We start our journey through time nearly 1,000 years ago – the last time foreign invaders successfully invaded these shores. England’s king died at the start of 1066, catapulting three men into a bloody battle to take the crown. In Year 7 we examine why William of Normandy was successful in his conquest and how he was to change the face of the country forever. We use historical sources to investigate what life was like for ordinary people in medieval villages and towns, including the impact of the Black Death that wiped out nearly half of our population. In the second half of the year we are introduced to Henry VIII and his children, discovering how they plunged England into centuries of religious conflict. Did his daughter Mary deserve the title ‘Bloody’? Would his youngest daughter Elizabeth I prove people wrong and show that a woman could be strong enough to run the country?
Picking up from the mess left by Henry and his Tudor family, the Stuarts have an even more turbulent time ruling England and in year 8 we discover how one king literally lost his head over the troubles. We will evaluate the events leading up to the execution of Charles I, as the country was plunged into a civil war where brother fought brother and fathers fought against their sons. Was England better off under a man who banned Christmas? We then move on to explore the filthy, crime ridden streets of London, as viewed through the brushes of artist Hogarth, before travelling across the Atlantic to discover what life was like for Native Americans. In the second half of the year we trace the story of the Industrial Revolution which allowed Britain to become the most powerful nation in the world, with an Empire that covered a third of the globe. From these days of glory spawned one of the darkest chapters in our history – slavery. Was the British Empire really something to be proud of? In recent years we have witnessed the first black President of the United States. Just how did Black Americans complete this dramatic transformation in their fortunes?
The role and status of women changed dramatically in the years that followed the Industrial Revolution, as the suffragettes shook up the powers that be with a number of illegal but eye catching activities. Were they right to break the law to gain publicity and force progress? Did it really make a difference that Emily Davison gave her life to further the cause of women, throwing herself under the King’s horse at The Derby? Next, we move on to look at World War I. The ‘Great War’, as it eventually became known, was expected to be ‘over by Christmas’ but within the four year conflict over 16 million people were to lose their lives. We will use a range of historical sources, photos, diaries and poetry, to evaluate what life was like on the Western Front, living in trenches under constant bombardment, surrounded by rats, lice and worse. World War Two followed within a generation and the first ‘total war’ that brought in every aspect of society changed the lives of citizens on the Home Front came under attack, as well as the armed forces. Under the cover of the war, Hitler was able to implement his Final Solution to the ‘Jewish Problem’. We will investigate this through the eyes of individuals who lived through humanity’s darkest days. The year culminates with the opportunity to meet and talk with a Holocaust survivor.
Students start their GCSE journey in year 10 by travelling back to 1920s Germany where they will investigate how the seeds of evil were laid, ready for Hitler and his Nazi Party to take over the country and plunge the world into a war that cost over 50 million lives. They then track one aspect of history through time – Crime and Punishment – looking at how this has changed over the past thousand years and ending with an in-depth investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. Who was he? Why wasn’t he caught?
Elizabethan England provides the setting for the start of Year 11 as students move on to investigate how Queen Elizabeth I was able to prove her doubters wrong as she led England through a ‘Golden Age of in the 1500s. The course ends with, “The nearest we have ever been to the end of the world”. That’s how many historians describe the Cold War. Without the threat of Hitler to unite them, United States and the Soviet Union embarked on a 50 year ideological war.