Welcome to the History Department

This department also teaches the linked course of Politics. Our core aim is to teach young people about the world they live in and how it came to be the way it is today.

We hope to inspire them to be enquiring individuals who develop a lifelong love of learning and finding out more about their world and its people.

Departmental Courses

  • GCSE History
  • GCE History

Who do I contact for more information?

Miss L Ryall (l.ryall@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

At Key Stage 3, we take a broadly thematic approach which is rooted in 3 different time periods. This, we believe, allows students both to make connections between aspects of life at different periods and also embeds a strong sense of chronology. Our 6 themes are power, religion, society, war, economy, and culture.

In Year 7, pupils learn about these 6 themes across the time period of 1066 up to the end of the Tudors in 1603. In Year 8, the same 6 themes are explored but this time with a focus on 1603-1900. In Year 9, the themes are revisited with a focus on the 20th and early part of the 21st centuries. Although the course is mostly focused on the story of the UK, there is a significant amount of history of other parts of the world that is covered too. The assessments focus on developing historical skills of chronological understanding, change and continuity, and historical interpretations through the use of historical sources, extended essay writing or simple factual recall.

History – GCSE History

Why study History?

Studying GCSE History will help you understand the present and provide you with a basis for your role as a responsible citizen by allowing you to develop skills to be an independent learner and a critical thinker. GCSE History will give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of how the past has been represented or interpreted and the different reasons it may be significant.  Understanding the connections between past and present is of absolute importance for a good understanding of the condition of being human. That is why history matters. It is not just ‘useful’, it is essential.

Topics include:

America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality

  • American People and the ‘Boom’
  • Americans’ Experiences of the Depression and New Deal
  • Post-War America

Conflict and tension in Asia, 1950-1975

  • Conflict in Korea
  • Escalation of Conflict in Vietnam
  • The Ending of Conflict in Vietnam

Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

  • Medicine Stands Still
  • The Beginnings of Change
  • A Revolution in Medicine
  • Modern Medicine

Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

  • Elizabeth’s Court and Parliament
  • Life in Elizabethan Times
  • Troubles at Home and Abroad
  • The Historic Environment of Elizabethan England


  • 2 written examinations at the end of Year 11 (each worth 50% in total).

Which students do well in History?

  • …those who like the challenge of analysing historical sources to understand their hidden meanings and then drawing conclusions based on what they have found out
  • …those who produce pieces of extended writing which clearly communicate their ideas using a range of historical terms
  • …those who enjoy reading
  • …those who have the ability to memorise lots of information
  • …those who are interested in learning about people, countries, societies and cultures


About the course

The A Level History course has been designed to help students understand the significance of historical events, the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time so that students will develop a deeper understanding of the past through political, social, economic and cultural perspectives. We believe that the topics we have selected will not only cultivate an interest in history, but it will also equip students with the knowledge and skills required to succeed as historians.

A Level history students will study two topics that have a chronological range of at least 200 years and contain a British and non-British study. The breadth study we have chosen to study is “The Tudors: England, 1485–1603” and the depth study is “France in Revolution, 1774–1815”.

How you will be assessed

A Level History course is a two-year qualification that is assessed through written examinations and a historical investigation. The overall qualification awarded is solely based on the marks attained during the A Level (second year) course although the content in this unit is based on what has been studied over the course of both the AS and A Level units.

If there are specific issues for students, subject teachers will endeavour to help in person or through email correspondence: l.ryall@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk.

History is a highly respected A Level and very popular at degree level. The analytical skills required for History A Level also make it a natural foundation for anyone wishing to study law.  The following is just a small sample of jobs and careers that people with history degrees go on to: