“Study the past if you would define the future.”

The History Department at Standish Community High School is a vibrant, exciting and popular area of the school. This is in part due to our promotion of three principal aims; to encourage a love of History, to promote a sense of social responsibility amongst our students and to enable each student to fulfil their potential.

To this end, we deliver an outstanding curriculum were students undertake a series of historical enquiries to encourage them to think critically for themselves and develop their own views of the past. Students are encouraged to think about the wider significance of events and to appreciate how the past has shaped the world we live in today. Through their studies, they develop fundamental historical skills such as research, analysis and evaluation, which will serve them well in the future.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students will develop their knowledge of some of the formative periods of History. They will develop key skills in History such as understanding change and continuity, causation, interpretation and chronology. Pupils study life before 1066, The Normans, The Tudors, The English Civil War, The Transatlantic Salve Trade, Politics of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution, The Great War, the Rise of Nazism, World War II and the Holocaust.

Year 7

The Year 7 groups begin by looking at some of the key skills used in the study of History. We then focus on life in Britain before 1066, particularly the invading groups of Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings. The Norman invasion and conquest follow, concentrating on the Battle of Hastings and the increasing control William had over his new subjects. The significance of the Black Death and the Peasants Revolt of the 14th Century are then examined. The Tudor dynasty is then researched in detail, particularly the rules of Henry VIII, Mary, and Elizabeth I.

Year 7 Project

To design and create a castle.

Year 8

The Year 8 groups look at three main areas in detail. During the first term, they study the English Civil War and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: its abolition, its impact and the significance of differing abolitionists. In the Spring term, students study the Industrial Revolution and the growth of the cotton industry in the local area. Finally, students examine changing politics in the 19th century, particularly protests to gain the vote for men of certain age and class, as well as for women.

Year 8 Project

To create a presentation on a 19th century figure who changed the world.

Year 9

The Year 9 groups also study four main areas in detail. During the first term, they will study the First World War; why it started and how it was fought. We will look in detail at how soldiers really felt about the trenches. The second term will see the groups look at the rise of Nazism in Germany, and how Hitler was able to become Fuhrer. Alongside this, students will explore the reasons for the outbreak of World War II and the main events of the war, including studying the Holocaust in detail, particularly why it happened and why we should never forget. In the Summer Term, students will start their GCSE course with the Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91 unit.

Year 9 Project

To create a trench project.

Key Stage 4

History is an extremely popular choice at GCSE which is an indication of the positive experience offered to the students. At Key Stage Four the Edexcel History course is followed, where students study Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91, Henry VIII 1509-40, Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 and Medicine Through Time c.1250-present. Students build on skills first practiced at Key Stage Three, and begin to assemble and present evidence and views, justifying their arguments and analysing historical sources.

Year 10

Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91 – Students study the origins of the Cold War after the breakdown of the wartime alliance between the USSR, USA and Great Britain. They will go on to explore increasing tensions in the 1940s and 50s, made worse by the development of nuclear weapons, culminating in the creation of the Berlin Wall and the days when the USA and USSR came close to atomic war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The course concludes with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Communism in the USSR, and the end of the Cold War.

This will be assessed in the Paper 2 exam at the year of Year 11, with this topic worth 20% of the course.

Henry VIII and his Ministers 1509-40 – Students study the early days of Henry VIII’s reign, his desire for war and glory in France and the actions of Cardinal Wolsey. The heart of the course is the King’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and the Break from Rome, with the consequences of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace. Henry’s approach to his marriages and his Ministers will also be studied, with wives and Ministers falling to his tyrannical rule.

This will be assessed in the Paper 2 exam at the year of Year 11, with this topic worth 20% of the course.

Year 11

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39 – Students study the creation of the Weimar Republic in Germany at the end of World War I and the subsequent period of turmoil and then prosperity in the 1920s. The Wall Street Crash is pivotal to the next section of the course, providing the economic conditions for Hitler to win the Chancellorship in 1933. The final 6 years of the course explore the creation of a Nazi dictatorship in Germany and the treatment of women, children and minorities such as Jewish people.

This will be assessed in the Paper 3 exam at the end of Year 11 worth 30%.

Medicine Through Time c.1250-present – Students will study medicine and public health in four distinct eras: c1250–1500, c1500–1750, c1750–c1900, and c1900 to present day. The course will then cover the development of medicine during World War I, analysing the experiences of soldiers in Western Front trenches.

This will be assessed in the Paper 1 exam at the end of Year 11 worth 30%.


A* – A A* – C
SCHS History GCSE Results 27% 66%
National Average History GCSE Results 25% 65%

How Are Students Taught?

The History Department has invested heavily in Assessment for Learning, Independent Learning and Behaviour for Learning in order to create a curriculum to best meet the many, and varied, needs of the student body. Our curriculum promotes involvement, giving students the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and collaboratively. Students learn to take responsibility for their own learning and become keen-minded and self-disciplined. We seek to develop the analytical skills of our students and nurture their ability to evaluate the significance of events, people, and historical sources themselves.

Extra Curriculum

The department believes in bringing history to life and offers opportunities to enrich students’ experience of History. We plan to offer an educational visit in each Key Stage 3 year. These are always popular with students and add a lot to the understanding gained in class. Year 7 students visit Beaumaris and Conway Castles in the Spring Term as part of their castle project, Year 8 students visit Quarry Bank Mill in Summer Term as part of their Industrial Revolution topic, and Year 9/KS4 students visit the Battlefields of France and Belgium in the Autumn Term as part of their study into the Great War. In addition, GCSE students have previously visited the Doctors Show in Manchester as part of their study of Medicine Through Time. History teachers here at Standish also provide a wide variety of lunchtime and after school support sessions and a comprehensive revision programme to cater to the needs of Key Stage Three and GCSE students.

Teaching Staff

  • Mr N. Brien (Head of Subject for History and Humanities)
  • Mr J. Nichols (Teacher of History)
  • Miss R. Reardon (Teacher of History)

In the History department, we are fortunate to have experienced, enthusiastic and highly qualified staff, whose diverse skills and interests enrich learning opportunities as well as inspiring our students.


All three History classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards. Pupils can access an extensive range of reading and reference materials in the Learning Resource Centre in addition to the publications available from the department. These can supplement their study of History outside of lesson time. Laptops are also used to develop learning in the classroom.

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