St. Joseph's Catholic College



"Study History, study History. In History lies all the secrets of statecraft."

Winston Churchill

St Joseph's dynamic and energetic History Department works with students from Year 7 to Year 11, with a range of subjects from Key Stage 3 National Curriculum (studying topics from the Romans through to the Modern World) and GCSE History (the development of Medicine in Britain, Germany 1918 - 1945, Early Elizabethan England and the Cold War).  More information on the programme of study at each Key Stage can be obtained by contacting a member of staff.

The History Department's aim is to equip students with the skills of analysis, a sense of reasoned judgement and independent research through active and fun learning. Through the National Curriculum, the Department hopes that all students who move on from our subject will take with them these skills, a lifelong interest in History and a better understanding of the current issues in our world, based on the study of previous warfare and political issues.




Those who carry History on to GCSE and beyond will take on a diverse and interesting subject, which embeds in the students the specific skills mentioned above, as well as more general life skills such as team work, co-operation, self-knowledge and self-confidence. Again, the Department focuses on active and independent learning, allowing the students to develop their passion for the subject. History is a popular subject with employers, leading on to such careers as law, academia, the police, the Civil Service, teaching and the business world.

The Department runs successful, inspiring trips and encourages outside visitors. The Battlefields Trip to Belgium and France has run for some years now and recently we have visited Ypres in Belgium (the photograph is Sanctuary Wood preserved trenches near Ypres),Berlin, the Imperial War Museum and castles in Wales.

Course Outlines

Key Stage 3 - in History at KS3, students will be aiming to develop their skills in the following assessment objectives set for our GCSE:

  • Assessment Objective 1:  Knowledge and understanding of the key features and characterisatics of the past

  • Assessment Objective 2:  Explain and analyse historical events and periods using historical concepts

  • Assessment Objective 3:  Analyse, evaluate and use sources

  • Assessment Objective 4:  Analyse, evaluate adn make judgements about interpretations

Homework:  Will be set by the teacher in line with the homework timetable for each year group.  Resources for hoemwork and topic studies are available on Moodle.  Students can ask teachers for guidance.


Year 7 Studies

Students follow a programme covering the following topics::

  • Who were the Romans?

  • How did Medieval Kings control the people?

  • Why was the Church so important to Kings and Queens (largely based around the Tutor/Reformation period)?

  • Why was there a struggle between Crown and people (a study of the Civil Wars, Cromwell and Restoration)?


Year 8 Studies

Students follow a programme covering the following topics::

  • Why was the Slave Trade abolished?

  • Britain 1750 - 1900:  what changed in Britain (including changes in people's lives during the Industrial Revolution, the development of Empire, the transport revolution, e.g. the railways, the campaign for people's rights, such as the Suffragettes)?

  • What was the human cost of the First World War?


Year 9 Studies:

Students following a programme covering the following topics:

  • History Mystery 1:  Who was Jack the Ripper?

  • History Mystery 2:  Who killed JFK?

  • How did life change in the USA (particularly focused on  the 1920s and 1930s)?

  • What was life like in Hitler's Germany?

  • What was the impact of the Second World War for people around the World

  • What was the impact of the Second World War for people around the World?

  • What ws the Holocaust?


GCSE History:  Edexcel

History is seen as a challenging and well-regarded subject by Colleges and Universities. It has links to other subjects, particularly within Social Sciences, but also to Law, Economics, Politics and English. It develops your analytical and written skills making you more able to tackle subjects at University.  It is, therefore, a worthy choice for students to take as an Option.

GCSE History Examinations:

Paper 1:  Medicine in Britain 1250 to the present - a thematic student and the historic environment

Written examination:  1 hour and 15 minutes (30% of the qualification)

  • Section A:  Period study - students answer three questions which focus on sources based around Medicine and the British sector of the Western Front during the First World War - injuries, treatment and trenches.
  • Section B:  British depth study - students answer three questions on the development of Medicine in Britain.  The third question offers a choice.

Paper 2:  Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1945 - 1991 (Period Study) and Early Elizabethan England 1558 -1588 (British Depth Study)

Written examination:  1 hour 45 minutes (40% of the qualification)

  • Section A:  students answer three explanation questions on Superpower Relations and the Cold War.
  • Section B:  students answer three explanation questions on Early Elizabethan England.

Paper 3:  Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 - 1939 (modern depth study)

Written examination:  1 hour 20 minutes (30% of the qualification)

  • Students answer five questions.  The focus in on explanations, usefulness of sources and exploring interpretations of the issues.

Programme of Study for GCSE:

  • Term 6 of Year 9 and Term 1 of Year 10:  Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1945 - 1991
  • Term 2 - 3 of Year 10:  Early Elizabethan England 1558 - 1588
  • Term 4 - 6 of Year 10:  Medicine in Britain 1250 to present day
  • Term 1 of Year 11:  British Sector of the Westner Front in teh First World War - injuries, treatment and trenches
  • Term 2 - 3 of Year 11:  Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 - 1939
  • Term 4 - 5 of Year 11:  Revision and examinatin preparation.

The Department recommends that GCSE students purchase revision guides.  For example:

Revise Edexcel GCSE 9-1 History - Revision Guide and Workbook (published by Pearson at arond £5):  Early Elizabethan English (ISBN 9781292169712), Superpower Relations, Weimar and Nazi Germany, Medicine in Britain.