“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

About the Department

Head of Department, Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5: Mrs Kay

Key Stage 5,  Deputy Headteacher: Ms Gordon

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5:  Ms Henderson

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4: Miss Han

Key Stage 3: Mr Curran

Key Stage 3: Mrs Ogden

The objectives of the History Department are based on a profound shared belief in the importance of History, both as an academic discipline within the school curriculum and as an important foundation stone for leading an intelligent life beyond the school gates.

It is important that pupils realise there were people here before them, that these people, though similar to us in many ways, were also remarkably different. It is also important that they understand how our society evolved and why we are what we are now.

All teachers within the department strive to maintain the best quality teaching that can be attained. Every lesson counts! ​

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

Michael Crichton

Key Stage 3 History

At Key Stage 3 the Department follows a more chronological approach, rather than a directly thematic approach.

Year 7

Students have one 60 minute lesson per week.
What is History?
The Roman Empire
Britain 1066-1500 – Medieval Realms

Year 8

​Students have two lessons per week.
Britain 1500-1750

Year 9

Students have two lessons per week.
Britain 1750-1900
Nigeria: Journey of an African Nation
The Twentieth Century World​
The Holocaust

Extension Studies:

We supplement provision in school with a range of speakers and visits. Visits help to develop a pupil’s investigative skills and encourage greater independence.

Recent trips include: Music at Henry VIII’s court at Hampton Court, The Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, participation in Holocaust Memorial Day workshops at the local synagogue; Bletchley Park; The London Dungeons. We have also invited visitors to the school, for example Holocaust survivors, a published Tudor historian and educators from the Museum of London.

Members of the History Department often incorporate different historical themes into tutor group assemblies: e.g. Holocaust Memorial Day, Britain’s heritage, Remembrance Day.

The Holy Cross School is proud to have been chosen by the Institute of Education (IOE) as a Beacon School, to support a network of local schools to share the IOE’s innovative approaches to enhance the way they teach and learn about the Holocaust and to help young people explore the traumatic history of the Holocaust.

“A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.”

Robert Heinlein

Key Stage 4 History

At Key Stage 4 the Department follows the AQA GCSE History course of study.

Course Content:

Year 10 & Year 11

Component A: Period Study – America 1840-1895: Expansion & Consolidation
Component B: Wider World Study – Conflict & Tension, 1894-1918
Component C: Thematic Study – Health & the People c1000 to the present day
Component D: British Depth Study – Elizabeth c1558-1603

Key Stage 5 History

At Key Stage 5 the Department follows the AQA A Level History course of study. Mrs Kay has been an AQA examiner.

“The skills you develop as a historian are highly regarded by employers in many sectors. You will learn to critically evaluate evidence, organise ideas and present a coherent argument.”

Russell Group university website

Course content:

Year 12 & Year 13

Unit 1: The Tudors: England, 1485-1603
Unit 2: Democracy & Nazism: Germany 1918-1945
Unit 3: Historical Enquiry – Interpretations of Witchcraft in England & Scotland, c.1550-c.1650

Recent opportunities outside the classroom have included: Document study at The National Archives, The driving force of the Reformation at Hampton Court Palace, The Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum; Auschwitz – in conjunction with the LfA project; A Level History Conferences; 4 day visit to Berlin.