Department Overview

History at Alderbrook is taught by 4 subject specialists whose areas of expertise cover a wide range of historical periods. We are committed to inspiring our students to take an active interest in the history of both Britain and the Wider World during their time at Alderbrook, and on into the future.


The modern workplace increasingly demands the skills of the historian: the ability to understand change, to communicate effectively and to make judgements after assessing all the available information.

The Which Subject, Which Career? report comments,

“historians are regarded as having had an education that trains their minds to assemble, organise and present facts and opinions … history is an excellent preparation for very many other jobs”


Personal Development

History gives us an understanding of the present and another point of view from which to consider our own lives. The examples of the past can both inspire us and warn us in our lives today.

History helps us to boost confidence in our own judgement. It helps us to develop and then defend our own opinions.



Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students are placed in mixed ability groups. Students cover a range of historical periods that equip them for success in the skills required for their GCSEs. Year 7 and 8 follow a chronological study of British and world History.

Year 7

Autumn Term 1: Introduction to History / Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?

Autumn Term 2: How did William Control England? / Why was the Church so important in Medieval England?

Spring Term 1: The death of Thomas Becket / King John and the Magna Carta

Spring Term 2: Life in Medieveal England

Summer Term 1: Life in Tudor Britain and the role of Tudor monarchs in British History

Summer Term 2: How did the Industrial Revolution impact on Britain?

Year 8

Autumn Term 1: Slavery to Civil Rights. How far did the life of black people change in the 19th and 20th century

Autumn Term 2: The causes of World War One

Spring Term 1: Life during World War One, the Suffragettes and Votes for Women

Spring Term 2: Life in Nazi Germany

Summer Term 1: The Holocaust and its impact on Europe

Summer Term 2: Battles of World War 2


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 History groups are mixed ability.


Year 9

Autumn Term 1 and 2: Students learn about unsolved events in History and develop key GCSE skills through reaching their own substantiated judgement. Here are just some of the topics:

–              Was Oliver Cromwell a villain?

–              Who was Jack the Ripper? How did the Police try to solve these horrific crimes of the first recorded serial killer? Did they stand a chance without modern day forensic techniques?

–              Who caused the Titanic to sink?

Spring Term 1 and 2: Britain Health and the People:  From the superstitions of Medieval England to the modern wonders of DNA & genetic medicine. Students explore how medicine changed, and what factors and individuals made this possible.

Summer Term 1 and 2: America, 1920 – 1973: Opportunity and inequality – How far did the US economy boom in the 1920s? / How far did US society change in the 1920s? What were the causes and consequences of the Wall Street Crash? / How successful was the New Deal? (Half of content)

Year 10

Autumn Term 1 and 2: America, 1920 – 1973: Opportunity and inequality – How did life improve for different groups in Post war American Society? African Americans and Women.

Spring Term 1 and 2: Conflict and Tension, 1918 – 1939: Students explore the changing international relations from 1918 to the outbreak of war in 1939 (half of content).

Summer Term 1 and 2: Conflict and Tension, 1918 – 1939: Students continue to explore the changing international relations from 1918 to the outbreak of war in 1939 (half of content).

Year 11

Autumn Term 1 and 2: Elizabethan England: 1568 – 1603: Elizabeth’s court and parliament.

Spring Term 1 and 2: Elizabethan England: 1568 – 1603: Life in Elizabethan times and Elizabethan foreign policy.

Summer Term 1: Exam preparation / Revision


Extra-Curricular Opportunities

In recent years, there has been dramatic change to the subject knowledge taught at GCSE. As such, the History Department strives to ensure that extra curricular opportunities enrich the subject matter learnt in the classroom.

At GCSE we have introduced a medical museum trip. This opportunity allows students to travel back to the dirty streets of Leeds in 1842 to explore life among the grime and the bedbugs, meet the characters who live there and discover what was making them ill. Students also enter the frightening world of surgery before the discovery of pain relief and anaesthetics and explore the tools of the Victorian surgeon. This trip links strongly to the Britain Health and the people module that students study.


Skills for Success and Career Opportunities

History is a highly academic GCSE that requires a high level of literacy coupled with key critical thinking skills. As such it is applicable to a wide range of professions. History acts as a great platform for careers in Politics, the Civil Service, Law, the Media and Education amongst many others.

At Alderbrook School, the History Department prides itself on developing  a number of skills for success. These are as follows:

  • Reflectiveness through developing a greater sensitivity of global concerns which is mapped across the entire curriculum.
  • Respect of others such as a respect of other peoples’ cultures, religion and value system as well as the consequences of intolerance e.g. Slavery, Holocaust and Suffragettes.
  • Critical Thinking through making historical judgements about key historical debates. For example the quality of leadership of world leaders.
  • Analysing facts, data and situations through historical analysis. This can include evaluating the reasons why individuals hold different historical interpretations and the usefulness of this.


Contact the Head of Department/Faculty

For further information, please contact the Curriculum Development Leader for History Mr J. Harrison