The ambition for History at George Salter Academy is to have a coherent, broad chronological sweep of History giving pupils a solid core of historical knowledge, utilising both depth and breadth studies to help pupils gain a sense of time and place.  The curriculum offers a chance for pupils to understand the social, political and religious developments in British History as well as links to broader world History, seeing how cultures interacted.

We want pupils to see the value of History and that by studying history we can learn about the past and understand our current culture, but also see the scale of human life and ingenuity:

We aim for students to gain a love of History and a passion for understanding how the world works.   We also wish to see pupils who are resilient, confident and able to articulate themselves clearly in both written work as well as verbal discussion and debate.  This will also be developed through modules that help pupils develop their understanding of key concepts such as causation and consequences, change and continuity, significance as well as using and evaluating sources and interpretations of the past. In addition the history curriculum intends to draw on other subject specialisms to help draw out and develop these ideas, and others, as appropriate. 

So why study History?  Unlike physics or economics, history is not a means for making accurate predictions.  We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine. " Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens a Brief history of Humankind (2014) p.269

From this we hope that pupils will be able to do well at KS3, GCSE and A-level or beyond with pupils opting for history as a facilitating subject that is well respected and regarded by quality universities.

GSA Learning Journey


Mr N. Wolffel (Head of History)

The name and email address of one or more contact persons if parents have questions about the subjects or the department

If you wish to contact the history department, please contact Mr Wölffel (Head of History) at [email protected]

“I like that I can learn things about the past to get a broader mind on what was happening in different time periods.”

“The lessons are always well planned and they are really enjoyable too!”

“I like how we're getting interesting topics which impact the world today”

Year 7

History Learning Enquiries

  • Why does 1066 matter?
  • How much power did the Medieval Church have?
  • How much power did Medieval monarch have?
  • Why was the Black Death the end of the World?
  • Did the Reformation change anything?
  • What is Britain's migration history?

During year 7 students have the opportunity to visit Kenilworth Castle and Worcester Cathedral.

Year 7 Curriculum Map

Year 8

History Learning Enquiries

  • Why was the English Civil War so shocking?
  • Did life improve in the Renaissance?
  • How did Britain develop its empire?
  • Why do we celebrate the abolition of slavery?
  • How was the Plains Indians' way of life destroyed?
  • Was there more to Victorian Britain than dirt and disease?

Year 8 have the opportunity to visit Hampton Court Palace and Keddleston Hall.

Year 8 Curriculum Map

Year 9

History Learning Enquiries

  • Why do we remember WW1?
  • How did women get the vote?
  • Did WW2 change the world?
  • Why didn't people stop Hitler?
  • What was the Holocaust?
  • Why has America dominated 20th century history?

Year 9 have the opportunity to go to the Imperial War museum in London.

Year 9 Curriculum Map

At Key Stage 4 we follow GCSE at Edexcel and get a chance to further develop your skills through a range of topics.  Medicine through Time provides an overview of progress, charting factors and how progress was made at different speeds. We also cover the revolution in the Renaissance, the importance of dissection, sanitation and the creation of the NHS. 

This is a very popular option, especially with pupils who are considering a career in medicine or pharmacy. We cover Elizabethan England, looking at how a young woman took the throne, and against many odds (and assassination attempts!) was able to rule for over 40 years.  We study the challenges she faced at home and abroad bringing England into war against the Spanish whilst seeing a ‘Golden Age’ at home. The American West covers the conflict and tension between Native Americans and White Settlers examining the ingenuity of surviving the Great Plains and learning about some classic figures such as Sitting Bull, Billy the Kid, Crazy Horse and Custer. Finally we cover Weimar and Nazi Germany exploring the complexities of Germany after WW1 with the establishment of democracy and the Golden Years of cinema, but also the challenges of rebellion and hyperinflation. Then how Hitler came to take power, hold power and transform Germany. This GCSE prepares students for further study both in History and more broadly with the skills developed feeding into English, Law and other Humanities subjects.

Year 10 Curriculum Map

Year 11 Curriculum Map

At Key Stage 5 we take a closer look at History and really debate how History is made.  We examine differing interpretations and sources as well as hone skills in debate and extended writing. We cover Tudor England to ensure pupils have the cultural capital needed to feel at home at top universities and build upon prior learning. Students learn about how Henry VII took and consolidated power, how Henry VIII transformed England religiously as well as his follies in foreign policy.  We then study whether there truly was a ‘Mid-Tudor crisis’ and if the characterisation of Edward VI as a sickly child and Mary as a bigot are fair.  Then we explore Elizabeth’s reign, her challenges and triumphs.  We also study the Cold War, how it began and its ramification in Europe and Asia.  We explore the changing relationship and the Cold War became ‘hotter’ in periods such as the Cuban missile crisis, but also periods of ‘peaceful coexistence’ and ‘détente’.

We explore the ending of the Cold War, the role of Gorbachev but also more structural problems the USSR was facing.  Students also complete their NEA on one of a range of topics, including: German foreign policy 1800-1945, the long Civil Rights Movement, the impact of British rule on India, crime and punishment in England 1723-1823, and how far accusations of witchcraft were attempts by the patriarchy to control women.  From this there are clear pathways into law, politics and other humanities and social sciences. We have seen many pupils study History and destinations show that pupils who take History tend to go to Russell Group Universities.   Please visit the designated Sixth Form section to find out more information about the courses we offer.

Year 12 Curriculum Map

Year 13 Curriculum Map