Seeking to develop independent enquirers

Head of Humanities & Team Leader of History Mr J Barnett
Faculty Coach & Teacher of History Mrs C Syms-Evans
Teacher of History Mrs L Fowles
  Miss K Hurry
  Mr J Petts

History is a core subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 with students having three periods per fortnight.  We offer students the opportunity to study GCSE History in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level History in Years 12 and 13.  Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


History at Bishop Luffa helps you understand where Britain fits into the wider world and how this has changed over time.

You are able to investigate, evaluate and interpret past actions. You can develop the ability to read source material with discrimination, asking questions of it. You can develop your skills as an independent thinker and learner. You will understand why we study certain events, why we remember, why things from the past matter. You will be prepared for life beyond the classroom. Your skills, knowledge and innate sense of curiosity will be encouraged to thrive and these are the skills that will take you through life. The strong sense of narrative will help engage you, whatever age you are. The discussion of themes and issues, helps you to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the issues covered, and promotes stretch and challenge.

The study of individuals, and societies who challenged injustice and bigotry explicitly emphasises the Christian ethos of the School, and promotes a sense of hope and the innate goodness of the human character. You will tackle these topics and themes through the development of a range of skills that run across the key stages, developing them in a more complex fashion as you move up through the School. You’ll deploy key terms with precision, you will analyse second order concepts such as cause and consequence, you will critically evaluate source material, and you will develop your ability to come to an informed judgement.

Literacy, and a grasp of language helps underpin the subject, and you will be encouraged to develop your reading and writing skills in increasingly complex ways (expect, for example, to use more complex key terms for your study on the Normans at GCSE than you used in Y7).The issues covered give context to your everyday lives, be it the impact of economic crisis, the impact of pandemics, or the fight for freedom - all timeless issues, as relevant now as ever.

History Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the History curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

History Journey 2023

Why study History at GCSE?

Donald Trump’s election victory shocked the World! But, to historians this isn’t the first time that a leader has come to power promising something different. In fact, it’s quite a regular occurrence.

Recent events show us how rapidly the world can change. Many of these changes have their roots in the huge upheavals of the twentieth century. As well as this, it’s important that we can see broad sweeps of history, and understand some pivotal moments in our own nation’s development. By the end of the GCSE course you will have a good understanding of how we make sense of the past. The course develops skills such as the analysis and use of source material, the ability to select relevant information and use it effectively, and the ability to frame an effective argument. You will develop the all- important skill of being focused in answers, so don’t be put off by thinking that it’s all about loads of writing – it isn’t!

You will come across a variety of teaching and learning styles. You will debate. You will make notes. You will think deeply through issues. Your book will contain work presented in a variety of ways. You’ll do plenty of practice questions as we go, so that you are ready for the exams when they come! We always aim to run an overseas trip as part of the course.

Students who study History find it invaluable in any career where there is the need to communicate clearly, put forward an argument, or understand the world we live in. For example, careers in law, or journalism. But it is also useful for careers in the Sciences, where concise, clear reports are needed. History is a widely respected qualification. By taking it you are sending out a strong message about your ability, and your interest in the world around you.

GCSE Assessment

You will do two exams, both at the end of Year 11 and worth 100% of the final grade. Both exams are 2 hours long. Paper 1 focuses on ‘World History’. Paper 2 focuses on British history. Both exams test a variety of historical skills, including the ability to analyse sources, and to develop, and sustain, an argument.

GCSE History Exam specification information