“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” - Marcus Garvey

At Finham Park 2, history is a fun and vibrant subject. Our aim is to fire students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. Our students study a range of people, events and situations from local, national and international history. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present, by engaging with the past.

History prepares students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. It encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps pupils become confident and questioning individuals. They investigate Britain’s relationships with the wider world, and relate past events to the present day.

Students learn History within their Humanities lessons. The following topics will be studied during year 7:

  • What is History? The development of historical skills including how to gather evidence and evaluate it in terms of its’ reliability and utility.
  • Life in the Middle Ages including how the Normans conquered England. The development and importance of castles in the consolidation of Norman power.
  • Key medieval events, including the murder of Thomas Becket and the Peasants Revolt.
  • How English society developed in the sixteenth century, exploring groups such as Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen and Labourers in detail.
  • Why Tudor monarchs such as Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I are still remembered to this day.
  • The importance of the religious divide on England in events such as the Spanish Armada.
  • The Stuart period culminating in the Civil War between Royalists and Parliamentarians, and the execution of Charles I.

Students learn History within their Humanities lessons. The following topics will be studied during year 8:

  • The causes and consequences of both the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. In depth studies are conducted on factory conditions, and the role of Robert Owen in improving them. The emergence of Britain as the first industrial nation is also explored.
  • The development of transport, particularly the railways, from 1750 to 1900.
  • The conditions of slavery and its abolition.
  • Why Britain wanted an Empire in the nineteenth century and how beneficial the Empire was.
  • World War I; its various causes and how it was fought.
  • General Douglas Haig – an in depth investigation into different interpretations around his leadership.
  • The rise of Adolf Hitler and how he came to power in Germany.
  • World War II ; Hitler’s War?
  • The nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • The Holocaust.

Students begin their GCSE studies in year 9, and complete The USA, 1954-75, Conflict at home and abroad.

Specification content
●      Introduction to and overview of the USA, 1954–75

 

Key Topic 1.1 The position of black Americans in the early 1950s

●      Segregation, discrimination and voting rights in the Southern states.

●       The work of civil rights organisations, including the NAACP and CORE.

Key Topic 1.2 Progress in education

●      The key features of the Brown v. Topeka case (1954).

●      The immediate and long-term significance of the case.

●      The significance of the events at Little Rock High School, 1957.

●      Making inferences from a source

●      Analysis of interpretations on desegregation in education

Key Topic 1.3 The Montgomery Bus Boycott and its impact, 1955-60

●      Causes and events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The significance of Rosa Parks.

●      Reasons for the success and importance of the boycott. The Supreme Court ruling. The Civil Rights Act 1957.

●      The significance of the leadership of Martin Luther King. The setting up of the SCLC.

Key Topic 1.4 Opposition to the civil rights movement

●      The Ku Klux Klan and violence, including the murder of Emmet Till in 1955.

●      Opposition to desegregation in the South. The setting up of White Citizens’ Councils.

●      Congress and the ‘Dixiecrats’.

●      Making inferences from a source

Key Topic 2.1 Progress 1960-52

●      The significance of Greensboro and the sit-in movement.

●      The Freedom Riders. Ku Klux Klan violence and the Anniston bomb.

●      The James Meredith case, 1962.

Key Topic 2.2 Peaceful protests and their impact, 1963-65

●      King and the peace marches of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, and Washington. Freedom summer and the Mississippi murders.

●      The roles of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and the passage of the Civil Rights Act 1964.

●      Selma and the Voting Rights Act 1965.

●      Analysis of interpretations on the roles of Kennedy and Johnson

Key Topic 2.3 Malcolm X and Black Power, 1963-70

●      Malcolm X, his beliefs, methods and involvement with the Black Muslims. His later change of attitude and assassination.

●      Reasons for the emergence of Black Power. The significance of Stokely Carmichael and the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

●      The methods and achievements of the Black Panther movement.

●      Source utility

Key Topic 2.4 The civil rights movement, 1965-75

●      The riots of 1965–67 and the Kerner Report, 1968.

●      King’s campaign in the North. The assassination of Martin Luther King and its impact.

●      The extent of progress in civil rights by 1975.

●      Analysis of interpretations on the significance of Martin Luther King's leadership

Key Topic 3.1 Reasons for US involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, 1954-63

●      The battle of Dien Bien Phu and the end of French rule in Vietnam.

●      Reasons for greater US involvement under Eisenhower, including the domino theory and weaknesses of the Diem government.

●      Making inferences from a source

●      Greater involvement under Kennedy, including the overthrow of Diem and the Strategic Hamlet Program.

●      Evaluation of interpretations on the reasons for US involvement in the conflict in Vietnam

 

Key Topic 3.2 Escalation of the conflict under Johnson

●      The increasing threat of the Vietcong.

●      The Gulf of Tonkin incident, 1964, and increased US involvement in Vietnam.

Key Topic 3.3 The nature of the conflict in Vietnam, 1964-68

●      The guerrilla tactics used by the Vietcong.

●      The methods used by the USA, including Search and Destroy, Operation Rolling Thunder and chemical weapons.

●      The key features and significance of the Tet Offensive, 1968.

●      Making inferences from a source

 

Key Topic 3.4 Changes under Nixon, 1969-73

●      The key features of Vietnamisation. Reasons for its failure.

●      The Nixon Doctrine and the withdrawal of US troops.

●      Attacks on Cambodia, 1970, and Laos, 1971, and the bombing of North Vietnam, 1972.

 

Key Topic 4.1 Opposition to the war

●      Reasons for the growth of opposition, including the student movement, TV and media coverage of the war and the draft system.

●      Public reaction to the My Lai Massacre, 1968. The trial of Lt. Calley.

●      The Kent State University shootings, 1970.

●      Making inferences from a source

 

Key Topic 4.2 Support for the war

●      Reasons for support for the war, including the fear of communism.

●      The ‘hard hats’ and the ‘silent majority’.

●      Evaluation of interpretations on opposition and support for the war

Key Topic 4.3 The peace process and the end of the war

●      Reasons for, and features of, the peace negotiations, 1972–73.

●      The significance of the Paris Peace Agreement 1973.

●      Source utility

●      The economic and human costs of the war for the USA.

●      Analysis of interpretations about the economic and human costs of the war for the USA

 

Key Topic 4.4 Reasons for the failure of the USA in Vietnam

●      The strengths of North Vietnam, including the significance of Russian and Chinese support, Vietcong tactics and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

●      The weaknesses of the US armed forces. The failure of US tactics.

●      The impact of opposition to the war in the USA.

●      Source utility

●      Evaluation of interpretations about the failure of the USA in Vietnam

 

Students continue their GCSE studies into year 10, and study two units:

  • Anglo Saxon and Norman England 1060-1088
Specification content

●      Introduction and overview of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England, 1060–1088.

Key topic 1.1 Anglo-Saxon society

●      Monarchy and government. The power of the English monarchy. Earldoms, local government and the legal system.

●      The economy and social system. Towns and villages. The influence of the Church.

 

Key topic 1.2 The last years of Edward the Confessor and the succession crisis

●      The house of Godwin. Harold Godwinson’s succession as Earl of Wessex. The power of the Godwins.

●      Harold Godwinson’s embassy to Normandy. The rising against Tostig and his exile. The death of Edward the Confessor.

 

Key topic 1.3 The rival claimants for the throne

●      The motives and claims of William of Normandy, Harald Hardrada and Edgar.

●      The Witan and the coronation and reign of Harold Godwinson.

●      Reasons for, and significance of, the outcome of the battles of Gate Fulford and Stamford Bridge.

Key topic 1.4 The Norman invasion

●      The Battle of Hastings.

●      Reasons for William’s victory, including the leadership skills of Harold and William, Norman and English troops and tactics.

Key topic 2.1 Establishing control

●      The submission of the earls, 1066.

●      Rewarding followers and establishing control on the borderlands through the use of earls. The Marcher earldoms.

●      Reasons for the building of castles; their key features and importance.

Key topic 2.2 The causes and outcomes of Anglo-Saxon resistance, 1068–71

●      The revolt of Earls Edwin and Morcar in 1068.

●      Edgar the Aethling and the rebellions in the North, 1069.

●      Hereward the Wake and rebellion at Ely, 1070–71.

Key topic 2.3 The legacy of resistance to 1087

●      The reasons for and features of Harrying of the North, 1069–70. Its immediate and long-term impact, 1069–87.

●      Changes in landownership from Anglo-Saxon to Norman, 1066–87.

●      How William I maintained royal power.

 

Key topic 2.4 Revolt of the Earls, 1075

●      Reasons for and features of the revolt.

●      The defeat of the revolt and its effects.

Key topic 3.1 The feudal system and the Church

●      The feudal hierarchy. The role and importance of tenants-in-chief and knights. The nature of feudalism (landholding, homage, knight service, labour service); forfeiture.

●      The Church in England: its role in society and relationship to government, including the roles of Stigand and Lanfranc. The Normanisation and reform of the Church in the reign of William I.

●      The extent of change to Anglo-Saxon society and economy.

 

Key topic 3.2 Norman government

●      Changes to government after the Conquest. Centralised power and the limited use of earls under William I. The role of regents.

●      The office of sheriff and the demesne. Introduction and significance of the ‘forest’.

●      Domesday Book and its significance for Norman government and finance.

 

Key topic 3.3 The Norman aristocracy

●      The culture and language of the Norman aristocracy.

●      The career and significance of Bishop Odo.

 

Key topic 3.4 William and his sons

●      Character and personality of William I and his relations with Robert. Robert and revolt in Normandy, 1077–80.

●      William’s death and the disputed succession. William Rufus and the defeat of Robert and Odo.

 

 

  • Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991
Specification content

Introduction. Background to and overview of The Cold War, 1941–91

 

Key topic 1.1 Early tension between East and West

●      The Grand Alliance. The outcomes of the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences.

●      The ideological differences between the superpowers and the attitudes of Stalin, Truman and Churchill.

●      The impact on US-Soviet relations of the development of the atomic bomb, the Long and Novikov telegrams and the creation of Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe.

 

Key topic 1.2 The development of the Cold War

●      The impact on US-Soviet relations of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, 1947.

●      The significance of Cominform (1947), Comecon (1949) and the formation of NATO (1949).

●      Berlin: its division into zones. The Berlin Crisis (blockade and airlift) and its impact. The formation of the Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic.

 

Key topic 1.3 The Cold War intensifies

●      The significance of the arms race and the formation of the Warsaw Pact.

●      Events in 1956 leading to the Hungarian Uprising, and Khrushchev’s response.

●      The international reaction to the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

Key topics 2.1-2.3 Cold War crises, 1958–70 (Berlin, Cuba, Czechoslovakia)

●      The refugee problem in Berlin, Khrushchev’s Berlin ultimatum (1958), and the summit meetings of 1959–61.

●      The construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961.

●      Impact of the construction of the Berlin Wall on US-Soviet relations. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin in 1963.

●      Soviet relations with Cuba, the Cuban Revolution and the refusal of the USA to recognise Castro’s government. The significance of the Bay of Pigs incident.

●      The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

●      The consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis: the ‘hotline’, the Limited Test Ban Treaty 1963, the Outer Space Treaty 1967, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1968.

●      Opposition in Czechoslovakia to Soviet control: the Prague Spring.

●      The Brezhnev Doctrine and the re-establishment of Soviet control in Czechoslovakia.

●      International reaction to Soviet measures in Czechoslovakia.

Key topic 3.1 Attempts to reduce tension between East and West

●      Détente in the 1970s, SALT 1, Helsinki, SALT 2.

●      The significance of Reagan and Gorbachev’s changing attitudes.

●      Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’ and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty 1987.

Key topic 3. 2 Flashpoints

●      The significance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Carter Doctrine and the Olympic boycotts.

●      Reagan and the ‘Second Cold War’, the Strategic Defence Initiative.

Key topic 3.3 The collapse of Soviet control of Eastern Europe

●      The impact of Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’ in Eastern Europe: the loosening Soviet grip on Eastern Europe.

●      The significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

●      The collapse of the Soviet Union and its significance in bringing about the end of the Warsaw Pact.

 

In their final GCSE year, students will study the concluding GCSE unit, Warfare and British Society 1250 – present

c1250–c1500: Medieval warfare and English society

●      Brief overview of the period: medieval England.

 
1 The nature of warfare

●      The composition of the army, including the roles of the infantry, archer and the mounted knight. The link between social structure and army command.

●      The impact on warfare (strategy, tactics and combat) of new weapons and formations, including the longbow and schiltrons. The importance of gunpowder and the development of cannon. The decline of the mounted knight.

 
2 The experience of war

●      The recruitment and training of combatants in the medieval feudal army.

●      The impact of war on civilians, including the impact of feudal duties and army plunder on civilian lives.

 
3 Case studies

●      The Battle of Falkirk, 1298: reasons for its outcome; the roles of William Wallace and Edward I.

●      The Battle of Agincourt,1415: reasons for its outcome; the role of Henry V.

●      Summary of the influence of key factors on change and continuity in the years c1250–c1500.

 
c1500–c1700: Warfare and English society in the early modern period

●      Brief overview of the period: Britain 1500–1700.

 
1 The nature of warfare

●      Continuity and change in the composition of the army in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including the role of the musketeer, pikemen and the cavalry. The development of a standing army.

●      The impact on warfare of developments in weaponry, including new muskets and pistols.

 
2 The experience of war

●      The recruitment and training of combatants, including the New Model Army.

●      The impact of war on civilians, including recruitment and requisitioning.

 
3 Case studies

Review

●      The Battle of Naseby, 1645: reasons for its outcome; the role of Oliver Cromwell.

●      How much changed in the weapons and tactics used during this period? What impact did this have on the composition of the army and the nature of warfare?

●      How much changed in the recruitment and training of soldiers? How much changed in the experiences of war for civilians?

●      What factors affected the extent of continuity and change c1500–c1700?

●      How much did the role of leader change from c1250–c1700?

●      How much changed in the nature of and experience of warfare in the period c1250–1700?

 
c1700–c1900: Warfare and British society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

●      Brief overview of the period: Britain 1700–1900.

 
1 The nature of warfare

·       Continuity and change in the composition of the army, including the decline of the cavalry.

·       Impact on warfare of changes in weaponry, including the use of rifles and bullets, and the development of field guns and heavy artillery. The impact on warfare of industrialisation, including steam-powered transport and the mass production of weapons.

 
2 The experience of war

·       The recruitment and training of combatants, including Cardwell’s army reforms and professionalisation.

·       The impact of war on civilians, including recruitment and requisitioning. The impact on popular attitudes of the growth of newspaper reporting and photography in the nineteenth century, exemplified in the Crimean and Boer Wars.

 
3 Case studies

Review

●      The Battle of Waterloo, 1815: reasons for its outcome; the role of the Duke of Wellington.

●      The Battle of Balaclava, 1854: reasons for its outcome; the role of Lord Raglan.

●      How much changed in the weapons and tactics used during this period? What impact did this have on the composition of the army and the nature of warfare?

●      How much changed in the recruitment and training of soldiers? How much changed in the experiences of war for civilians?

●      How much had the role of leader changed during this period?

●      What factors affected the extent of continuity and change c1700–c1900?

●      How much changed in the nature of and experience of warfare in the period c1250–1900?

 
c1900–present: Warfare and British society in the modern era

●      Brief overview of the period: Britain 1900 to present.

 
1 The nature of warfare

●      Continuity and change in the composition of the army, including the growth of a logistics corps and specialised bomb disposal units.

●      The impact on warfare of developments in weaponry, transport and surveillance, including machine guns, tanks, chemical and nuclear weapons, the use of radar and aircraft. The impact of computerised high-tech warfare. The increasing use of motor and air transport and aerial support. Dealing with guerrilla warfare in the twenty-first century.

 
2 The experience of war

●      The recruitment and training of combatants, including the introduction of conscription, national service, the recruitment of women and the development of a professional army.

●      The impact of war on civilians, including recruitment and the organisation of a Home Front during the First and Second World Wars and fear of nuclear war post-1945. Attitudes to conscientious objectors. The influence of war reporting in the period on attitudes, including increased concern for casualties. Government use of censorship and propaganda in wartime.

 
3 Case studies

Review

●      The Western Front during the First World War and the Battle of the Somme, 1916: the nature of trench warfare and war of attrition; reasons for the outcome of the Somme; role of General Haig.

●      The Iraq War 2003: reasons for its outcome; use of high-tech weaponry and surveillance techniques.

●      How much changed in the weapons and tactics used during this period? What impact did this have on the composition of the army and the nature of warfare?

●      How much changed in the recruitment and training of soldiers? How much changed in the experiences of war for civilians?

●      How much had the role of leader changed during this period?

●      How much changed in the nature of and experience of warfare in the period c1250–present?

 
London and the Second World War, 1939–45

Introduction to historic environment.

●      The context of London in the Second World War, including its role in national government, significance as a target, importance as a port and industrial centre and its accessibility for German bombers. Preparations for war in London, 1939 and ongoing measures to safeguard the population: implementation of plans for evacuation, provision of Anderson shelters and gas masks.

●      Types of source relevant to this option.

 
●      The nature of attacks on London. Attacks on the docks and industries of the East End, including Black Saturday (7 September 1940), and the V2 attack on Deptford, 1944. Types of bomb used in 1940–41 and 1944–45, the scale of attack and extent of devastation, including problems dealing with incendiaries and V1 and V2 rockets.

●      Source utility.

 
●      The impact of the Blitz on civilian life in London: air-raid precautions, including the use of underground stations and ‘Mickey’s shelter’; the impact of the South Hallsville School, (1940) and Bethnal Green (1943) disasters. The continuance of leisure activities in London, including dancehalls and theatre. The extent of disruption to daily life and work, and government concerns about morale.

●      Following up a source.

 
●      London’s response to the war. The continued presence of the royal family and government ministers; the Cabinet War Rooms. Measures taken to safeguard art and important buildings. The use of public spaces, including Victoria Park and the Tower of London moat, as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.

●      Source utility.

 
●      The historical context of the Second World War: the nature and purpose of the Blitz. Government use of propaganda and censorship to influence attitudes about the Blitz.

●      Following up a source.

 

 

How Parents Can Assist:

  • Two key skills in History are the ability to communicate clearly in well-constructed sentences and the ability to justify things that are said about the past.? Parents can encourage and reinforce the importance of these skills by reading through and commenting on students’ work.
  • To help with communication and literacy, parents can spend time regularly listening to their child reading.
  • History is extremely popular on television and the internet. Look out for programmes such as “What the Normans Did For Us” and check libraries for the topics to be covered. Making visits to places of interest associated with the topics can help to bring history ‘alive’ for students and place events into historical context.

Look at the internet where possible to develop further understanding of historical topics. An excellent starting point is the BBC History website at www.bbc.co.uk/history. Also look out for regular History updates on Frog.