What will students be studying in History this year?
In Year 9, students undertake a thematic study, which is the study of one theme across an extended period of time, followed by the study of a historic environment, which is the study of one site in its historical context. In their development study, students will explore the development of medicine in Britain from c1250 to the present day. This unit focuses sharply on developing students’ understanding of change over time. They will analyse and account for the way that explanations, treatments and preventions for disease have changed. As part of this, they will consider the role played by individuals in making change happen, including inspirational women like Florence Nightingale and Rosalind Franklin. Their study of a historic environment is linked to this, as students explore illnesses, injuries and treatments in the British Sector of the Western Front during the First World War.
In Year 10, students undertake a modern depth study, which is a detailed study of one society since 1900. Here, students will explore Germany 1918-1939, which starts with an investigation into the impact of the First World War on Germany, the transition to democracy and the eventual failure of the Weimar Republic. This is followed by an enquiry into the rise of the Nazis, how they controlled the German people and an exploration into how Nazi rule affected the lives of ordinary people. Having completed this, students then begin work on their period study, which is focused on superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991. This begins with an investigation into the origins of the Cold War following the end of the Second World War and the breakdown of the Grand Alliance.
In Year 11, students complete their period study on superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991. As part of this, they investigate the great Cold War crises of the 1960s in Berlin, Cuba and Czechoslovakia, before looking at détente and the eventual end of the Cold War and break-up of the Soviet Union. The final unit students will study is a British depth study on Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88. This focuses partly on those in power and is framed around an investigation into the problems, challenges and threats faced by Elizabeth, both at home and abroad. Following this, students go on to explore the lives of ordinary people through themes including leisure, education and exploration of the New World.
Students in Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 have five History lessons per fortnight and follow an enquiry-based approach. This means that learning is organised through rigorous and engaging investigative enquiries, such as ‘Why did support for the Nazis rise so quickly, 1929-32?’ Based around historical concepts of cause and consequence, interpretations, evidence, significance and change, these enquiries are tailored towards the required content set out in the exam specification and mirror the approach which is so central to the historian’s craft and support the development of students’ skills of historical reasoning.
What are the major assessments this year?
At the start of each unit, students will complete a short initial assessment which enables their class teacher to ascertain what students already know about the topic and adapt teaching to meet learners’ needs effectively. In addition to their end of year exams, students will complete six assessments, one at the end of each half term. These are structured in order to test what students have learned over both the short and longer term.
What do the assessments test?
Assessments target four Assessment Objectives set out in the exam board specification. These are building knowledge and understanding (AO1), explaining events through the application of historical concepts (AO2), analysing and evaluating sources (AO3) and analysing and evaluating interpretations (AO4). Through these assessment objectives, students’ factual knowledge is measured, alongside the development of their skills of historical reasoning, including their proficiency in working with cause and consequence, interpretations, evidence, change, historical narratives and significance.
What are the expectations of my daughter in History?
Students will be set homework regularly which they are expected to complete to the best of their ability. Frequently they will take the form of exam-style questions which students are required to complete in order to develop their written technique. Alongside this, students are expected to revisit and review the work they have completed in their workbooks in order to consolidate their learning and aid the development of their long-term recall.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in History?
The first course of action is to speak with her History teacher first in order to explain what aspects of the topic or task are particularly challenging. The support offered may differ depending on the nature of the challenge in question. If necessary, it may lead to additional adjustments which can be made in order to support her learning.
How can I best support my daughter in History?
The best way to support your daughter in History is to talk to her about the topics she is studying and what she is learning in class. You should encourage her to complete homework in a quiet area of the home without distractions from siblings, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic devices. Another way to support the development of your daughter’s historical knowledge is to use the knowledge organisers inside her workbooks to quiz her informally about the factual material she is studying.
Whom should I contact for further advice or information?
Please feel free to contact your daughter’s History teacher by email, or the Head of History, Mr Godman at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your daughter’s progress in the subject.