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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School


‘History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on a map of human geography. It tells them where they are, but more importantly, where they must be.’ John Henrik Clarke

Head of department/faculty: Mrs N Ockerby

Introduction to Course 

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Subject content KS3

In KS3 students investigate:

  • Chronology
  • Different points of view and interpretations
  • Change and continuity
  • Categorising factors and reasons
  • Bias and reliability
  • Key turning points in history
  • How to make judgements based on sources

In year 7 students study:

  • 1066
  • The Norman Conquest
  • Castles
  • Religion and Life in the Middle Ages
  • England at War

In year 8:

  • Life in Tudor Times
  • Henry VIII
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • The Stuarts
  • England at War
  • Cromwell and the Restoration

In year 9:

  • Beginning of the 1900s
  • The Great War
  • The Rise of Hitler
  • WW2
  • The Cold War
  • Terrorism

Subject content KS4

The study of history at GCSE should inspire students to deepen their understanding of the people, periods and events studied and enable them to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, make informed decisions and develop perspective and judgement. This, in turn, will prepare them for a role as informed, thoughtful and active citizens. The discipline of history and a knowledge and understanding of the past will also help them to understand their own identity and significant aspects of the world in which they live, and provide them with the basis for further wider learning and study.

Studying history will allow your daughter to develop the following skills:

  • Source Analysis
  • Research Skills and Historical Enquiry
  • Communication Skills
  • Extended writing

The topics studied are:

  • Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39
  • Period Study: Superpower Relations and Crime and Punishment
  • Historic Environment: Whitechapel
  • British Study: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England

Exam board KS4: Edexcel GCSE History

Typical lesson activities

Lessons are taught using a range of enquiry approached learning, source work and literacy skills.

Contact details for any questions: