Year 9 Choices


Why study History?
People who study history are fearless explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more, look at how things have developed over time and connect the dots to understand how we got where we are today

But it’s all in the past, why is History useful to students now?
It would be great to know what could happen before we make an important decision wouldn’t it? Well, studying history can help us do this on a big scale. By analysing past events we learn about the consequences of people’s actions, from kings & queens to the London baker who forgot to put his fire out on September 2nd 1666… If we apply this knowledge to the present, governments, businesses and individuals can learn lessons from past mistakes or successes and make informed choices about their futures.

In history we study lots of different sources and learn that events are often the result of complex and multiple factors. It’s never as simple as person A whacking person B over the head and starting a war. Politics, communication, beliefs, misunderstandings and even the environment can shape the way things turn out. Look at all the different stuff that came together to make things spiral out of control in Game of Thrones…(OK we know this isn’t real history, but an understanding of medieval European politics really helps to write it!) Essentially, history helps us see the bigger picture in 3D.

What skills will I get from studying History?
History teaches us to ask two very important questions: why and how. This is key to sharpening your critical thinking abilities, which combine analysis, research, essay writing and communication skills to help you to solve problems and form arguments for debate.
Historians look at all the available evidence and come to conclusions, a lot like a good detective, which helps them learn to be organised and manage information.

What do we learn?

The History course follows the Edexcel GCSE and GCE 2014 specification and covers the following areas of study:
Paper 1: Thematic Study and Historic Environment 

Thematic study: Medicine through time c.1250- present with the British sector of the Western Front, 1914-1918: injuries, treatment, and the trenches

Studying Medicine in Britain will give students an overview of the impact that improved knowledge, understanding and technology has had in Britain from 1250 onwards. At its heart, the Medicine in Britain study is the story of change and continuity in medicine and the factors influencing its development. The study begins in the Middle Ages, with a focus on the importance of the Church in controlling medical training and providing care for the sick but also considering its reluctance to abandon faith in old methods for new, untested ideas, or its position of authority in the study of medicine. Following the decline of the power of the Church, the study moves through the Renaissance, the scientific revolution, the process of industrialisation and into the nineteenth century, when new discoveries and developments started to have a big impact on the understanding of disease. The focus moves to the rise of technology and the growing importance of government from the nineteenth century onwards. In the linked historic environment, students learn about the relationship between conditions on the Western Front and their impact on the nature of illness and the provision of medical care, within the broader context of developments in medicine in the early twentieth century.

Key individuals and events are studied as a way of examining change and continuity. For example, the work of William Harvey and Edward Jenner provided important advances in one way and yet could also be said to have had a limited impact on medicine overall. Similarly, comparisons can be made between epidemics such as the Black Death in 1348 and cholera in 1831.

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study

British Depth Study: Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588

This topic touches on many areas of study with which students might be familiar, including the rise of the theatre, Mary, Queen of Scots, the Spanish Armada, and the seafaring adventures of Francis Drake. The interplay and links across the three key topics should ensure students gain an understanding of the complex forces which shaped Elizabethan society.

The three key topics provide a framework for teaching and understanding the option but should not be taken in isolation from each other. There is chronological overlap between the topics and this structure helps highlight the complexity and interplay of different aspects within society.


World Period
Study: The American West c1835-1895

To aid this story of the American West, the unit has been divided into three sequential Key topics that help tell this fascinating and interesting story. Firstly, students look at the lives of the Plains Indians, early migration and settlement, and lawlessness in the early settlements, as well as the tensions between the settlers and Plains Indians. They then move on to how settlement on the Plains developed, ranching and the cattle industry, and the impact on the Plains Indians’ lives of events and developments between c1862 and c1876. Finally, students look at further changes in farming, the cattle industry and settlement, conflict and tension between different groups living on the Plains, and the destruction of the Plains Indians’ way of life. All three Key topics are interconnected, however, with threads of settlement, conflict and tensions, and the changing lives of the Plains Indians running throughout. 


Paper 3: Modern depth study

Weimar and Nazi German, 1918-39

This modern depth study offers students a fascinating analysis
of how, between the First and Second World Wars, a democratic Germany became a
one-party dictatorship. Students will examine various political, economic,
social, and cultural aspects of this change from a democratic to a one-party
state. The specification content is divided into four Key topics which provide
a framework for teaching and understanding this option. However, these are not
in isolation from one another and there is some chronological overlap between
the four Key topics, highlighting the complexity of Germany during the years