History and Politics

Key Stage Three History

Quarry Bank Mill Trip

History at Key Stage 3 consolidates and builds on the skills acquired at Key Stage 2. Pupils focus on topic areas that encourage their thirst for knowledge and their desire to explore, investigate and challenge accounts of the past. It gives pupils a grounding in the subject in preparation for GCSE or a wider historical interest.

Over the Key Stage, pupils learn about some of the key events and developments in the story of Britain and the wider world through the past. In addition to the many wonderful ‘stories’ that we explore, pupils build aptitudes in a variety of historical and wider skills. These include:

  • Chronology- understanding events in a sequential framework
  • Knowledge and Understanding – analysis of cause, consequence, significance and interdependence of events)
  • Interpretations of History- to recognise that there can be different versions of events and to critically analyse these interpretations
  • Historical Enquiry – to investigate and research an aspect of History by using a variety of material and assessing its value.
  • Organisation and Communication – communicating knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways – written, verbal, visual and kinaesthetic.

Topics in Key Stage 3

Year 7

  1. Who are the British? Britain before 1066
  2. Power and Monarchy in the UK:
  • The Medieval Age
  • The Tudors
  • The Stuarts

Year 8

Global, National & Local relationships


  • Early empire and the USA
  • Impact of settlement on the Native Americans
  • The British Empire
    Slavery and its abolition
    Industrial Britain


  • The Making of the UK


  • • Industrial Revolution and the North West of England

Year 9

Focus on the 20th century

  1. The causes, nature and impact of war
  • First World War
  • Second World War
  • The Cold War
  • War on Terror

 2. Social Change since World War 2

  • The post war consensus and economic changes
  • Women’s rights
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Multicultural Britain

 3. The Holocaust

Key Stage 4

Why students study this subject

….. because it is unique – only through an understanding of the past can we hope to interpret the present

….. because it is a passport to further education – History is a traditional subject, which deals with real people. It is recognised by colleges and universities as part of an essential package because a qualification in History demonstrates a competence in all forms of communication.

….. because it is useful in the competitive job market – no subject, by itself, can get you a job at 16, but employers value History students for the unique skills they have gained through studying History.

These skills include the ability to analyse complex issues, organise and evaluate text and data, scrutinise and question sources of information and communicate effectively.

How is OCR GCSE History examined?

Paper I – Examined in June of Year 11

  • Paper is worth 40% of GCSE grade
  • 1 hour & 45 minutes examination
  • Will test your knowledge and understanding on The People’s Health & The Elizabethans

Paper II – Examined in June of Year 11

  • Paper is worth 20% of GCSE grade
  • 1 hour examination
  • Will test your knowledge and understanding on Quarry Bank Mill

Paper III – Examined June of Year 11

  • Worth 40% of GCSE grade
  • 1 hour & 45 minutes examination
  • Will test your knowledge and understanding on The Making of America & Living under Nazi Rule

History trip to Quarry Bank Mill

Key Stage 5 – History and Government & Politics

A Level History

Students follow the OCR History A Level specification, covering the Early Tudors, Russia 1895-1941 and Civil Rights in the USA.

There are four units constructed as follows:
Unit 1: England 1485-1558: The Early Tudors (25% – examined)
Unit 2: Russia 1894-1941 (15% – examined)
Unit 3: Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992 (40% – examined)
Unit 4: Coursework – independently researched essay (internally assessed/externally moderated -20%)

History is a highly prized A Level considered to be desirable by both employers and universities alike, and we would encourage anyone with a genuine interest and/or ability in this subject to explore it as an A Level choice, whatever other A Levels they may be considering.

Full details of the specification can be found at www.ocr.org.uk

AS and A2 Government and Politics

Students may opt to follow Advanced Subsidiary 215.  Full details of the course can be found on www.aqa.org.uk. From September 2017, a new specification will be introduced that follows a similar structure.

The course is delivered by members of the History department who are very experienced in teaching this subject.

Pupils who opt for this course find that they gain a number of benefits; they meet the challenge of learning a new and unfamiliar subject and also become much better informed citizens.  They begin to see the real advantages of living in a democracy and participating in the political process.

In recent years Government and Politics has become increasingly popular.

Year 12

The course offers students the opportunity to study British government and politics in Year 12.  As well as gaining a sound knowledge of political institutions, students also explore current issues as they relate to these features. The examination of key political concepts underpins the learning experience in this year.

Year 13

In Year 13 students explore the American political system and make comparisons with Britain. This offers students the opportunity to carry out detailed investigations and apply their knowledge and understanding at a higher level. Students also consider key political theories, including Liberalism, conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism.

Scheme of Assessment AS (optional)

  • Written Paper: Government & Politics of the UK

Scheme of Assessment A2

  • Written paper – Paper 1 Government & Politics of the UK
  • Written paper – Paper 2 Government & Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics
  • Written paper – Paper 3 Political Ideas.

Teaching and Learning Styles

Teaching and learning styles are constantly reviewed in order to meet the demands of the new Key Stage 3 National Strategy.  Lesson delivery focuses on sharing teaching and learning goals clearly with pupils and employing a variety of strategies to encourage active participation and full engagement in learning. Pupils take part in role play, display work, debate and problem-solving tasks in preparation for producing developed responses to challenges.  These activities develop confidence in communicating pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding in a variety of ways, which is further reinforced by self, peer and teacher assessment.

Quarry Bank Mill Trip

At the end of the key stage pupils will be awarded a National Curriculum level based on work that they have produced during Year Nine.

Extra-Curricular Activities/Educational Visits

The History Department currently organises a range of educational visits for pupils, which may typically include a Year 10 site study of Quarry Bank Mill and a Year 11 weekend visit to Berlin.

The Politics Department engages in a range of activities including meeting our local MP, running Youth Parliament elections and participating in a weekly debate club.

Year 13 attendance at the Model UN Conference at the London School of Economics

Links with the wider curriculum

The nature of the topics studied makes History an ideal subject to link to other aspects of the curriculum:

Moral, spiritual and ethical issues are considered in most topics covered.

Issues of Citizenship are covered in most topics, which are then related to current examples. This enables students to gain a better understanding of rights and responsibilities in the modern world.

Mathematical skills are used to process historical data and present material in graphical forms.

Literacy skills are developed in most of the learning experiences enjoyed by the pupils.  They learn to communicate effectively in a variety of forms for different purposes.

A skill in the use and interpretation of maps and physical landscapes and evaluation of historical locations helps pupils to practise their geographical skills.

Department Team

Head of Department:

  • Mrs M Marvin

Departmental Staff:

  •  Mrs N LLewellyn
  • Mrs L Goodwin
  • Ms J Wetton (maternity cover for Mrs K Jones)