“Most of us spend too much time on the last 24 hours and too little on the last 6,000 years.”

“History is the study of change and development in society over time. The study of history enables us to understand how past human action affects the present and influences our future, and it allows us to evaluate these effects. So, history is about learning how to think about the past, which affects the present, in a disciplined way. History is a process of inquiry. Therefore, it is about asking questions of the past: What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen then? What were the short-term and long-term results? It involves thinking critically about the stories people tell us about the past, as well as the stories that we tell ourselves.”

Studying history here at DCHS will successfully prepare you for further education and a variety of careers. Studying history teaches you to have an inquiring mind, to problem solve, to ask questions. We want you to debate, discuss, and communicate effectively and to have fun doing so. We will build up your ability to argue and present your ideas persuasively and thoroughly. Through learning about crucial events in the past you will become more knowledgeable about the world around you today. History is an academic subject that is highly respected by employers and universities alike. We aim to turn you into a well-rounded student ready for a successful future!

Key Stage 3

We study a diverse range of topics across Key Stage 3 History. The topics are taught in chronological order, starting with The Romans in Year 7 working through to the Holocaust at the end of Year 9.

In Year 7, students study The Romans, Life in Medieval England, Power in Medieval England, Castles, the Tudors and Defending Northumberland. An exciting topic that includes a trip to Warkworth Castle.

Throughout Year 8 we study Power and Life in Stuart England, The British Empire, Slavery, the Industrial Revolution and the Suffragettes. These topics allow students to explore the impact the Empire had on India, the crimes of Jack the Ripper and how the Suffragettes shaped the world we live in today.

In Year 9 the students explore what life was like on the war front and the home front of both World War I and II. Students also examine what life was like in 1920’s USA allowing them to answer stimulating questions like ‘how did Henry Ford revolutionise the manufacturing industry?’ Before ending the year with the Holocaust unit and the Rwandan Genocide.

Throughout the course we hope to inspire students to research into the units further, a point emphasised by the homework projects we set and the outcomes we see from them, we also help the students develop skills to become modern historians focussing on analysis and interpretations of different events allowing them to form their own opinions on how the world has been shaped.

Key Stage 4

We study Edexcel history at GCSE.

Medicine Through Time 1250-present day

In this thematic unit you will study how medicine has developed from the belief that disease was a punishment from God, to the major discoveries and advances that have formed the basis of modern medicine; such as the discovery that germs cause disease and that vaccinations can save millions of lives. The unit also includes treatment of soldiers on the Western Front in WW1.

Germany 1918-1939

In this ever popular unit you will study how Germany tried to rebuild itself after its humiliating defeat in WW1; how it struggled to cope with the punishment of the Treaty of Versailles and how ultimately how Adolf Hitler was able to transform Germany from a democracy into a tyrannical dictatorship plunging the world into WW2.

The Cold War and Super Power Relations

In this fascinating module you will learn how the former WWII allies went from defeating Nazi Germany together to bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. You will learn the difference between capitalism and communism and how and why Germany became divided by a wall for 28 years.

Early Elizabethan England

In this thirty year study you will learn about the challenges Elizabeth faced in the early years of her reign. You will study the threat she faced to her authority; her war with the Spanish and what it was like to live in this time period.

You will also learn a range of handy skills that will help you with A-levels and future work. These include:

• excellent communication and writing skills

• how to construct an argument

• research and problem solving skills

• investigation and problem-solving skills

• analytical and interpretation skills.

Key Stage 5

We study OCR history at GCSE

This means you will:

• Study the history of more than one country in addition to the study of

British history

• Undertake a thematic study, covering an extended period of history of approximately 100 years

• Explore a topic in history they have an interest in through the coursework


Our aim is to create independent learners, critical thinkers and decision-makers – all personal assets that can make you stand out as you progress to higher education and/or the workplace.

Topics we study

Russia 1894-1941: in this fascinating unit you will study how Russia turned from a backwards feudal society to the world’s first communist country. You will learn what communism really means and what Lenin and Stalin’s contribution to history was. Was Stalin a greater tyrant than Hitler?

Britain 1900-1951: This modern British history topic has proved very popular. You will study the political history of Britain during this exciting period in our recent history. How did political parties govern during the two world wars? How did Labour emerge as the major political party? How did society change during this time?

Civil Rights in the USA: In this ever interesting unit you will learn how minority groups in the newly formed USA fought for and gained their rights. You will study African Americans, Native Americans, women and the Labour Force. Your essays on this topic will draw on the 100 year period and assess your ability to study change over time.

Independent CW: you will have the opportunity to complete a 3000-4000 word essay on a historical topic of your choice. This is an independent assignment although you will be guided through it step-by-step.


GCSE history is assessed by 3 examinations at the end of the course. There is no coursework.

Paper 1: Medicine Through Time

1 hour 15 minutes 30% of the course

Paper 2: Cold War and Super Power relations and Early Elizabethan England

1 hour 45 minutes 40% of the course

Paper 3: Germany 1918-1939

1 hour 20 minutes 30% of the course

Throughout the year we constantly assess students through regular practice questions, end of unit tests and mock exams. We set homework tasks based on ensuring the students learn the information we deliver in class.

A Level history is assessed through 3 examinations at the end of the course and a 3000-4000 ‘Independent Study’

Paper 1: Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1991

2 hours 30 minutes 40 % of the course

Paper 2: Britain 1900-1951

1 hour 30 minutes 25% of course

Paper 3: Russia 1894-1941

1 hour 15% of course

Independent study: 3000-4000 word essay on a topic of your choice 20% of the course

Throughout the course we will assess you will regular essays, both timed and in class and also essay written at home. We will do mock exams and passed exam questions to ensure you feel confident going into the real exam.

Examination Boards

GCSE Edexcel

A-Level OCR

Resources to Support Learning

GCSE Revision guides are loaned to all students (to be returned at the end of the course).

Useful websites:





A-Level Specification:


Students are encouraged to buy the following text books to support the course;

• Britain 1900-1951, Michael Lynch, Second Edition, Hodder Education, ISBN: 978-1-4718-3869-9

• Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992, OCR History A, ISBN: 978-0435-312-66-4

• Russia 1894-1941 Michael Lynch, Second Edition, Hodder Education, ISBN: 978-1-4718-3831-6

Careers Links

Directly history would lead to careers in:

– teaching

– law

– archaeology

– library and research careers

History is an excellent facilitating subject and very well regarded by employers and universities regardless of career pathway. History would specifically facilitate careers in:

– journalism

– politics

– advertising

– management

– tourism

Subject Staff

Mrs G. Miller (Head of History)

Mrs R. Doctor

Mr A. Ritchie

Mrs. A. Raper

Mr C. Adams (KS3 Coordinator)