Subject Overview

The history department develops the skills students need to become fine historians who value their own history and the histories of other cultures.

History seeks to develop skills where students can describe past events and significant changes, use interpretation skills so they can look beyond surface information and recognise different interpretations will come from different people depending on their individual perspectives.

The history curriculum develops student’s personal, learning and thinking skills so that they become lifelong learners, can take responsibility for their own future development and contribute fully to their community. They recognise their own rights and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of their fellow students.

The programs of study delivered cover a broad range of historical subject matter that is designed to develop both historical and personal learning thinking skills whilst also enable our students to see how society has developed, changed and evolved over time.  The curriculum deals with not only powerful historical figures but also the lives of ordinary people including workers, women, children and other diverse facets of our society and other societies.


Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 – History

Year 7 Term 1
  • The Roman Empire and Roman Britain
  • The Norman Conquest
Term 2
  • The Black Death
  • Henry II and Thomas Becket
Term 3
  • The Tudor Monarchy and the English Reformation
  • What was life like in Tudor England?
Year 8 Term 1
  • Factories and the Industrial Revolution
  • The British Empire
Term 2
  • WWI Warfare
  • The Causes of WWII
Term 3
  • The Holocaust
  • The British Home Front during WWII

Key Stage 4 – OCR GCSE History B (Schools History Project) (9-1) – J411

GCSE Examination information

Pupils sit three written exams:

Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minute exam, covering The People’s Health, 1250 to present and The Norman Conquest, 1065-1087.

Paper 2 – History Around Us. A study of the historical environment. This unit looks at a historical site and how it can be used to find out about the past. We use Conwy Castle as our site and visit it during Year 10. This will take the form of a 1 hour exam-based assessment where pupils have to answer the questions using their knowledge and understanding of Conwy Castle.

Paper 3 -1 hour 45 minute exam, covering The Making of America, 1789-1900 and Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945.

Year 9:

  • The People’s Health, 1250 to present (Autumn to Spring Terms)
  • The Norman Conquest, 1065-1087 (Spring and Summer Terms)

Year 10:

  • The Making of America, 1789-1900 (Autumn to Spring Terms)
  • Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945 (Spring and Summer Terms)

Year 11:

  • History Around Us – Conwy Castle (Autumn Term)
  • Revision for the GCSE examinations.


At the Heath School there are many opportunities to enrich our pupils’ love of learning in history. This includes an educational visit to enhance their understanding of Conwy Castle, leading a number of valuable Learn for Life days surrounding important aspects of history and culture and also through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Educational visits:

  • Conwy Castle Site Visit – Year 10 history pupils visit Conwy Castle to collect evidence and engage with the historical site they will be using in their History Around Us unit as part of the GCSE course. On the visit they are able to explore the castle and have a guided tour by our resident historian and Head of School, Mr Byrne. This trip happens during the Summer Term.

Extra-curricular activities:

  • After-school and lunchtime Study Sessions (Wednesday lunchtimes and afterschool) – GCSE Year 11 pupils are offered a range of opportunities throughout the week to revise for their GCSE examinations. Wednesday lunchtime revision is held in F8. Afterschool sessions are in F6, F7 or F8. Please contact staff members to find out their own additional study session schedules also. During the Easter holidays there are also GCSE revision sessions held for pupils to attend prior to their GCSE examinations.
  • Debate Society (Tuesday lunchtimes) – These are held in F7 weekly and gives pupils the opportunity to debate their chosen topics and through this, enhance their historical skills of framing and delivering concise and respectful judgements. Being a member of this society builds confidence in all members and is a great opportunity for pupils to speak about things they are passionate about. All year groups are welcome to join.
  • School Council (Monday lunchtimes) – These are held in F7 weekly and pupils meet to discuss school-related topics in order to have their voices heard and enact change throughout school. The Council members have met with members of the Senior Leadership Team and brought forward their ideas to the Principal himself! Not only this but every year, the School Council facilitates a school-wide election for the Halton Youth Parliament. All year groups are welcome to join.
  • UK Parliament Week (November) – Pupils celebrate the UK Parliament Week each November through a series of assemblies designed around the year’s specific focus, in 2018 it was Votes for Women. Pupils enjoy debating the local, national and international issues in what we call ‘Democracy Cafes’ at lunchtimes and the school invites members of the Youth Parliament to engage with pupils and generate ideas to move the local area forward.
  • The Horrible Histories Club (Thursdays 3:10-4:10pm) – These are held in F8 weekly and provide pupils at the Heath School with the opportunity to engage with any period of history of their choosing. Pupils decide all our session topics and some we have covered in the past include: Jack the Ripper, the Titanic, WWI weapons and trench warfare, the French Revolution, Henry VIII’s wives and many more fascinating choices. Pupils create, perform and develop their historical skills during each session and all year groups are welcome to join.