Why is History important?

Learning a History can be passport to understanding our nation’s cultural capital – why Shakespeare wrote the plays he did, why we uphold justice and the idea that we are innocent until proven guilty, why we have become such multicultural society since WWII. Studying History helps us to understand who we are and what we value. Student dressed in traditional civil war outfit

Our aim for our students is to SUCCEED:

Skills: Help students gain and develop the intellectual skills needed to think independently, write analytically, challenge convention and decide for themselves.

Understanding: promote understanding of key historic events and gain perspective on the world’s current challenges and issues through the lens of the past.

Curiosity: teaching pupils to frame the questions needed for their investigations and to inspire an interest and excitement in the events and people who have shaped our world

Challenge: History at Sexey’s is challenging and engaging at all levels and we strive for excellence from Year 7 to Year 13. Our strong examination results reflect the development of examination skills across the key stages.

Exploration: Experiencing history through a variety of media and outside of the classroom. The Department runs a number of trips at home and abroad (where possible) and invites History societies to bring their passion to us. Recent trips have included the Globe Theatre, the Battlefields of WWI; the Chalke valley History a visit from the Civil War Society.

Excellence: Give our students the support and self- belief to persevere and aim high

Diversity: Improve the understanding of other cultures, values and ideas in order to help celebrate and understand our multicultural society and our shared experience.

Benefits of studying History beyond school:

  • Excellent preparation for the skills you will need in adult life: The ability to argue your case convincing when seeking promotion; to write analytically and intelligently when assessing which project should be pursued; to think for yourself based on reason not emotion.
  • Opens up a wide range of career opportunities in various fields: politics; law; diplomacy; forensic science; teaching; journalism.
  • Great preparation for independent thinking required for Higher Education

Subject Overview

All pupils learn History from Year 7 to 9 and it is an EBACC subject at GCSE.

The curriculum at KS3 is designed to give the students a sense of curiosity about the past whilst developing the investigative, evaluative and literacy skills that they will need at GCSE and beyond. We aim to foster a genuine knowledge of and interest in the key historical events that have shaped our nation and our world. We prepare our students in the skills they will need at GCSE from Y7, such as:

  • source analysis and evaluation;
  • asking the right questions
  • Writing extended explanations dealing with concepts of significance and relative importance
  • Forming arguments and justifying their conclusions.

Key Stage 3 curriculum plan

We begin the GCSE course in Term 3 of Year 9 where it overlaps with the Year 9 National Curriculum

Year 7

Medieval Realms: Norman Conquest, Power Struggles, Medieval Life
Using Evidence: Maiden Castle

Enquiry 1: How lucky was William the Conqueror in winning the English Throne?
Enquiry 2: How well did William the Conqueror rule after 1066?

Enquiry 3: Who was to blame for the murder in the Cathedral?
Enquiry 4: How far was the power of the Monarchy eroded by the end of 15th century?

Enquiry Question 5: How hard was it to live in the middle ages?
Enquiry Question 6: How did a flea kill half of the world?
Enquiry 7: Why did the Church of England begin?

Year 8

Era of Revolutions: Empire & Slavery, Revolution in the UK, Development of Democracy

An overview of Elizabethan England
Enquiry 1-Was Empire just good for the British?
Enquiry 2: When, how and why was slavery abolished?

Enquiry 3: Did the UK experience its own revolutions?
Enquiry 4: What were the consequences of the Industrial Revolution?

Enquiry 5: How democratic was the political system in the UK in the 19th C?
Enquiry 6: Were the Suffragettes their own worst enemy?

Year 9

The Twentieth Century World: Era of WW1, Era of WWII, GCSE Topic: Germany

Enquiry 1: Why do we still remember WWI? Sanctuary Wood Trenches

Enquiry 2: Did the First World War end well?

Enquiry 3: Why did another World War break out so soon?
Enquiry 4: Was Churchill right about Appeasement?

Overview of East – West relations since 1945

Life in Nazi Germany including the Holocaust

Key Stage 4 curriculum plan

GCSE Specification Overview: AQA History (8145)

At GCSE the students build upon the skills of evaluation and source analysis taught in KS3 but do so in the context of the four topics that they will be examined upon. Our approach to learning is to encourage the application of gained knowledge from the very beginning and to model using talking mocks, skills lessons and model answers the style of answer required for unit. Skills sheets and assessment feedback sheets are targeted at the assessment objectives and mark schemes, allowing students to identify their strengths and specific areas of development required to target the highest grades.

Four topics are studied across two examination papers:

Paper 1: International History
Depth Study: Germany 1890 – 1945: Democracy and Dictatorship
Period Study: International Conflict and Tension: Origins of the Cold War 1945-1972

Paper 2: British History
Development Study: Health and the People in Britain: 1000 to present
Depth Study: Elizabethan England


Paper 1: 2 Hour Written Paper 84 marks 50%

4 compulsory questions on Medicine and Health and 4 compulsory questions on Elizabeth England – including one case study topic.

Paper 2: 2 Hour Written Paper 84 Marks 50%

5 compulsory questions on Germany and 4 compulsory questions on the Cold War

Each paper includes questions covering source analysis and evaluation, explanations of significance, outline accounts and extended judgments.

For information on Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) History, please see here.

Spiritual, Moral, Social or Cultural Opportunities

Across Y7 to Y11, the History curriculum plan enables multiple opportunities to discuss and reflect upon events with a SMSC focus. We consider issues to do with the development of rights and democracy in the UK, the reformation and issues of religious difference; the issues concerning Empire and Slavery; the persecution of minorities and the Holocaust and this is just the highlights. Lessons are grounded in the students’ current experiences and issues that concern our world today. Students are regularly called upon to assess and explain different views as well as to appreciate our development as a society. In KS5 we continue to consider subject matter that raises fundamental questions about the nature of power and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural implications this can have from the emancipation of the serfs in Imperial Russia to the ruthless repression of Hitler and Stalin. The study of 15th Century England helps to appreciate the cultural capital of our turbulent past.

Most Able Opportunities/Support

The classes are mixed ability in throughout but the emphasis is always on challenge. The nature of the subject means that lessons and assignments always require students to think critically, write analytically and substantiate their judgements. In certain topics higher ability students are given the independence to explore an enquiry themselves in small groups, whilst still focusing on the same objectives as the rest of the class. In all Key Stages pupils are always encouraged to strive beyond their target grades and pathways to the higher grades are clearly explored before all assignments are set. In KS4 all assessed work is done via real GCSE questions and focus is always on what it takes to reach the complex level.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Opportunities/Support

  • High-quality teaching
  • Differentiated work and assessment support (Scaffolding)
  • Seating plan to suit needs and abilities
  • Exam Access arrangements with extra time for KS4 and KS5
  • Additional intervention as needed

Staff List

  • Tracy Bazen (Head of Department)
  • Darryl Carpenter
  • Alice Elliott

Useful revision website links:


Updated: September 2019