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Head of Department: Miss S Johal


History at The Matthew Arnold School is a hugely popular and engaging subject, taught by three teachers with different styles and a keen sense of how to impart knowledge to the students in the classroom and in delivering varied lessons of multiple learning styles to achieve the best levels of progress.  In History our students develop many cross curricular skills from drama, to art & design, to literacy, as well as history specific skills such as detailed source analysis and interpretations of information and sources.  The lessons ensure a well-rounded knowledge of the subject as well as gaining useful skills for future careers. Our students benefit from a modern suite of classrooms, each featuring an interactive whiteboard as well as educational visits.

Year 7

Year 7 students will study the Normans and the Norman Conquest followed by the Medieval period and then finally the Tudors, taking a chronological look through British History from 1066-1603, with a focus on Elizabethan England.  The students will develop their historical skills, ability to interpret information and sources and form judgments about the impact these time periods had on history.

Year 8

Year 8 students will continue the chronological theme and will study WW1 and WW2 and end with USA 1920s Boom and 1930s Bust followed by Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s.  The skills learnt from Year 7 will be built upon and new skills such as cause and consequence analysis will be introduced. The significance of key events will become more predominant as the year goes on.

Year 9

Year 9 is the beginning of our 3 year AQA GCSE course.  The students will need to grasp the increased level of content of our topics as well as using the style of questions that have been introduced through years 7 and 8 to aid them in their understanding.  Students will study World History including the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations and the Causes of WW2 as part of their paper 1 study. This will be followed by starting the America 1920-73 unit, looking at the 1920 Boom and 1920s Crash followed by the New Deal.


Year 10 and 11

Year 10 and 11 will continue to follow AQA’s History specification and will complete their final 2 topics which are:

  • Heath and medicine looking in depth across a large period of 1000 years about the development of medicine over time from medieval medicine to the modern day.
  • A case study on the Elizabethans which will bring them full circle back around to year 7 and their original topic.

Students will also revisit America and the international relations 1919-39 as well as being given time for in-depth revision of both skills and content with practice papers, exam skills, revision training and a high level of intervention if required.


Homework in History is designed to extend and develop the learning in the classroom. The tasks set will be aimed to allow students to showcase different skills and different strengths depending on their individual learning styles. Examples may include building a castle out of textile materials or baking a castle cake, creating job adverts or the classic exam style questions. KS4 revision consists of exam practice and revision.

Additional Information

The History Department are currently planning trips to visit Hampton Court, Imperial War Museum, a Battlefields trip to Ypres and a trip to Auschwitz.

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