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Aims & Philosophy of the History Department

The History Department at QM seeks to help students understand the present day through a curriculum that incorporates some of the most important and fascinating events from British and world history.  The programme of study has been carefully designed to develop student understanding of the medieval, early modern and modern periods and thus ensure that students are equipped with a broad chronological sweep as well as familiarising them with the key concepts associated with each period.

At the same time, the department systematically develops the transferable skills that earn History its reputation as an academic and rigorous subject highly esteemed by employers and universities alike.  For example, students develop their ability to write analytically in extended pieces, handle evidence critically, research and present material about the past, articulate substantiated judgements about historical characters and events and assess the relative merits of different interpretations.

Finally, the department recognises the value that trips bring for students’ historical understanding and is proud to be offering a range of ambitious trips both in the UK and abroad in the coming years.

Overview of Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Years I and II, the emphasis of teaching is primarily focused on British history from 1066 to the 20th century.  The aim is to help students understand life in Britain today and our place in the world.  International history features in the curriculum when it has particular relevance for understanding British history.  For example, the French Revolution is studied for its profound impact on the development of liberal thought in the western world and a study of transatlantic slavery in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries helps to shed light on the remarkable economic growth of Britain during the Industrial Revolution.

Every lesson is built around a particular historical enquiry which helps to inculcate a genuine enthusiasm for the subject amongst our younger students and helps them to see History as a dynamic and engaging subject.  Furthermore, the department employs an innovative assessment model in which progression is defined as increasingly rigorous levels of thinking across the core skills.  Using our easy to follow assessment grid, students can see their current level of performance in each area as well as their targets for improvement.  By the end of the Key Stage, students are in a strong position to understand their suitability for the GCSE course.

What makes the department unique from those at other schools?

Mr Rollinson’s role as a committee member of the York Historical Association, enables QM to host an annual lecture by a distinguished historian.  Such visits give the girls a valuable insight not only into relevant topics for their exams, but also the process and passion that underpins the work of actual professional historians shaping debate in their fields.

To learn about the History Department curriculum
in other Key Stages please choose a link