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Welcome to the History Department

ICTWinston Churchill, an orator of world renown, made the prolific statement “Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it”. This can be considered the basis of why children need to study History and why History at Bryntirion Comprehensive School is stimulating and popular.

History offers a curriculum that is designed to equip students with a wide range of historical and generic skills which will prepare them for life after school.     
In particular the aims of the History department are as follows:

  1. To develop a passion for and an interest in the subject;
  2. To develop an awareness of the past and how the past impinges on our lives;
  3. To develop the skills necessary for later life;
  4. To prepare students for their GCSE and A Level examinations

 The History department at Bryntirion is very successful and our students display enthusiasm and commitment. At each Key Stage they are challenged to do their best and their efforts deserve praise. Their work is supported by modern textbooks, films and DVD material as well as visits to sites associated with the specification. 2015 saw the Department visit the War Graves sites of WW1 in Flanders. A similar trip in 2016 is also scheduled.


Key Stage 3

At KS3 a great deal of work is evidence based, using skills which develop over the whole period of the Key Stage. As well as learning the facts, students are asked to evaluate, find similarities and differences between people and between situations, discover the causes and consequences of events and interpret those events. Maps and diagrams are used to illustrate particular situations and are evaluated.

Topics include, in Year 7 “How to be an Historian”, “The Norman Conquest”, “The Importance of Religion” and “Village and Town Life in Medieval Times”

In Year 8, students study, “The Tudor Monarchs”, “The Civil War” and “The Slave Trade”.

Year 9 sees students concentrate on the “Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions”, “World War 1” and “20th Century Personalities”.

Key Stage 4

This is a four unit course where pupils study aspects of two major societies across a number of centuries.

Unit 1 - Study in Depth - Depression, War and Recovery, 1930-1951

The unit covers the main features of life in the Depression, of War on the Home Front and of Post-War Wales and England.  Topics include the growth of Mass Unemployment, The Blitz and the setting up of the National Health Service.

Unit 2 - Study in Depth - Germany in Transition, 1919-1939

Impact of the First World War, the problems facing Weimar Germany, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the ways in which the Nazis influenced life in Germany, the beginning of World War Two.

Unit 3 - Thematic Study - Changes in Health & Medicine C.1340 to the Present Day

Main causes of illness and disease over time, attempts to prevent and cure illness and disease, advances in medical knowledge, developments in patient care, public health and welfare.

Unit 4 - Working as a Historian

This is a non-examination assessment and will involve the completion of two separate tasks, one with a focus on source evaluation and one on different historical interpretations of history.


Key Stage 5

At A and AS Level, History is a thought provoking, challenging and rewarding subject, leading to a qualification that is fully recognised by universities and employers alike as an important step towards academic and vocational development.

The WJEC specification concentrates on three diverse historical periods. The British course examines social, political and religious developments and the foreign relations of the Tudor monarchs in this period.

In European history, we develop work studied at GCSE with an in-depth analysis of Weimar/Nazi Germany. The documentary skills used at GCSE are fully incorporated into this element of the course, together with a coursework component.

The third element of the course, which is only taught at A2 level, focusses on the USA 1770-1970.