History Department

History Department
Statement of aims
The History Department aims to ensure that all students leave St Joseph’s College with a broad
understanding of how British and international history has influenced the world we live in today. We
pride ourselves on fostering a genuine enthusiasm for the subject amongst young people and how
History can contribute to their spiritual and moral development as young adults.
The curriculum
Key Stage 3
All Key Stage 3 students will study History at St Joseph’s College. The new National Curriculum has
called for a broader and more wide-ranging study of History than had previously been required. Our
curriculum is designed to cover such a broad range of history, starting with the Romans in Year 7 and
going up to the 1960s in Year 9. Whilst no study of history can be exhaustive, we believe that this
gives students a chronological grounding in both domestic and international history, as well as
allowing students to develop an understanding of the key events that have shaped the world that
we live in today.
We are aware that students enter Year 7 having studied a broad range of history in their primary
schools. We make assumptions about prior knowledge and our scheme of assessment is designed to
support students by allowing them to develop the same skill over a series of concurrent
assessments. By Year 9, students will be completing GCSE-style questions that assess both their
source skills and their ability to use evidence in a well-structured argument. This will allow them to
begin their GCSE in the subject with a well-developed skills base already in place.
What do students study at Key Stage 3?
The table below shows the key assessments that all Key Stage 3 students will complete. In all cases,
there is a taught unit to accompany each assessment in order that students are prepared with the
knowledge and skills required to complete the assessment.
Autumn (2)
Why did the Roman Empire
Spring (1)
Why did William win the Battle
of Hastings?
Year 8
‘The need for a male heir was the main
reason Henry VIII broke away from the
Catholic Church’. How far do you agree?
‘The English tactics were far more superior
to those of the Spanish Armada in 1588.’
Were the English tactics the most important
reason that Elizabeth defeated Philip’s
Armada in 1588?
‘Charles I was solely to blame for the English
Civil War’. How far do you agree?
Spring (2)
How useful is the Luttrel
Psalter for learning about
medieval life?
How useful is the ‘Court for King Cholera’
cartoon for learning about living conditions
in 1850’s England?
Summer (1)
How useful is Disney’s Robin
Hood for learning about
medieval outlaws?
How useful are the sources for showing how
the growth of the railways changed the lives
of people during the Industrial Revolution?
Autumn (1)
Year 7
How did the Roman Empire
change under Augustus?
Year 9
Source A suggests the police were to
blame for not catching the ‘Ripper.’
Do you agree with this view?
The film ‘Titanic’ suggests that society
in 1912 was deeply divided. Do you
agree with this view?
The TV series ‘Blackadder’ suggests
Haig was a butcher who was to blame
for the Battle of Somme being a
disaster. Do you agree with this view?
‘Hitler was able to become Chancellor
in January 1933 mainly because of the
Nazis use of threats and violence.’ Do
you agree? Explain your answer.
‘Most German people benefitted from
Nazi rule.’ Do you agree? Explain your
How can I help my child make progress?
All students will have a progress tracker in their exercise book that will allow them and you, their
parents, to monitor their progress throughout the year and reflect on what they should to improve.
Websites such as BBC Bitesize, History on the Net and Spartacus schoolnet provide useful, easily
accessible extra reading material for students that want to further their study. Likewise, local
museums such as the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, the Etruria Industrial Museum and the
Gladstone Pottery Museum, whilst not covering the Key Stage 3 content, are nonetheless excellent
ways of broadening your child’s wider historical understanding, particularly of local history.
Students can opt as part of their GCSE selection to do a History GCSE. We study the AQA History B
Throughout the course there are opportunities to study history from a variety of perspectives,
including political, social, economic and cultural, thereby helping students to appreciate the diversity
of the societies studied, and the experiences of the people in these societies. The course also
provides students the opportunity to study the 20th Century in both breadth and depth.
Scheme of assessment
All students will complete two examination papers at the end of Year 11. Both examinations last one
hour and forty five minutes and both are worth 37.5% of the overall GCSE. Marks for written
communication are awarded to paper 2. In addition to these two units, there is a controlled
assessment (Unit 3) which is completed in school in controlled conditions and is worth 25% of the
overall GCSE. The papers at GCSE are not tiered.
In Unit 1, students will answer questions on three concurrent topics, with each topic being split into
three sub-questions. Each topic is equally weighted in terms of marks.
In Unit 2, students will answer questions on three topics. The first topic (A) is split in to three subquestions, whilst topics B and C are split in to two sub-questions.
In Unit 3 (controlled assessment) students answer two questions in controlled conditions.
What do students study at GCSE?
Unit 1: International Relations: Conflict and Peace in the 20th Century
Topic 2: Peacemaking 1918–1919 and the League of Nations
Topic 3: Hitler’s Foreign Policy and the Origins of the Second World War
Topic 4: The Origins of the Cold War 1945–1960
Unit 2: 20th Century Depth Studies
The Roaring 20s: USA, 1918–1929
Hitler’s Germany, 1929–1945
Race Relations in the USA 1945–1968
Unit 3: Historical Enquiry British History (The British People in War)
At A-level we offer a choice of two courses: an early modern (sixteenth century) and a modern
(twentieth century) course. Both courses result in the same end qualification and both are examined
in the same way. The difference between the two courses is the subject content that is studied.
The course is designed to promote an understanding of change and development over time. It also
contains a substantial British history requirement.
Scheme of assessment
The AS is examined by two units. The Unit 1 examination paper lasts an hour and fifteen minutes,
whilst the Unit 2 examination paper lasts one hour and thirty minutes. Unit 2 requires the use of
sources, whilst Unit 1 does not. Both units are worth 50% of the AS and 25% of the overall A-level.
The A2 comprises of one examination paper and one coursework enquiry. The examination lasts one
hour and thirty minutes, whilst the coursework is an historical enquiry of 3,500 words in total. Unit 3
and 4 are worth 30% and 20% of the overall A-level respectively.
What do we study at A-level?
Unit 1 –
Change and
Unit 2 –
Periods of
Unit 3 –
The State and
the People:
Change and
Unit 4 Historical
Early Modern (sixteenth century)
The Reformation in Europe, c1500–1564
Factors leading to the Reformation and the
Catholic Reformation
Anabaptism and other Radical Movements
The Jesuits
The Papacy and reform
The Church in England: the Struggle for
Supremacy, 1529–1547
The Church in England on the eve of the
Reformation, 1529
The role of the state: the King’s Great Matter and
the break from Rome, 1529–1535
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, 1535–1541
Henry’s final years: consolidation and court
intrigue, 1542–1547
The Impact of the Reformation on Church and
State, 1535–1541
The Triumph of Elizabeth: Britain,
The Mid-Tudor Crisis, 1547–1558
The Consolidation of Elizabeth I’s Rule, 1558–
Defending Against Internal and External Enemies,
The Last Years of Elizabeth, 1589–1603
Late 19th and 20th Century German history
Modern (twentieth century)
Britain, 1906–1951
 1906-1914: Liberal Dominance
 1914-1929: WWI and the post-war recovery
 1929-1940: The crisis of the 1930s
 1940-1951: WWII and Attlee’s government
Anti-Semitism, Hitler and the German People,
 Anti-Semitism in Germany, 1919–1930
 Hitler’s anti-Semitic views
 The Racial State, 1933–1939
 The Impact of War, 1939–1941
 The Holocaust 1941–1945
The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–2007
 The Post-War Consensus? 1951–1964
 The End of Consensus, 1964–1975
 The ‘Thatcher Revolution’, 1975–1990
 Conservative Decline and the Rise of ‘New Labour’,
Early Modern Spanish history or the development of
the Florentine Renaissance