Department Background

Through the study of history we hope to gain an understanding of the past and how it impacts on the present. Our emphasis is on British History with a significant focus on telling our national story while acknowledging that other cultures and societies have an equally valid story to tell.

Year 7 - 9

The Latymer History department offers an engaging, relevant and challenging KS3 curriculum. Students are encouraged to develop skills in source analysis and understanding of key historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity and significance.

The course in year 7 largely focuses on conquest, settlement and power in Britain from the Romans through to the Middle Ages.

In year 8 students examine revolution and social upheaval in British, European and global contexts. The year 9 course moves through to modern History, picking up with industrialisation in the early 19th Century through to conflict in the 20th Century.

Year 10 - 11

Students choosing History as a GCSE option will follow the Edexcel History course and will study a broad range of topics and periods that will develop their historical skills of source analysis, explanation and critical thinking. There are four key elements to the Edexcel course:

  • A thematic study of medicine in Britain c. 1250 to present with a case study of the British sector of the Western Front: Injuries, treatment and the trenches.
  • A study of Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91
  • A depth study of Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88
  • A depth study of Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 with a specific focus on historical interpretations

Year 12 - 13

Studying A Level History will allow students to develop empathy and understanding of the actions and achievements of others. A Level History teaches you to build up a picture from the evidence that has been left and become skilled at asking questions, sometimes awkward questions. Students have to be prepared to put their case and argue it well, use evidence to draw conclusions and make judgements and as a result develop a deeper understanding of the past and valuable skills.

AQA Unit 1H: Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855-1964 (40% of A-Level) The course takes us on a journey from the Emancipation of the Serfs, to the pivotal 1917 Revolution and the subsequent creation and operation of the Soviet state.

AQA Unit 2E: The English Revolution 1625-1660 (40% of the A-Level)

This unit is a depth study into the conflicts that emerged between King and Parliament over issues concerning religion, politics and the economy. This will encompass Civil War, regicide and experimentation in governance. Students will have the opportunity to explore the events surrounding arguably the most turbulent and most radical period of British history.

AQA Unit 3 Coursework: Great Britain and the Irish Question 1801-1921 (20% of A-Level)

Students will produce one essay of 3000-3500 words, based on students’ own personal study of the troubled and fascinating relationship between Britain and Ireland.

Activities and Recent Highlights

The History department at Latymer has worked hard to provide stimulating and wide-ranging extra-curricular opportunities. Founded in 2014, Clio: The Latymer History Magazine provides budding historians with the opportunity to research and write about historical issues beyond the classroom. Having already examined the role of the Arts and individuals in history, the magazine aims to tackle challenging and interesting topics and allow pupils to explore ideas, events and moments in history that interest them. Beyond the magazine the department has also invited historians to come and deliver lectures, including one given recently by Helen Castor who discussed her new take on Joan of Arc. Finally the department organises a number of very popular trips to important historical and political sites both in Britain and abroad. In line with the Year 9 curriculum there is an alternating summer trip to either the D-Day landing sites in Normandy or the sites and memorials of the First World War. In Year 11 we offer a trip to Berlin that is specifically catered to the GCSE curriculum and enhances the pupils’ understanding of the Cold War and Weimar and Nazi Germany. These extra-curricular opportunities have inspired greater interest in history at Latymer and contributed to creating an energetic and engaged student body.

Exam results

GCSE and A-Level results have consistently been well above the school average. Every year a number of students achieve places at Oxford and Cambridge to read History.