Staffing: Mr R Kanter (Head of Department), Miss M Brothers, Mrs H Martin and Mrs L Shelmerdine

We are an innovative, forward thinking and like-minded department whose common goal is to bring history “alive” to all learners. We hope that through the study of the past that our students will have a greater understanding of today’s world and its challenges. We strive to develop the relevance of History in contemporary society.

The study of history provides students with the opportunity to not only acquire subject knowledge but to further their written and verbal skills of communication. This includes the analysis of various historical sources; and we encourage an analytical and critical approach.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 & 8 students receive 1.5 hours of History teaching per week.

In Year 9 GCSE History students receive 2 hours of History teaching per week.

Year Seven:

Following the updated 2014 National Curriculum scheme ‘The Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain, 1066-1509’.  This includes units on:

  • The Norman Conquest and its significance
  • Church and State: Henry II, Becket and John
  • England and its relationship with Scotland and Wales.
  • The Black Death and its impact
  • Popular protest- The Peasants Revolt
  • The Reformation and Tudor England

Year Eight:

‘The Development of Church, state and society in Britain, 1509-1745’ and ‘The Making of Modern Britain’.  This includes units on:

  • The causes of the English Civil Wars
  • The Republic – Oliver Cromwell and his divided reputation.
  • Towards a United Britain up to 1745.
  • The French Revolution- Causes and impact
  • The development of democracy in Britain, including women’s suffrage up to 1918.
  • The growth and development of the British Empire, including the background to and processes of the ‘Slave Trade’.

Year Nine: 

This is a GCSE Transition year, where we introduce students to the key skills required for success at GCSE Level. In the summer term we start to teach the GCSE ‘Modern World Depth Study’.

Key units include:

  • Was the British Empire an empire to be proud of?
  • The slave trade and the abolition debate.
  • The legacy of slavery in the USA – Civil Rights
  • Causes and outline of the ‘great war’- 1914-18
  • The Peace Settlements and their impact in the 1920s.
  • Weimar Germany – 1918-1929
  • The Holocaust (full study day)

Key Stage 4

In Year 10 GCSE History students have 2 hours teaching of History per week.

In Year 11 GCSE History students have 2.5 hours teaching of History per week.

The current year 11 follow the GCSE EdExcel Modern World History (A) specification.  Each Unit is worth 25% of the final GCSE grade.

The current year 10 follow the GCSE EdExcel Schools History Project (B) specification. Each unit is worth 25% of the final GCSE grade. This includes units of study on ‘Medicine Through Time’ and ‘The Transformation of Surgery’ 1845-1918 (Source unit) as well as a modern world depth study on ‘Germany 1918-45’ and controlled assessment as detailed below.

Our GCSE History results are generally above the National average.

In 2015 our GCSE cohort achieved 66% A*-C grades and 28% A*/A grades.

In 2014 our GCSE cohort achieved 70% A*-C grades and 32% A*/A grades. Our GCSE History results are generally above the National average.

Course TimelineWhat Do We Study?
Autumn/ Winter Year TenUnit Three (Sources): Britain 1931-51. This includes work on unemployment in 1930s Britain, the British role in World War Two and the creation of the welfare state up to 1951.
Spring/Summer Year TenUnit Four (Controlled Assessment): Three pieces of formally assessed work on 'Changes in British Society, 1951-79', including work on aspects of the 'Swinging Sixties'.
Autumn Year ElevenUnit Two ( Depth study) Germany 1918-39. This includes work on the rise and dictatorship of Hitler and the Nazi party.
Spring Year ElevenUnit One: International Relations,1943-9. This includes case studies of three Cold War crises (Berlin, Cuba and Czechoslovakia).

Three external linear exams are sat in the summer of Year 11. Unit Four is completed in exam conditions during regular lessons.

Extra Curricular Activities

The department offers many opportunities to extend our students appreciation for the subject.  Our History Club meets weekly and studies topics of interest.  This year we are focusing on the centenary of the ‘great war’ and aspects of our own family histories.

We have an excellent working relationship with Bury Museum and Archives, and this has presented many opportunities for our students to experience ‘hands on’ history.

We organise an annual end of KS3 Holocaust Study Day, which includes the unique testimony of a concentration/Death camp survivor or close family relative. In July 2016 we will host Kindertransport survivor, Mr Ernest Simon, on behalf of the Holocaust Education Trust. Mr Simon will give his testimony to the whole year group.

We lead an annual Year 11 visit to Berlin in conjunction with the Languages department.  During the visit students visit various places of interest including Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, The Reichstag, Berlin Olympic Stadium and the Jewish Museum.  This visit has proved to be very popular and enriching for our students. Student feedback is always positive and one student said after the 2016 visit that ‘ The Berlin visit was the most fantastic week of my life so far’.

We are very proud of our links with Bury Museum and Archives.  We have worked together to produce original, archive based schemes of learning on ‘Cotton Threads’: Bury’s role in the Industrial Revolution and links to the Slave Trade and ‘Safety in Numbers’: A source based scheme on Prestwich Asylum.

Future Developments

We are exploring the possibility of battlefield site visits in France to commemorate the centenary of the ‘great war’.

Successful visits to London have run in the past and we aim to reinstate this visit, including workshops at the redeveloped Imperial War Museum, and the Houses of Parliament.

We propose to produce a booklet celebrating the History and heritage of Bury Church of England High School.  This will involve students researching our school’s History, with staff support, and working as a team to produce this important production.