History has an important role in helping students to understand who they are in the broader context of their place in society, the world and in time.
This will involve a study of many diverse cultures and peoples. Allowing pupils to reach their own independent judgements on the myriad of topics studied, so that they are able to develop a well rounded and knowledgeable understanding of their country’s history and that of the wider world.
We aim to help students develop successful working relationships with others through group activities and role-play; as well as developing their self-discipline, independent learning and problem-solving skills. We use a range of active teaching and learning techniques. These include textbooks and resources; visits and trips; and the use of ICT.
Students learn about a wide range of fascinating topics. In Year 7 in the Autumn term pupils will find out about Britain before the Norman Conquest, and then look at the challenges faced by the monarchy in keeping control beginning with William the Conqueror, the Magna Carta the Peasants Revolt and the English Civil War.
They will look at the challenges of the church from Thomas Becket, the Reformation and Mary I. Pupils will learn about causes and consequences as well as change and continuity in the past.
In the Spring Term pupils will study the impact of the British Empire and the impact this had on Britain and the people they colonised. This includes the slave trade, the Opium Wars, the impact of colonisation on India, Africa and Australia. In this topic they will focus on interpretations and diversity of experiences.
In the Summer term pupils will look at the way that Britain changed in the Industrial period and the rapid changes that took place in people’s lives. They will also focus on wider thematic studies over time as well as an appreciation of who the British were, looking at immigration, as well as a detailed local study of Portsmouth.
In Year 8 pupils will study protests in the 19th and early 20th Century including the Luddites, Match Girls and the Suffragettes. This builds on their understanding of causation and consequence.
After half term they study the First World War. This aims to develop the pupil’s source skills as well as develop a wider appreciation and re-appraisal of the subject. Lessons will focus on trench warfare, propaganda, the diversity of the people who fought and the interpretations of the way the conflict has been remembered.
In the Spring term we study the causes of the Second World War, key turning points in the conflict and the impact this had on the Home Front. We also do a depth study on the Holocaust to try and understand why this event took place and to learn from it so that similar events may be prevented in the future.
In the Summer term of Year 8 we study ‘From Jim Crow to the White House’ looking at the changing experiences of African Americans in the 20th Century and the Civil Rights movement. This topic is used to inform and explain current divisions in America. We will also go on to look at the impact of the 1960’s on culture, values and diversity in Britain and the extent that the 1960’s changed ideas about sexuality, gender and authority.
It is hoped that the study of History at KS3 will give the opportunity for pupils to learn about the diverse experiences of different cultures, races, genders and social groups and help pupils to reach well judged and grounded opinions on the world they live in today.
Pupils will be formally assessed at different points throughout the year on a variety of different historical skills. They will be asked to display their knowledge and understanding of different topics, and skills in causation, interpretation, research, evaluation and chronology. There is also a large emphasis on returning to earlier topics and recall of knowledge.
History is a very popular option at Key Stage 4. The department delivers the OCR (B) SHP course at GCSE as this makes the subject accessible to all students.
The pupils begin studying GCSE at the start of Year 9 by learning about crime and punishment from the Middle Ages until the present. This gives an opportunity to show how changes in British society have impacted on Britain’s approach to law and order across time. It will explore how attitudes towards social class, gender, race and religion have affected crime, policing and the justice system.
After this they study ‘The Elizabethans’. This is a depth study of 20 years and involves varying interpretations into the many diverse events and experiences of different groups of people in this period. Pupils will study such things as family life, the different experiences of the wealthy and the poor, the persecution of Catholics, Puritans and women and exploration and its impact on various parts of the world.
In Year 10 pupils move on to study ‘Living under Nazi Rule’, where they look at many aspects and groups in society (Youth, Women, Workers, Political and Religious Groups) including what life was like in Occupied Europe and the Holocaust. In the summer term, attention turns towards a local study on Portchester castle, which involves a field trip to this site. Pupils will learn about the ever evolving uses of Portchester and the different groups of people that used it. From Romans,to Anglo-Saxons, to Normans, to the P.O.W’s incarcerated there during the Napoleonic Wars including the French Officers who built a theatre there and the Caribbeans who fought for France in this period.
In Year 11 pupils will complete their final piece of the course on ‘The Making of America’.This topic traces the varying experiences of 3 groups: Native Americans, African Americans and White Settlers across the 19th century. Pupils will learn that much that occurs today in the USA had its origins in this tumultuous period of its history
History retains its popularity at Sixth Form where we study AQA History. This involves the teaching of The Tudors, Germany 1918-1945, and a piece of coursework involving a 100-year study about the relationship between the Monarch and Parliament during the reign of the Stuarts.
Ancient History is also taught, which involves the detailed study of Ancient Greece and Rome. Teachers encourage students to become independent learners and prepare them well for future studies at university.
The department is committed to bringing the curriculum alive and runs a number of trips across the key stages.
In Year 9 there have been trips to Belgium and France to visit the World War One battlefields and cemeteries of the Western Front. This usually involves trips on two different dates to accommodate the demand.
At Key Stage 4 there is a trip to the London Dungeons and either a tour of Whitechapel to investigate the crimes of Jack the Ripper or of the Globe. There is also a field trip to Portchester Castle. Students at AS/A2 Level attend lectures and conferences in London and elsewhere to prepare them for undergraduate life.
There are also trips to Berlin and Rome for those who study History and Ancient History.