At John Kyrle, History lessons focus on stimulating curiosity, interest and enjoyment about the past. As well as cultivating knowledge of key historical events and their causes and effects, the Department also concentrates on teaching students a range of valuable and transferable skills, such as interpretation, analysis, evaluation and the effective communication of ideas and opinions.

The Department delivers the curriculum using a variety of teaching methods so that all students, regardless of ability, can fully engage with the learning that is taking place.

  • Mrs S Gooch, Joint Head of History, email: s.gooch@jkhs.org.uk
    Mr T Hotchkiss, Joint Head of History, email: t.hotchkiss@jkhs.org.uk
    Miss H Mather
    Mr T Moore
    Miss G Paddock

  • Key Stage 3
    Homework is set once a week in year 7,  8 and 9.

    Throughout Years 7-9, every student will be required to complete pieces of assessed work. These tasks assess different historical skills such as source analysis and essay writing.

    Key Stage 4
    Homework is set once a week.

    Students will also complete key assessments at the end of each major unit of work.

    Key Stage 5
    Homework is set once a week.

  • Key Stage 3

    In Years 7-9 students study a range of topics in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. Students receive 3 lessons per fortnight in Years 7 and 9 and 4 lessons per fortnight in Year 8. Students are taught in their tutor groups. The table below shows the topics that your child will be studying over the course of the year:

    Year 7Historical Skills
    The Romans
    The Battle of Hastings
    The Norman Conquest
    Religion in the Middle Ages
    Medieval Life
    The Black Death
    Year 8The Wars of the Roses
    The Tudors
    The Stuarts
    The English Civil War
    Oliver Cromwell
    The Industrial Revolution
    Year 9World War One
    The Rise of Hitler
    The Holocaust
    World War Two
    Events post-1945
    Life of the Plains Indians
  • Key Stage 4

    At GCSE, students follow the Edexcel History syllabus.

    Students are taught in mixed ability groups and all sit the same exam papers at the end of Year 11.

    Paper 1: British Thematic Study with Historic Environment

    Students will study Crime and Punishment through time, with a particular focus on Whitechapel and Jack the Ripper.

    Paper 2: Period Study and British Depth Study

    For the Period Study students will focus on the American West, particularly conflict between the White Settlers and the Native Americans.

    For the British Depth Study students will focus on the early part of the reign of Elizabeth I.

    Paper 3: Modern Depth Study

    This will focus on American Civil Rights and also USA’s involvement in Vietnam.

  • At A-Level students study 4 Edexcel units.

    Year 12

    Unit 1: Russia, 1917-91 – from Lenin to Yeltsin

    You will learn about the key political, social and economic features of communist rule in Russia during the twentieth century, an era that saw its authority and influence rise to the status of a superpower, only to diminish and decline later in the century.  You will examine how such a revolutionary yet oppressive regime controlled its people and attempted to bring about political and economic change.

    Unit 2: The German Democratic Republic – 1949-90

    You will study the creation, development, decline and collapse of the communist East German state, 1949-90.  For the whole of its existence, East Germany was a key focus of world attention as it lay on the frontline of the Cold War, where contrasts between East and West could be seen at their starkest.  From the Berlin Wall to the Stasi – you will explore key features of the regime.

    Year 13

    Unit 3: Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors – 1485-1603

    You will explore the nature of rebellion and disorder under the Tudors and the way the various challenges were met, the nature of change in government over the period and the changing relationship between the Crown and society.  This unit enables you to understand the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has seen.

    Unit 4: Coursework

    The coursework is focused on the Causes of the First World War or alternatively on the Causes of the Russian Revolution.  The coursework enables you to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history, in a chosen controversy, as part of an independently researched assignment.  You will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question.  This is an opportunity to show flair, individualism and a critical understanding of questions which still provoke debate within history today.