History Department


At St. Cuthbert’s we believe that History has a very important place in the curriculum.  We believe that studying history will provide our students with an understanding of past events that have helped shape the world they live in. As teachers, we seek to inspire our pupils to learn from the challenges faced by their predecessors. We want to promote a love of learning so that pupils are eager to learn more about the factual drama, action and emotions covered in the study of history. Our students should know where we came from, how the past has shaped us and how we can shape the future.

We want our students to understand the context and importance of the events they study. Our aim is to ‘tell the story’ rather than just the facts and to explore emotions of the past, because compassion and empathy haven’t really changed much throughout time.  People still hurt and loved in the same way as we do today even though their surroundings were very different. If students consider the thoughts and feelings of people in the past, they will start to understand the context and importance of the events we study.

All students study History in Year 7 and Year 8 and they all have 2 lessons per week. The skill assessed in Year 7/8 curriculum have the same format as our AQA GCSE specification. Students will explore key content (listed below) whilst developing the following skills: -


• To be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied.

• To be able to explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using historical concepts.

• To be able to analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied.

• To be able to analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied.


Year 7

Britain: Rulers and the Ruled

  • The Norman Conquest

  • Life in the Middle Ages

  • How did England become Britain?

  • How did the Tudor and Stuart monarchs control England?

  • Empire and Slavery


Year 8

  • Warfare – the Changing Face of Armed conflict

  • WW1 and WW2

  • How should we remember the Holocaust?

  • When was modern Britain born?



In years 9, 10 and 11, KS4 Students follow the AQA syllabus. Throughout the year each group will be assessed regularly by way of formative and summative assessments. At year 11 assessment is in the form of two 2hr exams.



Year 9

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation


2A: Britain: Health and the People: c1000 to the present day

Students will study in detail Health and the People c1000 to the present day. Students will look at the factors such as, war religion, government and the role of individuals, and how these have impacted upon society.


Year 10:

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world


1B Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Students will focus on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change.  This was a period of both the development and collapse of democracy, and the rise and fall of the Nazi dictatorship. Students will study the political, social, economic, social and cultural aspects of these development.  They will also look at the impact of key individuals and groups who shaped change, and the ideas and beliefs that influenced them


Paper 1: Understanding the modern world


Conflict and Tension: 1918-1939

Students will investigate international conflict and focus specifically on the causes of the Second World War.  They will looks at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.




Year 11:

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation


Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

Students will study in detail the last 35 year of Elizabethan England.  They will look at economic, religious, political and social and cultural aspects of the period.  Students will also investigate a historical site to help them understand the relationship between a place and historical events.



Preparing you for life


History teaches us to ask two very important questions: why and how? This is key to sharpening student’s critical thinking abilities, which combine the following skills:

  • Analysis

  • Research

  • Essay writing

  • Communication

  • Problem solving

  • Argumentation (the action or process of reasoning systematically in support of an idea, action, or theory).


Historians look at all the available evidence and come to conclusions, which helps them learn to be organised and manage information.


History is a well-respected subject which prepares students in so many ways, allowing them to gain many of the transferable skills that employers crave.


Drawing on the skills of analysing and evaluating evidence makes History students perfect for research based jobs with government departments and agencies. With specialist training, Historians can find jobs as librarians, museum staff, curators, archivists, genealogists and records managers.


Because History students are used to researching, formulating and evaluating arguments they can often pursue careers in law and it isn’t surprising that many solicitors and barristers have studied History at university.


Historians usually have high levels of literacy and critical thinking skills which makes them very well suited to careers in communications, advertising, marketing, public relations and journalism (written or television).

St. Cuthbert's RC High School Shaw Road


OL16 4RX

01706 647761