Mr P. Baines (Head of Department)

Mrs K. Judge,

Mr A. Martin,

Miss V. Smith

Miss S. Lamb

Department Overview

The History department encourages young people to take notice of the world around them, to embrace difference by studying significant events from different perspectives, and to actively engage in a dialogue between the past and the present in order to develop their own arguments and opinions.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

The broad nature of our Year 7-9 curriculum allows students to learn from the very best and worst of human endeavour.   The curriculum begins with the bloody rule of Emperor Qin Shi Huang who created the first united Chinese empire (Y7), takes in England’s triumphant defence against the mighty Spanish Armada (Y8), and includes a study of fascism and Neville Chamberlain’s noble, if doomed, attempts to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War (Y9).

We employ a wide variety of teaching methods including re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings in Year 7 and the building of model First World War trenches in Year 9.  Students in Year 8 also visit York, as part of their study of the Tudors, where they tour the city walls, visit York Minster, take in the majestic ruins of a Benedictine monastery, and visit the shrine of martyred Catholic saint, Margaret Clitherow.


Why study GCSE History?

History is vitally important to develop an understanding of our modern 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 history is an exciting and stimulating subject in its own right which appeals to those with a broad range of interests, even if students are not planning on studying history at a higher level.

Features of the course:

GCSE History expands on much of the work done in Years 7, 8 and 9, as well as introducing students to new topics, such as Twentieth Century America and the history of medicine and surgery.    Modules studied:

USA, 1920 – 1973, chiefly a domestic study, focusing on changes to society including race relations, the role of women, and key events such as the depression and World War Two;

Health and the People, a study of health, medicine and surgery in Britain from the medieval period to present day;

Elizabethan England, government and society in Elizabethan England, the question of marriage, religion and war with Spain;

Conflict and Tension, a study of international relations following the First World War, focusing on the factors which led to increased tensions and eventually the outbreak of the Second World War.


Students will have the opportunity to visit historical sites of significance including Surgeons’ Hall museum in Edinburgh, and potentially the named historical investigation site for that year.    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 to arrange work experience to historical sites and museums for those students who are contemplating studying History at university.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

History GCSE provides an excellent base for further study of the subject at A Level and beyond. It also provides knowledge and skills that are invaluable when looking at the A-Level Government and Politics, and Economics courses.   In a wider sense, GCSE History develops students’ capacity to analyse sources and create structured, intellectual responses that deal with that information. This is a highly sought-after skill both from universities and in the world of work.

Exam board: AQA.

A Level

We are pleased to offer students two options for studying History at A-level:

History A (International Relations)

Component 1: The British Empire 1857 – 1967

Component 2: The Cold War 1945 – 1991


History B (Modern)

Component 1: Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855 – 1964

Component 2: The Making of Modern Britain 1951 – 2007.


Whether selecting History A or B, students will have the opportunity to pursue a coursework question from outside the above periods of study, which encourages independent learning and helps to prepare students for higher education.   A good proportion of QEGS History A-level students go on to study the subject at university, and we have a track record of strong results at both GCSE and A-level.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 at GCSE History.   Applications will be welcomed from students with equivalent grades in English, Religious Studies or Geography who did not take History as a GCSE subject.

Exam board: AQA.