‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’ – Maya Angelou

From the Department of Education – ‘A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world… History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.’

 The History department at The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy is passionate about the importance of its subject and motivated by its desire to pass on this enthusiasm to its pupils. Lessons are designed to be varied, interactive and intellectually challenging, encouraging pupils to ask questions, have opinions and never accept the past at face value.

Pupils gain not only an understanding of what happened in the past, but also the confidence and the skills to interpret it for themselves and discover what ‘doing History’ really involves.

We support the school’s values by developing our students’ Creativity, Responsibility and Wisdom in all of our lessons:

  • Creativity is encouraged in lessons by giving students the opportunity to formulate opinions and deploy them as part of structured debates – so as to develop their ability to reason with their peers and utilise evidence effectively. Time is also given for students to create resources, using the knowledge they accumulate through lessons, to produce items such as posters and diary entries.
  • Responsibility is encouraged through the ways in which classroom discussions are conducted, regarding a variety of intriguing and controversial topics. History reminds students of their responsibility to arm themselves with the knowledge necessary to help avoid societal repetition of past mistakes. Students are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by extending this through wider reading and research beyond the classroom.
  • Wisdom is encouraged by the exploration of key texts and a variety of sources and historical interpretations – used to better inform the students’ opinions on topics relevant to the subject. Wisdom though goes beyond accruing knowledge and places emphasis on the implementation of that knowledge in forming rounded and well-researched viewpoints on the events of both past and present.

Teams and roles within the department

Mr Grady, Teacher of History

Mr Thornton, Interim Assistant Headteacher and CTL Humanities


History at KS3 complies with the National Curriculum programme of study and ensures students know and understand our own history as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. This is done through the study of: the Roman Empire, the Norman Invasion, the contest for power in Medieval Britain, the differing success of Tudor monarchs, the tension that arose under the Stuart rule, the rise of an industrialised Britain, the consequences of the British Empire, and the impact of the two World Wars on various groups of people.

It also allows students to develop their understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, from historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.


Exam board: 2019/20 – Edexcel (Year 11)

Exam dates: 2019/20

  • Paper 1 – Monday 1 June 2020 (Morning) – Thematic study and historic environment (Medicine Through Time)
  • Paper 2 – Thursday 4 June 2020 (Afternoon) – Period study and British depth study (Early Elizabethan England and the American West)
  • Paper 3 – Tuesday 9 June 2020 (Morning) – Modern depth study (Weimar and Nazi Germany)

Students will study the breadth and depth of History and will develop many skills including: reading and learning about the past, arguing and explaining their opinion, solving problems and learning about multiple points of view. Students will also begin to think creatively to gain a better understanding of the world through the topics studied.

The curriculum allows students to understand change and continuity across a long sweep in History as well as gaining an understanding of the complexities of societies or historical situations.

Some of the aims of the History GCSE include:

  • Understanding patterns of change, trends and turning points
  • Comprehending how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at particular times
  • Developing source knowledge and appreciation of their value as evidence
  • Being aware of a range of evidence that can and should be used to reach conclusions
  • Studying examples of such evidence and considering ways in which it could give rise to and support different interpretations

2019/20 – Year 11 only

 GCSE Edexcel

  •  Medicine in Britain, c1250-present
  • The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18: Injuries, treatment and the trenches
  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88
  • The American West, c1835-c1895
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39

 2019/20 – Year 10 onwards


Paper 1 – Understanding the modern world

  • Period Studies = AB Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and dictatorship
  • Wider world depth studies – BA Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894-1918

Paper 2 – Shaping the nation

  • Thematic studies = AA Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day
  • British depth studies including the historic environment = BC Elizabethan England, c1568-1603


Please click here for more information of our enrichment timetable.

Useful websites

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zj26n39 – GCSE Bite Size, outstanding exam board specific resources

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145 – Exam board website, with access to past papers and mark schemes

http://www.historytoday.com/archive/history-review/latest – Variety of articles, written by historians – perfect for the extension of learning on a variety of historical topics

http://www.historyguide.org/guide/guide.html – Useful website that has advice on how to revise the subject of History effectively

https://www.senecalearning.com/blog/gcse-history-revision-guide/ – Access to online learning tool, for the revision of all exam topics

Please see your teacher for further resource links.

Contact Us

The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy
The Avenue
NG31 7PX

E-mail: office@wgacademy.org.uk
Tel: 01476 405200

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The West Grantham Church of England Secondary Academy