History Department

Meet the Department

Mrs R Campbell – Subject Leader for History

Mr R Doherty – History Specialist,  Assistant Principal & Pastoral Leader for Year 10

Mrs L Avery – History Specialist, Classics and Latin Coordinator

Mrs S Fegan – History Specialist, More-Able Coordinator for History

Mrs N Campbell – Teaching Assistant for History/Geography


Key Stage 3 History:  Delivery and Assessment

The Key Stage 3 curriculum for History covers fascinating and diverse historical units that build on the skills required at GCSE level.  Each unit is focussed on an overarching question and is tailored to ensure all learning styles are fully catered for.  Pupils’ knowledge and understanding are continually assessed throughout, culminating in an end of unit assessment which will focus on either source skills, enquiry skills or extended writing.  All pupils are supported throughout each unit and intervention is put in place to ensure that all are able to make the expected progress throughout the year.  


Key Stage 3 Topics Outline

Year 7

How was Saxon England conquered?  A unit focussed on the changing nature of Britain from the end of the Roman Empire to the rule of William the Conqueror.


Why were medieval peasants always angry?  A unit focussed on the lives of peasants during the middle ages.


Why did religion cause so many deaths?  A unit focussed on the religious changes during the Tudor period.

Year 8

Why kill a King?  A unit focussed on the English Civil Wars, looking at causes, consequences and impact on the people of Britain.


What caused a reign of Terror in France?  A unit focussed on the events of the French revolution.


How did we get so advanced?  A unit focussed on the Industrial Revolution, charting the changes and impact on society.

Year 9

Did we rule the world?  A unit focussed on the rise and fall of the British Empire.


USA: land of the free?  A unit charting the treatment of Black people in America spanning life before slavery and culminating in the Civil Rights Movement.


How close did we come to Nuclear War?  A unit focussed on 20th Century conflict covering the two world wars and exploring the Cold War that followed.


The Holocaust:  why remember?  A unit focussed on the events of the Holocaust ensuring that the atrocities are never forgotten.

GCSE History

The History GCSE option at St Richard’s is a popular choice as it provides pupils with a range of skills, whilst covering a wide variety of fascinating topics.


The Edexcel 2016 syllabus that we follow is diverse in content and the topics we deliver give pupils the opportunity to explore a range of themes and concepts, periods and events.   Split into four units, each enquiry requires pupils to draw on different historical skills that are externally assessed at the end of Year 11.  Pupils sit three examinations and are given a choice of questions to answer.

2021 Exam Update

“Ofqual has confirmed that the changes for the 2021 series will be for students to be assessed on a compulsory modern depth study, along with a choice of two of the remaining three components” Pearson Edexcel Oct 2020.  


For our students this means that they will sit 3 exams on the following topics:  

Paper 1:  Medicine in Britain and the British Sector of the Western Front, 1250-present day

Paper 2:  The American West, 1835-95

Paper 3:  Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939


Students WILL NOT be examined on Elizabeth or the Anglo Saxons and therefore those units are no longer relevant in your revision preparation.


For year 10 we are continuing with the full specification, which WILL include either Elizabeth or the Anglo Saxons (dependent on your child’s option choice which was made in year 9).


The syllabus requires pupils to demonstrate their ability to recall, select and organise knowledge; to describe and explain events, changes and issues and to use a wide range of sources of information.


Syllabus Outline
Year 9 into 10
  • Unit 1:  The American West 1835-95
  • Unit 2:  Medicine in Britain 1250-present day, and the British Sector of the Western Front

Year 11

  • Unit 1:  Anglo Saxon and Norman England 1060-88, or Elizabethan England 1558-88
  • Unit 2:   Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939


GCSE History Results:

2020:  4 and above 92%, 5 and above 80%, 7 and above 50%.  Average point score 6.3.

2019:  4 and above 84%, 5 and above 68%, 7 and above 36%.   Average point score 5.7.

2018: 4 and above 83%, 5 and above 74%, 7 and above 44%. Average Point Score 5.9

2017: 88% A*-C, 39% A*-A

2016:  88% A*-C, 45%A*-A

2015:  80% A*-C, 42%A*-A

2014:  81% A*-C, 37% A*-A

2013:  91% A*-C, 48% A*-A

2012:  78% A*-C, 37% A*-A

Delivery & Assessment

In KS3, all pupils are set an aspirational target level that is based on their KS2 average point score and other relevant data.  At KS4, pupils are set an aspirational target grade based on Fischer Family Trust and our own internal assessment data. Pupils are expected to achieve this grade and will be supported to do so.


Work is marked using WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) comments and scores are applied in relation to extended, exam style questions. Past paper questions are marked according to exam board mark schemes.


History is taught with the aim to address all learning styles and preferences.  Within that learners complete a varied selection of tasks, including project and group work, independent research and pupil presentations.


At Key Stage 3 pupils are assessed at the end of each unit. Assessment questions reflect the question types given on GCSE papers to help prepare pupils at all levels for the terminal exams in Year 11.


At GCSE pupils are assessed through three written exams at the end of Year 11:

Paper 1:  Thematic Study with Historic Environment Medicine and the British Sector of the Western Front:  52 marks, 6 Questions, 1hr 15 mins, 30%


Paper 2:  British Depth Study and Period Study:  64 marks, 6 Questions, 1hr 45mins 40%

Section A:  Period Study:  American West, 3 Questions/32 marks

Section B:  Depth Study: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England or Elizabethan England, 3 Questions/32 marks


Paper 3: Modern Depth Study (Source/Interpretations Paper) Weimar and Nazi Germany: 52 marks, 6 Questions, 1hr 20mins, 30%

GCSE Examination and Target Grades

History is a one tier entry paper.  We expect all pupils who take the subject to enter for the final examination.


Grades span from 9-1.  Target grades are given in Year 7 and are adapted as progress is made throughout their learning at St Richard’s.  Pupils are grouped in mixed ability classes and support is provided through the departmental Teaching Assistant for pupils with Special Educational Needs.

History and the Future

History can help you fulfil a wide variety of career dreams.  Many jobs require or prefer the study of History including:

  • Advertising Executive
  • Analyst
  • Archivist
  • Broadcaster
  • Campaign Worker
  • Consultant
  • Editor
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Museum Curator
  • Information Specialist
  • Intelligence Agent
  • Journalist
  • Legal Assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Personnel Manager
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Researcher
  • Curator
  • Navy Seaman
  • Radio Operator
  • Book Seller
  • Conservationist
  • Astronomer
  • Anthropologist
  • Travel wholesaler
  • Customs Officer
  • Social Worker
  • Criminologist
  • Minister of Religion
  • Librarian
  • ..the list is almost endless!

At St Richard’s we believe that History should come to life, and therefore we aim to provide our pupils with a range of opportunities to visit historical sights and gain hands on experiences of life during different periods.  One such opportunity is the infamous Berlin Trip which runs annually for Years 9 and 10.  Pupils studying Nazi Germany travel to Berlin for a residential trip to investigate life in Nazi Germany.  The trip is hugely popular and gives a fascinating insight into what it would have been like to live in Germany under Hitler’s regime.  Key sights that we visit include Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Olympic Stadium and the Reichstag. GCSE pupils are also taken to London for a full day trip to visit the Old Operating Theatre. Linking to the medicine unit this helps to consolidate pupils’ understanding of the development of surgical skills.


With this the department offers a selection of extra-curricular day trips to all years.  Visits to Belgium, London and Hastings are just some of the trips we run.  Extra-curricular trips are part and parcel of the historical experience we provide at St Richard’s and we are always looking for new ideas and new places to visit, suggestions are always welcomed.


Additionally, in school was also run a range of clubs including Latin, Classics, History and History Film Clubs.  Please see your History teacher for more information.

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