Pupils listen sensitively to each other and to teachers, and respond appropriately.

ISI 2013


At Plymouth College, History is a flourishing subject and we encourage all students to share our passion for the past.

Students gain not only an understanding of the past but also the skills they need to explore and develop their own ideas.

They learn to question, challenge, research, discuss, explore, criticise, analyse, evaluate, argue, understand, explain and to pass exams. That is why historians are in such high demand in the job market. Years 7 - 9 follow the history of Britain chronologically from the Norman Conquest to the Second World War. At its heart, history is a story and the teaching is active and fun. We use debates, drama, student presentations, IT research, research projects, role-play and teacher-led discussions to explore the past.

Year 7s visit Launceston Castle to establish what life was like, and then they practise attacking and defending Restormel Castle to appreciate the grittier side of castle life. Year 8s welcome the Torrington 1646 historians into the school to be ‘treated’ (mauled!) by the barber surgeon and dressed in armour by Mistress Agnes before being punished for witchcraft by Sir Basil – fun, active and thoroughly educational.

Students have two, 40 minute lessons each week plus one, 25 minute homework. History is always one of the most popular options in Year 10. We study the Cambridge IGCSE with four, 40 minute periods each week, plus two, 30 minute homeworks. Class sizes range from 12 - 18 students, which allows plenty of small group discussion and teacher attention.

The course focuses on the major events of twentieth century’s international history from Nazi Germany to the Cold War. As part of the course, Year 10 have the opportunity to visit the battlefields of the First World War to gain a deeper understanding of soldiers’ everyday life and how the war was fought. This helps prepare students for their coursework research assignment at the start of Year 11 - worth 25% of the final mark.

The remainder of the assessment is two exams at the end of Year 11. Paper One focuses on short answer knowledge and Paper Two focuses on source analysis skills. Results are impressive and the teachers put a tremendous amount of time into exam-busting workshops to help the historians achieve as highly as they can.

Pupils listen sensitively to each other and to teachers, and respond appropriately.

ISI 2013
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