Welcome to the History Department at Churchdown School Academy
The department aims to provide students with a broad historical understanding and a range of transferable skills such as a spirit of enquiry, the ability to analyse, communicate and build an argument.
We aim to engage and enthuse our students with the intention that they will continue to love history and become lifelong learners.
- What is History?
- Was Britain stuck in the ‘Dark Ages’ before 1066?
- How far do you agree that the Battle of Hastings was ‘lost’ by Harold rather than ‘won’ by William?
- Did the Normans bring a ‘truckload of trouble’ in 1066?
- How, and why, was the Church so powerful in the Middle Ages?
- How accurate would it be to say that life in the Middle Ages was ‘nasty, brutish and short’?
- Why was the Black Death so terrifying?
- What can a map tell us about medieval Africa?
- How far did Henry, Edward and Mary change religion in Tudor England?
- Was Britain in 1558 radically different from Britain in 1100?
- How was Britain in 1558 different from today?
- How successfully did Elizabeth I rule England?
- To what extent was life in Tudor England diverse?
- Why did some people believe the world had ‘turned upside down’ in the 1640s?
- Was life in Restoration London always ‘merry’?
- What did the Industrial Revolution mean to ordinary men, women and children?
- How closely was Britain involved with the wider world?
- Was Britain still a ‘country of two nations’ by the end of the 1800s?
- How far had Britain changed between 1558 and 1901?
- How far did Britain enjoy a ‘Golden Age’ in the early 1900s?
- How should we remember the First World War?
- Why did dictatorship take hold so easily in Europe between the wars?
- Did Germany really undergo a ‘marvellous transformation’ in the 1930s?
- Why do historians disagree about the causes of the Second World War?
- How close did the Nazis come to achieving the total destruction of Europe’s Jews?
- Did WW2 transform Britain?
- How and why did ‘hot’ war turn to ‘cold’ war after 1945?
- Has Britain changed for the better since 1945?
GCSE History covers a wide range of topics and helps to develop skills in a number of important areas. The course ranges over areas from Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest to the development of medicine from the Middle Ages to the present day, with a special focus on medicine in the trenches during WW1. It also covers the situation in Germany after WW1 and the eventual rise to dictatorship of Adolf Hitler to the relations between superpowers in the twentieth century and the Cold War. In short, there’s something for everyone!
Qualification: GCSE Edexcel
GCSE History covers the whole diversity of human experience in both Britain and the wider world. Students will be engaged in historical enquiry that will help them to develop as independent learners as well as critical and reflective thinkers. Students will also develop the ability to investigate issues critically and to develop an awareness of why certain people, events and developments have been seen as significant. They will learn to sift evidence, develop arguments and make substantiated claims based on that evidence. It is these skills which make employers so keen on students who have studied History. Many History graduates go on to work in areas such as the legal profession, journalism and publishing as these skills are highly valued in those areas.
What topics will you learn in GCSE History?
The topics that you will study cover a broad area:
- Medicine in Britain, c1250-present (Middle Ages, Renaissance, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century medicine)
- The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18 (Injuries, treatments and the trenches)
- Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88 (Norman Conquest and Norman England, 1066-88)
- Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91 (Origins, Cold War crises and the end of the Cold War)
- Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 (Weimar Republic, 1918-29, Hitler’s rise to power 1919-33, Nazi control and dictatorship, 1933-39 and life in Nazi Germany, 1933-39).
There are three exams for GCSE History. These are outlined below:
- Paper 1: Medicine in Britain, c1250-present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18. 1 hour 15 minutes, 30% of the GCSE.
- Paper 2: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88 and Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91. 1 hour 45 minutes, 40% of the GCSE.
- Paper 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39.1 hour 20 minutes, 30% of the GCSE.
- Unit 1H: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1917: This is the first part of the A-level option. This involves the study of significant historical developments over a period of around 50 years and associated historical interpretations. There is no external exam at the end of Year 12.
- Unit 2D: Religious conflict and the Church in England, c.1529-1547. This is the first part of the corresponding full A-level option. This involves the study in depth of a major historical change or development and associated primary evidence. There is no external exam at the end of Year 12.
Year 13 (A-level):
- A-level students must take assessments in all three of the following components in the same year:
- Unit 1H: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964. This is the full A-level option. This unit consists of a study of significant historical developments over a period of around 100 years and associated interpretations. Students will sit one written exam of 2 hours 30 minutes. Section A – one compulsory question linked to historical interpretations. Section B – a choice of two from three essays. Overall, the exam is worth 80 marks and 40% of the full A-level.
- Unit 2D: Religious conflict and the Church in England, c.1529-1570.This is the full A-level option. This unit consists of a study in depth of a period of major historical change or development and associated primary evidence. Students will sit one written exam of 2 hours 30 minutes. Section A – one compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period. Section B – a choice of two from three essays. Overall, the exam is worth 80 marks and 40% of the full A-level.
- Unit 3: Historical investigation (Personal study) A personal study based on Civil Rights in the USA, 1863-1968. This will take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years. Students must write an investigation of between 3500- 4500 words which will be marked by their teacher and moderated by AQA. Overall, the investigation is worth 40 marks and 20% of the full A-level.
KS4 and KS5:
For GCSE and A-Level students we run a rolling 4-year programme of trips:
2025: World War One Battlefields
2026: Normandy Beaches
Next steps or where the subject leads
Students will learn to sift evidence, develop arguments and make substantiated claims based on that evidence. It is these skills which make employers so keen on students who have studied History. Many History graduates go on to work in areas such as the legal profession, journalism and publishing as these skills are highly valued in those areas.