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Is History relevant? Does it connect with young people’s lives and interests? Absolutely!

History helps us understand who we are and where we have come from, why the world is the way it is and how we can make our way in the world and perhaps change it. It equips us to judge how much to believe of what we are told and how to reach our own decisions. Employers rate History highly because it trains students to analyse and reach conclusions based on a critical study of evidence: a key skill for any occupation. The stories are good too!

In their History lessons students develop important skills which prepare them for life acfter school. Skills of team working, problem solving and analysis. Coherent and clear literacy skills. Oral presentation skills. Organisation and the ability to prioritise. Working to deadline and under pressure. Independence and ability to identify relevant and appropriate information. As well as the skills of being a historian.

History is popular in George Mitchell School and many students at George Mitchell choose to do a History GCSE.

GCSE History

At GCSE, we study the Edexcel 9-1 History. The new GCSE is 100% examination and students sit three exams covering 4 topics at the end of Year 11.

Our chosen topics are:

Paper 1: British Thematic Study with Historic Environment

This paper is worth 30% of total GCSE.

Units Studied at George Mitchell School: Crime and Punishment in Britain c1000 to present with Whitechapel, c1870-1900: crime, policing and the inner city.

Paper 2 – Period Study and British Depth Study

This paper is worth 40% of total GCSE.

Units studied at George Mitchell School:  Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-95 and Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88

Paper 3 – Modern Depth Study

This paper is worth 30% of total GCSE.

Unit Studied at George Mitchell School: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39


Students studying GCSE History at George Mitchell have access to Edmodo a virtual learning site on which are extra study and revision material. We advise students to get the Revision Guides recommended by Edexcel – they can be obtained through the school. BBC bitesize also has excellent GCSE revision resources.

Please contact Ms Jeffery – Subject Leader for any further information about how to help your child revise for GCSE history – suzanne.jeffery@georgemitchellschool.co.uk

Key Stage 3 History

At Key Stage 3 we follow the National Curriculum and have aimed to ensure the work studied is engaging, diverse and wide-ranging. Students’ progress chronologically from Year 7 Medieval England, Year 8 Early Modern and 18th and 19th century. In Year 9 the curriculum moves into the 20th century. Students’s knowledge and understanding is assessed in a variety of ways, through knowledge-based tests, written assessments, project work and display work. We also aim to organise trips and activities outside of the classroom, which enhance students understanding and, give students an opportunity to learn in the historic environment.

Year 7: The development of church, state and society 1066-1509.

Students will begin year 7 by studying an archaeology project, focussing on the discovery of 52 skeletons at a hill fort, whose bones can be dated back to around AD 43. They will then study some of the changes to life in Britain during the Medieval Period Including:

  • The Norman Conquest in 1066 and its impacts on life in England
  • An overview of the changes and developments in life in the later medieval period.
  • The students will do an in-depth study of the impact of the Black Death and Peasants’ Revolt.

Year 8: the development of church, state and society 1509-1745.

In year 8 students will continue to examine changes to British society, beginning by learning about the impact of the renaissance on art, science, geography and literacy, before then learning about the impact of Martin Luther’s Protestant ideas on Christianity.

They will then use this knowledge to help them judge whether the English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I was a turning point.

They will do an indepth study of the scientific revolution.

Students will then research the great African medieval societies.

This knowledge will help give a deeper understanding to negative impact of British role in the slave trade triangle, before then learning about the movement to abolish slavery.

In Year 8 students will complete a local study with the topic changing yearly.

Year 9: Ideas, political power, industry and empire 1745-1901 and challenges to Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to present day.

In year 9, students will continue to examine Britain’s role in the world, beginning with the impact of industrialisation and empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.

They will then use their knowledge of industrialised societies to learn about the First World War, the first truly industrialised war. Students will also learn about the Russian Revolution and the impact it had on 20th century Europe.

Following this, students will finish year 9 by considering the way that a number of 20th century events and people have shaped the world we live in, including the Suffragette Movement, the Holocaust, the impact of the first atom bomb, dropped on Hiroshima. The arrival of and contribution of the Windrush generation and migration to the UK.

We try to ensure that as well as a good overview of the key periods identified by the national curriculum that we ensure that the rich cultural diversity of this country and the world is reflected throughout what we teach. The voices and experiences of women and men of African, Asian, European and American origin feature throughout all parts of the course.    

Further Resources

Would you like to learn about a topic yourself out of interest or help your child? Visit the History blogs to access resources and follow links to the best websites and video clips. You will find previous topics by clicking on past years and months.