History is The study of significant and ordinary people and what they did in the past to change things and shape the world we live in today. It includes the study of significant events, why and how they happened and how and why they shaped the world we live in today. Moreover History involves the study of ideas and the impact they had on ordinary people and the world. History is valuable because it helps us understand the world, country, town and community we live in and makes us better citizens of the world. But apart from being interesting and valuable History is also useful: employers who see that you have a qualification in History will know certain things about you. For example, that you know what motivates people and how they might think, that you are able to gather and read different types of information, that you can look carefully at this information and check it for bias or propaganda, that you can read maps, graphs and other diagrams; that you are able to communicate clearly and have learned to express yourself clearly and on paper. After all, what is the most interesting thin in the world? Is it not people – real people? If you like people then you should like History.
Who we are?
Mr Andrew Bratt (BA – University of Manchester): Deputy Head of Sixth Form & Teacher of KS5 History.
Ms April Elsmore (BA – Oxon & BSc Open University): Assistant Headteacher & Teacher of KS5 History.
Miss Edrienne Kidega (BA – Brunel University): Teacher of KS3, Ks4 & KS5 History.
Mr Michal Nalewajko (BA – University of London): Teacher of KS5 History & School Exams Officer.
Miss Rebecca Stubbs (BA – Exeter University): Teacher of KS4 History.
Mr Alex Wrein (BA – University of Sussex): Head of Department and teacher of KS3, KS4 and KS5 History.
For more information on this curriculum area please contact: Mr A. Wrein
Aims and Enrichment
Aims & Objectives
All members of the school community are important and each has a contribution to make. We value skills, achievements but above all effort. The Department commits to provide an environment that is stimulating and safe for all to learn without fear of failure. The History Department aims to:
• Maintain and stimulate student curiosity about and interest in History.
To employ teaching methods and resources that allows all students irrespective of ability, background or ethnic origin to access History and experience enjoyment and success in their work.
• To provide students with regular verbal and written formative feedback regarding their progress in the subject.
• To give the support and time necessary for all pupils to achieve what they deserve.
• To cultivate in students a sense of the past, knowledge of events and their effects.
• To enable students to appreciate how we gain knowledge about the past and how that knowledge is represented and interpreted.
• To enable students to use historical evidence critically.
• To enable students to understand that events have a multiplicity of causes and that nothing in the past is straight forward.
• To encourage students to develop informed opinions and independent thinking skills.
• To makes students aware of the school, local, national and international communities to which they belong.
• To follow and support the aims of Christ’s College Finchley.
The History Department is committed to generating enthusiasm for History and believes that running a programme of extracurricular activities helps achieve this aim whilst also enabling students to study History through different methods. We continue to enjoy links with Brunel University whilst in 2015 a group of our more able students from across the year groups were invited to Hendon Town Hall where they participated in a series of events to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Each year the History Hill walk (taking place over the summer half term break) is open to our year 7 students who also get the opportunity to visit the site of the Battle of Barnet during the summer term itself. Year 9 students are invited to take part in our residential trip to Ypres and the battlefields of the First World War whilst students in year 10 and year 12 are eligible to apply to join the Cold War focused trip to Berlin which takes place at the beginning of the summer half term break. All KS5 students can benefit from regular study days and university taster courses starting in the second half of the autumn term.
Key stage 3
The curriculum as KS3 ensure that students cover the necessary content as well as developing aspects of literacy, numeracy and moral, social and emotional awareness. The Department strives to begin teaching basic GSCE skills as part of the KS3 scheme. Our scheme also takes into account the time required for students to practice and study assessments, time is also factored in to give students the opportunity to review their work and set themselves targets.
Students in year 7 will study:
What is History? (Introduction to Historical terminology and skills).
The Roman Empire.
The Norman Conquest of 1066.
Medieval Realms 1066-1485.
Students in year 8 will study:
Power and Politics 1485-1688.
The Industrial Revolution 1750-1900.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The rise and fall of the British Empire.
Students in year 9 will study:
The First World War.
A Fragile Peace (1919-1939).
The Second World War.
Useful websites for all KS3 students:
Key stage 4
Studying History at GCSE provides students with an opportunity to pursue an interest not only in the past but also in the world around them. Modern life, more than ever, requires a grasp of the past and studying GCSE History will help pupils to gain this much needed understanding. Questions such as ‘Why does it matter when America and Russia argue about what happens in Europe?’ ‘How did America become involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and similar conflicts?’, ‘Why is the NHS so important to many people in Britain?’ can only be answered through the study of History. Therefore GCSE History provides the historical understanding to help answer these and many other pertinent questions. Developing a student’s understanding of history is only one of the goals of our GCSE course. We aim to furnish our students with a set of skills that will not only prove invaluable for success within GCSE examinations but also life beyond school. Those skills which we seek to develop on the course include: literacy, written communication, and reasoning, and explanation, analysis of source evidence, debate and verbal communication.
At GCSE, we follow the Pearson / Edexcel syllabus and study the topics:
The Cold War 1943-91,
British History in the periods around the two World Wars and
The Vietnam War will be studied for the controlled assessment unit of the exam.
This combination of topics gives the pupils a strong understanding of the development of history in the 20th century and the major events that have shaped our world today.
Core text books:
Waugh, S. & Wright, J. Russia 1917-1939: GCSE Modern World History for Edexcel. Published by Hodder.
Bircher, R. & May, S. Edexcel GSCE History Controlled Assessment CA5 Vietnam 1960-75. Published by Pearson.
Waugh, S. & Wright, J. International Relations: The Era of the Cold War 1943-91 GCSE Modern World History for Edexcel. Published by Hodder.
Waugh, S. & Wright, J. War and the Transformation of British Society 1931-51 GCSE Modern World History for Edexcel. Published by Hodder.
Key Stage 5
Students at KS5 study the following units from the OCR exam board:
- Germany 1919-63 (AS and A2)
- The Coming of the Civil War 1603-42 (AS and A2)
- Russia 1855-1964 (A2 only)
- The impact of Thatcher for the coursework element as well as an open study that permits students to study an area of history of their own choosing (A2 only)
The German and Russian units build on knowledge gained at GCSE and they afford the pupils a chance to delve more deeply into a fascinating period of history. The Coming of the Civil War provides an interesting comparison with Russia with regard to issues of absolutist monarchy in two different countries at different times, while the Thatcher unit helps put more recent political developments in their context. The unit involving their own choice allows students to develop skills of research and self-sustained learning they will require of they proceed to university after 6th form.
Core text books:
Layton, G. Access to History: Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963 for OCR. Published by Hodder.
Sharp, D. The Coming of the Civil War 1603-49. Published by Heinemann.
Holland, A. Access to History: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 for OCR – Historical Themes. Published by Hodder.