The History Department’s main aim is to stimulate an awareness of the past and an enthusiasm for its study.  We therefore want students to build up a sound knowledge and understanding of important historical events, individuals and developments relating to Britain, Europe and the wider world.  We also want to help students develop a range of key skills, including the ability to think analytically, scrutinise evidence and construct clear and logical explanations and arguments – all important life skills.

At GCSE we use the new Edexcel syllabus. At A-level, we offer History and Politics, using Edexcel for both. We currently run a trip to the battlefields of WWI in Year 9 and a GCSE trip to Berlin.  We take Sixth Form students to a number of lectures and study days, whilst Politics students also visit parliament.


Main Topics Covered

Year 7

  • Key historical skills and concepts
  • The Roman, Saxon and Viking invasions of Britain
  • The Norman Conquest
  • The medieval church
  • King John and Magna Carta
  • The Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt
  • Beijing and Bagdad in 1300

Year 8

  • Henry VIII and the Reformation
  • The Civil War and the execution of Charles I
  • Change in Britain between 1650 and 1750
  • The British Empire and the slave trade
  • Revolutions in America and France
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Oxford over time

Year 9

  • The campaign for female suffrage
  • Britain and WWI
  • The dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler
  • WWII and the Holocaust
  • Britain and the world after 1945
  • The Civil Rights Movement in the USA

Year 10

  • Superpower relations and the Cold War
  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588
  • Warfare and British society, c1250-1900

Year 11

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939
  • Warfare and British society, 1900-present

Year 12

  • Britain 1625-1701
  • Russia in Revolution, 1894-1924

Year 13

  • Britain: losing and gaining an empire, 1763-1914
  • Coursework on interpretations of the Russian Revolution
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