Welcome to the History Department

Winston 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 pupils 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 pupils 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, primary source material, films and documentaries as well as visits to sites associated with the specification. The department organises an annual visit to the War Grave sites of WW1 in Flanders.


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, pupils 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 "The Battle of Hastings", “The Norman Conquest”, “Life in the middle ages” and “The Tudors”.

In Year 8, students study, “The Industrial Revolution”, “The Slave Trade”, "The Titanic Disaster", "The First World War" and “Life in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust”.


Key Stage 4

GCSE History is a four unit course where pupils study history from a Welsh perspective as well as history with a world focus.

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

This unit covers the main features of life during the Depression, of war on the Home Front and of post-war Britain. Topics include causes of the Depression, how people coped with the challenges of the Depression years, the coming of war, life during wartime, keeping up morale, life after war and rebuilding the country after 1945. Pupils will consider how the experience of people within Wales at this time was distinctive.

Unit 2 – Study in Depth – The USA: a Nation of Contrasts, 1910 – 1929

This unit focuses on the main problems and challenges facing American society during the period, the major economic problems and the development of American culture and society. Topics include immigration, race and religion, crime and corruption, the economic boom and the end of prosperity, popular entertainment, and the role of women.

Unit 3 – Thematic Study – Changes in Crime and Punishment, c.1500 to the present day

This unit focuses thematically on the main trends in the history of crime and punishment.  Topics include the causes and types of crime, law enforcement, combating and punishment of crime and changing attitudes towards crime and punishment over time. Pupils will consider the impact of changes in crime and punishment on Wales.

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 four diverse historical periods:

  • The British course examines the political, economic, social, cultural and religious development of the Tudor Monarchs in the period 1485-1603.

  • In European history, pupils undertake an in-depth analysis of Weimar Germany and its challenges c.1918-1933. This progresses on to an in-depth analysis of Nazi Germany c.1933-1945.

  • The world history course, focuses on the main trends, themes and influences that affected the USA between 1890 and 1990. This module deals with Civil Rights and American Foreign Policy.

  • The Non-Examination Assessment is a historical interpretations investigation, which focuses on an aspect of British society at the beginning of the 20th century.