Department Information

King James Academy History department allows students to develop skills and knowledge which makes them more aware of the society in which they live. We encourage an investigative approach to the subject with students encouraged to ask questions and be inquisitive about the world around them. Students are challenged to analyse sources and also consider the causes and consequences of important events in British and World History from the Medieval period to the Modern era. During each year the students study a unit – ‘History Around Us’ where they undertake an historical visit and assess the importance of the site studied.  This includes visits to Durham Cathedral, Jorvik and the Ripon Prison and Workhouse.  Students study History from Key Stage Three to Key Stage Five and cover a variety of different topics as outlined below.


Key Stage 5


A LEVEL HISTORY: Edexcel: 2 Year Course

Paper 1 H: Breadth study with interpretations:  Britain Transformed, 1918–973: 30% of final marks: : A level Examination: 2 hours 15 minutes

Paper 2 H: Depth study:  2H.1: The USA, c1920–55: Boom, Bust and Recovery: 20% of final marks: A Level examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth: Option 33: The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580–c1750  30% of final marks: 2 hours 15 minutes      

Paper 4: Coursework:  20% of final marks: A level Students complete an independently researched enquiry on historical interpretations: Was the Final Solution a long term plan?  Assessment 3000-4000 word essay: Internally assessed and externally moderated.

Year 12

In Year 12 students will cover 2 of the 4 units examined at A Level. They will study Paper 1 Unit 2: The USA 1920 – 1955. Students will learn about American society and the period of ‘boom and bust’; the period of prosperity and then following the Wall Street Crash, the Period of Depression. They will also learn about Roosevelt’s attempts to recover American society with his New Deal. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of economic change and its long-term effects, the growing demands by Black Americans for Social Equality, and the Cultural changes driven by individuals and by Technological change. Students will also complete a 4,000 coursework enquiry study analysing whether the Final Solution was a long term plan by Hitler. Students have to analyse a topic of historical debate and consider different opinions about the planning of the Holocaust.

Year 13

In Year 13 students will study British, European and American history. For Unit 1H students will cover British history from 1918- 1997. This includes British Political, Economic, Industrial and Social History. This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed Politically, Socially, Economically and Culturally in the years 1918–79. They will consider responses to the challenges of War, fluctuations in the Economy, Technological advancement and the desire for greater Social Equality. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale: 1918–79. This option also contains a study in depth of Historical Interpretations on a broad question: what impact Thatcher’s governments had on Britain, 1979–97.

For Paper 3 Option 33 students will explore the nature of the Witch Craze that took hold in the late-Sixteenth Century and the changing attitudes to Magic and Sorcery that eventually contributed to its decline. Together, students will study the Social, Economic, Political and Dimensions of the Phenomenon, and the broad Intellectual Changes that ushered in what is often called the Age of Reason.

Year 12

Year 13

Paper 1 Unit 2: The USA 1920 – 1955

Paper 1 H: Breadth study with interpretations:  Britain Transformed, 1918–973

Unit 4: 4,000 coursework enquiry study: To what extent was the Final Solution was a long term plan?

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth: Option 33: The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580–c1750