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“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Marcus Garvey 


A strong History education plays a fundamental role in understanding not only the past, but also the present. We aim to develop an understanding of the social, political, economic and cultural foundations of society in both Britain and the wider world.

By developing a strong sense of Historical empathy and a critical understanding of the past, History education plays an important role in a student’s personal intellectual, political and cultural development. Through fostering a greater understanding of the past, we believe History education prepares students for more active citizenship in the future.

History education plays a key role in developing broader literacy skills, critical thinking and cultural capital that equips students for lifelong learning and success in the community workplace.

Class Activities and Enrichment

The History department regularly supports learning with trips to historical sites in the local community and beyond. Previous visits have included study days at the National Maritime Museum and Old Operating Theatre with many more planned in the future. The department also has links with outside organisations such as the Windrush Foundation and the Equiano Society, who have provided speakers for assembles and a touring exhibition at the school.


Our Key Stage Three curriculum is designed to engage students with some of the ideas and events that have shaped our world and local community. Key enquiries include:

  • The History of Deptford: This unit covers key moments in Deptford’s history such as its role as one of Britain’s most significant dockyards, the writings of Samuel Pepys and Deptford’s experience of the blitz.
  • The role of the monarchy in Medieval England: In this unit students consider how key events in the middle ages such as the signing of Magna Carta and the Peasants’ Revolt challenged the power of the monarchy.
  • The Kingdom of Benin: This unit looks at the growth and development of one of West Africa’s most significant empires, and explores the significance of their trade with Europeans.
  • The British Empire and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: In this unit, students firstly examine the experiences of slaves in the Caribbean and the USA before explaining why the Slave Trade was abolished.
  • The Suffrage Movement: This unit explores the growth and changing nature of the campaign for women’s suffrage, evaluating the importance of different protest groups.
  • The Russian Revolution: In this unit we consider the key causes and events of the Russian Revolution and its impact on the Russian people.
  • The Second World War & Holocaust: This unit covers the main theatres of the Second World War, focusing on the varying nature of fighting. Students then investigate the Holocaust through the testimonies of the people that survived it.


At Key Stage 4, our students study Edexcel GCSE History. The course comprises of the following units which are examined across three papers at the end of Year 11:

  • Medicine in Britain 1250 - Present Day: This unit is our breadth study that explores the development of medical knowledge and treatment over the course of the last 750 years. Students will learn about key developments such as Edward Jenner’s vaccination, Pasteur’s Germ Theory and the discovery of DNA.
  • Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588: This unit is our depth study that focuses on the challenges that Elizabeth I faced during her early reign, from questions about her legitimacy to religious conflict. The course also considers everyday life in Elizabethan England and England’s attempt to establish its first colony in America.
  • Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-1991: This unit explores the tension between the USA and USSR during the Cold War and the crises that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Students will study key events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Prague Spring and the Berlin Blockade.
  • The USA - Conflict at Home and Abroad 1954-75: In this unit students explore historians interpretations of some of the most dramatic moments in America’s recent History. Students examine the non-violent and radical Civil Rights Protests against inequality in the 1950’s & 60’s and later protests against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Mr Callaghan, Head of History: