History

 

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Subject Leader: Mrs H Mynott 

Subject Leader Email Address: heather.mynott@swale.at

 

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

MARCUS GARVEY

Subject overview

Studying history enables us to develop a better understanding of the world that is all around us. Building knowledge and understanding of historical events and trends enables us to develop a much greater appreciation of the events happening today. History is not simply remembering the past, it is about active and passionate debate, empathy and finding significance in all sorts of places.Through history our students will develop their skills of analysis, enquiry, debate, problem solving and learn how to form an independent opinion based on research and data.

Year 7

In year 7, students will start by getting to grips with historical skills through analysing sources and interpretations. Throughout the year they have opportunities to research and argue their opinions, and to help them see the potential for new ideas and opinions. They will have the opportunity to develop these skills and apply them to the content they have learned over the term to answer overarching questions such as: 
Were the Romans civilised? Students will explore various aspects of the Roman Empire, such as entertainment, living conditions for the rich and poor, religion and the impact Roman society had on England.
Was William the Conqueror brutal? Students will investigate and compare various aspects of life before the Normans invaded and compare it to what it was like afterwards. Topics students will explore and discuss include the role of women, rebellions, culture and what the Normans did for England. 
Did witches actually exist? Students will explore life from the middle ages all the way through to life during the English Civil War. They will investigate and analyse how various external factors such as war, technology and changing women’s roles impacted witchcraft through the ages.  

Year 8

In year 8, students will continue to develop their historical skills with more emphasis on providing key historical details in their work with the use of key historical concepts. This will allow our students to form more convincing arguments. They will be able to place factors in a hierarchy using their own judgement and the context they have learned. They will have the opportunity to use these skills and apply them to overarching questions such as: 
Were the Middle Ages more cruel than the Early Modern Era? Students will explore the themes of change and continuity. They will explore how crime developed and how punishment in relation to those crimes also developed. They investigate how key events and shifts in society impacted the changes made to crime and punishment. 
How did slavery lead to segregation in America? Students will focus on the significance of the transatlantic slave trade and its rippling consequences that are still felt in society today. 
Did the children of the Victorian Era build the British Empire? Students will investigate the role of children in Victorian society. They will make judgments based on evidence from the children themselves as well as other sources and interpretations. 

Year 9

In year 9, students will continue to build on their skills through a study of modern history. When analysing sources and interpretations, students will be able to include provenance (why the source was produced) and context (knowledge of the period) when discussing its usefulness. Students in year 9 will be used to arguing and defending their opinions and will continue to develop an organised and analytical analysis of the topic they study. They will investigate overarching questions such as: 

Why did the Titanic sink? Students will not just investigate the reasons why the Titanic sunk, but also judge the person most responsible for the deaths of those aboard. This will allow students to consider a wide range of factors including society’s views at that time of the working class. 

Did the suffragettes earn the right to vote for women? Students will be uncovering various roles of early twentieth century people and how society evolved at this time. 

What caused World War One? Students will investigate the ‘big six’ and debate the inevitability of World War One and whether the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the real cause.

What caused World War Two? Students will uncover various reasons for the causes of World War Two. They will put themselves in the shoes of the leaders at the time to debate risking another World War or see if peace was ever an option. 

Was the dropping of the atomic bombs a triumph or disaster? Students will debate this topic in class, having explored and considered various factors surrounding the events, and question whether or not they would have made the call.

Why was the Holocaust allowed to happen? Students will investigate changes made to German society that allowed the ‘normalisation’ of the persecution of the Jews and how this then consequently led to the Holocaust. 

GCSE

Apart from studying a wide range of exciting historic periods, students will learn a range of handy skills that will help students with A levels and future work.
These include:

  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • How to construct an argument
  • Research, investigation and problem-solving skills
  • Analytical and interpretation skills.

 
At TSS students will cover four modules in history.

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany
  • Crime and Punishment through the ages
  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
  • The American West 1835-1895

Each module has interesting and engaging content. Students will get to investigate larger questions, such as why did people vote for Hitler? Why was Jack the Ripper never caught? Did William the Conqueror destroy the north of England? Who were the real characters of the Wild West in America?
There is no coursework element. Students sit three examinations at the end of year 11.

Sixth Form

Studying History at A level provides a student with skills which are not confined to the study of the past. Skills of analysis are invaluable in many jobs, and the ability to analyse and then prioritise information is vital to decision making. This not only provides a skill set for a student but it also keeps career options open. 

An A level in History endorses independence in young people. The typically few contact hours offered by a History A level enable students to lead their own inquiries into the past, while still offering the reassurance of a teacher who can support and help develop potential theories or lines of thought. Knowledge is not just handed over at A level; it requires hard work, and in a subject dominated by reading, students will develop self-sufficiency and become less dependent.

Perhaps History’s most important transferable skill is that it teaches students to create convincing, logical and evidence based arguments. This allows them to put forward their opinion supported by evidence and taking into account the other point of view and countering evidence. This can be used in job interviews, meetings, presentations and promotions. 

At TSS there are three elements to the history A level. 

There is the breadth study on the Crusades. This allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • What were the motives of the crusaders and the counter-crusaders?
  • What problems faced the states in Outremer and how successfully were these problems addressed?
  • How important were faith and ideas for Christians and Muslims?
  • What was the impact of the crusades on the Muslim Near East?
  • How did the Byzantine Empire, Outremer and the Latin West change and what influenced relations between them?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

The other module is a depth study on the English Civil War that allows students to analyse the challenges faced by those in authority in the years before, during and after the English Civil War. It explores concepts such as Divine Right, arbitrary government, Arminianism, and political and religious radicalism. It also encourages an in-depth understanding of how government works, arbitrary government and consensus, authority and opposition and issues of settlement.