The aim of the History Department is to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in History. Unless children are aware of the past they cannot possibly understand the present let alone read the future! Or as Tony Robinson, presenter of Time Team, once said:

“How do you know who you are unless you know where you’ve come from? How can you tell what’s going to happen, unless you know what’s happened before? History isn’t just about the past. It’s about why we are who we are – and about what’s next.”

At Red House School we closely follow the programme of study set out in the National Curriculum

In Year 6 pupils continue to study the Ancient Greeks and then look at Romano Britain. In Year 7 pupils study the medieval period and start looking at the Tudors. In Year 8 we continue our study of the Tudors and then focus on the Stuarts, before moving on to look at Britain from 1750 to 1900. In Year 9 we look at the twentieth century world, including a study of the two world wars and the horrors of the Holocaust.

We follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus comprising of:

Paper 1
Thematic study
Crime and Punishment in Britain c.1000 – present and Whitechapel c.1870 – c.1900 30%
Paper 2
Period study
The American West c.1835 – c.1895 20%
Paper 2
British depth study
Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 88 20%
Paper 3
Modern depth study
Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1939 30%

By following the GCSE course pupils will understand that History teaches them to think in ways that are not found elsewhere in the curriculum. Pupils are taught to use sources as evidence of how people behaved and thought in the past.  They have to deal with problems like bias and prejudice when handling sources. They have to consider attitudes and points of view that are quite different from their own. Pupils are taught to describe, analyse and explain reasons for and results of the historical events, situations and changes in the periods studied. They will be called upon to make judgements on people or events from the past. Pupils will become aware that an event in the past can be interpreted in different ways. Pupils will be taught to communicate their knowledge and understanding of History, using a range of techniques, including extended narratives and descriptions and substantiated explanations. All of the above skills will provide training for future study, in whatever field, or for employment in a variety of careers.

Field trips are an incredibly important part of History studies, and where appropriate we use trips to help promote and extend the understanding of the topics we cover in the classroom. Pupils visit Warkworth Castle in Year 7, Bolton Castle in Year 8 and Year 9 pupils also visit the Holocaust Memorial Centre where they have the opportunity to listen to the testimony of a survivor.