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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School


Head of History :  Miss B Labonte 

Teacher of History: Mr Glenn Murphie

Teacher of History: Miss E Kinghorn

Teacher of History: Mr S Buchmann

History at Holmer Green Senior School is a successful and popular subject area with lessons being delivered twice a week for Years 7-11 and 4 times a week at Key Stage 5.  

Work Hard:  

History lessons at HGSS are a blend of written, evaluative and discussion-based learning. Our experienced teaching team will utilise a wide range of teaching methods, and the lessons will be stimulating.  History lessons for all years are designed to be both interesting and designed to prepare students thoroughly for exams and coursework tasks.   

We encourage students to engage in structured debate and discussion in lessons, to foster the capacity of students to articulate and justify their views. This emphasis on developing student oracy allows students to emerge as confident and articulate historians.  

Finally, history allows us to make sense of the world around us and our place within it. Given History’s importance, the History Department aims to develop students into global citizens who have an awareness of history’s impact on and relevance to the twenty-first century world. Students are encouraged to make real world applications of their studies to the twenty-first century world. For example, at Year 8, our ‘Female Suffrage’ unit culminates in a campaign to improve female rights in another country around the world. At Year 9, students are challenged to evaluate the significance of bystanders, perpetrators and upstanders as they recreate the Nuremberg Trials. 

In brief, History lessons at HGSS are exciting, motivating, challenging and purposeful. 

Have Passion: 

Our weekly History Society will launch to all years in September 2023. Students will take part in a variety of activities like researching historical passion projects, taking part in debates, and fun activities like cooking ration recipes. 

In the Holmer Green History Department we encourage students to read, watch and listen around their subject. See our ‘History Department’s Ones to Read and Watch’ as an example. Students are encouraged to submit a book, film, or podcast review to their History Teacher and will receive 3 achievement points for excellence. 

Regular educational visits enrich the experience of our students. Our annual Year 9 WWI Battlefields residential trip allows students to deepen their understanding of their studies of WW1. At Year 10 we are hoping to launch a residential trip to Berlin to support pupils’ study of the Cold War at GCSE. 

History students have gone on to a range of highly selective universities in recent years, including the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol and Warwick. Students in older year groups have the opportunity to mentor younger students in History Society, and participate in a number of enrichment opportunities, including the Holocaust Educational Trust’s ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project.  

Be Kind:  

Our History curriculum is structured to enable students to develop their morals and values. At KS3 students are introduced to core British values such as the values of democracy, the rule of law, and individual liberty.  When students study the Magna Carta in Year 7, they at are exposed to legislations that still exist today. For instance, the fact that everyone is subject to the law, even the Prime Minister and the King, and that we all have the constitutional right to a fair trial.  

History also encourages a deeper understanding of difference. There are lessons, both good and bad, to be learnt from the way our ancestors have interacted with other people who have different ways of living. In a modern world where inclusion is embraced no matter your background, an understanding of how past societies have integrated is key to humanity improving in the future.


The Holmer Green History curriculum is a spiral curriculum that builds on skills and content from KS3-KS5. Lessons are not repetitive but instead promote the retention of historical skills and increases the complexity of the topic or theme with each revisit. 

Key Stage 3: 

At Key Stage 3, students gain a clear chronological narrative of the history of Britain in Year 7 ‘Our Island Story’, before undertaking a wider global study of ‘Human Rights and Protest’ in Year 8. In Year 9 students are challenged to evaluate history’s impact on and relevance to the modern world as they explore ‘Contemporary Challenges’ over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  

Key Stage 4: 

At Key Stage 4 we are launching our new Edexcel GCSE curriculum in September 2023. Over the course of a two-year GCSE, students will study three papers. 

Students begin their GCSE in Year 10 by studying Paper 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany. In the spring and summer term of Year 10 students will study Paper 2: B3: Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509–40 and P4: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91. 

In Year 11 students study Paper 1: Option 11: Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and the British sector of the Western Front 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches as well as a dedicated programme of revision. 

In Year 11 our final OCR GCSE cohort (exams Summer 2023) will complete their remaining OCR GCSE unit The Elizabethans 1588 - 1603 (Paper 1) and a programme of revision. 

Key Stage 5: 

At Key Stage 5 A-level Historians study the OCR A-level specification. In Year 12 students' study Y106 The Early Tudors 1485 - 1558 (Paper 1) and Y319 Civil Rights in the USA 1865–1992 (Paper 3) 

In Year 13 students' study Y223 The Cold War in Europe 1941–1995 (Paper 2) and complete their individual Non-Examined Assessment, coursework essay.