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    Through the study of History students learn to contextualise the world around them. Alongside this the subject provides an ideal opportunity for students to develop their thinking skills,  learning to question the validity and reliability of evidence, construct a rigorous argument and communicate their ideas effectively. Central to the study of History at DWHS is the spirit of enquiry: we seek to get students asking questions about what has shaped the world in which they live and to work independently to investigate why historical interpretations of the past vary. Such learning takes place in mixed-ability classes, where every student is supported to develop these skills and access this academically rigorous subject in a meaningful way.

    key stage 3

    Key Stage 3 History is designed to focus on developing historical thinking to enable students to become competent historians. The lessons are based around the key historical concepts of chronological understanding, significance, cause and consequence, diversity, change and continuity, and interpretation. All lessons throughout Key Stage 3 are designed to be accessible and challenging for every individual learner, so that students simultaneously progress in their ability to practise academic history and are engaged by the subject more broadly.

    Every year group studies six topics over the course of the academic year and each topic is designed around an enquiry question that both links and directs the course of learning. These six topics are also set within over-arching themes that enable students to develop their chronological understanding and make wider links between different historical periods, events, and places.

    YEAR 7

    Students study the lives of ordinary people through the theme of ‘living and believing’, tracing the development of society from the Iron Age through to the Twentieth Century.

    YEAR 8

    The focus this year is ‘power and protest’, within which students investigate the balance of power between rulers and their subjects, by studying both British history and that of other countries around the world.

    key stage 4

    YEAR 9

     The Year 9 topics link together under the theme of ‘conflict and co-operation’, focusing on periods of both war and tolerance from different parts of the globe, dating back as far as Medieval times and coming up to the recent past. In addition the year 9 curriculum is a pre-GCSE course that through the theme of ‘conflict and co-operation’ develops key skills that will more rigorously prepare those students going on to take History GCSE.

    The GCSE History course builds on the knowledge and skills that students acquired at Key Stage 3. The topics during these two years of study are varied and engaging, including a strong British element, as well as wider global issues that are very much relevant today. There is a strong literacy focus to the course, as students at this level are required to communicate their learning in an articulate and analytical way, thus a willingness to read, debate and write extended pieces of work are necessary to do well in a GCSE that is 100% examination.





    GCSE History.


    The history course offered at GCSE is specifically designed to be both engaging and challenging to students.  Those skills learnt at KS3, such as source analysis, historical enquiry, and interpretation evaluation, are developed further at GCSE through a diverse selection of both British and global topics.

    In Year 10 students will get to study the history of medicine in Britain, which traces the nature of medical practice from the Middle Ages up to the present day.  This topic enables students to better understand the process of change over a large period of time, whilst also tying in well with GCSE science and particularly helping those students interested in future careers in the sciences or medicine.

    The second Year 10 topic is a depth study that looks at Germany in the short period of time between World War One and World War Two when the Nazis gained power.  This popular topic uses sources from the period to better enable students to understand the Nazis' rise to power and the impact which their actions had on the rest of the world.

    Students then start Year 11 with another 20th century topic; the Middle East conflict.  The controversy surrounding this area of study is precisely what makes it so fascinating, and through developing their ability to wrestle with contrasting interpretations students are able to form a much deeper understanding of the situation that still greatly impacts on the world they live in.  The final GCSE topic comes back to Britain and focuses on the country during the reign of the Tudor monarch Elizabeth I.  This was an exciting time in Britain, both in regards to religion and literature, as well as politics and exploration.  Thus through studying this short period of British history in-depth students discover many of the foundations of the country we know today.


    All four topics are examined at the end of the course in three separate papers:

    Paper 1 (30%) - Thematic Study

    Medicine Through Time: 1250 - present

    Paper 2 (40%) - Period Study and British Depth Study

    Conflict in the Middle East: 1945 - 1995 (20%)

    Early Elizabethan England: 1558 - 1588 (20%)

    Paper 3 (30%) - Modern Depth Study

    Nazi Germany: 1918 - 1939

    key stage 5

    A Level History at DWHS is taught in small classes, where students learn to critically analyse evidence, construct an academic argument, and evaluate the arguments presented by fellow historians. The course offered is the new Edexcel History specification ‘searching for rights and freedoms in the 20th century’, which provides students with a global perspective of Twentieth Century history, as well as linking closely to the study of Britain’s past in a relevant and thought-provoking way.

    The subject is an academic one that is highly valued by universities and employers alike, due to the analytical skill set that it develops and the independent, enquiry-driven nature of its study. As a result it is an excellent qualification to support a wide range of professions, including law, management, business, the arts, media, journalism, the Civil Service, education and politics.

    YEAR 12

    Unit 1 – 60% (exam) – In Search of the American Dream: the USA, c.1917-1996

    Unit 2 – 40% (exam) – South Africa, 1948-1994: from Apartheid State to ‘Rainbow Nation

    YEAR 13

    Unit 3 – 60% (exam) – Britain: Losing and Gaining an Empire, 1763-1914

    Unit 4 – 40% (coursework) – The Middle East and the Arab Israeli Conflict: 1901-2000