About the Faculty

History is a part of the Humanities Faculty who deliver a variety of courses at all Key Stages.  The faculty has dedicated teaching staff, inviting teaching spaces and are committed to delivering excellent learning for all students.

Years 7 to 9 – Key Stage 3

Within the two week timetable there are three timetabled lessons for History.  All lessons are taught in mixed ability tutor groups throughout Years 7 – 9.

Across the subjects knowledge of the content of the topics is developed and there is a commonality of approach in developing a greater understanding through analysis and evaluation. A variety of teaching methods are used in order to broaden the learning experience.  Learning is aided by a variety of resources including textbooks, PowerPoints, worksheets and video, along with websites like BBC Bitesize, which students are encouraged to access.

Year 7

Year 7

The following units are taught in Year 7:

A History of Belper School

What does the evidence tell us about what Belper School was like in the 1970’s?

This is a local study that will help students understand the uniqueness of the school and its development over time.  This unit will look at how the school has developed and changed physically and in terms of curriculum.


The Silk Roads

How do the Silk Roads help us understand world History?

The Silk Roads looks at world History from the ancient world to present day. It gives students an overview of history, covering many of the events/themes that will be explored in later years.


Norman Conquest

Did the Normans bring a ‘truck load of trouble’ to England in 1066?

Students learn about this key point in British History and understand its importance. This builds on knowledge learnt in primary school about Anglo-Saxons and invasions.



Were the Crusades a Holy War?

Building on their skills and knowledge from the Norman Conquest unit of werk, students learn about the interconnectedness of the world and England.


Plantagenet Women

How could royal power lie in female hands?

The unit of Plantagenet women considers the role of women in the medieval power and their influence.


Medieval Life

What makes a good hitorical story about life in a medieval village?

Students learn how to write a convincing story about life in the fourteenth century Suffolk village of Walsham.


Black Tudors

What was life in Tudor England like? How did Kaufmann uncover the lives of the Black Tudors?

The Black Tudors looks at the life of ordinary Tudors through the lens of Black people in this time.  This unit will help show the representative nature of the Early Modern period. This unit also aims to show the long history of migration to Britain since Roman times.


Tudor Religion

How much religious change was there under each Tudor Monarch?

Students study a key point in British and European History that looks at that changes in religion.


Civil War

How can we explain the Civil War?

Students study a key point in British History that looks at the changing power relationship between the monarch and parliament.


18th Century Politics

Ruling Britannia! How did those in power change, 1683 – 1783?

Students learn about power and political change in Britain in the period 1688-1783. Through the unfolding narrative, students learn about key concepts including monarchy, government and Parliament, identify causal factors and develop a sense of period. Finally they assess how power and the fears of those in power changed across the period.

Year 8

Year 8

The following units are taught in Year 8:

The Industrial Revolution

What does 19th Century  Belper reveal about the Industrial Revolution?

Building on what they have learnt about the local area from primary school and the unit on Belper School, this unit will link students’ learning to their local area through this key point in British history. Students will gain a greater appreciation of the role of the mills in the development of Belper and Britain today.

The Vote and Women’s Rights

Did the efforts of reformers and Chartists change anything? What is the story of the women’s suffrage campaign?

These units looks at the development of democracy in Britain through the Chartists and women’s fight for the vote.

Equal Rights

What can we learn from Anne Lister and her diaries? How far have changes to britain since 1945 made it a more inclusive society?

This unit looks at the struggle for rights for different groups, showing a more representative history as it can cover LGBT rights, Disability rights, with a particular focus on Anne Lister.  The unit helps students to contextualise the current fight for equal rights and recognise the long history of protest that is as much global as local.

Africa – from 1200 until Independence

This unit aims to show the long history of Africa before enslavement and showing their culture, specifically Mali and then the trade in enslaved Africans. This unit goes beyond the narrative of enslavement of African people in history.  It develops the idea that sources can be many things, not just written texts.

Separated into three parts: West Africa before 1600; The Enslavement of African People and Colonisation to Independence, students look at how the relationship between Africa and Europe changes over these periods.

Mughal India and British Rule in India

Who was the greatest Mughal Emperor? What mattered to the British rulers of India 1750 – 1900?

These units will look at India before Empire and then India under the Empire.

British Empire in Australia

How did the British colonise Australia?

This unit will consider the British Empire in another part of the world. Students learn about the links between Empire and the diversity of British society today and how the Empire was different in different places.

Year 9

Year 9

The following units are taught in Year 9:

Causes of World War 1

 This unit will briefly look at the long term and short term causes.

Students will look at the similar and different experiences of different groups of people during WW1.


Events and Consequnces of World War 1

 What was it like to be British during the First World War?

This unit focusses on this key event of the 20th Century and understanding the global nature of the conflict.


The Rise of Dictators in Europe

 Why did dictatorships take power in Europe in the 1930’s?

Students learn about key events that shaped the 20th century, showing the links between WW1 and WW2.


Causes and Events of World War 2

Was appeasement a mistake? What event(s) would be considered turning points of WW2?

Students learn about key events that shaped the 20th century and that victory wasn’t inevitable.


The Persection of the Jews

How did Nazi anti-Semitism turn into mass murder?

Students learn about the progression of the persecustion of the Jews from propaganda to death camps.


The Violence in the Holy Land

Why is there violence in the Holy Land?

Students learn about the sustained persecution of Jews that has happened throughout time, not just under the Nazis.



Would the 9/11 attacks have happened without Osama Bin Laden?

Students learn about the first major event of the 21st Century.


20th Century Europe

How can learning about Europe’s recent past help us understand Europe today/

Students learn to understand the development of the European Union and britain’s realtionship to it.


Formative assessment takes place on a regular basis in all lessons with activities often focussed on the Knowledge Organiser content using mini-whiteboards and quizzes.

Formal written assessments take place in line with the whole school assessment windows:

Assessment windows:

Year 7: 24th April – 5th May

Year 8: 28th November – 9th December; 8th May – 19th May

Year 9: 31st October – 10th November; 19th June – 23rd June

GCSE History

Years 10 to 11 – Key Stage 4

GCSE History

Examination Board: OCR
Course Code: J4111

An exciting course encourages learners to become curious, develop their own opinions based on a respect for evidence and build a deeper understanding of the past.

The course will include 5 elements:

1) Migrants to Britain c.1250 to Present

This thematic study should enable students to understand the changes and continuities in migration to Britain.  You  will study the reasons why people migrated to Britain, their experiences in Britain and the impact of migrants on Britain.

2) The Norman Conquest 1065 – 1087

Studying different interpretations of Norman England including a study of the historic environment, such as local castles.  This includes the study of how and why William won the Battle of Hastings and how he kept control through castles.


3) History Around Us – A study of Cromford Mill

This involves a visit to Cromford to gain an understanding of the development of the local area through the physical features of the site, together with other historical sources.  This course is intended to help students find a connection with peoples’ lives during the Industrial Revolution.

4) The Making of America 1789 – 1900

Studying US expansion, the Civil War and settlement and conflict on the Plains.  This focuses on the Native Americans’ battles to keep their land in the face of white civilisation, which included cowboys, ranchers and farmers.

5) Living under Nazi Rule 1933 – 1945

Studying life in Nazi Germany and The Holocaust.  This will include studying the Nazi dictatorship, those that opposed it, Germany at war and persecution of the Jews.



A Level History

Years 12 to 13 – A Level

A Level History

Examination Board: OCR
Course Code: H505

The A Level History course is assessed through three written examinations and a piece of coursework.

Year 12 covers a British period study and enquiry that covers Edward VI Mary I and Elizabeth I, this involves analysing sources and writing essays.  There is also a Non-British period study which covers Russia between 1894-1941 and includes studying the tsar, the Russian Revolutions, the civil war and Stalin.

In Year 13 students will study Popular Culture and the Witch-craze of the 16th and 17th centuries or civil rights in the USA 1865-1992, this course is an interpretations course and looks at the different opinions of historians. Students will also produce a piece of coursework where they will pick a topic/issue of their choice.

Are you interested in

  • Discussion
  • Research
  • Controversy
  • Thinking
  • The Past

Leading to a career in 

  • Law
  • Education
  • Media
  • Business
  • Politics
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Finance
  • Journalism

Subject Entry Criteria

GCSE History Grade 5

‘History is who we are and why we are the way we are.’‘History: Gossip well told.’
Elbert Hubbard

David McCullough

‘History gives answers only to those who know how to ask questions.’
Hajo Holborn