In the History Department, we think it is important to use different approaches to learning. A range of strategies are used throughout the curriculum, such as mysteries, the use of interactive IQ pads, thinking skills activities, role play, model making, PowerPoint, research projects, the use of a wide range of video and other sources, as well as the traditional practices of improving essay and source skills.

The History Department has two rooms that are fitted with interactive whiteboards. One room is also equipped with a new suite of computers. We have a wide range of textbooks and video resources and we are increasingly using newly purchased IQ pads to increase the interactivity of lessons.

There are a number of excellent websites that are used within the department and that we encourage students to use outside of the classroom. These include:


History is one of the most opted for subjects in the school and this is a record of which we are proud. The take-up from GCSE to A Level is also very strong and currently we have one group in both Year 12 and 13.

The department also offers a wide range of revision lessons at lunch time and afterschool to support our students throughout their examinations. There is currently a ‘drop in’ session every Tuesday between 4.40 and 6.10 as well as at lunch time.

Academic Programme

Year 7

In Year 7 students study the key skills involved in being a successful Historian, The Romans, the Medieval period and the Rise of Islam.

Year 8

Life in Tudor and Stuart England, The Reformation, The English Civil War and The Renaissance.

Year 9

The causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution and the Twentieth Century World.


For GCSE we follow the EDEXCEL GCSE course with the following units:

  •  Paper 1 – British Thematic Study with Historical Environment. 52 marks, 30% weighting, 1 hour 15 minutes:
    - Thematic Study (20%) Warfare and British society, c1250 to the present
    - Historical Environment (10%), London and the Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Paper 2 – Period Study and British Depth Study. 64 marks, 40% weighting, 1 hour 45 minutes
    - Period Study (20%) – Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-91
    - British Depth (20%) – Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88
  • Paper 3 – Modern Depth Study. 52 marks, 30% weighing. 1 hour 20 minutes.
    - Weimar and the Nazi Germany, 1918-39

A level

The History A level is linear. In Year 12 students study the EDEXCEL examination board: Nationalism, dictatorship and democracy in Twentieth Century Europe

  •  Unit 1: Germany and West Germany, 1918-89
  •  Unit 2: The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, 1911-46

In Year 13 students study:

  •  Unit 3: Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485-1603
  •  Unit 4: Course work on interpretations of the First World War.

All classes are taught in mixed ability groups.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The History Department offers a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities throughout the year. There is a History fun club for students in Years 7-9. To date groups have cooked Historical foods from medieval, Roman and Tudor recipes, made Victorian Christmas decorations, produced a display on the sinking of the Titanic as well as building a model of a First World war trench system.

For Years 10-13 there is the weekly History Film Club. Students have watched a wide variety of different Historical films such as, Gladiator, A Man for all Seasons, Oliver Cromwell, The Untouchables, Band of Brothers and many other documentary series such as ‘The World at War’.


  • Year 7 enjoy a yearly trip to Warwick Castle
  • Year 8 will be going to Richard III Visitor Centre
  • The whole of year 9 attend a battlefield trip to Somme and ypres
  • Year 10-13 trip, Students have a bi-annual trip to Berlin/Munich. Past trips have included China and New York.

The History Department also runs the Model United Nations trip to Kingswood School, Bath. This is where Sixth-Form students have the opportunity to research a country and to debate and put forward motions and amendments in a mock United Nations conference. This is accompanied by an afterschool club in the months leading to the Conference.


Mr J Cantrill, Head of Department – JCantrill@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk
Mr M Newman, Teacher of History – MNewman@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk
Mrs F Lodder, Teacher of History (part-time) – FLodder@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk