The principal aim of the History and Politics department is to encourage interest in, and enjoyment of, the past. Students should be inspired and stimulated by the teaching they receive and they will be encouraged to widen their historical knowledge and develop skills which will serve them not only in history but in other subject areas.
The department believes that students should be encouraged to think for themselves to create inquisitive and critical citizens for the future. Students will explore relevant questions which will show the importance of the past and they will become independent lifelong learners with an appetite for history even if they do not pursue the subject beyond year 9. With this in mind, a wide programme of clubs and enrichment opportunities are available for Stretford Grammar School History Students.
Meet the team:
Ms H Conlin Head of History and Politics
Mr J Broome Teacher of History and Politics
Ms S Alderson Teacher of Humanities
There is an extensive programme of trips which includes visits to the Houses of Parliament, A trip to a medieval castle site, the Battlefields, Krakow, and the USA. Closer to home we also include a trip to Manchester for a local study, the Black Country Museum, The Imperial War Museum and the Maritime Museum in Liverpool. Students have attended University lectures and also interviewed visitors. Students are encouraged to take part in the debate club.
What will be taught?
History is a skills-based subject. The course is designed to build on the skills established at KS2 in Primary school, and to extend and improve students’ ability to identify patterns, explain changes and analyse and understand the past using an increasingly wide and carefully selected variety of techniques. The new GCSE and A level courses require a greater emphasis on memory and extensive subject knowledge.
Key stage 3:
Key Stage 4: GCSE
AQA Modern World Syllabus from September 2016
Lessons will be a mixture of discussion, written work and group work. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding and explanations as well as source evaluation skills. They will be able to relate many of the current events in the world to what we study. There is no coursework option but students are required to carry out an historical visit in preparation for the examination. Students will be assessed by examination only, there is no coursework.
Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes – 50%
Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes – 50%
America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality: This period study focuses on the development of the USA during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the ‘American Dream’ whilst others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination and prejudice.
Conflict and tension, 1990–2009: This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different groups, races, nations and rogue states. It focuses on conflict in the Gulf and Afghanistan and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose.
Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day: This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place.
Medieval England – the reign of Edward I, 1272–1307: This option allows students to study in depth Medieval England and the reign of Edward I. The depth study will focus on the major events of the reign of Edward considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoint, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
Key Stage 5: A level
Edexcel Route H: Democracies in change from September 2015
Paper 1: Britain transformed, 1918-97 (Ms Conlin)
Paper 2: The USA, 1955-92: conformity and challenge (Mr Broome)
Paper 3: Protest agitation and parliamentary reform in Britain, 1780-1928 (Ms Conlin)
Coursework (Mr Broome)
Unit 1: Paper 1 Britain transformed, 1918–97
This option is a study of Britain as it emerged from the First World War and how it faced the challenges of Irish independence, working-class protest and votes for women. We will also explore the British response to the challenges of the twentieth century such as the General Strike (1926), the abdication crisis (1936), the Blitz (1940), the birth of the National Health Service (1948), the Suez Crisis (1956), the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and the election of the first woman Prime Minister (1979) to name just a few events.
Unit 2: The USA, 1955-1992: Conformity and challenge.
This option comprises a study in depth of the USA in the years 1955–92, from post-1945 affluence, through racial and political protests in the 1960s, to the rise of right-wing groups in the 1980s and the development of bitter divisions between Democrats and Republicans.
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges posed to the American political system by popular protests and different styles of leadership, and the effects on society of widespread economic, social and cultural change.
Unit 3: Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform, c1780–1928
This option gives students the opportunity to explore the ways in which protest and agitation impacted on British society c1780–1928, and its success in bringing about change. Lasting change in most cases involved parliament and so parliamentary reform, and the increase in the numbers of people able to decide who should represent them.
Aspects in breadth: changes in representation in England, c1780–1928
Aspects in depth: mass protest and agitation
Unit 4: Coursework: Independent Project
The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment.
The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians.
How will Students be assessed?
Students at Key stage 3 are assessed by marked homework, termly common assessments, project tasks and end of year exams. Pupils are introduced to the types of questions they will encounter at GCSE in year 7 so they can build on their skills and face the demands of examinations with ease.
There are also opportunities for less traditional forms of assessment through, for example, co-operative group work on projects such as designing historical board games and creating reports and DVDs.
GCSE classes have a balanced focus on content and skills and students will begin exam style question practise straight away.
The emphasis at KS5 in History and politics focuses around the students’ knowledge and understanding as well as their ability to write essays and evaluate sources, arguments to reach focused and reasoned judgements which address the complex questions that are set in the examinations. Students will be expected to extend their lessons and home works with wide reading and independent study as well as watching current affairs and news programmes. Students will be formally assessed every fortnight.
All homework will be accessible for students on Show my homework: https://www.showmyhomework.co.uk/
In Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in their form groups; in years 10 and 11 they are mixed up into slightly smaller classes which are mixed. Key stage 3 groups have three periods of timetabled History a fortnight; years 10 and 11 have five. Year 12 have 8 lessons and Year 13 have 9 a fortnight.
How can you help at home?
The question we are most frequently asked by parents is how they can support their child’s progress in History and Politics at home. It’s really easy! Below are some of our top tips:
What should my child be reading and watching?
There is so much out there to read and see which is connected to History. The greatest literature and the greatest stories are steeped in history. The best thing is to read. This can be the internet but students have become over reliant in this form of information and we recommend a variety of books. The library at school has an extensive collection and the horrible histories series provide a good starting point. However, the more reading the better!
There are a number of quality websites: