Curriculum Leader

Mr G Ryan

Staff Members

  • Mr J Cox
  • Mr A Penhorwood
  • Mr S Howson

History is taught at all three Key Stages and is a popular option choice at both GCSE and A Level.  The Department also delivers A Level Government and Politics.

Year 7, 8 & 9:

Year 9
Changes in Wales, Britain and the Wider World between 1760 and 1914

Pupils will investigate a sequence of questions:

  • Did Britain possess the necessary resources to become an industrial nation?
  • What role was played by entrepreneurs?
  • How did inventions and new methods of production contribute to Britain’s success as an industrial nation?
  • How did developments in transport contribute to the growth of industrialisation?
  • How bad were working conditions in the new industrial factories and mines?
  • How bad were living conditions in the new industrial towns?

Study in Depth – The First World War, 1914-1918

  • Why did war break out in Europe in 1914?
  • Why did the opening stages of the war result in stalemate?
  • What were the key characteristics of the fighting on the Western Front?
  • What were some of the key battles on the Western Front?
  • What was life like on the Home Front during the war years?
  • How was the fighting on the Western Front brought to an end?

How some twentieth century individuals and events have shaped our world today

  • Why did the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 shock the world?
  • How did women in Britain in the early twentieth century campaign for the right to vote?
  • Why was the Battle of Britain a turning point in the Second World War?
  • How and why did the Holocaust take place?
  • Was Truman right to drop the atomic bombs on Japan?
  • Did Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis make him the saviour of the Western World?

How important was Nelson Mandela in bringing about the end of apartheid in South Africa

Year 10 & 11:

History is a popular subject choice at GCSE with a large number of students studying the WJEC Specification.  The course is made up of four option choices, each carrying a weighting of 25% towards the final GCSE grade.  Two of the four units are studied in Year 10 and two in Year 11.

Depth Studies
Unit 1. The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1603

This unit examines the structure of the Elizabethan government and the relationship between the Queen and her Privy Council; the differing lifestyles of the rich and poor; the popular forms of entertainment including the beginnings of the Elizabethan theatre; the Catholic threat to Elizabeth’s rule, including the various assassination plots and the Spanish Armada; and the threats posed by the Puritans

Unit 2. The United States: A Divided Nation, 1910-1929

This unit examines the issue of immigration and attempts to limit it in the early 1920s; the growth of religious fundamentalism and racial intolerance – segregation and the KKK; the growth of organised crime and the age of the gangsters such as Al Capone; the changing role and status of women; the booming economy of the 1920s and the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Thematic Study
Unit 3. Changes in Crime and Punishment, c.1500 to the present day

This unit examines the main causes of crime over time; how the types of crime are specific to certain periods of time; how the types of crime have changed, and how certain crimes are specific to certain periods of time; how the methods of catching criminals and enforcing law and order has changed over time; and how the punishment of offenders has changed from Tudor times to the present day.

Non-Examined Assessment (Coursework)
Unit 4.

The non-examined assessment involves the completion of two written assignments, one with a focus on source evaluation within the creation of an historical narrative and the other with a focus upon the formulation of different historical interpretations of history.

Pupils will sit three external examinations – one at the end of Year 10 (Unit 2) and two at the end of Year 11 (Units 1 and 3).  The non-examined unit (Unit 4) will be taught during the first part of Year 11.

Year 12 & 13:

At Key Stage 5 the Department delivers two AS/A Level subjects:
– History
– Government and Politics


The Department teaches the WJEC Specification.  Two modules are studied during Year 12

Unit 1
Europe in the Age of Absolutism and Revolution, 1682-1815

This unit examines the main developments of the reigns of Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick the Great of Prussia, France under the rule of Louis XV and Louis XVI, together with the major conflicts between the Great Powers.  These include the Great Northern War, the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War, the Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War, ending with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Unit 2

Reform and Protest in Wales and England, 1783-1832

This unit examines radicalism and the fight for parliamentary reform in the early nineteenth century.  It explores the origins of this movement via the impact of the French Revolution, the growth in popular protest such as Luddism, the Spa Fields riots, the Peterloo massacre and the Swing Riots.  The outcome of these protests was the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. Two modules are studied during Year 13

Unit 3
The American Century, 1890-1990

This units examines the struggle for Civil Rights in the USA through the impact of key events such as the passing of the Jim Crow laws, the actions of early campaigners such as Booker T Washington and William Du Bois, the rulings of the Supreme Court and the challenges of the 1950s and 1950s.  The role and impact of figures such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are evaluated, together with proactive approach adopted by some Presidents such as J F Kennedy. The second part of this unit explores US foreign policy, commencing with the beginnings of imperialism in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, America’s involvement in the First World War, followed by its isolationist stance of the 1920s.  This unwillingness to get involved in the affairs of other countries was sharply overturned following the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 which triggered America’s entry in the war.  The last part of this unit explores America’s role in the Cold War and its flashpoints with the USSR in Berlin, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam.

Unit 4
Reform and Protest in Wales and England, 1783-1848

This unit examines the campaign for social reform in the early nineteenth century.  It investigates the role and impact of the Chartist movement and the Rebecca Riots in SE Wales, the growth and development of the Whig and Tory Parties, the reform of the Poor Law, Factory and Mine legislation and the campaign against child labour. Pupils will sit two external examinations at the end of Year 12 (Units 1 & 2) and two at the end of Year 13 (Units 3 & 4).  Pupils will also complete a piece of non-examined internal assessment (coursework) which is attached to the Unit 3 course.  The theme of this investigation is an examination into the part played by Martin Luther King in securing the passing of Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960

Government and Politics

The Department teaches the WJEC Specification.  Two modules are studied during Year 12

Unit 1
Government in Wales and the United Kingdom
This unit examines the key component parts of the UK political system:

  • The British Constitution
  • The Judiciary in the UK
  • The British Constitution in a global context
  • How the government works in the UK
  • How parliament works in the UK
  • How government is made accountable
  • How government works in Wales
  • How the National Assembly of Wales works
  • The impact and development of devolution on the UK

Unit 2

Living and participating in a democracy

This unit examines the concept of active citizenship:

  • Citizenship in a democracy
  • The importance of rights and possible conflict of rights
  • The protection of human rights
  • The importance of participation in a democracy and effects of non-participation
  • Electoral systems in the UK
  • Voting behaviour
  • Political parties and participation in politics
  • Pressure groups and participation in politics
  • Social movements and participation in politics

Units 3 and 4 are studied in Year 13.

Unit 3
Political concepts and theories

This unit examines political concepts and theories and their application:

  • Fundamental values and ideas
  • Liberal views
  • Conservative views
  • Socialist views
  • Nationalist views

Unit 4
Government and Politics of the USA

This unit examines the political system that operates in the United States of America:

  • Equality, liberty and republicanism
  • Federalism
  • The Bill of Rights
  • US Congress
  • The US President home and abroad
  • The US Supreme Court
  • Elections in the US
  • Voting Behaviour
  • Political Parties in the US

Pupils will sit two external examinations at the end of Year 12 (Units 1 & 2) and two at the end of Year 13 (Units 3 & 4).