Staffing of the department

Mr Turpie - Head of Department
Mr Mandalos - Teacher of History

Educational philosophy/Aims of the curriculum

History at GCSE is a fascinating and varied subject that can help with careers in business, the law, teaching and Politics. Our aim is to encourage student interest in History by teaching a wide ranging curriculum with many opportunities for students to become independent learners express their opinions. We believe that an examination of other cultures and timeframes helps children to fully understand our own country’s history and present by setting it in context.

We encourage our students to become active Historians with the skills needed to take the subject at “A” level and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to take part in a number of visits and experiences as part of their studies. Recent visits have included:

  • Docklands museum - World War two workshops.
  • Imperial War museum - Nazi Germany source workshop.
  • Hitler on trial - Historical play and exam advice day.
  • History revision one day conferences.


KS4 curriculum

Through the topics studied KS4 students will be given key opportunities to build their understanding and skills to support understanding and further study in the subject these include: Understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.

Understanding the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
To gain a historical perspective by placing their knowledge into different contexts to understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history.

To meet these aims the department encourages debate through our termly ‘big questions’ that allow students to discuss and then vote on topical issues.

KS4 Programme of study

History at GCSE level is an investigation into different and often interlinking aspects of 20th century history.
The examination board followed is AQA, and in common with other subjects the History course at St Ursula's will change next year. However areas taught will include:

  • World War One/Two
  • US Civil rights 1955-68.
  • Germany 1914-39.
  • International relations 1919-39.
  • The early cold war-1945-55.

Exam results

The GCSE results are substantially above the national average for History and for girls taking History




2014 91 61
2013 80 43
2012 100 42

Students will sit two exams at the end of year 11, and there is also a Controlled assessment.
This has changed in recent years and takes the shape of a timed investigation into an aspect of WW1 and WW2. This will be worth 25% of the overall mark. After 2016 the new specification will involve two assessments in year 11. Two periods of study from the 19th and 20th century and a thematic study of Britain and a depth study between 1066-1800.


Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public