FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
Head of History Ms N Nessa
What is History?
History is the study of past events and people and their ongoing impact and relevance on the world of today. History is more than a list of facts; it involves debate as to why and how events are connected and their relative significance and importance.
‘Understanding the past, connecting to the present, building blocks for my future’.
Our vision is to fire students’ curiosity to know more about the past and ask questions in order to think independently and reach their own opinions.
Why do we study History?
A high-quality history education will help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip students to ask and answer questions about the past in order to form their own substantiated view.
Our students will:
- gain a chronological understanding of British History 1066 until present and link to wider world events
- become empowered with knowledge and academic excellence
- develop the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement
- appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups
- link the past to their own identities and challenges of the time
What do we study?
Key Stage 3: Students are taught broadly chronologically from 1066 until present day. History concentrates upon British History and links to the wider world.
Key Stage 4: Students study Edexcel (Russia 1917-41, Cold War, Crime and Punishment, Elizabeth I)
Key Stage 5: Students study OCR (The Early Tudors, Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-63, Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992)
To view a full summary of our KS3 and KS4 History curriculum please click here
To view information about A-level History at the Green School Sixth Form please click here
To view information about A-level Politics at the Green School Sixth Form please click here
In Year 7, students are taught the key historical concept of cause and effect by exploring the Norman Conquest. Students have an overarching enquiry question ‘How was England invaded and conquered in 1066’ which they explore over the course of the first half-term in order to gain a coherent understanding of the effects of the Norman Conquest on England. They do this in order to build on their KS2 knowledge, where they have looked at the power dynamics between the Saxons and Vikings. Through this inquiry, students are also able to gain a historical perspective of the role of government and institutions of control as they explore the role of monarchy, feudalism and the growing role of the Church in governing everyday life. This theme is then revisited throughout the year as students explore the interplay between the power of the Church and the power of the Monarchy in establishing control.
Through the enquiry questions; ‘‘Nobody could ignore the church - What was the impact of mediaeval religion on people?’ and ‘‘The worst King that England has ever had: how far does King John deserve this name?’ Students also gain a conceptual understanding of similarities and differences, significance and change and continuity. As a result, the curriculum allows students to become cognisant of the development of the modern democracy whilst also growing their chronological understanding of the history of Britain.
Students finish Year 7 by looking at the wider mediaeval and early modern worlds. In order to develop an understanding of how Britain has been shaped and has shaped the wider world, students look at the role and importance of Islam in the medieval world. Students are encouraged to draw parallels between Christendom and the Islamic kingdoms to help deepen their understanding of the influence of religion in shaping Britain into a multicultural and diverse society.
Interspersed within these is the key development of historical skills such as the ability to independently and critically analyse a range of historical sources, in order to reach a substantiated judgement about the past. These skills are consistently put to practise so that students can apply these skills both in an exam setting as well as at a broader global level.
In Year 8, students begin by tackling the key historical concept of cause and consequence as well as significance in their exploration of Stuart Britain, in particular in the growing divisions between Catholics and Protestants as well as between King and Parliament. Students have an overarching enquiry question ‘Who controlled Stuart England?’ which they explore over the course of the first half-term, this is done as part of the spiralled curriculum within History, in which students build on their previous knowledge of the importance of religion and the Church in shaping Britain. Through this inquiry, students are able to consolidate their understanding of the role of government and institutions in governing the lives of Britons whilst also beginning to analyse trends within the political and social history of the British Isles. Students are then encouraged to look at the theme of power and control through an entirely different lens when they explore the key question of ‘‘Sugar, Empire and Slavery’ What was the human cost of sugar? How and why did the slave trade develop?’A key focus of this module is to develop students’ empathy as they understand the significance of slavery in the industrialisation of Britian.
To further develop students’ chronological understanding of the past, students then embark on an exploration of the inquiry question; ‘‘All change is good change’ To what extent did the Industrial Revolution do more harm than good?’ Through this enquiry students are able to place their knowledge of slavery in the context of life at home in Industrial Britain. Through this enquiry students gain a conceptual understanding of similarities and differences, significance, change and continuity as well as cause and effect. As a result, the curriculum allows students to appreciate how the decisions of people of the past continue to affect their world today, in doing this the past becomes less mystifying.
Students finish Year 8 by looking at the wider world in a case study of India and also of local personal histories through exploring the story of Ethel and Ernest. In order to develop an understanding of how Britain has been shaped and has shaped the wider world, students, in accordance with the National Curriculum, look at the role and importance of Empire, through the lens of the British Raj, in the development of Britain as a global power. India has been chosen as it is significant both in terms of its place within the British Empire (‘the Jewel in the Crown’) but also to reflect the diverse nature of the school. Through the story of Ethel and Ernest, students are encouraged to seek the significance in the insignificant. Students are encouraged to explore their own personal histories and therefore develop a more pronounced personal connection with History whilst continuing to solidify their understanding of how Britain has come to be a multicultural and diverse society. Interspersed within these is the key development of historical skills such as the ability to independently and critically analyse a range of historical sources, in order to reach a substantiated judgement about the past. These skills are consistently put to practise so that students can apply these skills both in an exam setting as well as at a broader global level.
In Year 9, the focus is on challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world from 1901 to the present day. Students begin by tackling the key historical concept of cause and consequence as well as significance in their exploration of the First World War. Students have an overarching enquiry question ‘‘The Great War’ How far was World War One a ‘world’ war?’ which they explore over the course of the first half-term. This is done as part of the spiralled curriculum within History, in which students build on their previous knowledge of how industrialisation changed the world but also through the personal history of Ethel and Ernest, a working-class couple during the First World War. Through this inquiry, students are able to build on their empathy skills as students discover the true experiences of soldiers in the trenches. Students are encouraged to develop deeper connections with soldiers beyond statistical information and in doing so develop their historical change and continuity. Through this inquiry students increasingly draw on their previous skills-based knowledge to frame historically-valid questions so that they can create their own structured accounts of the past.
To further develop students’ understanding of the shocks in Europe in the early 20th century, students then embark on an exploration of the enquiry questions; ‘‘What was life really like in Nazi Germany?’ as well as ‘How far was Hitler the main reason for the outbreak of WW2?
How and why should WW2 be remembered?’ Through these enquiries students are able to understand why the Great War did not create peace in Europe and thus students are able to come to a substantiated judgement about the causes of the Second World War. Through these enquiries students gain a conceptual understanding of cause and consequence, significance and change and continuity. As a result, the curriculum allows students to appreciate how geopolitics affects global decision making.
Students finish Year 9 by looking at the development of key British values such as Individual Liberty, Democracy, Rule of Law and Respect and Tolerance, as they explore the development of civil rights and human rights through the case study of the Holocaust and Civil Rights in 1950s and 60s USA. In accordance with the National Curriculum, students develop an understanding of how rights can be infringed upon by governments and the importance of institutions both national and international in the protection of citizens. Students are encouraged to ask broader questions about their roles as upstanders in society through the exploration of personal stories of the victims of the Holocaust as well as through the speeches of great orators such as Martin Luther King. Students continue to revisit the theme of multiculturalism and analyse change over time with regards to tolerance and growth of rights. Interspersed within these is the key development of historical skills such as the ability to independently and critically analyse a range of historical sources, in order to reach a substantiated judgement about the past. These skills are consistently put to practise so that students can apply these skills both in an exam setting as well as at a broader global level.
How do we study History?
We use a variety of teaching styles and activities to help students develop skills in History which prepare them for employment and life in a modern world. All students are expected to work independently and as part of a group. There is a focus upon asking and answering questions in order to ensure all students involve themselves in the historical debate.
Presentation of Work
Key Stage 3 and 4: students work in exercise books. Key Stage 5: students organise their work in folders. Students write their work under clear underlined headings in blue or black pen. Each new unit includes a checklist and clear assessment requirements. Students complete feedforward activities in green pen.
Students will be set regular home learning in line with the school’s Home Learning Policy. Home learning is an integral part of the curriculum and tasks are aimed to either consolidate knowledge from the lessons or to prepare students for future learning. This may take a variety of forms, such as a written task, research or revision.
Co - curricular activities
We aim to engage students in a lifelong interest in History through enjoyment in lessons and co-curricular activities. Enrichment activities offered vary on a yearly basis. Recent trips include:
- World War One Battlefields in France (Year 9)
- Revision workshop (Year 11)
- Hampton Court Palace (Year 12)
- Kew Public Record Office (Year 12)
- Six the Musical (Year 13)
All year groups are given additional resource lists which encourage students to broaden their knowledge through historical fiction, academic articles, websites, films, documentaries and places of interest. The school subscribes to the journals Hindsight and Modern History Review which can be found in the CIRCLE.
Key Stage 3: Assessments vary, sometimes students write individually and sometimes they work creatively in a group. Students are assessed during each main topic and have a formal linear assessment at the end of each year.
Key Stage 4 and5: Regular end of unit assessments reflect exams set by the exam board. Topics are revisited to help prepare for the final public exams at the end of Year 11 and Year 13.
Careers Leading on from History
Universities and employers recognise the high academic standard of History.
History provides a range of skills valuable in a variety of jobs.
Learning about people – how they interact, the motives and emotions that can tear people apart into rival factions or help them to work together for a common cause (useful knowledge for team-building at work!).
Learning about countries, societies and cultures – so many of today’s conflicts and alliances have their roots in the past; how can you negotiate with, trade successfully with, or report on a country if you know nothing of its history?
Learning to locate and sift facts – to identify truth and recognise myth, propaganda and downright lies (useful in every aspect of life!).
Presenting what you have learned in a way that makes sense to others – and having the confidence to defend your findings.
History can open doors to a whole range of careers but in particular it suits university research, teaching, museum work, archaeology, journalism and all forms of media, architecture, politics, law, leisure and tourism, personnel, marketing, the police force, social work.
To view more information about our school Careers programme please click here
SUPPORTING THE CURRICULUM
How parents/carers can support their children
- ask questions about what your daughter has learnt about in school and encourage a debate
- test your daughter on key dates, events and spellings
- proof read extended writing for spelling and grammatical errors
- encourage your daughter to engage in the extended resource list - watch a film, read a book or visit somewhere together and talk about it
Students are given additional resource lists for each unit. These can also be found here.