History is thriving at Beaconsfield High School. We have achieved some excellent results at both GCSE and A Level, and we are situated in our purpose-built Humanities block.
History is very popular within the school, with over three quarters of students opting for the subject at GCSE. This popularity is a result of excellent teaching, committed staff and real enthusiasm for the subject, which is shared by staff and students alike.
We love our subject, and our prime objective is always to imbue students with a similar passion for History.
Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 & 9
At Key Stage 3 students have three lessons over two weeks. They follow a chronological approach, which now focuses students on some key themes and concepts throughout History. From the conquest of England by William of Normandy through to the battlefields of the Second World War, students gain an insight into the changing nature of ‘Warfare and Conquest’ as their first thematic study. As part of our ‘Power and Control’ theme students learn about the nature of monarchy, the emergence of democracies and the establishment of dictatorships. Students are given the opportunity to learn about ‘Diversity’ in our country and to compare this with America, learning about their civil rights movement. Lastly, students will be able to learn about the lives of the rich and poor in Britain and their changing beliefs and attitudes over time, through studying ‘Ordinary Lives’.
In all years the department uses a variety of skills, including source work, role plays, debates, and visual, written and oral presentations. A variety of textbooks and other resources - including pictures, video, music, PowerPoint and interactive whiteboard activities are used to enable students to develop their historical skills and appreciation of the subject. We also have netbooks which we can use for research. We work very closely with the excellent librarian at the school to develop skills of independent studying and research to prepare students for their studies later on.
Key Stage 4: Years 10 & 11
Students follow the WJEC course, which examines ‘Studies in Depth’ and ‘Studies in Breadth’.
The depth study consists of a 2 hour examination, split into two papers of 1 hour each. The topics covered are:
1B: The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1603
1H: The USA: A Nation of Contrasts 1910-1929
The breadth study consists of a 2 hour examination, split into two papers of 45 minutes (Period Study) and 1 hour 15 minutes (Thematic Study). The topics covered are:
2B: The Development of Germany, 1919-1991 (Period Study)
2F: Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day. The requirement to study a historic site is part of the Thematic Study.