Kenilworth School


Kenilworth School offers an exciting and varied History Curriculum across the age ranges developing skills of analysis, interpretation and explanation. At Key Stage 3 we offer topics as diverse as the Roman, Medieval and Tudor England, the Industrial Revolution and the 20th Century.

GCSE History has a very large uptake in numbers of pupils, following a modern History path studying topics including The Cold War, the Depression in the 1930s and Britain during the Second World War. Our Controlled Assessment is themed around the Protest Movements of the 1960s.

A Level History is one of Kenilworth Sixth Form’s most popular subjects, offering two different A Levels: Early Modern History (Europe and England in the 15th and 16th centuries) or a Modern World Course (focusing on Britain, the Soviet Union and East Germany). Both versions offer a Coursework element worth 20% of the final grade.

From Years 7 – 13 History is an incredibly popular subject, offering cross curricular skills, developing an understanding of the wider world and showing us how we got to where we are now.

Keystage 3

In History during Key Stage 3, students will embark on a chronological approach to studying History, looking at Neolithic and Medieval Britain in Year 7. During Year 8 students focus on life during the reign of the Tudors, the impact of the Civil War, the role of Empire and they finish the year with a depth study on Kenilworth. Year 9 students will focus on conflict, cooperation and peace. By the end of Year 9, students should have a strong sense of chronology and a broad overview of History from Medieval times until today.

We are looking to develop more successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, as well as superb Historians.

Year 7
"What is History?" An introductory course to studying History focusing on developing historical skills and evaluating different interpretations. Students will learn to use and evaluate evidence from the past and craft reasoned arguments. This unit looks at the importance of studying History today and introduces skills of independent thinking that are useful in subjects across Humanities and the wider school.

For the remainder of the year, students follow a British History route. Starting with the development of Neolithic Britain through to the invasion of the Romans, there is a focus on pre-1066 developments. From this point on, there is a medieval study starting with the victory of William the Conqueror at Hastings, through to the murder of Thomas Becket and the role of the Church, then the Black Death and a depth study on life for ordinary people in the Medieval Period.

Year 8
The year starts with a focus on the Reformation across the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I and the changing nature of religion within England. Students then follow this up with a depth study on the English Civil war and the impact on Britain. The Spring term has a focus on the British Empire and also covers the slave trade in the USA and the abolition of slavery. The final term is dedicated to local History where we look at Medieval and Tudor Kenilworth, the significance of Kenilworth Castle, the loss of the Abbey, life in Victorian Kenilworth, the impact of World War Two and finally the History of the school.

Year 9: “The 20th Century”
The Origins and Events of the First World War – students study for an assessed piece on changing attitudes towards the “Great War” between 1914 and 1918.

The Rise of Hitler – emphasizing the effects of the 1929 Depression and how extreme poverty led to the rise of Dictators in Europe, including Adolf Hitler in Germany. There is a focus on life in Germany before, during and after the Nazi regime

World War Two – all students study the foundations of the Second World War, the significant events and the Holocaust as well as the aftermath of the conflict.

Keystage 4

(Please note that the following is the outgoing GCSE. A new list will be published when the exam boards have finalised their specifications)

The GCSE covers the following 4 units over Year 10 & 11:

  1. Controlled Assessment: A study on Civil Rights and Protest movements in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s. There is a focus on the roles of key individuals and the major events and how people rose up in frustration at prejudice within society. (Worth 25% of grade)
  2. “War and the transformation of British Society, 1931-51” – this unit is a source based paper which covers life in Britain during the Great Depression, the involvement of Britain in World War Two, what life was like in Britain during the war and the actions of the Labour government from 1945 in rebuilding the nation and the creation of the Welfare State. (Worth 25% of grade)
  3. “The USA, 1919-41” – this unit looks at the boom of the 1920s and the Depression in the 1930s. It is a combination of social and economic History and looks at themes such as Prohibition and gangsters, the changing position of women, the impact of the Depression and attempts by President Roosevelt to bring the nation back to prosperity through his New Deal. (Worth 25% of grade)
  4. “The Cold War, 1943-91” – this has a military and political focus and covers the aftermath of the Second World War and the development of the Cold War by the USA and Soviet Union. Major events such as the major crises over Germany, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union are covered. (Worth 25% of grade)

A Level

At the Sixth Form we offer two different A Levels that students can choose from. Both options have the same skills and techniques just with differing content. Both have 2 units in Year 12 and 2 units in year 13:

Early Modern History:

This course covers life in late Medieval England and Tudor England. Students will cover the long term causes and outcomes of the Wars of the Roses and the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth. They will look at the differing reigns of Henry VIII and his children through to the death of Elizabeth I. The rise of Protestantism will be covered with a unit on the German Reformation. In Year 13 there will be a coursework unit on Tudor life.

Modern History:

The Modern History course looks at events over a 200 year span of more recent History than the Early Modern option. The rise and fall of the Soviet Union is studied. They will look at East Germany after World War Two and life under Communist control through to the fall o the Berlin Wall. In Year 13 they will look at the changing nature of warfare in Britain from the 1790s through to WWI. Finally they will study a coursework unit on life in the Modern World.