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Woodbridge High School

Woodbridge High School


‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’

Georges Santayana

The aims of the History Department

  • To nurture an interest in the past
  • To enable students to think imaginatively about the past and reach substantiated conclusions about a number of issues
  • To enable pupils to understand the present through an exploration of the past
  • To develop critical thinking skills
  • To encourage students to explore a range of different viewpoints on key issues
  • To transform students into independent learners who will be able to meet the challenges of an ever changing world
  • To enable pupils to explore History beyond the classroom
  • To foster links between History and other disciplines where appropriate
  • To encourage students to become confident reflective thinkers
  • To inspire students to want to do History at university

Why study History?

Perhaps the most important reason for studying History is because you find it to be an interesting and enjoyable subject. Investigating the past will provide you with an opportunity to explore exciting and dramatic events. It will introduce you to lively and controversial characters and you will get a chance to see how people have reacted in difficult and extreme circumstances. In short it will entertain and engage you because you will be involved in uncovering dramatic stories about the human experience across different historical periods. Students of History are historically literate about the society in which they live. This means they can interpret and place the events occurring around them in historical context and they can confidently and intelligently participate in debates about the key events unfolding in today’s world.

The study of History allows students to develop high order skills which will be useful in a variety of different contexts. Historians can gather information in a skilful manner which means that if asked to undertake a research project in the workplace people who have studied History will not be intimidated by the prospect of having to find information from unfamiliar sources. In addition to this they will be able to process, evaluate and prioritise information as well as being able to detect bias and deconstruct propaganda. They will not just take information or people at face value and they will be both insightful and able to think critically about information. Historians learn to weigh up different viewpoints and make measured judgements about complex topics. They can think on their feet and are not intimidated by challenges. This makes them suitable for a wide range of careers in law, government, politics, journalism and education.

KS3-Years 7-9

In year seven students will study Medieval Realms. This course aims to introduce pupils to the worlds inhabited by both medieval kings and lowly peasants. They will explore the unfolding narrative of British history starting with the Norman Conquest, and be asked to decide on the most important reason why William the Conqueror won, as well as assessing the ways in which William was able to keep control of England. Students will go on to study the Tudor period, with a particular focus on the religious turmoil cause by Henry VIII’s break with Rome. Students will complete the year by studying England’s first colony at Roanoke and evaluate the reasons why it failed. In year eight pupils will begin by assessing the changing nature of society in the 17th Century. They Will begin with a study on ‘pre slavery’ Africa and assess the glory and power of the Asante Kingdom, on the West coast. The will then go on to study the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They continue to assess the changes in society through a look at the agricultural and industrial revolution, and complete their year with a study on the Great War, where students will investigate dramatic stories about the experience of ordinary soldiers in WWI- they will gain an understanding of how global the war really was by assessing the British empires contribution. In year nine the focus will be very much on the modern world. This will give students a chance to see how the world they live in has been shaped by events in Europe in the twentieth century. They will investigate dramatic stories about World War 2, with a focus on the war in the East. and explore the motivations of some of the world’s most controversial decisions including the Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb. They will then go onto the ‘Russian Revolution’ and assess the Bolshevik takeover- this will give them a great insight to the complex narrative of Russian history before beginning the Cold War in year 10.

KS4 – GCSE (Edexcel  History)

The GCSE course will have a focus on both the twentieth century world and British Medieval history. This will involve exploring the origins of the Cold War- including flashpoints such as the Cuba missile crisis. The students will then travel back in time to Tudor England and will assess the early reign of Elizabeth I- from 1558-1588- students will look at Elizabeth’s complicated relationship with Spain and her cousin- Mary Queen of Scots. Students will also be studying crime and punishment in the UK between 1000-present day; a huge 1000 study which allows students to really assess change over time. The final course will be a unit of the downfall of the first democracy in Germany; the Weimar Republic with an evaluation of Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. This course includes NO coursework and is all assessed via examination.

KS5 – A-Level (AQA History paper 1J and 2G)


A Level History gives students a chance to explore a range of exciting topics central to the development of both British and world History in the Modern period. Topic areas include a breadth study on the British Empire between 1857-1967 with a particular focus on African and Indian colonialism. Students will also study the ‘birth of America’- looking at how the 13 colonies fought for independence against the British colonists. There is also a coursework unit worth 20%- this will be on African American Civil Rights History between 1915-2015- a 100 year study on the fight for equality.

Future Pathways

Students who have studied History are ideally suited to pursue careers in a wide range of areas, including, law, journalism, government, finance and education.

Contact Head of History - Miss Moyra Whelan