Head of Subject: Mrs Lucy Goy
History is all about people from the past and the decisions they made based on events and factors at the time. It is fascinating to be able to explore how this process came about and to learn how it created the chain reactions that have shaped our society and influence all our lives today.
Our courses are designed to give students a flavour of a development over time and also the chance to focus on historical periods in depth. Students develop essential historical skills such as source interrogation, discussion, debate and using independent knowledge to support or challenge other historians. It helps to really enjoy reading and writing, and to have an enquiring mind. Evidence needs to be found, understood and cross-examined if a picture of past events is to become clear. History is an extremely valuable subject to study at both KS3 and hopefully onto GCSE Level and beyond. Not only is the subject varied and exciting, but it also helps develop skills that are necessary in working life. In History you have to communicate and analyse, discuss and make contributions. History is a very popular GCSE option at Redruth School and combines well with most other subjects. Significant numbers of our past students have gone on to complete history degree courses and move into career related areas.
Courses taught at Key Stage 3:
We begin our journey back through time in 1066 with the Norman Conquest of Saxon England before moving on to look at medieval life overall, with a particular focus on the power of religion, the effects of the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. Our Spring term sees up explore the different Tudor and Stuart kings and queens whilst asking “Is the monarch always right?” Our Summer term moves onto the massive changes in Britain during the Industrial Revolution and the lives of the Vile Victorians. Each class will have a termly homework project which is designed to further their independence and knowledge and hopefully enthuse the true historians of the future.
Courses taught at Key Stage 4:
For GCSE (9-1) History we teach the Pearson Edexcel GCSE course. The units include:
- Paper 1 – Thematic Study and historic environment – CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN BRITAIN, c1000-present plus Whitechapel, c1870-c1900: crime, policing and the inner city
- Paper 2 – Period Study (Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91) plus British Depth Study (Elizabethan England, 1558-1588)
- Paper 3 – Modern Depth Study – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39
The skills that are examined are: subject knowledge of topics; explaining a range of reasons why events happened; explaining why certain events should be regarded as important; analysing the usefulness of sources; evaluating (weighing up) how much we agree with the interpretations (views) of different historians.
At key stage 4 we expect the majority of students to leave with a grade 5 or above.
All our classes are mixed ability, apart from when we have GCSE groups being taught at the same time and then as a department we may decide to create sets within these classes so that we can pitch our lessons to the right ability levels.
We assess for learning and progress within all of our lessons by using different strategies. We assess Key Stage 3 with twice termly formal assessed pieces of work which are fully taught, fully prepared, examined and then improved upon by students following detailed and focused teacher / peer feedback. Every Key Stage 3 assessment will begin with typical GCSE style question stem and is designed to develop the historical skills needed to succeed at a higher level. All assessments are differentiated and there are levels of extra challenge as well as support for those that need it to achieve their potential.
At Key Stage 4 all our courses have exam related questions woven into the schemes of work. Typically, students will be expected to complete them within lessons following teaching and learning time. In this way we build up a wealth of knowledge about our students’ learning and progress. We are also creating many opportunities for them to receive and respond to expert teacher feedback. Across the year there will be 4 formal assessments, but exam style questions are an integral part of our normal teaching and learning. Regular homework forms a vital part of this learning journey. Every piece set will be relevant to developing our students’ progress and developing a sense of independence away from the normal lesson environment.
Every year there is a Humanities based foreign residential trip. Examples of our past destinations have been the World War I battlefields in Belgium and France, Second World War studies in both Austria and Poland. Usually this is for KS4 students, but our intention is to create more trip experiences for KS3. We have also visited the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, Pendennis Castle and Bodmin Jail.
How can I help my son/daughter?
You can help your son/daughter by supporting them with homework. This could be simply checking their planners for homework and then making sure that they are leaving enough time to complete the work properly. At KS4 a typical piece of History homework should take about 1 hour.
You could search out topical films, documentaries and articles to encourage your child’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the topics they will study. The department will provide students with examples of what these may be.
Parents/Carers can access “Show my Homework” on this website to check what needs to be done and when it has to be done by.
In Year 11, there are weekly intervention sessions and as many students as possible are encouraged to attend. They really do make a world of positive difference to student knowledge, understanding and exam techniques.
Revision guides are available to purchase on Parent Pay and cost £3.50. These cover 3 of our 4 examined courses (Germany, Cold War and Elizabethan England). As a department, we will make certain that we are resourcing the revision needs for our Crime and Punishment course.