Head of Department

Mr M Spiers

Teaching staff

Mr D Bruce
Mrs J Fell

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Area of responsibility

Mr Spiers: teaching European history at AS/A2 level and GCSE/KS3 history

Mrs Fell: teaching British history at AS level, supervising A2 coursework and KS3/GCSE history;

Mr Bruce: teaching British history at AS level and KS3/GCSE history

Aims of the department

The aim of the history department is to augment the enthusiasm of learners through delivering history lessons in an innovative yet academic manner. The department wants to afford all students the opportunity to learn about fascinating developments relating to the past both in terms of British history and world history.

Summary of subject content:

Lower school (KS3)

Students follow the National Curriculum, which entails a narrative progression from the Norman Conquest through to developments in 20th century history.

Upper school (KS4/GCSE)

Learners currently study international relations 1900-1939, Hitler’s Germany, the USA in the 1920s and the struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s. There will be a new history GCSE introduced from September 2016 and further information will follow.

Exam board: GCSE AQA History B, Modern World History

Controlled assessment component accounts for 25% and covers Britain in the First and Second World War; 2 exams at the end of the course account for the remaining 75% of the marks.

Please see the department's Sharepoint area for extensive revision resources including podcasts, revision notes and past papers.

Lower sixth (AS level)

AS units are Britain 1851-1914 and the Cold War 1945-1963

Exam board: AQA history (7041/1G and 7041/2R)

Both components involve examinations in the summer term.

Upper sixth (A level)

A2 units (from June 2017) are the same as the units above with an additional coursework component. The coursework involves students researching an individual topic of interest and writing a 3,500-word paper plus a review of the sources. There are two A Level examinations at the end of the course.

Please note that the legacy HIS3K and HIS4X units are currently being taught to the 2015/16 cohort of A2 level students.

Please see the department’s Sharepoint area for a large number of resources relating to AS/A2 level history.

Trips, special projects, extra-curricular clubs/activities

Aside from sixth form trips to lectures delivered by leading experts in their field, the department has organised a second form trip to the battlefields of Belgium and France at the end of the summer term. Furthermore the department also runs a Sixth form trip to Berlin to support students with their history coursework.

The department also runs a historiography group for students interested in pursuing the subject at university level. Our aim is to continue to send high calibre history students to university and one way of doing this is to ensure that they have read beyond the syllabus.

Additional information

All teachers within the department share a passion for the discipline of history and seek to nurture students’ own enthusiasm for the subject. All three teachers have particular fields of interest and are more than happy to lend students specialist texts ahead of university interview. The history department has a very good range of books available and students can augment their understanding of topics from the historiography of the Roman Republic to the debate surrounding Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement. All three members of staff are also active in helping students with their extended projects. Previous EPQ topics include: the nature of the French revolution; the tactics employed by the RAF in the Battle of Britain; and the impact of Thatcherism on society.

The Times newspaper rates history as a key facilitating subject for entrance to the top university courses and the department is rightly proud of the achievements of the history students, many of whom go on to study the discipline or related disciplines at the top universities in the country.