History is taught to all girls at KS3 and is an option at GCSE, AS and A level. The students are encouraged to understand and appreciate their British cultural heritage and how it interacts with other world cultures. Alongside the traditional skills of analysis and interpretation there is an emphasis on enquiry and research making full use of modern technology. At all levels visits to places of historical interest take place to enhance classroom activities and the department has strong links with the National Trust, English Heritage and the Local Museums Service.
Key Stage 3
The programme of study follows a chronological pattern starting with the Norman Conquest in Year 7 and progressing to the 1960s in Year 9. In Year 7 the main theme is Medieval Realms, in Year 8 topics are studied from the 16th through to the 18th centuries and in Year 9 the focus moves to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Events and themes are studied in depth rather than a mere coverage of events and there are many opportunities for presentations, role play, drama and project work. Trips and fieldwork are vital ingredients for generating interest and regular events include Totnes fieldwork in Year 7, a Civil war day in Year 8 and a World War Two day in Year 9.
Key Stage 4
For GCSE we follow the Edexcel Modern World syllabus. This is a modular courseand students cover the following topics,each worth 25% of their finalgrade:
- Germany 1918-1939
- International relations - the Origins and Events of the Cold War
- The Vietnam War, 1960-75
All units are assessed by examination,except for the Vietnam unit,which is a controlled assessment. At the beginning of Year 11 we organise a residential trip to Berlin, allowing students to explore themes relating to both Germany,1918-39 and the Cold War. History is an option subject at GCSE. We currently have three groups in Year10 and three in Year 11.
Key Stage 5
At AS and A2 level we follow the Edexcel syllabus. The aim here is to move away slightly from the modern world themes of GCSE History and allow students to explore a wider range of the past with a unifying theme of 'People, Peace and Protest.'
At AS level students study:
- Democracy and Dictatorship - Civil Rights in the USA,1945-68 and Mao's China.
- Henry VIII, Authority, Nation and Religion, 1509-1540.
At A2 level students study:
- The Making of Modern Russia,1856-1964 (Coursework.)
- Protest,Crisis and Rebellion, 1536-88.
Students explore and analyse historical themes through a variety of tasks, encouraging group work and independent learning, with a strong emphasis on examination technique. We currently have three groups in Year 12, and three in Year 13.
View the Berlin Trip September 2010