Are you interested in people? Do you like to work out puzzles by piecing together the evidence? Do you want to find out about events which have changed the world? Do you like to get inside people?s minds and work out what makes them tick? History is interesting, challenging and fun! It also helps you to make sense of most other subjects. 

History helps you to develop skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask questions and to express your own opinions. Just think: if you didn't ever study history you would never truly understand the world we live in.

Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards


To enable our students to:-

• recognise the value and importance of learning about the past,

• understand how the past influences the present,

• appreciate difference in society and the world around them,

• develop the ability to put forward reasoned arguments,

• weigh sources of information and judge them critically,

• enjoy history beyond the classroom.

This aims contribute towards their ability to enjoy learning and gain a sense of achievement. We believe that studying history helps pupils to become well rounded individuals able to make a positive contribution to society.


Units of work, grouping of students, assessment and expected standards

History is one of three subject areas that form the Humanities department along with Geography and RE. Pupils are taught Humanities in year 7 and then in year 8 and 9 each subject is taught separately with emphasis given to citizenship and other cross-curricular links.

KS3 pupils are taught in tutor groups & KS4 in mixed ability groupings and all History lessons are taught by specialist history teachers

Year 7 Humanities - 6x60mins a fortnight

Year 8 History - 2x60mins a fortnight

Year 9 History - 5x60mins a fortnight

History teaching at Pilton follows the school format of three part lessons (starter, main, plenary) with clear learning objectives shared with pupils.

The department has introduced a version of Bloom?s Taxonomy called the History Brainometer which underpins our approach to history at KS3.

Teachers use a variety of learning styles (VAK) to enable all pupils to access the curriculum and make progress.


The following topics are taught at KS3

The Examination Years

Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards

In Years 9, 10 and 11 pupils follow the Edexcel syllabus History B course. Pupils have five hours of lessons over the two week timetable. The GCSE is divided into four units of study.


In year 10 pupils study the following two units:

• Development study on Medicine and treatment

• Source enquiry on the transformation of surgery c1845?c1918 Currently these two topic areas are examined in the summer term of year 10 and count for 50% of the final total marks.


In year 11 pupils study the following:

• controlled assessment on Weimar and Nazi Germany worth 25%

• Depth study The American West c1840-c1895

The American West will be examined in the summer of year 11 and makes up the final 25% of the course.


This GCSE requires students to demonstrate:

• knowledge and understanding of the historical periods, themes and topics studied and their chronology through:

• making connections and comparisons between different aspects of the periods, themes and topics studied

• describing, analysing and evaluating the causes and consequences of

 historical events and situations

• describing, analysing and evaluating changes and developments in the periods, themes and topics studied

• assessing the significance of individuals, events, developments and/or ideas in the history studied.


The skills of History are relevant to many of today's careers including: Law, teaching, police, civil service, journalism, politics, TV/ Media, health professionals and IT

"Although a history degree is not job specific, its graduates have the skills that enable them to pursue a multiplicity of careers demanding a wide range of talents, and they do so extremely successfully in an open and competitive jobs market.


Home Learning Opportunities

In year 7 pupils are set 30 minutes homework a week and in year 8 - 30 minutes every two weeks and in year 9 up to 45 minutes a week Pupils will be set a variety of different types of homework which will include research, writing extended pieces of writing and independent learning activities., using the VLE and watching historical documentaries/programmes.

Years 10/ 11 will be set a minimum of 45 minutes a week and much of the focus of these homework?s is revision based and the opportunity for pupils to undertake independent learning to support the learning in lessons.


Gifted & Talented Opportunities

History Department  Gifted and Talented Policy 

Department Philosophy

Our department is fascinated by history. As historians we are eager to find out about the past; from prehistory to the modern day. As teachers we want to encourage our pupils to be as enthusiastic as we are in finding out about the past. We believe that really understanding the past is the best way to ensure that our pupils are prepared for life today.


Teacher specialism

We are lucky as a department to have a wide range of individual interests. Any pupils with an interest in these periods of history may wish to speak to the relevant member of staff.

Gifted historians

We believe that high achievement in history involves approaching the subject as a historian would approach it. Gifted pupils will be inquisitive about the subject, quick to question, to interrogate and to see subtle distinctions within an argument. They will be enthusiastic about the subject and enjoy working on new tasks and activities. It is expected that gifted pupils will want to read widely around the subject and learn about the past outside of school and the classroom. This could involve watching historical films and TV programmes, visiting museum exhibitions and places of historical interest.


Identification of gifted pupils

In addition to recognizing gifted pupils based on SAT and CAT results, our department has an additional list of pupils who we have identified ourselves as gifted at history.


In years 7 and 8 gifted pupils will typically have shown some of the following skills and attributes:

• An ability to rapidly absorb and sort new information and to identify emerging patterns quickly and accurately.

• An awareness of the similarities and differences between periods ranging across large tracts of time.

• An ability to cope with contradictory sources of information and an enjoyment of problem solving and detective work.

• An interest in abstract, philosophical and political ideas.


As gifted pupils move into year 9 and GCSE they may show:

• An ability to use their knowledge and understanding to develop their own questions and enquiries about the past.

• A developing awareness of the nature of history as a discipline (e.g. historical methodology)

• The ability to read actively and critically considering the purpose and reliability of the authors and documents they read.

•An independent and original approach to tasks and activities in the classroom.


Provision for gifted pupils

As a department we believe that our primary responsibility is to meet the needs of our gifted pupils within the classroom. We are currently in the process of modifying our schemes of works in order to create distinct teaching and learning programmes aimed at the most able pupils. The types of activity which are included in these new schemes of work include:

• Open-ended tasks in which pupils devise and develop their own enquiries.

• Activities which refine pupils? skills of reasoning, analysis and argument.

• Exercises based on evaluating different interpretations of the past.

• Tasks that encourage creativity and independent thinking.

• Questions which have a philosophical or moral dimension.

• Opportunities to discuss and debate issues with other students and members of staff.


In addition to the above the department has been involved in the following activities of interest to gifted pupils:

• Trips abroad to China, Brussels, Berlin, and France and Rome.

• Work on Terrorism with Bideford College and Queen Elizabeth's culminating in a 1 day history conference for year 9

• GCSE medicine through time workshops

• Targeted revision sessions for year 11 (particularly those achieving B/A/A*)

• ?Fast track? GCSE alongside Geography and RE


Respect  * Responsibility *  Resilience * Trust *  Kindness *  Courage


A specialist language college

Pilton Community College, Chaddiford Lane, Barnstaple, Devon  EX31 1RB.  01271 374381  email: admin@pilton.college