Head of Department: Ms J. Wood
“The function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of the present”.
History is the study of people. It is an exploration of their strengths, their weaknesses, their successes, and, above all, their impact on those around them. By studying the world that has gone before us, we begin to see how it has shaped the world around us. Through the study of History, we can develop an understanding of human behaviour, and learn to question accepted ideas, developing and sustaining arguments in order to gain a true understanding of the world we live in and our part within it. We learn how to appreciate different opinions and understand the purpose of people’s actions. We identify patterns, challenge orthodoxies and form opinions. In sum, we develop a full understanding of all that surrounds us.
We aim to not only provide our students not only with a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the past, but also to enable them to think critically about the world around them. Students should expect to be challenged in their lessons and in their set homework pieces, both academically and in terms of their character; we believe that the study of history is key to the development of every child’s ability to empathise with others and remain resilient in the face of challenge.
Key Stage 3 students at Laureate Academy study a rigorous historical curriculum, specially designed by our sponsor, Future Academies. This scheme of study has been built around a core structure of historical knowledge and disciplinary concepts that students will utilise at Key Stage 3, GCSE and beyond. Using a chronological framework, students explore not just British history, but also global history, such as the Holocaust, the American and French Revolutions and the Islamic Golden Age. At the end of Year 9, we hope that students will have fostered a passion for the subject, and we expect them to have developed a wide-ranging and in-depth knowledge of the last thousand years of history, both of their local area and of the wider world.
In Year 7, students study the development of England, exploring how it developed from an insignificant Roman colony into a European power. They will explore medieval kingship, warfare, revolt and development up until the Wars of the Roses and the start of the early modern period.
In Year 8, students study the Tudor dynasty, following on from the Wars of the Roses, focusing on religious conflict, before delving into the Stuarts and the Civil War, evaluating the Restoration period and the Enlightenment. Students complete the year by considering the Glorious Revolution, focusing on the change in Britain to a constitutional monarchy.
In Year 9, the focus is on changes in power and European conflict. Students begin by studying the industrial revolution and 19th century reforms, considering the suffragette movement as a case study. They will explore both the First and Second World War and complete the year by considering the theme of prosperity and extremes in the 20th century.
At GCSE, students study a wide-range of historical periods. The AQA History specification is specifically designed to equip students with a range of both knowledge and skills. This is achieved through the study of a period study, a thematic study, a wider world study and a British depth study. This encompasses Norman England, a study of medicine and health over time, the political history of Germany from 1890 to 1939 and European conflict throughout the first half of the 20th century.
At A-Level students study 3 separate topics as part of the Edexcel A-Level. This includes a study of Russia between 1917–91. Through this, students will learn about the key political, social and economic features of communist rule in Russia during the twentieth century. This is an era that saw its authority and influence rise to the status of a superpower, only to diminish and decline later in the century. Students also study Mao’s China from 1949–76.
They learn of the story of China from the Civil War to the death of Mao in 1976. This is of high importance as the aftershocks of these changes are still being felt today as China emerges as a great economic and political power on the world stage. We use the themes of political, social and economic change to shape the course and students use these to understand how things changed over time. Finally, students engage in Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485–1603.
Pupils learn about the nature of rebellion and disorder under the Tudors and the way the various challenges were met, the nature of change in government over the period and the changing relationship between the Crown and key sections of society. Through lessons students are taught to explore the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has seen.