History

Head of Department: Mr C Lawrence

The Oldershaw history department is passionately committed to providing:

  • An exciting, broad and coherent curriculum that engages our learners in history – locally, nationally and internationally – instilling in them a love of learning about the past and a passion to find out more.
  • A curriculum that is carefully planned in chronological sequence meeting the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, both in terms of content as well as all historical concepts, whereby historical skills are introduced logically alongside knowledge to build on prior learning and aid progression.

As such, at Key Stage 3 all learners at the Academy will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of:

  • The development of the Church, state and society in both the Medieval (c.1066-1509) and Early Modern (1509-1745) eras of Britain.
  • Ideas, politics, industry and empire (1795-1901) including a local history study
  • The challenges for Britain and Europe (1901 to present day).

This comprehensive overview of British history from 1066 to the present day, with a focus on the Modern World by the end of the key stage, ensures our learners have the opportunity to access the full depth and breadth of this subject as intended in the National Curriculum.

At Key Stage 3 all learners will also have the opportunity to develop their skills in history:

  • Key historical concepts – chronology and using evidence – to infer and identify bias are introduced at the start of the key stage, before any knowledge is taught, to ensure learners have the basic skills necessary to access and fully engage in our history curriculum.

This is followed by a natural progression of historical skills, as new concepts are introduced throughout the key stage, complimenting the knowledge they will gain through the course content. Examples of this are:

  • Significance and causation – which soon progresses to include consequences too – all of which require learners to explain their understanding.
  • Interpretation – whereby our learners develop the skills of analysis and making judgements.
  • Continuity and change – for which learners have to identify key similarities and differences between historical periods.
  • Using evidence – building on their introduction to this at the start of the key stage – learners develop the skill of utility, explaining how useful sources are through inference as well as analysing their provenance.

At Key stage 4 our learners follow the Pearson Edexcel B History GCSE, studying four different areas of history in preparation for 3 terminal exam papers. These 4 areas cover knowledge of:

  • Crime and Punishment through time (c1000-the present day).
  • A British depth study on the reigns of King Richard and King John (c1189-1216).
  • A Modern World Depth Study on Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-39).
  • An International Period Study focusing on Superpower Relations during the Cold War (1941-1991).

At Key stage 4, skills are once again vital. These include:

  • Identifying similarities and differences linked to the concept of continuity and change
  • Source analysis – including following up information, asking questions, inference and utility linked to the overall concept of using evidence
  • Explaining causation (including consequences)
  • Explaining significance
  • Cross referencing, analysing information and reach judgements about interpretations

At Key stage 5 our learners follow the AQA History A-Level, studying 3 different areas of history in preparation for 2 terminal exam papers and 1 Non-examination Assessment (NEA) – historical investigation coursework. In terms of knowledge there is clear progression from Key Stages 3 and 4:

  • Component one – The Age of the Crusades: 1071-1204 – whereby pupils have the opportunity to build on their knowledge of the medieval period from studying Kings Richard and John at GCSE.
  • Component two – The Making of Modern Britain: 1951-2007 – builds on pupils’ political understanding of the principles of democracy, gained through the study of the Weimar Republic in the Germany (1918-39) and the Cold War (1941-91) units at GCSE. It also deepens their understanding of the birth of the Welfare State first introduced in Key Stage 3 after a study of the home front and prior to our unit on immigration.
  • The Historical investigation component develops pupils’ understanding of the treatment of society’s minority groups which will deepen their understanding of their Historical studies at both Key Stage 3 and 4 (Slavery and the Holocaust).

This qualification also provides progression for our learners from GCSE, in terms of skills, enabling students to develop a broader and deeper understanding of history as a discipline. For example:

  • It encourages the development of higher order skills when working with evidence, both for primary sources, including provenance, but also when analysing the interpretations of modern historians.
  • Utilising specific knowledge to support arguments and expand on historical interpretations and make sophisticated judgements.

Our schemes of learning are continually reviewed and evaluated to ensure they continue to provide a dynamic and relevant learning experience for all.

We believe that our carefully planned, broad and balanced curriculum offers progression in the development of key historical knowledge and skills – fundamental to the academic success of the children in our community who join us at Oldershaw – for whom we are highly ambitious.

Our curriculum is implemented by ensuring that:

  • The expertise of teachers within the department and links they have forged within the community provides opportunity for students to learn interactively, both inside the classroom, with artefacts and visitors or outside the classroom on trips.
  • Teachers plan learning which allows learners to actively engage in their own learning so that they have secure recall of content – through regular quizzing, throughout all key stages – a developed understanding of concepts and increased confidence in the use of historical skills.

Cultural Capital

The implementation of the history curriculum includes opportunities for learners to learn outside the classroom. Later in 2020 our Key Stage 3 learners will have the opportunity to visit:

  • The Maritime Museum in Liverpool. This visit will further our learners’ understanding of the Slave Trade and will include a walking tour of local landmarks which tell a unique story of the city’s involvement in the Triangular Slave Trade. This tour will encourage our learners to reflect on the role of our ancestors and ask some deep questions about the morality of many involved. This trip links to our Slavery unit but also includes local history.
  • Another local history visit is planned for the final term of year 8, based on the experiences of people from Wallasey during World War Two. This will involve a walking tour of key historical sites, provided by outside agencies as well as visiting speakers coming in to share their (and their family’s) experiences of the war with our learners.

Over recent years the history department have run popular trips for our key stage 4 and 5 learners to:

  • Whitechapel in London, following the Jack the Ripper tour and taking in many tourist attractions from the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to the London Eye
  • Krakow in Poland which included a visit to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau, flying out on 27th January 2020, exactly 75 years after this notorious camp was liberated. Here we saw a number of survivors being interviewed on what was an historic day. The Poland trip also included a tour of Krakow itself seeing the beauty of the original architecture that unlike Warsaw, bombed heavily during World War Two, has survived, some from the Medieval Period. The trip concludes with another world class excursion as we visit the famous Salt Mines.
  • The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton for the annual Holocaust Memorial Services, whereby local experts and more importantly survivors speak first hand of their experiences to an audience comprised of a number of schools across the Wirral. Our learners have actively taken part in the service over the last few years, reading out vows for the future and lighting candles on stage as well as asking questions of the panel.

Our history curriculum has enabled our learners to achieve:

  • a GCSE qualification at the end of Year 11 – with many going on to study A-Level history
  • an AS-Level qualification at the end of Year 12
  • an A-Level qualification at the end of Year 13

Our 6th form intake in history doubled in 2019 which is encouraging and success in history A Level can lead to further progression. In recent years studying A-Level history at Oldershaw has enabled our learners to enter higher education at:

  • Liverpool University where a former pupil achieved a first-class history degree in 2018
  • Edge Hill University where a former pupil achieved a first-class history degree in 2019
  • Salford University where a former pupil is currently studying Social Policy for which the Modern Britain unit has been particularly useful having achieved a Grade C at A Level in 2019
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Liverpool Hope University

Since our last OFSTED inspection and prior to the new 9-1 GCSE we achieved:

  • 56% A*-C (2016)
  • 57% A*-C (2017)

We have huge capacity to improve our results with the new 9-1 GCSE due to:

  • The experienced examiners we have in the department with a useful insight into exam criteria to support our learners with exam practise
  • Having all 3 papers covered by the examiners within our department
  • The regular PiXL knowledge tests we have implemented into our schemes of learning at Key Stage 4 to encourage high retention of knowledge and the designated reflection time to review these tests in class

The quizzes introduced at Key Stage 4 to review prior knowledge from Key Stage 3/4 to help improve our learners’ long-term memory

The Oldershaw School
Valkyrie Road, Wallasey
Wirral CH45 4RJ
T: 0151 638 2800 E: schooloffice@oldershaw.wirral.sch.uk Principal: Mr J Bush