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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Mr N Cliff BA (Hons), PGCE, CCRS

Introduction to the department

History offers students the opportunity to develop as independent learners and to enjoy investigating aspects of our past and linking them to the present. 

It teaches us about the diversity of human experience and the challenges that faced past societies and periods of progress.  Most importantly students are encouraged to be open-minded and not to accept ideas at face value but to test them against the evidence.

Key stage 3  (Year 7 and 8)  

The Key Stage 3 the course explores British History from the Celtic – Roman Britain period to 1066 and the era of WWII and the Origins of the Cold War. Students will undertake a series of enquiries into some of the key turning points in British history and will investigate some important topics in European and World History. 

In Year 7 students investigate features of Celtic Britain and changes introduced by the Romans. They also study key turning points in British Medieval History, including the Norman conquest, King John`s reputation and the significance of Magna Carta, the impact of the Black Death, the 1381 Peasants revolt and a brief introduction to the Tudors.

In Year 8 students investigate the English Civil War and the reputation of Oliver Cromwell. They also study aspects of the industrial revolution, the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire, the origins of World War One, the causes of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, aspects of WW2, including the Holocaust and the origins of the Cold War.

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) 

At GCSE students will follow the AQA  GCSE course, which focuses on public health and medicine from c1000AD to the current day, Elizabethan England, international relations 1919 -39 and the USA in the mid-twentieth century. The course has been designed to offer students a good breadth and depth of understanding of History and to develop the skills introduced at GCSE. 

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website  GCSE History Specification

Extra-curricular activities 

Year 7 students spend a day at Buckfast Abbey Devon exploring a number of cross-curricular themes.