Our aim in the Infant and Junior departments is to instil in the children a love of the subject that will encourage them to continue their studies further into the Senior School.
Building upon the experiences in the Early Years Foundation stage, which spans Past and Present, People Culture and Communities and The Natural World, Key Stage One History helps pupils to develop an awareness of the past , learning appropriate vocabulary relating to the passing of time. Common themes include changes in our family histories, events such as the great Fire of London and lives of significant people such as Louis Braille or Florence Nightingale. Significant historical events in our own locality is studied through trips to The Silk Museum and visitors to school to enhance each topic.
The study of history in the Junior School ranges from the Egyptians through to 1945; a study of aspects of local history and the history of the school itself form the basis of the Year 6 curriculum. Therefore, by the time the pupils enter the Senior School, they have a broad knowledge of the times and major events. Outside educational visits support and enhance the pupils’ understanding of events.
One of the important skills when studying history is the processing of differing types of information, ranging from textbook descriptions to document sources, and the use of maps, photographs and computer databases. This is reinforced by project work, encouraging pupils to accumulate and process facts, as well as producing their own notes.
Importance is placed in history lessons not purely on the learning of historical facts but also on the acquisition of key historical skills. From Year 7 onwards pupils learn to use terminology such as cause and consequence, chronology, change and continuity. Pupils engage in source analysis from an early stage, and are taught about bias and the reasons for different historical interpretations. At all stages of the history syllabus, a balance is achieved between the global and national impact of key events and their effect on the lives of ordinary people living at the time.
The Year 7 course covers British history from 1066 to 1485 – starting with the Norman Conquest, going through key episodes under the reign of the Norman, ending with the Wars of the Roses. Other areas of study are Church and State: Henry versus Becket, the Black Death and The War of the Roses, the last Plantagenet.
Year 8 covers the period 1485 to 1714 (Tudor and Stuart dynasties) but also extends to the Industrial Revolution where we look at the agricultural revolution, the rise of factories, living conditions and crime and punishment, reviewing a case study on Jack the Ripper. We then move to the twentieth century and focus on the second world war focussing on the rise of dictators and Britain and the Home Front.
In Years 9, 10 and 11, pupils follow the AQA GCSE course. Paper One study consists of the following: Conflict and Tension: First World War 1894-1918, looking at the causes and consequences of World War One, moving onto Germany 1890 to 1945, looking at Kaiser Wilhelm’s rule, results of the First World War and the rise of the Nazis. Paper Two study consists of the following: Elizabethan England 1568-1603, learning about various events such as Elizabeth becoming Queen, marriage crisis and her relationship with Mary Queen of Scots. Pupils then move to Power and People, their final study where they will learn about how power changes through the ages.
In This Section
“BHS removes obstacles to learning and happiness and allows every child to not only be themselves but to blossom into the very best version of themselves.”
Beech Hall School Parent – Summer ’23