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The History department at Saint Aidan’s is passionate about helping students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider World. We aim to inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching focuses on developing skills which will equip students now and in the future, as independent learners, thinkers and team workers.

Students are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, to think critically, to evaluate evidence, to write logical arguments and to reach balanced judgements.

Study the past if you would define the future” Confucius, Chinese philosopher 551BC-479BC

Key Stage 3

Throughout KS3 the main focus is a chronological study of British History and the wider world. This involves studying topics from 1066 and the Norman invasion, through to the Twentieth Century. The main topics studied in each year group are:

Year 7

  • Why was 1066 an important year in English History?
  • What impact did the Norman Invasion have on England?
  • What was life like in Medieval Britain?
  • How religious were people in the Medieval Britain?
  • Who rules? Power to the people or power to the Crown?

Year 8

  • How and why was the Catholic Church challenged in the 16th century?
  • What do the portraits of Queen Elizabeth I reveal about the power of the monarchy?
  • What was life like for the Tudor poor?
  • Why were some people persecuted in the 16th and 17th centuries? The case of the Pendle Witches
  • Who was to blame for the English Civil War?
  • How and why did Britain become involved in the Slave Trade?
  • Ruler and the ruled. What was the impact of the British Empire?
  • What was the Industrial Revolution?

Year 9

  • What was the most important cause of the First World War?
  • What was the impact of the First World War?
  • Post-war Europe: Peace, problems and conflict?

Key Stage 4

Students in the current Year 10 study the new Edexcel GCSE History course. This is examined through three exam papers at the end of Year 11. The course is 100% exam based with no coursework. Topics studied in GCSE include:

  • Medicine in Britain c1250-present day
  • The British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918
  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
  • The American West c1835-c1895
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

GCSE History builds upon the skills taught in KS3 by:

  • Developing and extending knowledge and understanding of key events, periods and societies in local, British, and wider world history; and of the wide diversity of human experience
  • Encouraging students to engage in historical enquiry and to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers
  • Developing their ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical judgement by using a range of sources.
  • Developing an awareness of why people, events, changes and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them
  • Developing organisational and communicate skills which allow students to demonstrate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and reach substantiated conclusions


In Key stage 3 the History Club meets once a week. In the last two terms the group have written and performed for their peers, two plays, one about the events of 1066 and another about the Black Death, 1348!

In Key Stage 4/GCSE the department runs regular revision workshops for students preparing for exams. Two lunchtimes each week the History rooms are used as study rooms, to give GCSE students somewhere quiet to study and the opportunity to get extra help with essay writing and exam preparation.

In October 2018 the department took a group of Year 10 and 11 students First World War Battlefields of Belgium and northern France to support and enhance one of the examined units of the new GCSE History syllabus, the British Sector of the Western Front, 1914-18


In Key Stage 3 homework is set to consolidate and extend student knowledge, understanding and skills. Homework will mainly be in the form of:

  • Completing extended writing tasks
  • Learning key historical terminology for interim tests
  • Researching topics.
  • Preparing pair and group presentations
  • Completing revision activities, for example flashcards and mind maps

In KS3 the aim is to encourage students to work independently, research, manage their time, and organise information, key skills in KS3, but crucial skills for success in KS4/GCSE.

In Key Stage 4 the aim is to build upon the good homework habits developed in KS3. Homework normally consists of:

  • Essay writing
  • Note-making, including preparing revision notes and resources
  • Learning topics and glossaries for regular assessments

How parents can support students

Talking to your child about homework activities, what they need to do, and how, as well as how to effectively manage their time is always beneficial. There are great opportunities to engage with History through the many historical television programmes and visiting places of historic interest which helps to engage and foster curiosity in the past.

Faculty Staff

Miss J NichollsHead of History
Mr S WoodHistory teacher
Mr A LordHistory teacher, Deputy Headteacher

Feb 17
Mr Wood's class create motte and bailey castles. https://t.co/jgYe9Bg0PH
Feb 17
Mr Wood's class create motte and bailey castles. https://t.co/pfbwHYwxME
Feb 17
Mr Wood's class create motte and bailey castles. https://t.co/a2jjX6zNxI
Feb 17
Mr Wood's class create motte and bailey castles. https://t.co/TYIscZ7RVU
Feb 17
Mr Wood's class create motte and bailey castles. https://t.co/ipWp38yh4X