Head of Department: Mr M Schmidt
At Claremont, we aim to develop a life-long passion for History amongst all our students. Our core values are to engage, encourage and challenge students’ understanding of the past. In every lesson, students experience a positive learning environment, in which they are both supported and stretched, helping all to achieve their full potential.
The History department is made up of well-respected and dynamic teachers, who fire students’ curiosity and imagination of the past. We provide students with an educational experience which is broad, balanced and challenging.
History is an extremely popular option subject at both GCSE and A Level. We are immensely proud of the excellent exam results we achieve each year.
Our knowledge rich curriculum is designed to develop students’ historical rigour, alongside unlocking conceptual understanding. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the bigger picture of the past, constructing informed judgments.
As a department, we have embraced decolonising the History curriculum, which remains ongoing as we continue to reflect and react to the world around us. This provides students with an updated, and knowledge-rich, curriculum where hidden stories are at the fore-front, across all key stages.
Key Stage 3
The aim of the Key Stage 3 History curriculum is to provide students with a chronological understanding of the past. The design of the History curriculum encourages students to make links across time periods, exploring the relationship between events across the key stage.
Students start Year 7 by learning about the historical skills they will need to develop as they study History. The Medieval period is the focus of study, which pre-dates 1066 to the 1500s:
- An introduction to History: chronology, source and interpretation skills, time maps and anachronisms
- The Norman Conquest 1066-1087
- British History up to 1485
- Life in Medieval England
- The Medieval World: societies outside of Europe, including Japan, China, Australia, the Americas, Africa, India, as well as their relationship with each other and with Europe in 1500.
In Year 8, students study the British Empire and its impact on the world 1492 to the present. Students explore the world powers of the 15th century and unpack the impact of the British Empire through the lens of the wider colonial experience covering:
- Britain, its Empire and the world 1492-1700
- Britain and the slave trade 1562-1865
- The British Empire across the world 1600-1900
- The British Empire after 1900
- The end of the British Empire and its legacy
In Year 9, students study British and World History of the 20th century, to gain a broad understanding of the events, which have shaped the world we live in today covering:
- The First World War 1914-18. Exploring the roles and contributions of soldiers from India, Algeria, Native Canadians and Chinese Labour Corps.
- Women’s voting rights
- The inter war years 1918-1939
- The Second World War 1949-1945 & the Holocaust
- Protest in the 20th century- including the British Civil Rights Movement
Assessments are undertaken in each term across KS3. These assessments reflect the content they have covered in that term.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA specification. GCSE History students will sit 2 exam papers at the end of Year 11, which are 2 hours long. The options we have chosen at GCSE, provide students with exciting opportunities to further diversify their understanding of the subject:
Paper 1: Understanding the modern world
- Period study: Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and dictatorship. Students study the development and collapse of democracy in Germany and the rise and fall of Nazism.
- Wider world depth studies: Conflict and tension in Asia, 1950-1975. Students explore the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
Paper 2: Shaping the nation
- Thematic study: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day. Students gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain.
- British depth study including the historic environment: Elizabethan England c1568-1603. Students focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints.
The content covered in our Key Stage 4 History curriculum goes beyond the AQA specification. We aim to provide a deeper understanding of the past by embedding diverse stories of the past such as the role of women during the Peasants Revolt, the Black Tudors, migration experiences in Britain during the 20th century.
The History Department is proud of the numerous trips and other activities run by our staff. These enrichment opportunities include:
The RAF Museum visit and workshops; castle building competition, talk by a Holocaust survivor. Young Quills book review organised by the Historical Association.
Residential trip to the World War I Battlefields in Belgium & Northern France. Young Quills book review organised by the Historical Association.
Residential trip to Berlin; A Level Conference Company seminar on the Crusades; Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors- including a visit to the former Nazi concentration and death camp of Auschwitz- Birkenau; The Houses of Parliament visit and workshop; a visit to The National Archives in Kew; a residential trip to Liverpool. Delivering college assemblies on Remembrance Day and Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, defines History as a facilitating subject. These are the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses. The skills we equip our students with, instil confident to pursue History or History-related disciplines at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. These include: Cambridge, LSE, Warwick, Queen Mary, Kings College, SOAS, Southampton, Northampton, Nottingham, Sussex, Oxford Brooks, Sussex, Kent, Birkbeck and Birmingham.
What can you do with a History Degree?
- Archiving and Heritage: working in museums, galleries library and other historical archives with a focus on the upkeep and organisation of artefacts
- Business and Commerce
- Law: barrister, solicitor, paralegal, police officer
- Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
- Media: journalism, writing editing, broadcasting, radio, TV scheduling
- Politics: working for think tanks, civil service as well as working in Parliament
- Teaching and Research- teaching, lecturers, researcher, podcasting.