Curriculum Leader: Miss T Bowen

The History Department consists of 7 staff, including 3 staff with responsibilities outside of the department. The department is housed in a suite of 5 classrooms. In addition we have a small conference room which is used as a department office. All classrooms benefit from a networked computer and an interactive whiteboard.

The curriculum at KS3 follows a broadly chronological framework, beginning in Year 7 with a focus on York’s history. In Year 7 students are taught in predominantly mixed ability form groups and are then placed into sets in Year 8 and Year 9. Lessons at KS3 are based on enquiry questions with an emphasis on developing skills and promoting active and accessible learning.

The school operates a two week timetable with the time allocation per fortnight for History as follows:

  • Year 7 – 3 x 1 hour lesson
  • Year 8 – 3 x 1 hour lesson
  • Year 9 – 4 x 1 hour lesson

Students are given opportunities to extend their learning outside of the classroom with a range of visits to places of interest including trips to Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle.  Trips for Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 have been organised to various destinations including Washington, Berlin and London. We also regularly organise theatre trips for the students when historical plays are available.

At KS4 History is a popular choice with the students and there are currently 4 groups in Year 11 and 4 in Year 10.   Students are taught in mixed ability sets where this is possible and follow the OCR Modern World Option B course. Paper 1 has a unit on international relation: The Cold war 1945-75 and a Depth Study on America 1919-45(Unit AO13).  Paper 2 is a depth study on Britain 1939-75 (Unit AO22).  There is also Controlled assessment worth 25% (Unit AO10). The emphasis on active and accessible learning is continued at KS4.

Further information and guidance on this course can be found at: www.ocr.org.uk

At KS5 the Department offers courses in both History and Government and Politics. Both courses have proved to be popular and successful. History follows the AQA course specialising at AS level we are following new A level specifications – Britain 1485-1603 and Russia 1917-53. At A2 students are currently completing the old AQA syllabus for A2 covering 100 years of Irish History (Unit HIS4X) (1893-1998) and a study of Russia from Khrushchev to the collapse of Communism.(Unit HIS 3K) History is a popular choice with 2 classes currently in Y12 and one class in Y13.

The department is well resourced and is well placed to make use of the resources of the University of York.

If you need further information on this course there is lots of useful information on the AQA website www.aqa.org.uk.

Politics follows the Edexcel specification covering UK politics in the AS course and US politics in A2. The course is a popular choice with students. At present there is one teaching group in Year 12 and one group in Year 13. Many students continue to study politics or related subjects at degree level.  If you need further information and guidance on this course it can be found at www.edexcel.org.uk.

The History department is lively and enthusiastic and is committed to achieving high standards. Staff in the department are experienced but are also open to change and are willing to embrace new strategies to fully engage students in the study of History.


We run a History Film Club at lunchtimes which is very popular with students.

We take Yr 11 to London on a weekend trip in February as part of their study of 20th Century Social History.

We run several theatre trips. We have been to see Chicago, Goodnight Mr Tom, Dreamboats and Petticoats and War horse.

We have been involved in Workshops as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Yr 12 attend History and Politics lectures in Manchester and London as part of their A level studies.

Yr 12 Politics students also visit Parliament and the Supreme Court.  Yr 13 Politics has also offered an option to go to Washington.

Several of our Yr 12/13 students have had the opportunity to take part in the Lessons from Auschwitz project, including a trip to Auschwitz.