Students are taught history in a dynamic and enthusiastic way by studying events through enquiry and answering key questions. For example, they explore why William won the Battle of Hasting, why Charles I lost his head, how America was settled, the causes of the Cold War and the legacy of the Holocaust.

The themes each involve the development of knowledge and skill across the years. Each topic sets enquiry based questions providing students with the opportunity to develop key thinking and learning skills. Students have the opportunity to learn primarily about the history of England with important elements of European and world history. Key Stage 3 history is taught largely chronologically, enabling students to get an idea of continuity and change, and making it possible for them to compare one era with another.

Each year has an opportunity to express what they feel about an important topic in a kinaesthetic way, eg, the number of soldiers who died in the First World War or the Holocaust. They consider how these events should be remembered and then create models which demonstrate their thinking.

Year 7s also have the opportunity to take part in a castle building competition.

Where possible, an element of local history is built into each topic, enabling students to relate to the historical event in a geographical sense as well.

Year 7

Saxon & Norman Britain. Why William won the Battle of Hastings? Life in Medieval England. The significance of the Black Death.  The Church and the State and Elizabeth I’s problems. The defeat of the Spanish Armada. The English Civil War: causes and events. Whether Charles I to blame for the Civil War? Life in seventeenth century England.

Year 8

Cromwell & the Restoration of the Monarchy. Whether the English were right to execute Charles I. Life in seventeenth century England. How America was settled and expanded. The Agricultural & Industrial Revolution. The First World War, what life was like on the Western Front & how Hitler came to power.

Year 9

The causes of World War Two – Hitler’s foreign policies. The main battles of WW2. What life was like on the Home Front in England & Germany. What life was like in Nazi Germany.  The Holocaust. The Cold War. How close we came to nuclear war. The main events of the Civil Rights movement. Significant events in the last decades of the twentieth century.


History is a popular choice at GCSE and broadens students understanding of a wide variety of issues, questions and historical periods, which builds on their interest in history and introduces a number of new topics as well as exploring previous topics in a lot more depth and detail. There is a mix of British, European and world history. The skills learnt prepare them to continue the subject at A’level as well as having a positive impact on their other subjects. It teaches students to have their own opinions, question previously held views, interrogate historians’ interpretations and to think and argue in a logical manner. Students follow the OCR GCSE History SHP syllabus.

Year 10

In year 10 students will cover Crime & Punishment Through Time (1200 to the present) This covers all aspects of the changing nature of crime, punishment, policing & courts and how this reflects societal change.

They will also examine the Norman Conquest 1065-1087 which looks at Saxon life and culture, the impact that William of Normandy had on England after the Battle of Hastings and how he managed to control the country. It includes a unit on castles.

Students also have the opportunity to do a local history study which will focus on the Romans in Sussex and at Fishbourne Palace in particular. There will be two field trips.

Year 11

In year 11 (2016-17) students will follow a course consisting of a study of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany which starts immediately after the end of the First World War and continues up to the commencement of the Second World War, including the Holocaust.

Students will also do a source based study on the topic of Crime and protest in the nineteenth century which includes a look at groups like the Luddites, the Rebecca Rioters and the Suffragettes.

In year 11 (2017-18) students will study Life in Nazi Germany and the occupied countries. This enables students to understand the impact of the Nazi dictatorship on people’s lives both within Germany and across occupied Europe.

They will also examine the Making of America 1789-1900. This offers a broad view of America’s development as a nation and tracks important changes from the inauguration of the first president in 1789 to the start of the twentieth century. It also includes the relationship between the cultures (black, white & Native American).