The History Department at Walton High places a clear emphasis upon key historical concepts such as CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE, CHANGE and CONTINUITY. A lot of time is also dedicated to developing literacy skills. Students will be taught how to write to describe, explain, evaluate and analyse. Attention is also given to the development of reasoning and thinking skills. Students are encouraged to EVALUATE and INTERPRET the people, events and evidence studied. History lessons will also provide students with opportunities to reflect not only upon subject matter, but also upon their own learning.

The department encourages the reading of historical fiction.  Students can be provided with a list of suitable book titles upon request.

Year 7

The Year 7 course starts with a unit called ‘Conquest, People and Society’. This involves students looking at a number of medieval topics such as The Norman Conquest and The Black Death before moving on chronologically to examine living and working conditions and society in the Nineteenth Century. The latter part of the course takes a more thematic approach with the focus on ‘Controversial Characters’ across a range of time periods. People studied include Henry II, Mary I and Jack the Ripper.

The key ‘Features and Characteristics’ of each time period are investigated. Students are also required to work with a range of ‘Sources and Interpretations’ as well as to offer their own ‘Explanation, Evaluation and Analysis’ of events.

Homework is set once a fortnight and could involve written responses, creative tasks or enquiry based work.

Year 8

Students undertake a mix of thematic and time period based units in Year 8. These units are:-

  •  ‘Slavery, Empire, Migration and Movement’.
  • ‘The Twentieth Century – A Divided Society’
  • The First World War
  • The Second World War

The Year 8 course builds upon the key concepts and skills covered in Year 7. There is an emphasis on ‘Cause and Consequence’ along with work on the development of the grasp of ‘Significance’ and the consideration of ‘Similarity and Difference’.

Homework is set once a fortnight and could involve written responses, creative tasks or enquiry based work.

Key Stage 4

Students at Walton High follow the AQA course.

The AQA GCSE involves the study of 4 units and is examined by two papers, non-British and British

Paper 1 Understanding the modern world – Non British

1 HOUR 45 MINUTES   50%

  • Section A Period Study: Germany 1890-1945 Democracy and dictatorship
  • Section B: Wider World Depth Study: Conflict and Tension 1918 – 1939

Paper 2 Shaping the nation – British

1 HOUR 45 MINUTES   50%

 Section A: Thematic Study: Britain: Health and the people

Section B: British Depth Study (including study of the Historic Environment) Elizabethan England c1568 – 1603

The GCSE units are taught in the following order

Year 9

  • Elizabethan England
  • Conflict and Tension

Year 10

  • Conflict and Tension
  • Germany 1890 – 1945
  • Britain Health and the People

Year 11

  • Britain Health and the People
  • Elizabethan England – Historic Environment site study


Homework is set once a week. Summary revision and review work at the end of each time period / topic forms a central part of the History department’s approach to independent study.

Full details of the AQA GCSE specification can be found at


The Department follows the OCR History A specification.

In Year 12 students cover the ‘Wars of the Roses’ and the ‘Cold War’.  Each of these units are examined at the end of the course in Year 13.  Students are issued with specialist textbooks for each topic.

In Year 13 students move on to undertake a synoptic study of ‘Rebellion under the Tudors’.  This is examined in the Summer of Year 13. They also have to complete a 4000 word ‘Non Examined Assessment’ independent essay on a topic of their choice.

Lessons will take a number of forms across the 2 years. Whole class teaching, student led activities and 1:1 subject tutorials take place at different points during the course. Students are also required to undertake a substantial amount of independent reading and note taking, as well as exam questions and summary revision and review notes outside of lessons.

Full details of the OCR specification can be found here