John Willmott School


The History Department aims to develop the students' interest in History using different ideas and introducing innovative and creative thinking into lesson planning wherever possible. We are very aware of the need to vary our teaching according to the strengths of different students and take great pleasure in the success of the complete range of abilities.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 students have 3 hours of History per fortnight. The topics we study are delivered with the aim of developing both knowledge and skills that can be used across the curriculum.

Year 7 Topics

  • 1066 Battle of Hastings
  • Medieval Britain
  • The Tudors
  • The Stuarts
  • The English Civil Wars

Year 8 Topics

  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Slavery and Empire
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Civil Rights
  • The Cold War

Key Stage 4

The History GCSE course provides a fascinating and enriching area of study which gives students a valuable understanding of how the world works. The course builds upon the successful approaches covered at KS3 which looks at history in a number of different ways. As well as thinking about history differently, learners also have the opportunity to investigate a local historical site, which encourages them to put real history into context.

Many of the interchangeable skills that students develop while studying History will be of great use to them after they leave school and are sought after by employers and universities alike whatever path they choose. There are strong inter-curricular links between History, Business, Geography, English and Mathematics. These links will help with other studies, therefore making them easier!

Aiming to build on the Curriculum in Key Stage 3 and lay a foundation for advanced study. There are 3 units which will be covered across 2 examination papers worth 75% overall with a 25% Coursework element.

Study in Development: Medicine Through Time

How medicine has developed from the Prehistoric Era through to the modern day.

  • What caused people to be healthy or unhealthy?
  • Who provided medical care?
  • What caused diagnoses and treatments to remain the same or to change?
  • How far did new ideas and treatments affect the majority of the population?
  • What ideas did people have about the causes and treatment of illness and injuries?

Candidates should develop a knowledge and understanding of the main developments in the history of medicine. Assesement is by a 2 hour written exam.

Study in Depth: The American West

The way in which the American West was settled and developed by various groups of people between 1840 and 1895 and the impact of this settlement on the Plains Indians. It encourages candidates to explore the key features and characteristics of the period. Emphasis should be placed on the reasons for the settlement of the American West and the conflicts, which resulted from the clash of different cultures and life-styles and the consequences of these conflicts.

The study also offers a contrast between the people and ideas of the American West during this period and those of today.

Source Investigation: an issue from British Medicine 1200-1945

This unit focuses on the skills of historical enquiry. It gives candidates opportunities to investigate specific historical questions, problems and issues; use a range of historical sources and reach reasoned conclusions and analyse and evaluate how the past has been interpreted and represented in different ways. Candidates will be expected to use their knowledge and understanding of the medicine through time to help them comprehend, interpret, evaluate and use sources and historical interpretations and representations. They will also be expected to use their knowledge and understanding, as well as sources, to evaluate an historical issue relating to the period studied. Assesment is a 1 hour 45 minute exam.

History Around Us: Study of Raglan Castle

The study of an historical site and its context. Students visit Raglan Castle and use their findings along with a range of other sources, interpretations and representations and materials relating to the historical context of Raglan Castle. A controlled assesment which is a 2000 word essay to be completed under exam conditions.

Where Next:

  • History A-level and AS-level GNVQ's
  • Courses in which the skills of research, communication and the evaluation of evidence will be useful.
  • Employment which uses skills of investigation e.g. Journalism, Law, Police.
  • Employment where you need to write well and express yourself in a coherent manner.

Employ highly developed language skills, such as reading and writing, as well as good use of ICT. 

Key Stage 5

A-level History provides a broad, coherent and satisfying course of study for students. The AS course is one year and the A2 spread over two years with 2 units completed in each year.

  • The French Revolution from 1774-1815
  • The USA and Vietnam 1961-1975
  • Year 13 - The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–2007
  • Historical Enquiry - A research essay of approximately 3500 words.

AS assessment is by two written examinations. A2 assessment is a combination of a written examination and a piece of coursework which is internally marked and externally moderated.