At Lutterworth College the History department is committed to students gaining an unbiased and in-depth understanding of the history of our own country and that of other places in the world. At Key Stage 3 we build on students’ foundations of studying History at primary school to give them an overview of English history up to the 20th century, while developing the skills they will need to further their study of the subject at GCSE and A Level. Throughout students’ time at Lutterworth College we build cultural capital by studying a diverse range of topics, touching on many different types of people and society across the ages and across the globe. We aim to embed an enquiring attitude into our students; one that is interested in finding out factual evidence to support beliefs and arguments, rather than simply believing everything broadcast in this new era of social media and ‘fake news’. A thorough knowledge of the past will enable students to understand changes in the present and to see why prejudices have taken root and persist. As a department in a Church of England school, we embrace the CHRIST values in our teaching, preparing students to be active and thoughtful members of society once they have left school. Throughout the three key stages, students are encouraged to demonstrate these values by:
- Being Courageous in the way they form a judgement in historical debates
- Being Hardworking in the way they apply their skills to evaluating developments over time
- Being Reflective in considering the impact of people and events in shaping the world
- Being Inspirational in the empathy they show in understanding individuals and societies throughout history
- Being Supportive in listening to the historical interpretations of other students and sharing their own
- Being Tenacious in their historical research to gain a full and accurate picture of events
Key Stage 3
During Key Stage 3 students study a broad sweep of British history. Students develop an understanding of why Britain is as is it today but also how it has interacted with the rest of the world throughout its history. It begins with exploring what the British Isles were like before the Norman invasion of 1066 and progresses up until the pinnacle of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century. Students study key themes such as the changing role of the monarchy, the development of democracy and the building of empire with its dreadful legacy of slavery, to name but a few. Studies also include some 20th century topics, including women’s suffrage and the American Civil Rights Movement. The course stimulates and engages students intellectually but also helps them to develop a mature perspective on issues such as sexism, racism and class distinction which are encountered continually when exploring the British past. As well as engaging with inspiring and important aspects of British and world history, our students develop critical thinking and writing skills. Students develop these skills when analysing change and continuity and cause and consequence, also by investigating historical sources such as paintings, diary entries and photographs. This encourages students to think critically and form a written judgement on the validity of historical sources and how this affects perceptions of historical events.
Key Stage 4
History is an optional subject at Key Stage 4. Year 9 starts with the study of the two world wars as a pre-GCSE topic that enables students to begin to develop GCSE skills of evaluation and source analysis. The GCSE course begins with an overview study of Crime and Punishment through time, examining themes such as the changing nature of crime, punishments and policing as society and technology changes. Through this, students gain the ability to understand how society has changed over time and what impact social attitudes have on how we attempt to deal with crime. The course includes a case study on Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper murders, which focuses on the use of primary sources, teaching students how to draw their own conclusions from interpreting pieces of evidence. The next topic studied is the American West, where there is a strong focus on the significance and impact of events, and on how events link together chronologically, with a particular emphasis on the destruction of the Native American way of life. Study of the reigns of Richard I and King John enable students to consider the impact of the two kings on events at home and abroad, with a strong focus on understanding cause and consequence. In the final part of the course, students study Weimar and Nazi Germany in the period between the world wars. This unit enables students to examine the use of sources and how historians have interpreted the past, encouraging students to critically evaluate the arguments of historians.
Key Stage 5
At Lutterworth College, we offer a History A-level that spans hundreds of years and several continents in the two taught sides of the course. This gives a wide base on which students can develop their understanding of the development of our own country and the modern world. Studying the Tudors gives students an understanding of the beliefs and attitudes of a time when society was very different and placed importance on aspects of life that are no longer seen in the same way. The Reformation and changes in religious belief, with their huge impact on people’s lives, illustrate how fundamental religion was to early modern life; an understanding of which sheds light on the absolute importance of Islam in many countries in the modern world. The America side of the course gives a much more modern view, starting with the effects of World War II and finishing with the election of Reagan, with many aspects of this course linked directly to the problems and successes of the 21st century. In particular, a focus on the Civil Rights Movement helps students to develop a key understanding of the issues and inequalities surrounding race in the United States today. The final part of the History A Level consists of a piece of coursework for which students select a question from a choice of seven different time periods, covering ten different question focuses. The depth of research required and the independence of study fostered in the completion of this piece of work form a strong base for students when starting university. Throughout study at Key Stage 5, students nurture skills of argument, analysis, evaluation and forming supported judgements; skills which will support them in many future areas of study and walks of life.