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“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

– Winston Churchill

Key Stage 3

Overview of the course:

In History we aim to teach our students to think like historians so that:

  • they understand how the past has shaped modern Britain and the wider world
  • they have a complex understanding of abstract terms such as empire, civilisation and parliament
  • they can analyse the past through historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause or consequence or similarity and difference
  • they understand that historians make different claims and arguments about the past
  • they understand how the local History of York interacts with national and international events

At Key stage 3 all students receive three hours per fortnight of History until the end of Year 9. Many students choose to continue their studies of History by taking the option at GCSE. History groups are taught in mixed ability in Year 7 and in sets in Years 8 and 9.

What will they learn?

Year 7: 0 – 1066

York from the Romans to the Saxons: a thousand years of change?

How did the Normans conquer England?

How did medieval Kings keep control?

What was medieval life really like?

How did what people believed change?

Meanwhile, elsewhere…what was happening in the rest of the world?

Year 8: 1500- 1930

Why was Elizabeth fighting the Spanish and why did she win?

A History of York in three invasions

What was were the Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions and how did they change everything?

What caused the growth in Trans-Atlantic slavery and what ended it?

When did the power really go to the people?

Year 9: 1800-2000

Who benefitted from the British Empire?

How did Black Americans achieve equality in the USA?

How did conflict shape the 20th Century?

What was York’s experience of War?

What was a ‘cold‘ war?


Key Stage 4 – GCSE

Many students at Millthorpe opt to continue their study of History into Key Stage 4. The course features a broad range from topics from 1066 through to the world today.

This is a two year course that is examined at the end of Year 11.

Year 10

Paper 2 Section A

Britain: Health and the People

This unit enables students to study key developments over a long sweep of time from the year 1000 to the present day.

The option focusses on the following questions:

  • Why has there been progress in the health of the British people?
  • How and why has the pace and scale of the medical development varied at different times?
  • What impact has medical progress had on people and society?
  • How and why have different factors been more important than others for individual medical developments?
  • What is the significance of key individuals or events in the history of medial development?

Paper 2, Section B Norman England 1066-1100.

This enables students to look at British society at a critical time in the country’s development and how the historic environment has been shaped by that society.

Students will study the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. This topic will address political, military, religious, economic, social and cultural aspects of the period.

These 2 topics will be assessed in a 2 hour exam at the end of Year 11 and are worth 50% of the marks.

Year 11 Paper 1 : The Modern World

In section A we study Germany between 1890 and 1945: Democracy and dictatorship.

The focus is on key developments in this country’s history over a 50 year period including the growth of democracy, The Depression and the experiences of Germans under the Nazis.

In section B students will study Conflict and Tension in Asia 1950-1975, including how and why conflict arose, what the consequences were and the role of the nations involved. This topic looks at conflict in Korea and Vietnam.

These two topics are assessed by a 2 hour exam at the end of Year 11 and are worth 50% of the marks.

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