Introduction and Curriculum
The History department aims to help young people better understand the modern world they live in by comparing and contrasting it with times past. To do this students explore a variety of eras and question the ways historians interpret the sources from that era. Amongst other things, students learn about the importance of 1066, the representation of the Victorians and the significance of the Great War. History students at Isca find themselves recreating the Battle of Hastings, building models of First World War trenches as well as developing the analytical writing skills that best help them express their findings. A creative approach to historical investigation is encouraged at all times.
At GCSE, students follow the Edexcel History specification, which encourages their analytical thinking as historians. They question the validity of sources and learn to evaluate historical interpretations – they are always reminded to ‘think like a Historian’.

It’s important that Historians at Isca take responsibility for their own progress and to help them learn to do this, the History team uses Personal Learning Checklists. Students use these to constantly assess their own skills as Historians and to target set to ensure their progress. To support those in need, classroom teachers organise a range of in-class support such as guided sessions; students working in guided groups, targets set from teacher marking and using Personal Learning Checklists so that students always know what skills they have mastered and their next steps for learning.  These strategies are used to support those who find History challenging but are also deployed to help extend the thinking and performance of the more able.

Extra-Curricular Activities
The History team believes it’s vital for young Historians to see at first hand the impact of historical events upon modern life. To this end, there are always a variety of enrichment activities available with a historical theme: from visits by Holocaust survivors to theatre trips and field trips in this country and abroad. We believe this provides students with an insight into the lasting impact of the historical events they study.

GCSE History Syllabus

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment: Crime and Punishment through time
Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes, 30%* of the qualification
52 marks (16 for the historic environment, 36 for the thematic study)

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study: American West and Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes, 40%* of the qualification
64 marks (32 for the period study and 32 for the British depth study)

Paper 3: Modern depth study: Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1939
Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes, 30%* of the qualification