At Breckenbrough, we believe that the study of History develops an understanding of society and enables pupils to make links and comparisons across different time periods. It develops an understanding of key concepts: change and continuity; cause and consequence, and contributes to the learning of pupils by helping them to develop knowledge and understanding of the society and culture to which they belong. It places that culture and society into a local, national and global context. History is important for promoting citizenship, multi-culturalism and national identity.

Importantly it develops key skills: the skills for independent learning; the skills to interpret and evaluate evidence; literacy and the ability to communicate in a variety of forms.


Why study History?


History is exciting partly because the events that are covered are so dramatic and, for some people, all the more fascinating because it is true: far from being stories in some dramatic work of fiction, these events actually happened. On a practical level, History sharpens boys’ powers of analysis, interpretation and communication, all of which are key skills that they will be able to draw on further up the school and in later life. In career terms, the transferable skills can be deployed in a very wide range of occupations.

History is a popular choice at Breckenbrough and is a subject which engages and enthuses pupils on a variety of levels, and whilst exams are important, we believe that a broader interest in the subject is cultivated by lively, well-informed discussion.


Programmes of Study


Key stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9): Pupils study a range of topics which cover British, European and World History themes. These units include Medieval and Early Modern Britain, the Industrial Revolution, the British Empire and Trade, Immigration and the two World Wars.

At this level, pupils’ progress is regularly assessed in order to set individual targets for raising attainment. Using a wide variety of teaching and learning styles, we aim to nurture each pupil in order to lay the foundations for further studies as well as boosting confidence and encourage a love of the subject.


Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11): History is a popular GCSE option and provides an opportunity for our boys to study many of the key political, social and economic developments. Topics include Britain and Europe, Norman and Medieval England, Crime and Punishment, Migration and Empires, Modern World History, which examines 20th Century International Relations including democracy and dictatorship in Germany and the role of key individuals in shaping change in Europe. The course aims to provide pupils with an historical context for their work and to offer an essential background understanding to many current world problems. EDEXCEL is our examining body.


Key Stage 5: In years 12 and 13, there are opportunities for students to study AS and A2 Level History. At this level Cambridge International is the exam board of choice.


The AS level comprises two units, covering a variety of periods drawn from the last 1,000 years of British, European and World history. In one unit, students are examined by means of the traditional essay format. The second unit is a Document Study in which students learn how to interpret and evaluate historical sources. Students have the opportunity to study subjects such as the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Russian Revolution.


At A2 Level, in the second year of study, there is an examined unit and a researched historical enquiry of their choice based on historical interpretation to complete. This encourages and enables students to extend the depth and scope of their interest in History. Options include an in-depth study of the causes of the First World War and anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.


Literacy in History

Students are encouraged to spell, understand and use words correctly. History tasks will ask them to cover basic literacy competencies and are asked to write in full sentences, use capital letters and full stops, and to support their opinions with evidence. They are taught to construct a proper paragraph, make a point and explain what they mean.