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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential


‘Welcome to History -  part of the Humanities Faculty at Blackfen’

History fires students’ curiosity and imagination, inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It also helps students to develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels.

Key stage 3: Years 7-9

Year 7 


Unit of Work  Key question:


Autumn Term 1

What have the Roman done for us?

Students are introduced to the skills a historian uses through studying the Romans. Students learn how the size and strength of Rome was the cause of its rise and downfall. Students will investigate why the Romans had an Empire and how this affected our way of life in Britain. They consider whether Julius Caesar played a long lasting role in Kent’s history.

Autumn Term 2

How did William gain control of England in 1066?

Student study how William, Duke of Normandy was able to invade and conquer Britain in 1066. They evaluate to what extent the Normans changed Britain.

Spring Term 1

Who had the most power during the Middle Ages?

Students consider the nature of Medieval Kingship looking at the mystery surrounding Rufus’ death and problems between Crown and Church through investigation of the famous murder of Thomas Becket.

Spring Term 2

Islamic Civilisations

Students compare life in Medieval Baghdad to life in Medieval London. They assess which society was the most advanced and consider how medieval Islamic civilisations influenced developments in science, technology and medicine.

Summer Term 1

How did the Tudors change England?

Students explore the influence of the different Tudor monarchs. They assess the importance of Henry VIII and the Break with Rome

Summer Term 2

Who were the Stuarts and what problems did they face?

Students evaluate the significance of the English Civil War and the problems this caused for the Stuart dynasty.

Year 8


Unit of Work Key Question:


Autumn Term 1

How did Industry in Britain change?

Students study the Industrial Revolution and assess how much of an impact mechanisation had on society. They explore how life in Victorian Britain was different depending on your social class.

Autumn Term 2

Could you get Justice in 19th Century Britain?

Students study the crimes committed in Victorian Britain and how these were punished. They investigate the changes to the prison system and undertake a case study on the infamous Jack the Ripper case.

Spring Term 1

Why did the British want an Empire?

Students explore the British Empire and evaluate the positive and negative aspects.

Spring Term 2

What happened to the millions uprooted in the slave trade?

Students consider what the slave trade was and why it was such a profitable business. They investigate how slaves were treated and evaluate why the slave trade ended.

Summer Term 1


Students investigate how people fought for their civil liberties. They study the French Revolution, the Suffragette Movement and the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Summer Term 2

Public Health through time

Students evaluate how medicine and public health changed from the Roman times to the present day. They consider how science has influenced our medical knowledge.

Year 9


Unit of Work Key Question:


Autumn Term 1

Why is WW1 so important in 20th Century History?

Students study the causes of WWI and discover what life was like for the soldiers in the trenches. They use a range of source material to establish whether General Haig deserves to be called ‘The Butcher of the Somme’.

Autumn Term 2

The Interwar Years

Students use a range of evidence and historical interpretations to investigate theory that World War II was a continuation of World War I. Students compare and contrast key events to evaluate the long term impact of World War II on different countries. Students consider the differing nature of interpretations in light of their enquiry.

Spring Term 1

How was Germany punished after WWI?

Students investigate the Treaty of Versailles that established peace in Europe after WWI. They evaluate the impact the peace settlement had on Germany and the problems it caused for the newly formed government.

Spring Term 2

How did the Nazis rise to power?

Students study how Hitler and the Nazi party became the most popular party in Germany and explore how Hitler ended democracy to become Fuhrer.

Summer Term 1

What was life like under Nazi rule?

Students explore how much changed for the people of Germany living under the Nazi dictatorship. They investigate how the Nazis controlled the people of Germany using propaganda and censorship.

Summer Term 2

Who was persecuted by the Nazis?

Students consider why and how the Nazis persecuted minority groups in Germany and Europe. They study how the Nazis made this persecution legal and why many German citizens were willing bystanders.

KS4 – GCSE History 

The subject is a popular option choice at KS4. In year 10 and 11 we currently offer the Edexcel GCSE syllabus, grade 9-1. Like many other GCSEs the course is linear with three external exams at the end of Year 11.

Unit of Work Summary
Henry VIII and his Ministers, 1509 - 40

Students learn about the rule of Henry VIII and his relationship with his minister Wolsey. They examine how much influence Wolsey had over the King and what factors led to Wolsey’s downfall.

Students examine the relationship between Henry and his minister Cromwell. They consider Cromwell’s rise to power and his subsequent downfall. Students will also examine the changes Henry VIII made to this country in terms of religion.

Migrants in Britain, c800-present and Notting Hill, c1948-1970

Studying Migrants in Britain will give students an overview of how Britain has been shaped by its migrant communities over a long period of time. At its heart, the Migrants in Britain study is the story of changes in the nation’s context that encouraged, enabled, necessitated or forced migration to and within Britain, and the experiences of migrant groups and the impact that they had on the country. The study begins c800 AD, with the arrival of Viking settlements in England and finishes with the impact of World War Two on migration. In the linked historic environment, students learn about the locality of Notting Hill after the Second World War, showing how it became a centre for migration from the Caribbean, and about the influence of migrants in the development of the area, as well as the wider impact of events and activism that occurred in the region.

The American West, C1835-c1895

Students explore the Native American society including their beliefs and how they lived their lives. They then evaluate the impact the arrival of white settlers had on the Native Americans.

Students examine the developments that took place as a result of the migration of white settlers into the West and the conflicts that arose.


KS5 – History GCE

The course offers history students a good range of historical knowledge encompassing both early modern and modern history in consideration of department expertise, experience and resources.

Year 12                                                                                                                

 Exam board: Edexcel 8HIO1

Route H: Democracies in change: Britain and the USA in the twentieth century – Overview

Students taking Route H will study:

  • Paper 1, Option 1H: Britain transformed, 1918–97


  • Paper 2, Option 2H.2: The USA, 1955–92: conformity and challenge.

In the twentieth century, liberal democracies came under increasing challenge from both within and without.  The options in Route H allow students to understand the nature, and effectiveness, of the response to these challenges.

Paper 1, Option 1H: Britain transformed, 1918–97: This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918–79.  They will consider responses to the challenges of war, fluctuations in the economy, technological advancement and the desire for greater social equality.  The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1918–79. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: what impact Thatcher’s governments had on Britain, 1979–97.

Paper 2, Option 2H.2: The USA, 1955–92: conformity and challenge: This option comprises a study in depth of the USA in the years 195592, from post-1945 affluence, through racial and political protests in the 1960s, to the rise of right-wing groups in the 1980s and the development of bitter divisions between Democrats and Republicans.  Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges posed to the American political system by popular protests and different styles of leadership, and the effects on society of widespread economic, social and cultural change.

Year 13

Paper 3, Option 33:The witch craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580–c1750: This option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the nature of the witch craze that took hold in the late sixteenth century and the changing attitudes to magic and sorcery that eventually contributed to its decline. Together, students will study the social, economic, political and dimensions of the phenomenon, and the broad intellectual changes that ushered in what is often called the Age of Reason.


Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians. The coursework will be assessed using a centre-set assignment.