Studying history helps us develop an appreciation for our roots and what came before us, along with what sacrifices were made to get there. History helps us understand characters (ie. human beings) over time and in contrast and see how decisions played out over periods of time. Furthermore, studying history is important because it allows us to understand our past, which in turn allows us to understand our present. It can provide us with insight into our cultures of origin as well as cultures with which we might be less familiar, thereby increasing cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

At RHS we make history engaging and interesting. We want students to gain a broad understanding of the world around them and focus on periods or eras of history that can help students gain insight into our current situation and our development as a global community.

Key Stage 3


During Key Stage 3 students learn about significant individuals and events in the history of Britain from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. They also learn about key aspects of European and World history. Students compare both the structure and development of different societies economically, culturally and politically. Students will evaluate and use sources of information, using their historical knowledge to analyse the past and explain how it can be represented and interpreted in different ways.

Year 7
Students learn basic historical concepts such as an understanding of bias and chronology. They study the Roman Empire, focusing on the key questions "Why was Julius Caesar murdered?", "Were the Romans Civilised?" and "Why did the Roman Empire Collapse?" Year 7 students also study Britain in the Middle Ages, including the Battle of Hastings and the Black Death. Throughout these topics students develop skills in extended writing and historical skills of enquiry and causation. They will also start to examine how and why there are several different interpretations of events.

Year 8
Students study Britain 1500-1750, including how the Tudor Monarchy changed England, the English Civil War and what life was like in Britain at this time. In the summer term, students carry out an in-depth investigation of slavery, leading on to a study of the Civil Rights movement with a focus on the roles of Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights leaders. Students develop the historical skills of interpretation, evaluation and enquiry.

Year 9
Students study Britain between 1750 and 1900, examining the changes that took place as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Within this they investigate why the police were unable to catch Jack the Ripper as a case study in Victorian London. Students then learn about World War One and World War Two. Year 9 students are encouraged to become more independent learners through enquiries into soldiers lives during WWI. They will also examine the causes of the war and the knock-on effects throughout the twentieth century.

Key Stage 4


Students will follow the Edexcel (9-­‐1) GCSE history course that includes a thematic study and a study of a historical environment, a period study, a British depth study and a modern depth study.

A variety of individual and group work tasks will be used to deliver the curriculum, using audio‐visual evidence alongside traditional written documentation. There may be an opportunity to take part in a residential trip to Germany to visit major sites associated with Nazi Germany, including a visit to a concentration camp.

Over the two-year GCSE, students will follow a range of topics. The first unit traces the history of Crime and Punishment from c1000 through to the present day. Students will study themes such as how crime, policing, trials and punishment (prisons vs. hanging) have developed, leading onto an exploration about the reasons why people commit crime and whether attitudes and explanations of crime have changed over time. As part of this unit they will also investigate the area of Whitechapel between 1870 and 1900. They will study the links between the environment and crime and look into the role of policing.

The second unit will incorporate the British depth study and the period study. For the British depth study students will look at Anglo-­‐Saxon and Norman England c1060-­‐1088. They will assess the Norman invasion, The Battle of Hastings and the subsequent victory of William. They will then go on to look at how William secured his power and how he changed the nature of Britain.

The period students study will allow students to examine superpower relations and the
cold war between 1941 and 1991. They will investigate the increasing tension between the USA and The Soviet Union after WWII and the change in international relations brought about as a result.

The final unit is the modern depth study and will focus on Weimar and Nazi Germany between 1918 and 1939. It will look at the peace settlement in Germany at the end of WWI and the subsequent rise of Hitler and the Nazi party.

Assessment Method

All three units are assessed through written examinations. They will test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the course and their ability to interpret source material. Students will be required to show evidence of description, explanation, analysis and evaluation.

Paper 1 – British Thematic Study with Historical Environment = 1 hour 15 minutes (30%) Paper 2 – Period Study and British Depth Study = 1 hour 45 minutes (40%)
Paper 3 – Modern Depth Study = 1 hour 20 minutes (30%)

Future Careers

A history GCSE will serve as a good foundation for a number of careers, particularly those that require skills of evaluation and analysis, such as research, journalism, law and the media. History qualifications are also held in high regard by institutes of further and higher education.

Key Stage 5


At A Level students will study two very different but equally fascinating periods of the past. The breadth study will look at ‘The Tudors: England 1485 – 1603. This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the use of key questions including;

How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy?
How did English society and economy change and with what effects?

For the depth study they will follow the unit ‘Revolution and dictatorship: Russia, 1917–1953’. This option provides for the study in depth of the coming and practice of communism in Russia. It explores concepts such as Marxism, communism, Leninism, and Stalinism, ideological control and dictatorship. It also enables students to consider issues of political authority, the power of individuals and the inter-relationship of governmental and economic and social change.

The two courses above will run throughout the two years and will be examined as follows;

Component 1: Breadth study Component 2: Depth study

written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

three questions (one compulsory) three questions (one compulsory)

80 marks 80 marks

40% of A-level 40% of A-level

Component 2: Depth study

written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

three questions (one compulsory)

80 marks

40% of A-level

Component 3: Personal Study

3000–3500 words

40 marks

20% of A-level

marked by teachers

moderated by AQA

The Personal Study will focus on the civil rights movement in America between 1865 and 1980 and will cover the degree of change achieved by various different groups in US society.

The aim of all of these units is for students to use historical knowledge appropriately and in a clear and effective manner. Students also demonstrate their ability to explain, analyse and reach a conclusion to a wide range of historical issues. They will develop skills in evaluation using contrasting source material and will understand how aspects of the past have been interpreted and represented in different ways.