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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
Mrs N Rana-Brown Teacher of History and Assistant Head
Miss Z Noonan Teacher of History and Deputy Head
Miss J Fagg Teacher of History
Introduction to the Department

Department Mission Statement:

‘History is important because it connects us as a human family to people,
ideas and cultures across the world’

As a department we believe that History is fundamentally important because it illuminates our humanity and inhumanity and helps us to understand the ongoing local, national and international narrative of which we all a part of. Lifelong students of history can learn from our mistakes and see how past events have shaped the contours of current affairs. History helps students to fulfil our school mission statement to be ‘Christ to all’.

The Purpose of History at St Peter's

The purpose and intent of studying history at St Peter's is to bring students into a rich dialogue with the past. 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 to develop students’ curiosity, sense of identity and to foster an enjoyment of learning.

The department intends that students gain an understanding of how and why the world and society has changed. 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’. It is our intent that students studying History at St Peter’s will leave school with a broad knowledge of both local, national and worldwide events of historical significance.


The department places a strong emphasis on the importance of local history. There is a local history component in most modules. The local history investigated includes the following:

Year 7 - 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.

Year 8 – Suffragettes in Surrey, focusing on the life of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. We also investigate John Springfield – a black abolitionist from Guildford.

Year 9 - Second World War and the important contribution made to the allied victory by local man Alan Turing.

Key Stage 3 mASTERY

In our study of History at KS3 we aim to bring students into a rich dialogue with the past Local, National and International. We endeavour that our curriculum will help pupils to come to understand their place in the world and in the long story of human development. We also intend that our curriculum and its delivery underpin and reinforce the moral mind-set of our mission statement to be ‘Christ to all’.  

The mastery curriculum has been structured to equip students to master four key core historical skills: Causation (Year 7), Significance (Year 8) and Source analysis and Interpretations (Year 9).

Year 7 (Causation) – Power & Conflict 1066 to 1660

This skill teaches students causal reasoning.  We analyse how and why events or states of affairs occurred or emerged. Over time, and through repeated encounters with these types of questions, we endeavour that students develop schemata that allow them to recognise and deploy, with growing fluency and flexibility, the complex ways in which historians build these arguments. 

In Year 7, students will cover:

Anglo Saxon Society and the Norman Conquest - The events of 1066 and focus on how William established & consolidated his rule.

The Power of Religion - the crusades & the conflict between Church and state culminating with the death of Becket in 1170.

The Peasants Revolt – Black Death. Causes and Consequences of the Revolt.

The Tudor  Dynasty - the break from Rome, Reformation, Political and Religious tension present in Elizabethan England. The role of Anne Boleyn & Cromwell.  The religious roller coaster. Spanish Armada.

The Civil War - the origins and course of the English Civil War, debating whether it was inevitable that Charles I would lose his head in 1649.

England under Cromwell – life Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. Cromwell’s actions in Ireland.

The Restoration 1660 -  The Restoration of the monarchy in England in 1660 and the return of Charles II as king 

Local history – The Guildford Massacre of 1036.  Doom Paintings in St Peter & St Pauls Church in Chaldon

Year 8 (Significance) - The Development of Britain 1750 to 2000

In Year 8, students will cover:

The Industrial Revolution – examining how society transformed into an Industrial Nation and compare the significance of underlying factors that caused change.

Power to the People -  Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, Luddites, Peterloo Massacre, The Great Reform Act, the influence of Chartism and the Suffragettes.

The British Empire – Global impact of the British Empire. East Indian Company and India. The Sepoy Rebellion. The Kingdom of Benin. The Atlantic Slave trade and the Middle Passage.  Plantation life. Slave resistance – the Maroons in Jamaica, the Haiti Rebellion and Olaudah Equiano. Abolition of the Slave trade.

First World War – Causes of Conflict in 1914.  Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Schlieffen Plan. Trench life. Battle of the Somme.  Home front (Propaganda, Zeppelin raids, role of Women, Conscientious Objectors). Soldiers of the Empire. Case study of Walter Tull.  How disability was  experienced  during & after the war. Legacy of the British Empire.

Immigration Nation - this final unit considers the significance 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 look at historical patterns of immigration and how immigration has contributed to the evolution of British culture and identity. We study how the Jews and Irish  have shaped Britain.  The presence of a Black community in Tudor times.  The Battle of Cable Street 1936. The arrival of the Windrush 1948.  Notting Hill Riots 1958.  Rivers of Blood Speech 1968. The emergence of a Multicultural society by 2000.

Local History -Suffragettes in Surrey, focusing on the life of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence who lived in Dorking. We also study the Spike workhouse in Guildford as well as  the Zeppelin raid on Guildford 13th October 1915.

Year 9 (Sources/Interpretations) – Moments that Shaped the Modern World

Our topics in Year 9 give the students a grounding in their understanding of the Contemporary world.  We have entitled our curriculum ‘Moments that Shaped the Modern World’. The  curriculum is delivered through the skills of interpretation and source analysis.

In Year 9, we study the following:

The rise of the Dictators  - the rise to power and  the nature of the regimes of  Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco

Causes of the Second World War -Hitler’s foreign policy. Appeasement.

The Second World War – Dunkirk. Battle of Britain. Operation Barbarossa.  Stalingrad. D-Day Atomic Bombs.

The Holocaust – Roots of Anti-semitism. Ghettos. Final Solution. How has the holocaust been remember in art, literature and Cinema. 

Herstory –How History has been created. Medieval Women. Comparing Elizabeth I & Elizabeth II. Religious violence of the Witch hunts 1644 – 1646.  Breaking window or making shells’  Why did Women get the vote after the First World? Spitfire Women in World War two.  The 1960’s and the Revolution of the Pill. The 1968 Dagenham Strike.  Why was Margaret Thatcher such a controversial Prime Minister.  

Civil Rights in the USA – Non-European study focused on the developments of Black Civil Rights in America.  Proclamation in 1863. Jim Crow Laws. KKK. Brown V Board. Little Rock 9.n The  Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Martin Luther King.  Malcolm X, The Black power movement of the late 1970’s.

The Vietnam War (The World’s First Television War) –This topic encompasses why America won the Second World War but lost the Vietnam War. We examine the role of the media played in why American was defeated. Additionally, students explore guerrilla tactics, the Viet Cong, My Lai Massacre and the Tet Offensive.

Local History   Students investigate the role of Guildford resident Alan Turing and his contribution to winning the war.

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