History

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
Marcus Garvey

Excellent grades with 50% of Year 13 pupils achieving A*.

Pupils enjoy a range of interesting trips in the UK and beyond.

Pupils develop a wide range of transferable skills that are attractive to universities.

Pupils learn to engage with, and respond to, events in the world around them.

We aim to enthuse pupils with a love of history whilst providing them with a range of universally relevant skills.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 is taught in ability-set groups, it follows a chronological framework starting with the Medieval Period in Year 7.

 

In short, the Department aims to produce pupils with a good overview of British history and detailed knowledge about some of its most important events and trends as well as an awareness of how the world in which they live has been shaped. We seek to develop transferable skills and an enjoyment of history which will continue long after their formal studies have ended.

Key Stage 3 topics include:

  • Williams’ invasion
  • The murder of Archbishop Becket
  • Black Death
  • Peasants’ revolt
  • The rise of Islamic empires
  • The Renaissance
  • Tudors
  • Stuarts
  • Black Peoples of the Americas
  • Industrial Revolution
  • The causes of the First World War
  • The causes of the Second World War
  • The Home Front
  • The atomic bomb

GCSE

Pupils follow the Edexcel History course and are assessed with written examinations at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment
(1 hour 15 minutes, 30% of grade)

Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000 – present.
The Crime and Punishment unit gives pupils an excellent overview of British society and government over the last one-thousand years using crime and punishment as a linking theme.

Pupils consider how British society developed over time and how government responses to crime changed in reaction to new social, religious and political attitudes. Pupils investigate changes such as the impact of William the Conqueror on Saxon justice, as well as issues such as trial by ordeal, witchcraft, smuggling, the ‘Bloody Code’, prison reform, the introduction of a police force and, more recently, responses to drugs and the abolition of the death penalty.

Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city
This unit is an exciting focus on East-End London in the late nineteenth-century. Pupils learn about inner-city life, poverty, immigration, crime and vice, policing and the popular press with the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders as a linking case study.

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study
(1 hour 45 minutes, 40% of grade)

Early Elizabethan England, 1558 – 88
This unit focuses on the religious, social, cultural and military experience of early Elizabethan England.

Pupils first study Elizabeth’s largely successful response to the massive religious divisions in England in the aftermath of Henry VIII’s Reformation. Pupils also investigate England’s relations with Europe – including the Spanish Armada – and the start of England’s global exploration and empire. All this at a time when England was led by possibly England’s greatest monarch and Shakespeare’s plays were first performed to packed theatre audiences.

British America, 1713 – 83: empire and revolution
This unit focuses on the fascinating story of Britain’s relations with its America Colonies and the War of Independence which brought the United States into existence.

Pupils first study piracy, the experience of Native Americans and the impact of the slave trade. Pupils also investigate how relations between Britain and her colonies deteriorated from magnificent victory over the French in the ‘Seven Years War’ to the Declaration of Independence, war and ultimately British defeat.

Paper 3: Modern depth study
(1 hour 20 minutes, 30% of grade)

The USA, 1954 – 75: conflict at home and abroad
This unit focuses on the story of the United States’ divisive post-World War II experience. Pupils study how Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights movement campaigned peacefully for equality for Black Americans but also the violent and racist response which encouraged the Black Power Movement to advocate more extreme tactics.

Pupils also study America’s descent into war in Vietnam and its negative military outcomes. Alongside this pupils study how opposition to war electrified a generation into political, social and musical opposition!

A Level History

History is a very popular A Level choice; as well as being extremely interesting, the qualification is highly respected by universities for a wide variety of courses.

Course requirements

There are no specific requirements in terms of GCSE qualifications but the course does require extensive reading and extended writing both for notes and essays. Dedicated and determined students have successfully taken History without having studied it at GCSE.

Course content and methodology

The units studied focus on political and social revolution to build a picture of crucial developments in early modern and modern world history. Topic areas are:

  • Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702;
  • France in Revolution, 1774–1815;
  • German foreign policy (expansionism and aggression?), 1845-1945.

The department uses a wide variety of resources alongside respected text books including video resources and some internet sites as well as diaries, letters, pictures, posters and other contemporary sources. In addition the department has a growing library of books and a large number of academic articles are available particularly to assist students with their coursework.

Assessment

Assessment is by examination (80%) and coursework (20%). Exam questions focus on historian’s interpretations, contemporary sources and concepts such as significance, cause and effect and change and continuity. In general students are required to analyse and evaluate information and make supported judgements.

Unit 1: Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603-1702
(2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of grade)

Unit 2: France in Revolution, 1774-1815
(2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of grade)

Unit 3: German foreign policy, 1845-1945
(coursework, 20% of grade)

Supporting Advanced Performance

The Advanced Performance Team, led by our Director of Studies, seeks to advise staff on how we – as a teaching body – can identify, monitor and experientially enhance the educational opportunities of able, gifted and talented pupils at  Lincoln Minster School.

How do we cater for AP students in History?

In History we set extended research leading to presentation and provide reading lists with extension reading for AP students. We also vary the difficulty of questions / higher order questions particularly for G+T pupils / students.

Students investigate complex concepts and AP students are set more challenging extension tasks. In group-work use mixed ability groups with AP students leading.

We use some ability setting to encourage deeper thinking and use of more complex concepts and evidence. We also encourage the asking of questions and making links between societies and time periods.

Encouraging Advanced Performance outside of lessons

  • History library in room 314 and on the VLE with a large range of books, journal articles and scanned chapters, etc. to extend knowledge and deepen understanding.
  • Subscriptions to journals for GCSE and A-Level History.
  • Guest speakers, for example a visit and talk from theSt.AndrewsUniversity History Admissions Director.
  • Cambridge University visit including the opportunity for students to speak to a Cambridge History graduate.
  • Visit to the Palace of Westminster to tour the Houses of Lords and Commons and to participate in a question and answer session with Lincoln’s MP,MrKarl McCartney.
  • Visits to History Conferences to listen to leading academics in our A-Level study areas including Professor William Doyle (French Revolution) and Professor Christopher Read and DrChris Ward (Stalin’s USSR).

Beyond Lincoln Minster School

 

Other than the remarkable human stories in the events we investigate, studying History gives an opportunity to develop skills that are important in other subjects at school, in Higher Education, at work and in life generally.

Pupils develop skills in writing clearly structured, well expressed and fully focused answers. In Higher Education, whether in humanities, social sciences, finance-based courses or sciences clear expression and logical arguments in extended writing are vital for success.

Pupils also use evidence to present a balanced argument and then make our own supported judgements. Whether in business, when making a case for investment, law, accountancy or many other walks of life, these skills are crucial. Pupils practice using a variety of sources of information to reach and present our conclusions; History helps to develop important research and presentation skills.

Pupils learn to consider the reliability of information. There are millions of web sites immediately available over the internet but which should we trust and which should we challenge? Skills developed in History help to identify unreliable sources of information.

History is considered to be a ‘keystone’ subject by leading universities because it has real academic rigour and the skills it develops are applicable to any academic course.

The skills learned in History are important in law, accounting, business and management generally where decisions have to be investigated, weighed up and justified.

History is a great A-Level for progression into humanities and social science courses at university, such as History, Law, English and Economics. However it is by no means restricted to being useful for these courses alone.

History is also appropriate for students thinking of studying medicine or sciences at university: such students have been some of our most successful candidates. History’s depth, variety and challenging nature means that the skills you learn from History A-Level will remain with you no matter what you choose to study at a higher level.

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