History (Y7-13)

(GCSE exam board: AQA)

Subject Aims

History at Painsley Catholic College aims to provide students with an opportunity to embark on a chronological journey through time, making stops at the most prominent and important moments in history.As a department, we are passionate about encouraging students to develop an interest in the past and the way in which it has shaped the world that we now live in. We provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in numerous examples of human achievements, both British and worldwide, as well as being able to develop a sense of empathy when studying events of tragedy and catastrophe. We believe that the study of history is crucial in allowing students to develop into empathetic and tolerant young adults with a thirst for learning and research.Additionally, we aim to provide students with a number of transferable skills where they are able to interpret, analyse and evaluate a wide variety of contemporary and modern source materials. They will also be able to distinguish between historical facts and interpretations of those facts, ensuring an appreciation of how people living at the time viewed certain events/developments and the views of those writing in later years.Finally, students will learn a range of communication skills such as articulating ideas, formulating arguments and expressing opinion, while respecting and acknowledging the opinions and views of others.

Curriculum Overview


In Year 7, students begin their chronological journey through time in line with the National Curriculum. The areas of study include:

  • The Tolland Man mystery
  • The Battle of Hastings
  • Castles*
  • Becket, King John and the Magna Carta
  • The Wars of the Roses
  • The Tudors and Stuarts
  • Gunpowder Plot
  • Plague and Fire
  • English Civil War
  • Industrial Revolution

* Following the successful implementation of the curriculum ‘vehicle’ in the Autumn of 2019, we are pleased to be able to provide future Y7 students with the opportunity to enhance their subject knowledge through a variety of cross-curricular activities. During this unit, students will study Medieval Castles through a range of exciting activities such as a castle-building competition, fantasy castles league and designing and creating their own medieval shields. This knowledge will then be cemented through a school trip to Warwick Castle later on in the academic year.


Students will continue their chronological journey through time as they study modern historical events in line with the National Curriculum. The areas of study include:

  • Victorian crime and punishment
  • Titanic
  • World War One
  • The Russian Revolution
  • Germany in the 1920s and 30s
  • World War Two
  • The Holocaust
  • The Cold War
  • Cuban missile crisis
  • Assassination of JFK
  • The swinging 1960’s
  • American civil rights movement
  • Roots of terrorism

KS4 (Y9, Y10 & Y11)

Here at Painsley Catholic College, we offer students a 3-year GCSE course which follows the AQA History GCSE syllabus. This allows students to develop a rich understanding of the units we study, as well as providing ample opportunity for consolidation, assessment and progress. The areas of study include:

Conflict and tension: the inter-war years, 1918-1939

This module studies the time from the end of WW1 to the start of WW2 and examines how events in Europe led to a repeat of the conflict that European powers had been so adamant they would avoid. This paper includes questions which assess students on their knowledge and their ability to analyse and interpret sources.

  • Treaty of Versailles
  • League of Nations
  • Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Germany 1980-1945: Democracy and dictatorship

This module looks at Germany from 1890 and how democracy grew following their defeat in WW1. It then looks at how the Great Depression which occurred during the 1930s impacted Germany and ultimately aided Hitler in being able to secure his position as dictator. This paper includes questions which assess students on their knowledge and their ability to analyse and interpret sources.

  • Germany and the growth of democracy
  • Germany and the Great Depression
  • The experiences of Germans under the Nazis

Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

This module is a breadth study where students cover a one-thousand-year period of history looking at the way in which medicine has developed over time. The main areas for focus are identifying change and continuity throughout the period and identifying the factors which have contributed to medical progress. This paper includes questions which assess students on their knowledge and their ability to analyse and interpret sources.

  • Medieval medicine and the role of the Church
  • The influence of the Renaissance on medical progress
  • 19th Century medicine
  • Modern medicine

Norman England, c1066-1100

 This module is a depth study where students will study the arrival of the Normans in England and the establishment of their rule. Students will focus on these events from economic, religious, political, social and cultural perspectives. Additionally, they will study a variety of arising contemporary and historical controversies. This paper includes questions which assess students on their knowledge and their ability to analyse and interpret sources as well as a historic site study which changes annually.

  • The Normans: conquest & control
  • Life under the Normans
  • The Norman Church and monasticism
  • The historic environment of Norman England

KS5 (Y12 & Y13)

During their time at our Sixth Form, students will complete three units across two years. The course follows the AQA syllabus and consists of two units of examinations and one unit which is coursework.

Revolution and dictatorship: Russia, 1917-53

This option provides for the study in depth of the coming and practice of communism in Russia. It explores concepts such as Marxism, communism, Leninism, and Stalinism, ideological control and dictatorship. It also enables students to consider issues of political authority, the power of individuals and the inter-relationship of governmental and economic and social change.

The Russian Revolution and the Rise of Stalin, 1917-1929

    • Dissent and Revolution, 1917
    • Bolshevik consolidation, 1918-1924
    • Stalin’s rise to power, 1924-1929
  • Stalin’s Rule, 1929-1953
    • Economy and society, 1929-1941
    • Stalinism, politics and control, 1929-1941
    • The Great Patriotic War and
    • Stalin’s Dictatorship, 1941-1953

The Tudors: England, 1485-1603

This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period. Additionally, students will study in detail the Tudor monarchy and government, relations with foreign powers and securing succession, English society and economy, intellectual and religious ideas and change as well as the role of key individuals and how they were affected by developments.

  • Dynasty: England, 1485-1547
    • Henry VII, 1485-1509
    • Henry VIII, 1509-1547
  • England: turmoil and triumph, 1547-1603
    • Instability and consolidation: ‘the Mid-Tudor Crisis’, 1547-1563
    • The triumph of Elizabeth, 1563-1603

Historical investigation: ‘The changing position of women in Britain from 1860-1960’.

Students have to complete a non-examination assessment (NEA) which includes the study and analysis of primary sources and historians’ interpretations in the format of a written essay of no more than 4500 words. This unit will set students in excellent stead for future higher education assessments.


Subject staff

Mrs L. Brown – Head of Department

Mrs L. Stanway – Second in Department

Mrs T. Parton – History teacher

Mrs L. Taylor – History teacher

Miss M. Nicholson – History teacher

Miss A. Byatt – History teacher


Useful links


BBC Bitesize KS3 –

Spartacus Educational –

John D. Clare –

Ducksters –



AQA GCSE History –

John D. Clare –

Seneca Learning –

BBC Bitesize: The interwar years –

BBC Bitesize: Germany, 1890-1945 –

BBC Bitesize: Medicine through time –

BBC Teach: Medicine through time –

BBC Bitesize: The Norman Conquest –


AQA A-Level History –

Seneca Learning –



History club

Once a week, students from all year groups are invited to History club where students interact with a chosen area of history that has been chosen by our history ambassadors. This will often be a subject that is not on the National Curriculum in order to give students the opportunity to widen their historical knowledge as well as pursue areas of interest.  During history club, students will be looking towards creating board games, posters and watch historical films in order to facilitate their interest in history.

Ambassador opportunity

The history department are also pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for students with a passion for history to be able to apply to become a history ambassador. The successful applicants will be responsible for assisting the running of history club, providing extra support to students from other year groups as well as ensuring the history classrooms remain stimulating and appealing environments to facilitate learning.

School trips

We offer a number of opportunities for students in all year groups to take their learning outside of the classroom and gain cultural capital. For the upcoming academic year, the department are looking to facilitate the trips below for students:

Y7 – Warwick Castle

Y8 – Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre

Y10 – Thackray Medical Museum

– Krakow (residential visit)

KS5 – Hampton Court Palace


Learning Journey

History Learning Journey

Curriculum Statement


Main School Open Evening

Please join us on Wednesday, 11th September at 6pm.

Click here to register your interest.

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