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Newfield's History department aims to enthuse and inspire students in the study of the past. We believe that history plays an important part in the school curriculum, covering important historical events which shape the world we live in today. History develops understanding of the values we live with in British society and how these have been developed. Importantly, history enables pupils to develop a range of valuable skills such as critical thinking, evaluation of sources of evidence and effective communication.

Lower School Curriculum

Students in lower school study chronological topics of British, European and World History in overviews and in depth. We aim to try to give students a foundation in understanding key events in history from the Medieval to Modern periods.

Topics studied in Year 7 include:

  • The Battle of Hastings and Norman control of England
  • Interpretations of Robin Hood
  • The Black Death
  • Castles from 1066 to the Tudors
  • Tudor Monarchs
  • Life in Elizabethan England
  • Slavery and Abolition
  • The British Empire
  • The Industrial Revolution

Topics studied in Year 8 include:

  • World War I and Trench warfare
  • The campaign for women’s suffrage
  • Hitler's rise to power and life in Nazi Germany
  • The Holocaust
  • World War II
  • Civil rights post 1945

Upper School Curriculum

All students at upper school study towards the same GCSE in History. This is a popular option at Newfield and part of the EBacc qualification.

Exam Specification Details

We currently follow the Edexcel exam board specification for GCSE History. This has three exams which are all taken at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment

  • Medicine in Britain, c1250–present
  • The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.

Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes

30%* of the qualification 

52 marks (16 for the historic environment, 36 for the thematic study)

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study

  •  Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
  • The American West 1835-95

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes

40%* of the qualification

64 marks (32 for the period study and 32 for the British depth study)

Paper 3: Modern depth study

Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes

30%* of the qualification

52 marks

More detailed information can be found at http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/history-2016.html

Helpful Revision

Students have homework every week which focusses on revising knowledge from previous lessons, preparing students for upcoming lessons or exam skills.

The History department has created revision materials for each exam paper tailored to the different question types. The new GCSE (9-1) has a large emphasis on knowledge, so students really need to learn the content of their lessons.

Suggested techniques for revising knowledge include:

  1. Answering quizzes and then testing yourself on them
  2. Creating your own quizzes from key pieces of information
  3. Making mind maps on key topics or themes
  4. Creating notecards
  5. Repetition! Revisiting notes and checking again and then again! Some students put posters/key notes on their bedroom walls to see often.

Two of the topics are covered on BBC Bitesize – Elizabethan England and Weimar and Nazi Germany https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/zw4bv4j

We have ordered Pearson’s revision guides which we will sell to students in school.

Extracurricular opportunities

We have run two successful overseas visits in the past four years; one to Normandy and one to Ypres. We are taking Year 10 students to Ypres in July this year. This will be repeated the following year.