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Nottingham High School

History at Nottingham High School is designed to be thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating, inspiring and, above all, fun for our pupils at every stage of their school experience.

Pupils gain not only an understanding of what happened in the past, but also the confidence and the skills to interpret it for themselves and discover what ‘doing History’ really involves.

Our curriculum at Key Stage 3 is varied, incorporating a broad range of themes and topics and a combination of British, European and Global History. In Year 7, pupils study the Norman Conquest and the huge changes that occurred in Britain thereafter in the way England was governed, the power of the Church and King and the ways in which human rights progressed as a result of developments like Magna Carta, the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt.

The staff in the History Department are all passionate about the importance of their subject and motivated by their desire to pass on this enthusiasm to our pupils. 

They also conduct a study into the Crusades, giving them an important insight into the interpretative nature of historical accounts. In Year 8 pupils study the period of Tudor and Stuart rule, broadening out into a thematic curriculum in Year 9 which explores the effects of technology, empire, war and revolution.

At IGCSE, pupils explore four areas of History that introduce them to important political, social and cultural concepts, rooted in studies of the First World War and its causes, the terrifying collapse of democracy in Weimar Germany and its descent into fascism, the dictatorship of Stalin and the history of the conflict in the Middle East since 1919. Pupils build on their ability to piece together historical evidence and are actively encouraged to debate the inevitably contentious issues that arise from these four fascinating topics.

Our A Level syllabus is designed to encourage a broader approach to historical study, and to foster a love of independent learning in our Sixth Form students. Units include The Early Tudors 1485-1558, The Cold War in Europe 1944-1995, Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992 and a piece of individual research on Maoist China.

These options provide students with an awareness of different national histories and a grounding in many key historical theories such as Marxism, capitalism, the Reformation and many more. It is no surprise given such a rich A Level curriculum that many of our students choose to read History or History-related courses at undergraduate level, and we support a number in applications to Oxford and Cambridge Universities each year.

Lessons are designed to be varied, interactive and intellectually challenging, encouraging pupils to ask questions, have opinions and never accept the past at face value.

We run a weekly History Club for our younger pupils and coordinate a variety of trips, curriculum visits and activities to bring History to life wherever possible.

The High School is steeped in its own rich history and we seek to show our pupils that the past is, in fact, embedded in everything that they see around them, and therefore a crucial part of understanding the world in which they live.