History is thriving at The Westgate School and it is very popular subject within the school. This popularity is a result of excellent teaching, committed staff and a real enthusiasm for the subject amongst staff and students. We love our subject, and our prime objective is always to imbue students with a similar passion for history. We believe in the importance of learning from history, which is why we have designed a course that enables students to study different aspects of the past, so they can engage with key issues such as conflict, understand what drives change and how the past influences the present. The topics we have selected from GCSE Foundation through to AS/A-Level will not only cultivate an interest in history, but it will also equip students with the knowledge and skills required to succeed as historians. Our aim is to create independent learners, critical thinkers and decision-makers.
During GCSE Foundation in Year 7 and Year 8, students at The Westgate School study history once a week and the history curriculum adopts a chronological approach. From the conquest of England by William of Normandy through to the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, students gain an insight into the changing nature of warfare and conquest, changing attitudes towards power and control and learn about changing beliefs and attitudes in post-war Britain. The content studied during GCSE Foundation in Year 7 and Year 8 will be of a GCSE standard and uses the AQA GCSE History specification to prepare students for the rigours and demands of the full-GCSE course using a ‘spiralled curriculum’ model. We believe that this approach reflects the Humanities Departments high standards expected of every student within our care.
In Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11, students will study GCSE History based on the AQA GCSE History specification, which examines ‘Understanding the Modern World’ and ‘Shaping the Nation’. GCSE History is assessed using two examinations that are each 1 hour and 45 minutes long and account for 50% of the overall GCSE History mark. The content studied during GCSE in Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 will use the AQA GCSE History specification and the topics studied include: America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and Inequality; Conflict and Tension in Asia, 1950–1975; Britain: Health and the People: c1000 to the Present Day and Elizabethan England, c1568–1603.