Overview of the Subject:

History allows students to make sense of the world in which they live by helping learners to ask questions developing an identifying themes and links between now and the past. Through learning about the lives of those who came before them, students also develop an empathetic understanding of the actions and views of others gaining the ability to think independently making reasoned judgement about the past and its influence on the present.

At Guiseley School, our vision is to make History stimulating, developing an inquiring mind as well as an understanding of the past. We focus on how events and ideas have created change over time and how different historical events can be seen by different people. We proactively develop the core skills of analytical thought and high quality verbal and written communication that are not only central to the study of History, but also essential to life beyond school.

History is one of the most popular options at both GCSE and A Level. As a department we firmly believe that History should be the most engaging and enjoyable subject on the school curriculum, and seek to ensure that students leave us wanting to know more.

We introduce students to the ‘Big Picture’ of British and World History, looking at key topics and events, and linking them together. At KS3 students develop their ability to write and think analytically about the past. Year 7 is about embedding key skills and inquiry that will form the foundation for success throughout the school. The program of study is as follows:

  • What is History?
  • Medieval realms
  • The Making of the UK
  • The British Empire
  • Slavery and Civil Rights
  • The Impact of the industrial revolution
  • Women the Vote
  • The First World War
  • The Rise of Hitler
  • The Second World War
  • The Holocaust
  • The Cold War and the Assassination of JFK

At GCSE students follow the OCR B Schools History Project. This looks at a ‘big picture overview’ of public health developments’, as well as a more focused depth studies on Germany under the Nazis. We will also investigate the American West and a study in history around us.

At A level we follow the AQA syllabus. In year 12 students study Russia under the Tsars and the Russian Revolution and also a depth study of Britain 1900- 1914. At A2 students complete a personal study of 3,500 words on the topics of ‘Anti-Semitism from the French Revolution to the Foundation of the State of Israel’, which is worth 40% of the A2 grade, and the USSR 1941-1989 as the exam based module.

We also offer A Level politics, which at AS Level looks at the fundamentals of the British Political system before looking closely at different ideological perspectives in Year 13.


History is a fascinating subject, which we try to bring to life through teaching varied and engaging lessons.

We also run plenty of trips across the Key Stages:

Key Stage 3:

Year 7: Helmsley Castle.

  • Year 8: Beamish/ Liverpool Slavery Museum.
  • Year 9: Imperial War Museum.

Key Stage 4:

  • Year 10: Thackeray Medical Museum and Fountains Abbey.
  • Year 11: First World War Battlefields tour

Key Stage 5:

  • History: Auschwitz
  • Politics: Houses of Parliament, Westminster Politics Conference.

Young Historian
“We always study interesting things and the teachers make it really fun”.
Young Historian
“History is really interesting. The trips really make the events come to life”.
Young Historian
“The teachers always make an effort to make history interesting. I never thought History would be my favourite subject”.
Young Historian
“The highlight of my A level was my personal study, which gave me the confidence to research and think for myself”