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History Department


“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

John F. Kennedy



Staff List

  • Sebastien Greenwood - Subject Leader
  • Huw Bradbury

At Harris Academy Peckham, History fires our students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It prepares our students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. It encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps students become confident and questioning individuals.

Students are formally assessed at least once every 6 weeks in a variety of different ways. This allows them to practice the skills that they will need for exam success and engage their minds in a creative way. Our aim is to nurture reflective learners and provide them with the tools to be outstanding in whatever they choose to do.


Key Stage 3

In history, pupils use a number of historical concepts and processes along with a range of content. Each half term students’ are

Concepts: chronological understanding; cultural, ethnic and religious diversity; change and continuity; cause and consequence; significance and interpretation.

Key processes: historical enquiry; using evidence and communicating about the past.
The range and content of study is outlined below.

Students in year 7 and 8 study History for one 60min lesson each week. In year 9 this increases to two 60min lessons. They follow schemes of work designed to incorporate both historical content and skills and methodology.

Year 7

  • History skills!
  • Why do we remember the Romans?
  • How far did the Norman Conquest change our country?
  • How much change was there to how England was ruled in the Middle Ages?
  • How tough was life in the Middle Ages
  • How was Society affected by War in the Middle Ages?

Year 8

  • How far did the Renaissance and Reformation bring change to our World?
  • Why are the Tudors the most well known English royal family?
  • Why did the English people execute their King in 1649?
  • How far was London the place to be in the 1660’s?
  • Why do people stand up for their rights in history?
  • How has migration changed the World in which we live

Year 9

Students that have chosen GCSE history in Y9 follow a series of schemes of work that provide a foundation in knowledge, skills and understanding to support them in achieving a good GCSE and beyond;

  • How far is Shakespeare the most significant Englishman of the Renaissance?
  • How was the Industrial Revolution responsible for the birth of modern Britain?
  • Why was WW1 described as the War to end all Wars?
  • How far was the Battle of the Somme a turning point in World War One?
  • Why is the Second World War the most significant War in our history?
  • How did British people support their country during the Second World War?


Key Stage 4

Pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 study the EDEXCEL Modern World History Syllabus A for three 60min lessons per week. This modular GCSE has been offered since September 2009 comprising four components each of which is 25% of the final mark: (Please be aware that students starting the course in September 2012 will take all their exams at the end of Year 11 in line with new government approved linear GSCE.)

  • Outline study – International Relations 1900-1991 (Unit 1)
  • Depth Study – Germany, 1918-39 (Unit 2)
  • Source Enquiry – A divided union? USA 1945-1970 (Unit 3)
  • Controlled Assessment – Change in British Society, 1955-75 (Unit 4)

Unit 1 International Relations 1900-1991 covers the period of the Cold War and hostilities between the USA and USSR from 1945 until the demise of the Soviet Union and its satellites in 1990. The Berlin Blockade (1948-49); the Cuban Missile crisis (1962); the invasions of: Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) and Afghanistan (1980) and the eventual collapse of the Soviet empire and the socialist system are all considered in some detail and supported with primary film and other relevant source material. (Exam 1 hour 15 minutes)

Unit 2 Germany, 1918-39 – examines the imposition of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany after its defeat in World War One and the instability of the Weimar Republic which succeeded rule by the Kaiser Wilhelm II. The nature of the Weimar Constitution and its structural weaknesses along with threats from both ends of the political spectrum are analysed in depth. This is followed by a consideration of the invasion of the Ruhr and the impact of the resulting hyperinflation on the German economy.  The rise of Hitler, his accession to power in 1933 and destruction of democracy along with his treatment of women, the Jews and the Church highlight the repressive nature of the Nazi regime. (Exam 1 hour 15 minutes)

Unit 3 A divided union? USA 1945-1970. This paper is concerned with source analysis and the skills required to discharge this effectively such as: making inferences; cross- referencing; evaluating the utility/reliability of sources and evaluating an hypothesis. The content spans the period from the end of World War Two until the middle of the Vietnam conflict and examines: McCarthyism and the ‘Red Scare’; the civil rights movement and other protests based around opposition to the Vietnam War and support for women’s liberation. (Exam 1 hour 15 minutes)

Unit 4 Controlled Assessment – Change in British Society, 1955-75 looks at how immigration and the liberalisation of society, often involving changes in the law, altered the face of British society.

Pupils learn how to carry out an enquiry (Part A) for which the topics are:

  • Immigration
  • Sex discrimination and the changing role of women
  • The liberalisation of society and the ‘swinging sixties’.

They also analyse and evaluate different representations of history regarding the ‘swinging sixties’ (Part B). The total amount of time to write up the assessment is 2½ hours broken down into manageable tasks.


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