History helps students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires students' curiosity to know more about the past.

History equips students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. It helps students 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.


History in Year 7 is taught as a part of the L4L thematic curriculum. Key curriculum content includes:

  • Journey to the centre of the Earth – Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius
  • Days of Old – Introduction to the Middle Ages, Norman Conquest, Castles and Sieges, Feudal System, Crusades, Thomas Beckett, King John, Magna Carta, Black Death, Peasants’ Revolt, Hundred Years War
  • Journeys – Medieval pilgrimage
  • Off with your Head – Tudor Kings, Tudor Queens, the Religious Rollercoaster, Life in Tudor England, Tudor and Stuart Government, The Gunpowder Plot, Execution of King Charles I and the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, the Restoration

History in Year 8 is taught as a part of the L4L thematic curriculum. Key curriculum content includes:

  • Pudding Lane – Early Modern Britain, the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London
  • Coming and Going – History of migration
  • India – the Mughal Empire, British control of India, Life under the Raj, Gandhi and independence, remembering Empire
  • Freedom – the British Empire, slavery in the Americas, abolition of slavery in the UK, black civil rights, suffragettes
  • Over the Top – [Focussing on the First World War]- Causes of the Great War, propaganda and recruitment, life in the trenches, Christmas truce, Walter Tull & Black British soldiers, Muslim Tommies, The Home Front, peace and the Treaty of Versailles
  • Please sir Industrial Revolution, Victorian inventions and their influence, Victorian schooling and Jack the Ripper, Birmingham and the Industrial Revolution
  • Follow the leader – historical leaders

History in Year 9 is taught as a part of the L4L thematic curriculum. Key curriculum content includes:

  • Whose Earth is It Anyway? – Mansa Musa and the Mali Empire, the ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the 19th century
  • Tragedy – the impact of the First World War, the rise of the Nazis, antisemitism through time and the Holocaust, the Second World War
  • World Study: America: Land of the Free – the First Americans, Settlements of the West, the American Civil War, the lives of Black Americans after the Civil War, early 20th century immigration, 9/11 and its legacy
  • World Study: Britain – A Living History – politics & society in Britain since 1945, Britain’s economy, worker & trade unions, the making of the welfare state, rights of women and LGBTQ+ people, rights of Black British people, the Cold War.

Students who choose to continue studying History in Year 10 will follow the Edexcel History GCSE course. Students will study the Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588 and the American West c.1835-c.1895. Some groups may begin the Weimar and Nazi Germany unit, depending on timetabling.

Students will study Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 as well as Warfare and British Society c.1250-present. The latter unit includes a historic environment study on London in the Second World War.



Edexcel GCSE History

GCSE History is an academically challenging and rigorous subject that demands commitment on the part of the students who study it.

Unit 1 – Thematic Study and historic environment: Warfare and British society, c1250–present and London and the Second World War, 1939–45.
Unit 2 – British Depth Study: Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
Unit 3 – Period Study: The American West, c1835–c1895
Unit 4 – Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

This course is assessed by four examination papers which are held in the summer term at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework. Students will be prepared for this by classwork, homework which is set every week with regular feedback and regular examination question practice. Within the classroom, students will have the opportunity to express their views and debate the significance of the topics studied.


All A-levels and different degree courses.

The study of people is at the heart of History- their feelings, attitudes, prejudices and motivation. This understanding is very useful in the ‘people professions’, from receptionists, hairdressers and beauticians to teachers, the health service, social work, lawyers, and civil servants.

History teaches key life skills and helps to prepare students for interviews and university life.


Four examination papers across three sessions at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework or controlled assessment.


Independent learning, high quality written communication skills, sophisticated vocabulary, analytical and evaluative skills, ability to evaluate primary sources and historical interpretations.

Mr Smith

Head of Department

I studied for an undergraduate degree in Ancient History at Cardiff University and a Masters degree in the History of Christianity at the University of Birmingham before completing a PGCE at the University of Warwick. I started teaching at Shireland Collegiate Academy in 2013 and have been Head of the Humanities Faculty since 2018.