Head of Learning
Subject Teachers

Mr W Kenning, Head of Subject

Mr M Labrou


Miss Z Masters


Mr O Roberts


Mrs N Cooper


Our Vision

It is the intention of the History Department at the Abbey School to ensure that pupils develop an understanding of the past that has both breadth and depth. The KS3 syllabus covers a time period of 2300 years and incorporates topics ranging from the Roman Empire to The Tudors to the struggle for Civil Rights in the USA. Key historical concepts such as change, continuity, significance, inference etc. are introduced and developed throughout KS3 as they are the cornerstones of pupils’ development as historians. It is the intent of the department to challenge and build resilience, with lessons following a line of enquiry that piques pupils’ curiosity and encourages them to analyse, evaluate and debate at all possible opportunities. The skills developed during KS3 are put to use at KS4 with the Edexcel exam board selected as it allows us to continue teaching a broad range of history in terms of chronology and geographical location. This is evident when it is considered that the Anglo-Saxons and Normans, The Cold War, Medicine through time and Weimar and Nazi Germany are all studied. Furthermore, these topics are all covered briefly at KS3, ensuring that pupils have a basic knowledge upon which they can build and which facilitates more detailed study during KS4. The conceptual skills developed at KS3 are built upon and honed during KS4 to ensure pupils are thoroughly prepared for their public examinations, with pupils having been assessed using similar question stems and concepts from the beginning of the GCSE. The same reasoning has been applied to course selection at KS5, with the Edexcel GCSE developing skills in evaluation of interpretation and source analysis which are fundamental aspects of the Edexcel A level we have chosen. Germany 1918-1989 has been selected alongside Fascist Italy as the units mutually support each other, with comparisons drawn between two Fascist dictators enhancing the understanding of both. Furthermore, both allow a narrow time period to be studied in significant depth. The British Empire has been selected as a Year 13 unit because it allows pupils to re-engage with a more topographically and chronologically diverse topic having been more narrowly focussed on 20th century Europe in Year 12. Finally, The Germany and Empire units allow further development of the spiral curriculum, adding further depth to pupils’ understanding of these topics already studied at KS4 and KS3 respectively.



Upper School - Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11)

The GCSE course begins in Year 9. The department offers the EdExcel/Pearson GCSE course with the following topics covered:

  • Medicine in Britain, c1250-present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18

  • Anglo–Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88

  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39


The examinations are as follows:


% of GCSE
Length of exam
When is this covered?

Paper 1 – British Thematic Study with Historic Environment

(Paper codes: 1HI0/10-12)


1 hour 15 minutes

Medicine in Britain, c1250-present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18

Year 9

Paper 2 – Period Study and British Depth Study

(Paper codes: 1HI0/20-29)


1 hour 45 minutes

Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88

Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91

Year 9


Year 10

Paper 3 – Modern Depth Study
(Paper codes: 1HI0/30-33)


1 hour 20 minutes

Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39

Year 10


Upper School - Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)

New specification from 2018-19

From 2018-2019 the department transitioned to the Edexcel specification, with the following topics to be studied:

  • Unit 1 – Breadth study with interpretations – Option 1G: Germany and West Germany, 1918-89

  • Unit 2 – Depth Study – Option 2G.1: The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911-46

  • Unit 3 – Paper 3- Aspects in breadth and depth – Option 35.1 – Britain: losing and gaining an Empire, 1763-1914

  • Unit 4 – Coursework – Origins of the Cold War 


Entry requirements:

  • 5 9-4 GCSEs or equivalent

  • 5 in GCSE History OR Grade 5 in GCSE English Language and Literature if GCSE History not studied.

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