"If you don't know History, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it's part of a tree."

History is an amazing journey. It also deals with invaluable skills that are transferable to any job, career or study in the future. It is directly related to the world today, our families, nation and relationship to each other, the world inside and beyond our coastline.

Teaching approaches:

At Shapwick, the History department adopts a variety of teaching and learning approaches including formal whole class teaching, group work, pair work and individual tasks, drama, role play, debating, displays and project work. Teachers make use of various media – written,visual, oral, IT, fieldwork and artefacts, sound recordings and mini-films and detective work activities are organised that require opinions, decisions and judgements, opportunities to be adventurous, creative and curious.

Recent spotlights:

The current emphasis is on enquiry - asking questions of events, motives, consequences, information and sources. As well, a broader understanding of British history is emphasised throughout the Key Stages. It is still important to explore and study other cultures, but moving up into Key Stage 4, the British element of the course is more prominent. Controlled Assessment is no longer a course element after May 2017.

Skills emphasis:

In History, there are two levels of skills, both of which need perfecting for the best results:

  • First Order: analysis, making judgements, developed argument, linking, prioritising, creating enquiry and using evidence to support points.
  • Second Order: change & continuity; cause and consequence; chronology and using dates; similarities and differences.

Sourcework continues to be an embedded part of history work and includes both levels of skills mentioned above, as well as those of understanding representations, interpretations, audience, purpose and motive.

Learning outside the classroom:

Wherever possible, we take pupils out or bring speakers in to support Shapwick principles that to do and experience is to understand better. In the academic year 2015-16, we ran trips to Glastonbury Abbey, Black Down and the Operation Starfish site, Worcester Infirmary and Dr Jenner’s House, Chepstow Castle, the Schools’ History Scene theatre, the Chalke Valley History Festival and Berlin. Speakers visited school to support our Year 7 Blitz Study. It is proposed that a visit to either Berlin or Munich, and London, takes place in the academic year 2017-2018.

Beyond lessons:

Each year group has a designated webpage on an internal Google Site, as well as pages on trips and speakers, anniversaries, History Club, key words, lesson resources, prep and current themes. From September 2016, Shapwick School also provide all pupils with log-on details for the Historical Association, particularly for KS4 and Sixth Form students. A programme of history- or heritage-related community talks is being developed for Autumn 2017. Emailing students with prep details and support, as well as reminders, is important and pupils are expected to check emails regularly, in Years 9 and above.


Exam Board: AQA
(History A 91401) for June 2017 Pupils ONLY

Completed in Year 10

Unit 1 (91401A Medicine Through Time)
35% of GCSE
54 marks
EXAM DATE: Monday June 5 (morning) - Ihr 45m

Spring Term, Year 11

Unit 2 (91402D Germany 1919-1945)
40% of GCSE
64 marks.
EXAM DATE: Wednesday June 14th (afternoon) - 1hr 45m

Autumn Term, Year 11

Unit 3 (Controlled Assessment: Chepstow Castle 91403)
25% of GCSE
40 marks available

Exam Board: EDEXCEL
(GCSE 1H10) for current Year 10 pupils and below

Autumn Term, Year 10

(1HI0/12) Warfare Through Time c1250-present
30% of GCSE
52 marks available
Exam -
I hour 45 m

Spring and Summer Term, Year 10

(1HI0/22-23) British America 1713-1783
20% of GCSE,

(1HI0/B2) Kings Richard & John 1189-1216
20% of GCSE
64 marks available
Combined paper for both topics: 40% of GCSE
Exam - 1 hour 45m.

Autumn Term, Year 11

(1HI0/31) Germany, 1918-1945
30% of GCSE
52 marks available
Exam - 1 hour 20m 

Spring & Summer Terms, Year 11

Re-learning, revision.