History and Politics

classOur aims in History:

The History and Politics department at Bishop Walsh seeks primarily to encourage students to have enthusiasm for appreciating and studying the past. We want to challenge our students to grow and progress in their historical knowledge, skills and understanding. The department is also committed to encouraging excellence for all by our belief that we should strive and cater appropriately for the needs of every History student at all times and by having consistently high expectations. Allied to this is the important need for all students and teachers to celebrate student achievement wherever possible. We believe that students have an entitlement to interesting, stimulating, varied and effective teaching. We also, of course, seek to deliver basic student entitlements regarding the development of key skills such as literacy, oracy, ICT, application of number, independent learning, working with others and study skills. In order to realise our departmental aims we use a wide variety of methods and strategies. We are a committed self-reviewing department and as a consequence we are continually evolving in our approaches.

Teaching methods

History lessons involve a variety of teaching and learning styles in order to bring the subject to life. ICT and visual sources are often used and pupils will often find themselves working closely in groups to investigate various periods of History. The variety of methods used are aimed at encouraging the development of pupils historical skills and their ability to work and communicate their ideas with others.

How are the pupils assessed?

Pupils complete key assessments each year, these assessments focus on fundamental historical skills such as; uses of sources, interpretation and extended writing on historical issues to demonstrate knowledge and understanding. Pupils work is marked regularly according to the whole school marking policy using positively assess pupils’ strengths and areas for improvement. Assessment for Learning is a key element to the process with pupils encouraged to reflect on their attainment and setting appropriate targets for improvement

History is not just the accepted tales about our past, the body of knowledge that British people are expected to know. History is also the process by which we encounter, consider and eventually understand that past. Consequently our pupils do not learn a collection of disparate narratives about the great and good, they handle evidence, draw conclusions, evaluate competing interpretations and use a variety of ways to communicate their conclusions.

Key Stage 3 History

Pupils in KS3 are taught in mixed ability and follow schemes of work in line with the History National Curriculum. Pupils in Year 7 follow a comparative study of living conditions, empires and diversity and power and conflict in medieval society, they then move onto exploring the changes of Britain during the reformation period. In Year 8 students study Britain from 1750-1900, this includes the industrial revolution, development of health. Pupils complete their Key Stage 3 history lessons with an in-depth investigation of the turbulent events of the twentieth century.



Key stage 4

Pupils in KS4 are taught in sets by mixed ability. History is an option subject at key stage 4 and has been one of the most popular options for a number of years at Bishop Walsh. Pupils study the OCR syllabus in which they examine Germany in the interwar period from Weimar to the rise of the Nazis in year 10. Year 11 focuses on Medicine through time where pupils explore the development of medicine from the prehistoric era through to the Greeks all the way to the 20th century. The scheme of work focuses on building on pupils historical skills that they have developed in KS3 and pushing their learning through. Pupils’ also complete coursework where they investigate Ludlow castle and then go onto explore Northern Ireland. This is completed in year 10.

Key Stage 5

Student at KS5 are given the opportunity to explore topics they have not explore during KS3 & KS4. These include; Vietnam and Korea through to Civil Rights in America. Students are again building on skills they have developed and applying them to more complex concepts. Pupils also complete a coursework unit and have the option of following a unit looking at Germany from Kaiser to Fuhrer. Throughout the A Level course students build up their knowledge and apply their analytical skills to form arguments based on evidence and views of contemporary historians. This develops the skills students will need in further education.