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History is a very popular subject with four option groups at GCSE and four option groups at A2.  During the GCSE course, students study the Edexcel History course which looks at a wide range of topics that include Crime and Punishment over time, the reigns of King Richard and King John, the Cold War, the African American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.  At A level we offer a wide range of topics - all students study a mix of modern and early modern history.  We believe this makes for more rounded historians and also makes those applying to study history at degree level a more attractive proposition for university admissions officers.  Students perform extremely well in History and achieve very impressive results.  In 2015, the A2 results were the best in county, an achievement we were all very proud of.


A* - 27.8% A - 56.5% A* - 21.1%
A*/A - 66.7% A-B - 86.9% A*/A -


Key Stage 3 History

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
  • What is history?
  • The Romans
  • The Norman Conquest
  • Medieval Kingship & Power
  • Medieval Life
  • The Crusades
  • The Tudors
  • The Stuarts & the Civil War
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Women in Victorian Britain
  • How glorious was the British Empire?
  • Slavery
  • The First World War
  • Lie in Nazi Germany
  • The Holocaust
  • The War in the Pacific and the Atomic Bomb
  • Apartheid

History GCSE syllabus: Edexcel

The GCSE syllabus is made up of three separate units:

Unit 1: Crime and Punishment Unit 2: British Depth Study & Period Study Unit 3: Modern Depth Study
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Whitechapel
  • The Reigns of King Richard and King John
  • The Cold War
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Vietnam War

History A level syllabus: AQA

Year 12 Year 13
Autumn Spring Summer Autumn Spring Summer
Part One: Consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty: England, 1485-1547 Historical investigation - African American Civil Rights Part Two: England, 1547-1603 - Turmoil and Triumph Revision
Part One: The Weimar Republic 1918-1933 Part Two: Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 Revision
Over the two year course you will be considering some of the following questions:
  • Did Richard III murder his nephews?
  • How much did Henry VIII really love Anne Boleyn?
  • Who was burnt at the stake during the reign of Mary I?
  • Why did Elizabeth execute her own cousin?
  • How accurate is the portrayal of the Tudor period in popular culture?
  • What were the consequences of the German defeat in World War One?
  • How far did Germany experience its own Roaring Twenties?
  • How did extreme ideas become popular in the 1930s

  • How successfully did Hitler create a dictatorship?
  • How powerful were the Gestapo?
  • How far did Hitler control society?
  • How far did Hitler change the lives of ordinary Germans?
  • Who resisted Hitler and the Nazis and how effective were they?
  • To what extent was Hitler a totalitarian dictator?
  • Who was responsible for the Holocaust?
  • Why do genocides happen?
  • What was the home front like for the Germans during World War Two?
  • What are the dangers of charismatic leaders and discontented masses?

History Beyond the Classroom

We believe that students can develop their understanding of History greatly by visiting various historical sites or attending relevant lectures or talks.  Therefore as a department we run a variety of residential and day trips.


There have been opportunities for Year 9 students to visit the World War I battlefields and currently we run a very popular trip to Berlin for Year 10 students.  This trip helps to demonstrate the impact that the Cold War has had on Europe by seeing the deep divisions that it has caused in one city.  In July 2015 and 2017, we ran very successful visits to Vietnam which not only helped to develop their understanding of the Vietnam War and the Cold War more generally, but also to experience a very different culture and society.  We also run another popular visit to New York and Washington for Year 13 students to help support their understanding of the African American civil rights course that they study.


We have also taken students to Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the National Archives, the Imperial War Museum and also a series of different lectures for our sixth form students. 


Students can regularly take part in extracurricular activities organised by the department. For example we arrange for students to speak to the local University of the Third Age helping to extend our most able students and some students have also volunteered at Chesham Museum very successfully.  Some students have also entered national essay competitions and have performed very well.


Online Learning

The department frequently uses both Canvas and twitter (@cgshistory) to help support students to perform well in their exams, but also to encourage a lifelong love of our subject.  Students are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities and help is willingly offered to those who ask.


The History Department

Mr Hayes – Subject Leader for History
Miss Elford – History teacher and Lead Teacher for Teaching and Learning
Mrs Harris – teacher of History and Subject Leader for Politics
Ms Wright - Assistant Headteacher and teacher of History
Mr Bradbury - Assistant Headteacher and teacher of History and Politics
Dr Southwood – teacher of History and Politics

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