“We understand now, we’ve been made to understand, and to embrace the understanding that who we are is who we were.”
John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States of America


The aim of the History department here at Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School is to help pupils make sense of the world they are growing up in by looking at some of the key moments, themes and patterns of the last 2,000 or so years.

This is done on several levels- by looking at local, national and international events; by looking at individuals, groups and even entire national communities; by examining concepts such as religion, politics, society and economics and most of all by helping students to see how all of these things from the past fit together to create that wonderful subject that we call History.

Lessons are based around “BIG” enquiry questions and students are focused onto solving the questions the History Department pose to them. This may be as individuals, working in small groups or even as a whole class- it all depends on what is best for particular groups of pupils.

A wide range of learning activities are used- note taking, sorting, categorising, prioritising, role plays, investigations, ‘making and doing’ and even on occasion we might get out a textbook and just answer some questions from there (but not too often!).

The History Department wants to not only educate but also enthuse those who it teaches. By enlightening pupils about the past we can give them so much and enhance their perception of the world around them.

For more information, please read our mission statement.

Staff in History

Mr P Hargeaves – Lead Subject Teacher
Miss Masefield – Teacher
Mrs Stobbs – Teacher


The History Curriculum

Pupils have 2 History lessons per week in years 7-8; in these lessons they will learn not only about the events of the past but will also learn and refine skills which will be of great benefit to them in other subjects. In practise this means that great emphasis will be placed on helping pupils to develop their literacy (both reading and writing), numeracy and ICT skills whilst also allowing pupils to consider the topics we study in terms of ethics and morality.

Pupils will learn to identify, describe, explain and analyse the past.  They will learn about concepts such as causation (why did things happen?), significance (why was something or someone important?) and interpretations (how has the past been represented to us?). Students will learn to handle evidence (whether primary, secondary or possibly even tertiary!) and to make judgements based on it.

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Year 7 Roman & Anglo-Saxon Britain Norman conquest & consolidation Major Medieval Moments Tudors & Stuarts Changing Role of Women
Source Analysis


Cause & Consequence Significance Interpretations Change & Continuity
Year 8 Empire & Slavery


Industrial Revolution WWI (and after!) The Holocaust


Change & Continuity Cause & Consequence Source Analysis Significance


In Years 9-11 pupils study the Edexcel GCSE History (9-1) syllabus. They will build on the skills learned during years 7 and 8 and develop them further whilst studying the following topics:

Paper 1: Thematic Study and Historic Environment

(1 hour 15 minute examination worth 30% of the overall final grade)

  • Medicine in Britain, c. 1250–present
  • The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.

Paper 2- Period Study and British Depth Study

(1 hour 45 minute examination worth 40% of the overall final grade)

  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588
  • Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991

Paper 3- Modern Depth Study

(1 hour 20 minute examination worth 30% of the overall final grade)

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939
  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Year 9


GCSE Paper 1

Medicine in Britain c.1250 – present


The Historic Environment: British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918
Medieval England




18th & 19th centuries


Modern Britain


Injuries, treatment and the trenches
Change & Continuity, Significance, Cause & Consequence


Knowledge, selection and use of historical sources
Year 10


GCSE Paper 2

Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588

(Option B4)

The American West, c.1835-1895

(Option 24/25)

Queen, Government and Religion,


Challenges to Elizabeth at home and abroad, 1569-88 Elizabethan society in the age of  exploration, 1558-88 The Early Settlement of the West, c.1835-1862 Development of the Plains, c.1862-1876 Conflicts and conquest, c.1876-1895
Change & Continuity, Significance, Cause & Consequence


Change & Continuity, Significance, Cause & Consequence


Year 11


GCSE Paper 3

Weimar and Nazi Germany, c.1918-1939




Revision- ALL units

The Weimar Republic, 1918-29 Hitler’s rise to power, 1929-33 Nazi control & dictatorship, 1933-39 Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-39
Knowledge, selection and use of historical sources




NOTE: All of the topics studied during KS4 have been introduced to pupils as part of their KS3 studies- this should help pupils during their GCSE studies as they will have a ‘background’ knowledge to build upon.

Useful History links:


We would encourage all students to spend time at home reviewing their learning and trying to work through any misunderstandings or areas of difficulty, before then discussing them in school with their teacher.