History is a very popular subject at Upper Wharfedale School and is always a sought after choice by many students at GCSE. During years 7-9 students gain a clear understanding of British history from medieval to modern times. At GCSE the range of topics vary considerably – from the American West to the Blitz! History is also supported by extra-curricular activities such as archaeology and international study visits. Lessons are varied and artifacts, historical documents, Information technology, video and film are used to bring history to life. There is a strong emphasis on developing literacy skills within the lessons and an encouragement of reading around history topics at home to broaden knowledge and understanding. 

Student's History Work


Year 7: Students focus on … 

The Norman Conquest 

What was England like before the battle of hastings? Why was England a battlefield in 1066? How did William take control of England? 

Religion in Medieval England 

Why was the church so important in people’s lives? Why was the Archbishop of Canterbury murdered? Did the Church make everyone good? 

The problems of Medieval monarchs 

What happened to England’s medieval monarchs? How important were England’s medieval queens? How powerful were English monarchs? 

The Black Death 

Was 1348 the end of the world? What was it like to live in the shadow of the Black Death? 


Who were the first English people? What drove people to migrate? How have migrants changed Britain? 

Year 8: Students focus on … 

Challenges to the Catholic Church 

Was the Reformation a good thing? Who won? Catholics or protestants? 

The English Civil War 

Why did the English fight the English in 1642? What were the differences between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers? Why did the English kill their king? 

Changing ideas 1660-1789 

Why were kings back in fashion by 1660? What made Restoration London exciting? Who ran the country: Crown or Parliament? How modern was England by 1789? 

The Slave Trade 

What was it like to be involved in the Salve Trade? Why was the slave trade abolished? The big history of slavery. 

The British Empire 

How did the British Empire develop? Who benefited from the British Empire? 

The Industrial Revolution 

What was the Industrial Revolution? Would you have survived the Industrial Revolution? Did the Industrial Revolution bring progress and improvement? 

Year 9: Students focus on … 

Getting the vote 

How democratic was Britain in the 19th Century? What’s the truth about Victorian Women?How did women get the vote? How much more democratic was Britain by 1928?  

The First World War 

Why did the First World War start in 1914? What was the First World War like?  

Conflict in the Twentieth Century 

How did new ideas cause conflict? How do you fight a ‘Cold War’? What has caused conflict in the 20th Century 

The Holocaust 

To what extent were Jews persecuted before the Holocaust?How were the Nazis able to implement the ‘Final Solution”? 


Edexcel 1-9 GCSE History

Warfare and the Blitz 

A study of the development of weapons, tactics and ideas from 1215 to the present day. To understand the impact of war on civilians. To use case studies about key battles in British history like Waterloo and Agincourt.  

Anglo Saxon/Norman England and the American West  

To learn about life in Anglo-Saxon England before the Conquest. To study the Battle of Hastings and how the Normans took control of England. To study the development of the American West by looking at the lifestyle of Native American Indians. To study how white Americans moved across the West and came in to conflict with Native Americans. 

Germany 1918 – 1939 

To study how Germany became a Nazi dictatorship between the two World Wars. To study the rise of Hitler and life in Nazi Germany. 


KS3: By termly assessment 

KS4: By termly assessment 


KS3: Via homework projects.

KS4: Via weekly homework tasks and use of GCSE Pod.


History is also supported by extra-curricular activities such as archaeology and international study visits. History students have participated in the Raikeswood Camp and Big Digs in Skipton and Hebden respectively. History trips have visited such places as the WW1 battlefields, Pompeii, Krakow and Belfast. Closer to home our students have visited Eden Camp, Royal Armouries, Imperial War Museum and the National Holocaust Centre.  

Please visit the UWS History department on facebook to see our extra-curricular opportunities and www.raikeswoodcamp.co.uk to view our involvement in this World War One arcaheological project. 

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