History at Lawrence Sheriff School is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 3 and a popular option choice at both GCSE and A Level. The aim of the department is to develop students’ understanding of History as part of a continuum which helps understand our present world. This is achieved through varied but rigorous learning experiences. High levels of intellectual independence are encouraged amongst students where knowledge, interpretation and evaluation of the past are a priority.
The department also aims to encourage interest in History outside the classroom; with various local field trips at KS3, and the opportunity to either visit First and Second World War battlefield sites in France and Belgium or Nazi and Cold War Berlin, with expert guides, for GCSE groups. There are also opportunities to visit Russia or the United States at A Level.
At Key Stage 3, the department’s approach is to strike a balance between knowledge and skills, studying British and World History within a broad chronological framework based both on thematic and in depth investigations.
In Year 7, students concentrate on the period 1000 to 1600, studying invasion and migration of peoples, aspects of the medieval world including the Crusades and castle development over time; social and religious change from the Black Death to the Reformation; the relationship between power and the people in the Middle Ages and the end of medieval society.
In Year 8, students focus on the period 1600 to 2000 through studying the British experience of empire and industrialisation; the changing relationship between power and the people leading towards the creation of the United Kingdom and parliamentary democracy, including parallel case studies of the American and French revolutions; the changing nature of warfare from the English Civil Wars and the Napoleonic Wars to the First and Second World Wars; and the experience of different non democratic political systems in the 20th century, primarily Communism and Nazism, including the Holocaust.
Students study the AQA Modern History B specification
Year 9 students study three units focussing on the causes, course and consequences of the First and Second World Wars as preparation for Controlled Assessment (Unit 40453) and a depth study on the USA between the world wars 1919 – 1941 (Unit 40452).
Year 10 students study modules in International Relations in the 20th century (Unit 40451), covering the period from the start of the Cold War to the collapse of Communism in Europe 1945 – 1991 with preparation for Controlled Assessment on Britain at War (Unit 40453).
Year 11 sees the completion of the Controlled Assessment with a further depth study on Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919 – 45 (Unit 40452). Students are then examined on Units 40451(International Relations) and 40452 (The USA and Germany), both equally weighted to form 75% of the examination marks. The Controlled Assessment is worth 25% of the final GCSE mark.