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Humanities - History


The subjects within the Humanities help students understand the world around them and their place within it.  As a department we strive to help students develop an appreciation for the diversity of ideas and approaches involved in this process, and to help students acquire the skills necessary to critically engage with key issues and scholarship in each of the humanities subjects. 

Teachers in the department support and engage students as individual learners and ensure a positive learning environment in which each student feels free to take risks and express her own ideas.  Providing an atmosphere of mutual respect in the classroom so that students can reach their full potential in history, geography and RE is a priority for all members of the department.

Students in all KS3 Year groups receive six humanities lessons per week.  Two in each of the three humanities subjects - history, geography and religious education



History fires students' curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps students develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels and allows them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. 

Key stage 3

All students study history at KS3 which provides them with the opportunity to investigate Britain’s past as well as gain an understanding of significant events and movements in world history.  As history happens all around us, students also explore local history with links to key events and figures such as Richard III, the Battle of Bosworth and World War I as well as local links to how different sites in Leicester were used during the Medieval Period. Year 7 is focused on the Medieval World, Year 8 on revolution and change and Year 9 on social and political conflict in twentieth century. Through the study of local, national and world history, students develop a chronological overview that enables them to make connections within and across different periods and societies and to understand their own identity and how it has been shaped by challenges over time.


At KS3, students are encouraged to ask perceptive questions about the past and to use critical thinking skills to analyse and evaluate different interpretations of historical events.  As they study different topics, students will gain an understanding of concepts such as the process of change over time and what has stayed the same, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and the reasons why events and figures have been judged to be significant. Students will examine different arguments and interpretations of events and evaluate how they have been constructed.  They develop the skills necessary to make judgements about key events and figures in the history of Britain and the world and to understand how historical evidence is used to support these judgements. In years eight and nine, students will begin to develop their own questions to explore within topics of study and will develop their research techniques in order to produce independently researched essays and projects. 

Key stage 4


History is a popular option at KS4 and follows the AQA syllabus.  Over the two years, students will complete a British Depth Study covering the Elizabethan Age, a Depth Study of Russia 1895-1945, Peace-making after World War I and the Origins of World War II, and a study of the theme of Migration and Empire over time in the United Kingdom.

Exciting and engaging lessons incorporating varied activities and resources provide students with essential skills such as source analysis, the evaluation of historical interpretations and selecting and key evidence to support an argument.  These skills help prepare students for the future and develop their ability to make informed decisions and participate in a democratic society.  Students will be fully equipped to move on A level study of history as well as develop the skills of enquiry, debate and critical thinking and analysis which help prepare them for jobs such as journalism, law, medicine and business.

How can I help my Son/Daughter?

Reading is very important to developing a knowledge of history and this can include novels set in a historic environment.  KS3 students will be provided with a list of recommended reading which you can find at the back of their books and which you could encourage your child to read.  Watching suitable documentaries and television programs focused on the topics outlined in the attached documents is also an interesting way for both you and your child to develop background knowledge of the topics studied.  Keep an eye out for suitable documentaries and watch them with your child where possible.

Checking your child’s planner and making sure they are managing their time to complete projects and homework will also help ensure they are making progress.  In addition, you could encourage your child to take advantage of activities on websites such as BBC Bitesize which correspond to the topics they are studying and to use the History Learning Site and Spartacus Education for research activities. These sites are especially helpful at KS4.


For GCSE students, regular use of revision activities on Doddle and BBC Bitesize is also good preparation for exams. Students are given homework booklets with practice exam style questions for many topics.  Encouraging the use of these booklets in one way to ensure they are getting the practice they need to improve their exam answer techniques.

Key dates:

AQA GCSE exam  Paper 1 (Russia and Peace and Conflict): 3 June 2019

AQA GCSE exam Paper B (Elizabeth I and Migration and Empire):  6 June 2019


History Map of Learning

History Map of Learning


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