History is the study of past events and the different ways they have been interpreted. It is a unique, rigorous and valuable academic subject that helps students understand the world they live in today. History is about real people, who face real situations. In History, students investigate people and events using the evidence that survives. We aim to inspire students’ curiosity and equip them to ask perceptive questions, think critically, and begin to analyse this evidence in order to develop their own opinions of past events. Our four subject specialists, Mr Diskin, Mr Reynolds, Miss Corson and Mr Boyes bring the subject to life, making it accessible and enjoyable for all students. History is an amazing subject and our passionate department aims to instill a love of learning in all our budding historians.
Meet the team
Simon Diskin - Head of History
Jack Reynolds - Head of History
Fran Corson- Teacher of History
Paul Boyes- Teacher of History
Our department instils a love of the subject in all our students. Our curriculum is organised in a way that provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful. We focus on developing depth of learning by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners, accelerating their progress over our 7 Year learning journey.
We have planned our curriculum across the key stages to ensure students’ knowledge is secure before moving on, hence we revisit topics regularly, providing students with an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge in order to deepen their understanding. Key concepts, such as ‘empire’, are constantly revisited in their different contexts to ensure students are able to fully understand their meaning.
Our Curriculum Pathway
Transition & building on KS2
As a department, we collaborate with our local Primary schools to identify what is being taught in KS2 History. We have used this to adjust our KS3 curriculum to address any gaps and build on prior knowledge. See the curriculum overview link above for specific information on how the History Curriculum links to KS2.
What do our students learn?
History is a content heavy subject covering a broad range of topics and key concepts. Our curriculum is sequenced to develop students’ historical knowledge and historical skills.
The key concepts covered are:
- Change and continuity over time.
- Historical significance.
- Cause and consequence
- Similarity and difference
What Examination Courses do we follow?
Our students follow Edexcel GCSE History and OCR A-level History.
How do we enrich our subject outside the classroom?
At KS3, students carry out an educational trip to The Box Plymouth, looking at Local history in depth. Students study the impact of the Blitz on the city as well as the controversial history of one of Plymouth’s most famous residents, Sir Francis Drake.
At KS5 there is the opportunity to visit Poland and see Auschwitz concentration camp, which is an unforgettable experience.
The department also runs a History Film Club, screening films based around topics that the students have studied during their lessons.
History is about much more than just examination success as it provides a meaningful context for developing valuable skills and understanding. It is about:
- Developing a range of skills that extend beyond the classroom.
- Developing resilience and a ‘growth mindset’.
- Working as a team.
- Working independently.
- Solving problems and posing questions.
- Developing research skills.
- Developing and supporting an argument.
- Being able to critically analyse evidence and reach judgements.
How do you measure attainment and progress?
We measure student progress based on the following assessment objectives:
- AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied.
- AO2: Explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts.
- AO3: Analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied.
- AO4: Analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied.