I would spend a mere 10 months of his 10 year rule in England, whilst away on crusade his wife takes his place and becomes one of the most powerful women in Medieval England. The last of the Angevin kings was John, whom history has judged harshly. By 1205, six years into his reign, only a fragment of the Angevin empire acquired by Henry II remained. He was also forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.