What will we learn in History at WGSA?

History Learning Journey

History is the knowledge of and study of the past. It is the story of who we are, where we come from, and can potentially reveal where we are headed.

Throughout the history curriculum, students will develop a strong foundation of knowledge of British history that ranges from the fall of the Roman Empire through to the 20th century. By doing so, they should have a basic understanding of medieval, early modern and modern history that will provide them with the knowledge of the most significant changes within Britain. In order to pinpoint the most important parts of history within this period, students will look at significant people and events that were catalysts for change. This will feed into the key concepts of change, continuity, importance, significance, cause and consequence. They will also develop an awareness of how British history impacted upon the wider world. Throughout their study of history, the curriculum should provide students with an understanding of essential concepts such as the role of religion, changes in society, economy, politics, law and conflict.

At GCSE, we follow the AQA GCSE History Specification with the following elements:

Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894–1918

Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

Elizabethan England, c1568–1603


How do we encourage students to succeed in history at WGSA?

Students are encouraged to question and challenge what they see in the sources and interpretations that are presented to them. They are encouraged to empathise with views which differ from their own or learn from those with which they cannot show empathy. In doing so, they develop their own ideas and are confident in asserting these while supporting them with a range of evidence. To be successful, students must listen to and respect one another’s assertions. History offers the greatest opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others and ourselves.

Throughout the curriculum, students will encounter low-stakes quizzes to help them build a knowledge base of historical facts. They will analyse sources and interpretations and encounter opportunities to write about how they in turn might interpret a range of historical events.

In history we support learners by providing them with sentence starters for extended writing tasks; introducing extended responses to second order concepts earlier in our curriculum to embed these skills; and using WAGOLLs where appropriate to develop understanding of expectations.

How do history lessons at WGSA help students to prepare for the world of work?

As historians, students will develop an understanding of key historical events and individuals who have paved the way for the world of work we know today. They will have an understanding of the ways in which local, national and international events can disrupt progress or act as catalysts to change.

Historians will develop keen analytical skills when studying sources in lessons. They will be able to make links between cause and effect and thereby predict consequences of actions.

History can help us become better informed citizens. It shows us who we are as a collective group, and being informed of this is a key element in maintaining a democratic society. The skills that are acquired through history, such as critical thinking, research, assessing information, etc., are all useful skills that are sought by employers in industries such as Academic researcher, Heritage Manager, Museum curator, Secondary school teacher, Solicitor, Administrator, Human Resources Officer and many more.

How we promote WGSA’s vision and values in our history lessons?

Learning from past atrocities against groups of people, wars and attacks helps students to develop the Ambition to make their world a better place. Through this collective suffering, they learn to pay attention to the warning signs leading to such atrocities and develop the Integrity to fight against them. Knowing what events led to various wars for example, helps us better influence our future.

By looking at specific stories of individuals and situations, students can test their own morals and values. They can compare it to some real and difficult situations individuals have had to face in trying times. Looking to people who have faced and overcome adversity can inspire Love and empathy for others. Studying the great people of history who successfully worked through moral dilemmas, and ordinary people who teach us lessons in Courage, persistence and protest can instill a sense of self-Belief.