History Department Staff

For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mr J Shannon the Curriculum Leader.

  • Mr J Shannon - Curriculum Leader
  • Mrs H Barrett
  • Mr M Barrett 
  • Mr A Himsworth
  • Mr J Morgan (Assistant Head Teacher: Curriculum)
  • Mr S Riley (Head of Farington)
  • Mrs J Singleton

Curriculum Intent

History at Balshaw’s aims to bring students into a rich dialogue with the past and the traditions of historical enquiry. The past and changing accounts of the past have shaped the identities of diverse people, groups and nations. Through the study of History, students come to understand their place in the world, and in the long story of human development. The study of History challenges students to make sense of the striking similarities and vast differences in human experiences across time and place. Moreover, we aim to equip students with the knowledge of how historians and others construct accounts about the past, building on and challenging or refining the work of others. Students learn how argument and debate can be underpinned by shared principles of enquiry, and how this can drive and test new knowledge and insight about shared pasts.


Year 7

How successfully did Medieval monarchs respond to the challenges
they faced and establish authoritarian rule by the 16th Century?

What travelled the Silk Road?
Is Historian Marc Morris right about the Norman Conquest?
Which Medieval monarch was the most effective at establishing their authority?
How significant was the role of the Church in Medieval society?
What were Medieval peasants lives really like?
How much religious turmoil did the Tudors unleash?


Year 8

How successfully have people been able to challenge
authoritarian rule in Britain and around the world?

How far was life in England turned upside down by the English Civil War?
How did the Glorious Revolution give Parliament supreme authority over England and the UK?
How similar is power and authority in Africa to that of Europe?
How did protest contribute to a more Democratic Britain?
Was the Industrial Revolution Liberty's Dawn?


Year 9

What happened when Democracy clashed with autocracy
in the 20th Century?

How far was WWI a horror of gas, industrialised slaughter & appalling human suffering?

How did the Nazi party kill Democracy in Germany?

Why did people disagree about life in Nazi Germany?
Did Britain really stand alone during WWII?
Why did authoritarian and democratic ideologies colide?


At KS4 we follow the AQA 9-1 GCSE History specification. Students sit Paper 1 and Paper 2 at the end of Year 11 and there is no coursework. Below is an overview of what we study and when:

Year 10

Paper 2 Shaping the Nation

Section A: Thematic Studies
Britain: Health and the People: c1000 to the present day:

  • Part one: Medicine stands still;
  • Part two: The Beginnings of Change
  • Part three: A revolution in Medicine
  • Part four: Modern Medicine

Section B: British Depth Study
Elizabethan England:

  • Part One: Elizabeth’s Court and Parliament
  • Part two: Life in Elizabethan times 
  • Part three: Troubles at home and abroad 
  • Part four: The Historic Environment


Year 11

Paper 1 Understanding the modern world 

Section B: Wider World Depth Study
Conflict and Tension: The First World War, 1894-1918

  • Part one: The Causes of the First World War
  • Part two: The First World War: Stalemate
  • Part three: Ending the War

Section A: Wider world Period study
America, 1920-1973: Opportunity and Inequality

  • Part one: American people and the ‘Boom’
  • Part two: Bust-Americans’ experiences of the Depression and New Deal
  • Part three: Post-war America