History is essential to help shape our identities and gain a sense of our place in the world.   History at the Downs enables students to study the history of the UK since 1066 as well as that of other countries, leading to a greater understanding of the past and the world today.

We believe extra-curricular activities are an essential part of bringing History to life and organise trips to Hampton Court Palace, the First World War Battlefields and Rome.  In addition to this Year 9 have the opportunity to learn first-hand from a Holocaust Survivor and at Sixth Form level, students are given the opportunity to attend conferences to hear the views of leading historians on their related A Level topics.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

  • Historical Skills
  • Medieval Realms
  • The Tudors

Year 8

  • The Stuarts
  • The French Revolution
  • The Industrial Revolution

Year 9

  • World War One
  • The Holocaust
  • World War Two

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

Year 7 : The Making of the UK (SHP. ISBN 0-7195-8544-9)

Year 8 : Britain 1750-1900 (SHP. ISBN  0-7195-8546-5)

Year 9: The Twentieth Century World (SHP. ISBN  978-0719-58548-7)


New History GCSE September 2016

GCSE History (AQA Board)


Paper 1 - International Relations

Treaty of Versailles & League of Nations
Hitler's Foreign Policy
Cold War 1945-55

Paper 2 – Depth Studies

The Roaring 20s – The USA in the 1920s
Hitler's Germany, 1933-45
Race Relations in the USA 1945-68

Controlled Assessment

Source analysis of an area related to the First & Second World Wars

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

Medicine Through Time (Hodder Education ISBN 978-4718-6137-6)

Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588 (Hodder Education ISBN 978-1-4718-6181-9)

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919-1939 (Hodder Education ISBN  978-1-4718-6191-8)

Superpower Relations and The Cold War 1941-1919 (Hodder Education ISBN 978 1-4718-6184-0)

Advanced Level

AQA Board


Course Aims

The course offers students the opportunity to study History in breadth as well as in depth, to develop expertise in a variety of skills and to acquire and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the periods studied.

Entry Requirements

A Grade B in History at GCSE, an enjoyment of the subject and a genuine interest in furthering understanding of the past.

Course content (for students starting Year 12 in Sept 2014)

Year 12 Unit 1A – The Crusading Movement and the Latin East
Richard the Lionheart

Year 12 Unit 2K – A new Roman Empire?  Mussolini’s Italy
Benito Mussolini and Fascist blackshirts during the March on Rome in 1922

Year 13 Unit 3M – The Making of Modern Britain

Year 13 Unit 4 – Personal Investigation on the Civil Rights Movement

Course content (for students starting Year 12 in Sept 2015)

Students will study the same courses as above, with the exception of Mussolini’s Italy.  The three options will be spread out over the 2 year A-Level course. 


History is an extremely well respected subject that combines well with almost any other course.  It is often traditionally combined with English or other Humanities/Social Science subjects such as Geography, Politics and Economics.  However, it can also be used to add breadth to a mainly science/maths based programme of study.

Career and Higher Education Opportunities

As well as leading directly to a history course at university, History is also helpful for those thinking of a career in law, management, advertising, publishing, journalism, TV/radio programme research and the Civil Service.

Recommended text books, course guides and reference books

The American Revolution 1740-1796 (Hodder Education isbn 978-1-5104-1651-2)

Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 (Hodder Education isbn 978-1-4718-3894-1)

Britain 1930-1997 (Hodder Education isbn 978 -1-4718-3729-6)

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