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Bourne Grammar School


In History, our curriculum is challenging and engaging, and it is a popular option for our students at both GCSE and A-Level.

We ensure that, whilst learning about events in History, our students are developing and improving their historical skills. As such, they become proficient at evaluating the causes and consequences of these events. We also teach our students to effectively analyse sources and the interpretations of historians.

Year 7

At the beginning of the year, students are introduced to sources and interpretations by studying the Vikings and Alfred the Great. They are encouraged to use sources to develop their own interpretations of the past.

We spend the rest of terms one and two learning about the events of 1066 and the Norman Conquest. Students are assessed by testing their knowledge, and by writing extended answers to GCSE-style questions – the first of which is, ‘Why did William of Normandy win the Battle of Hastings?’

By the end of term two, students will have decided how far England had changed under the Normans. One popular lesson involves the detailed study of the Bourne and local villages entry in the Domesday Book.

The remainder of Year 7 is dedicated to the study of Medieval England and the Tudors. Students are encouraged to think and work independently, and to make informed judgements about the social and political impact of the middle ages and early modern period. Students are also encouraged to think about how kingship changed during the medieval period by comparing the monarchs they study.

Year 8

After learning about the Stuarts, Year 8 students study the English Civil War – sources are used extensively to develop their impressions of the war.

Next, we find students engage particularly strongly with our series of lessons on the impact of the British Empire, with case studies that analyse the pros and cons of the Empire on its colonies. This is followed by related units on slavery and the Industrial Revolution.

As always, we develop historical skills within the context of these events, and assess their progress using GCSE style questions.

The final third of Year 8 is dedicated to World War One, specifically the causes of the war, trench warfare and conscientious objectors.

Year 9

Year 9 starts with World War Two. We consider how the end of World War One contributed to World War Two, as well as evaluating the other factors.

Students are also given the opportunity to research key battles and to evaluate the relative significance of these battles on the outcome of the war.

We also spend a series of lessons understanding the reasons for the Holocaust. Students find their studies on the Holocaust incredibly thought-provoking and are left with a lasting-impression on their thinking about stereotyping, prejudice and the need to never be indifferent to the persecution of others.

In the second half of Year 9, we bring our studies up to date by studying modern America – from the 1920s to the 1970s. At this point, we are embarking on the GCSE syllabus in order to give students a comprehensive understanding of the topic and the rigours of History at GCSE. It is of course an interesting, stand-alone topic that our Year 9s enjoy studying, including those who go on to choose other subjects at GCSE.

Years 10 and 11

We study AQA GCSE History, code 8145QF. The four topics are USA, 1920 – 1973, The First World War, Edward I & Medieval England and Power and the People, 800 years of the changing relationship between the State and the people of Britain.

Students are fully supported with challenging, varied lessons, regular assessments with feedback that maximises progress and a wealth of bespoke revision resources.

Years 12 and 13

At A-Level, our students take the OCR specification. We study, Medieval England from William the Conqueror to King John; Britain from 1930 to 1997, including an in-depth study of Winston Churchill; and the Cold War in East Asia. Students also complete coursework, a 4,000-word essay.

Lessons are interactive, full of lively debate and discussion, and we regularly set essays that develop the skills needed to excel in the A-Level examinations.