History sits within our Humanties department, which boasts some of the most successful GCSE results within the school. Students are assigned topics each term and staff within the faculty work together to achieve a common ethos and approach to curriculum organisation, teaching, learning and assessment.  

Learning outside the classroom is strong in all of our Humanities subjects.  In Year 7, students go on a Humanities field trip to Chester taking in the historic walls, Roman ruins and the Cathedral.  In Year 8, students benefit from a field trip to Liverpool, which includes visiting the slavery museum and the Albert Dock. Other opportunities for students opting to study GCSE History include trips to the Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays and the city of York to learn about its Viking and medieval history along with an opportunity to visit Auschwitz whilst staying in the Polish city of Krakow.

The History Learning Journey provides a general overview of what students will cover in this subject.

View the History Learning Journey.

History at Prenton High School seeks to use the study of the past to create young people who will:

  • Gain an appreciation of the importance of studying the past, and understanding of the of the links between the past and their own lives through an appreciation of our global ‘human story’.
  • Become greater scholars through gaining the skills to investigate, analyse and debate past and contemporary events.
  • Cultivate a love of the process of learning and a desire to continue it.
  • Gain curiosity and wonder about the past.
  • Grow to think critically by approaching evidence and interpretations analytically to seek out the truth.
  • Act as responsible, active citizens in the world today, informed by the examples of the past.
  • Develop a robust understanding of the key developments of Britain and the world.

Table of topics

Year 7  Year 8 Year 9
  • What is History?
  • Was there a ‘Dark Age’?
  • How much did the Normans change England?
  • How did the monarchy and religion collide in the late middle ages?
  • What was life in Tudor England like?
  • Did James I cause Charles I’s problems?
  • How much was the ‘world turned upside down’ by the late 1600s?
  • How and why did the British create an Empire?
  • To what extent was the slave trade abolished in 1807?
  • Should we celebrate Port Sunlight?
  • How much did Britain change in the 1800s?
  • Were the suffragettes terrorists or freedom fighters?
  • Was the First World War just a family squabble?
  • How large a shadow did the First World War cast?
  • Why did Germans vote for the Hitler and the Nazis?
  • Why was the Holocaust allowed to happen?
  • What similarities and differences were there between the fight for Civil Rights in Britain and the USA?

Our GCSE at Prenton offers students a wide range of skills that enhances their learning across the curriculum. Students will evolve their knowledge and skills from KS3 in order to develop into analytical thinkers with an academic writing style. We focus on British and American History over the past thousand years, charting the change and continuity that have impacted our diverse communities. Students' passion for History is cultivated by the study of under-represented groups in historical narratives, for example Elizabeth I’s battle for legitimacy, witchcraft, North American genocide, struggle for Black American rights and treatment of civilians in the Vietnam War. History is a well-respected subject amongst many employers, sixth form colleges and universities and can lead to careers in law, politics, education, media and local government.

Table of topics

Year 10  Year 11

Crime and punishment in Britain through time, 1000-present

  • Medieval
  • Early Modern
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Modern
  • Enquiry: Whitechapel 1880s

Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588

  • Problems for Elizabeth
  • Spanish Armada
  • Tudor society

The American West 1830-90

  • Migration to and settlement of the West
  • The persecution of the Plains Indians
  • Lawlessness

A divided nation: USA 1954-75

  • Civil Rights
  • The Vietnam War
Exam board: Edexcel GCSE History

Nature of examination:

3 x written exam papers

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment through time

Length of paper: 1 hour 15 minutes

% of final grade: 30%

Paper 2 – Period and Depth Studies

  • Part A – American West
  • Part  B – Early Elizabethan England
  • Length of paper: 1 hour 45 mins
  • % of final grade 40%

Paper 3 – USA 1954-75

Length of paper: 1 hour 20 mins

% of final grade 30%

Find out more about this qualification.


View the GCSE course specification


Mr D Major | Subject Leader Humanities | NQT, RQT
Mr N Robinson | Teacher History
Mr B Taylor | Teacher History

GCSE History video