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St Peter's
Catholic School


Mr S Power

Head of History

The Team
Mr L Ebbs Teacher of History
Dr K Karavida    Teacher of History and Classics
Miss N Rana  Teacher of History and Head of Year
Miss Z Noonan Teacher of History and Deputy Head
Miss J Fagg Teacher of History
Mrs H Sanjurjo Teacher of History and Geography
Mr Alex Dodsworth Teacher of History and Geography
Introduction to the Department

Department Mission Statement:

‘We aim to inspire young people to develop an infectious curiosity about History, to
become  critical and reflective historians, whilst promoting being Christ to All’

The purpose and intent of studying history at St Peters is to bring students into a rich dialogue with the past and with the traditions of historical enquiry. We aim to infuse in our students a passion for this subject that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The curriculum has been designed specifically to develop students’ curiosity, sense of identity and understand their place in the world and foster an enjoyment of learning.

By studying the topics we have chosen the department intends that students gain an understanding of how and why the world and indeed society has changed in the way it has. We hope students develop a diverse world view that encompasses gender, culture and the importance of diversity. This we hope will enrich our Catholic ethos ‘To be Christ to all’. Students studying History at St Peter will leave school with a broad knowledge of both local, national and worldwide events of historical significance as well as an understanding of the pivotal  role History has had in the human story.


The department places a strong emphasis on the importance of local history. There is a local history component in most modules. In year 7 we study the Guildford massacre of Prince Alfred in 1036. We also look at the medieval doom painting in St Peter & St Pauls Church in Chaldon in Surrey. In your 8 we study how the coming of the railway effected Guildford as well as an investigation into the Guildford workhouse. By working closely with Surrey History Centre we have developed our curriculum to examine Black history in surrey by looking at the lives of Kingston businessman Cesar Picton (1755 – 1836) Guildford shoemaker John Springfield (1847-1891) Thomas Jackson (1890 ) and the first black female poet Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784). In year 9 we look at Guildford in the second world war as we as the important contribution made to the allied victory by local man Alan Turing.

Key Stage 3 mASTERY

The mastery curriculum has been structured to equip students to master three key core historical  skills: causation/consequences (year 7), change/continuity (year 8) and sources/interpretations (year 9).

Year 7 - Causation / consequence – we teach students causal reasoning and how to shape arguments about causation.  We analyse how and why events or states of affairs occurred or emerged. Over time, and through repeated encounters with these types of questions, students develop schemata that allow them to recognise and deploy, with growing fluency and flexibility, the complex ways in which historians build these arguments.

Students start by looking at the events of 1066 and focus on how William established & consolidated his rule.  Next students study a local history unit that focuses on the discovery in 1929 of the bodies of Prince Alfred and his men in Guildford. Students then exam the question of why religion caused conflict in Medieval times. This is done through examination of local parish doom paintings (one such painting being from  St Peter & St Pauls Church in Chaldon) , monasteries, Becket and the Crusades.  We next examine whether the Tudor’s break from Rome would have happened without Anne Boleyn. The Reformation is studied in depth as is the political and religious tension present in Elizabethan England. The focus on conflict concludes by studying the origins and course of the English Civil War, debating whether or not it was inevitable that Charles I would lose his head.

Year 8 -  Change and Continuity –  In year 8 students study the concept of change and continuity. This is the historical analysis of the pace, nature and extent of change, or characterisation of the process of change. Students will be able to synoptically assess patterns and turning points across a range or periods in history.

The topics covered here begin with an in depth study of the Industrial Revolution and French Revolution where students will be encouraged to compare the rates of change and continuity. When studying the British Empire we focus on the growth of the empire and its controversial links with the slave trade. We look at the impact of the British Empire and the nature of the changes it brought about. We study how slaves themselves resisted by case studies examining the Maroons in Jamaica and the writing of Olaudah Equiano. We examine the abolition of the Slave Trade and ask the question did the abolition come about because of the resistance of the slaves, economic factors or the impact of Wilberforce?  We conclude the work in year 8 by studying the impact of the First World War and the types of change it caused. 

Year 9 - Sources/Interpretations –In year 9 students study the causes of the second world war and interpretations of some of its major turning points; Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Stalingrad and use of the Atomic Bombs. Students critically evaluate sources from the Home Front in WWII and examine these interpretations of turning points in the war.  Students follow the case study of Alan Turing, his contribution to winning the war and his local links to Guildford. This leads on to a unit on interpretations around the causes of the Cold War and its key turning points. Students follow a depth study of the role of the media in the Vietnam war.

We also want students to have detailed knowledge of a non-European unit of work so we also focus on the struggle for Black Civil Rights in the USA from the Proclamation in 1863 right to until the end of the 1960’s. Interpretation skills are developed as we study such moments as Brown V Board, Little Rock, the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and the role of Martin Luther King where students are invited to compare with Malcolm X and the Black power movement of the late 1960’s.

The next two units in year 9 are an in-depth look at some the political and cultural building blocks of modern Britain. We look at the curriculum from the perspective of Herstory –under the title ‘Women that changed the World’. Major moments in the curriculum are re-examined from womens’ perspective and the conventional interpretations are challenged – for example, Catherine of Aragon is re-examined as a person who won a war, stood up for her moral principles and was a central part of the narrative. We study the influence of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole as well also examine Katherine Johnson’s contribution to the NASA space programme. Women’s campaign for suffrage before World War One and contribution to allied victories in both global conflicts.

 The final unit considers the evolution of Britain’s diverse identity, from Roman times onwards. We study how immigration has shaped and contributed to the shaping of our modern diverse culture. We study waves of immigration (Jewish, Irish)  from the Roman period up to our modern era. We especially focus on 20th Century moments of migration for example with the arrival of the HMS Windrush.  These central tenants of modern Britain are then set long side other developments like the emergence of popular culture and the communications revolution of the last century.

key stage 4 information

In key Stage 4 we follow the Edexcel History 9 to 1 programme. We follow a course that enables students to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods and societies in local, British and wider world history. The Curriculum intent is designed to develop students as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers. Its is also designed to instil in students a life long love of this subject. We intend that they will develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context. Students will also develop an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance, and how and why different interpretations have been constructed.

The course is structured with written three exams:

Paper one is a thematic study and historic environmental study. This focuses on crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city.

Our intent for Crime and punishment  

In studying this unit of work students are taught about key features in the development of crime and punishment and how these are linked with the key features of society in Britain in the periods studied. The topic themes followed are Nature and changing definitions of criminal activity and the nature of law enforcement and punishment. Students develop an understanding of the nature and process of change. They study patterns of change, trends and turning points, and the influence of factors inhibiting or encouraging change within periods and across the theme. The key factors are: attitudes in society; individuals and institutions (Church and government); and science and technology

This builds on many of the areas touched upon in the mastery curriculum in Key Stage 3. Notably the role of the medieval church which lays the foundation for the case study on the influence of the Church on crime and punishment in the early thirteenth century. Our Key Stage 3 mastery module on Conflict in the Tudor & Stuart era helps lay the foundation for the case studies of the Gunpowder plot and the Witch hunts under Matthew Hopkins.  Our mastery unit on the industrial Revolution helps develop a solid knowledge of the social conditions that underpin the case study of Pentonville prison in the mid century as well as Robert Peel – his contribution to penal reform.

When studying Crime and punishment in modern Britain 1900 to the present day we examine Changing definitions of crime, including driving offences, race crimes and drug crimes and gender based violence and homophobic crime. Students examine how society has changed and what social and political forces have caused these changes.

 Our environmental study on Whitechapel helps the students develop a better insight into the experience of Jewish migrants in the East End of London in late nineteenth century and the presence of anti-Semitism in 19th Century society.

Paper two is a period study and British depth study the focus here is Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509–4 Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91.

Our intent for Henry VIII & his ministers

This British depth studies focus on a substantial and coherent short time span and require students to understand the complexity of a society or historical situation and the interplay of different aspects within it. The topic area studied is one of the most interesting periods in British History and equips students to understand how religious change has influenced the narrative of British History. The skills focused on are causation and change, continuity, consequence, similarity, difference, significance

Content covered includes

  • Henry VIII, Renaissance Prince
  • The rise of Wolsey and his policies
  • Wolsey’s foreign policy
  • The succession and annulment
  • Cromwell’s rise to power, 1529–34
  • Cromwell, and the king’s marriages
  • Cromwell and government, 1534–40
  • The fall of Cromwell
  • The break with Rome
  • Opposition to, and impact of, Reformation, 1534–40
  • The dissolution of the monasteries
  • The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536

Our intent for Superpower relations

The period studies focus on a time span of 50 years of world history and require students to understand the unfolding narrative and substantial developments in the Cold War and issues associated with the period. The skills focused on are consequence and analytical narrative.

Content covered includes

  • Early tension between East and West
  • The development of the Cold War
  • Increased tension between East and West 1958 to 1970
  • Cold War crises (Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis, Prague Spring)
  • Attempts to reduce tension between East and West
  • Flashpoints in the 1980’s
  • The collapse of Soviet control of Eastern Europe


Paper three  Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39.

Our intent for Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

Students analyse and evaluate contemporary sources and interpretations of this crucial period in modern European history. Students develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers so that they are also able  to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context . They are made aware of a range of evidence that can be used to reach conclusions. Students are taught how and why interpretations of History may differ.

Content covered includes

  • The origins of the Republic, 1918–19
  • The early challenges to the Weimar Republic, 1919–23
  • The recovery of the Republic, 1924–29
  • Changes in society, 1924–29
  • Early development of the Nazi Party, 1920–22
  • The Munich Putsch and the lean years, 1923–29
  • The growth in support for the Nazis, 1929–32
  • How Hitler became Chancellor, 1932–3
  • The creation of a dictatorship, 1933–34
  • The police state
  • Controlling and influencing attitudes
  • Opposition, resistance and conformity
  • Nazi policies towards women
  • Nazi policies towards the young
  • Employment and living standards
  • The persecution of minorities