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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School


“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”  Marcus Garvey

A study of History allows students to understand how the world we live in was shaped and the various elements that have influenced today’s society.  It equips them with a sound, research based understanding of the past, as well as the crucial skills of analysis, argument and extended writing.  At St Albans Girls' School, students do more than just learn facts; they are encouraged to investigate the past independently and understand the ways in which it has been interpreted differently.  They develop source analysis and evaluation skills, along with the ability to carry out an historical enquiry and formulate judgments on the causes and consequences of events. 

Lessons are characterised by a series of different approaches to appeal to all learners, including use of contemporary evidence, visual material, mind-mapping, drama and ICT. Students at all key stages are offered help with home learning when required and can always make appointments to talk to their teacher outside of the class time. 

History is a popular subject throughout the school and many students opt for both GCSE and A Level courses. The importance of History is also celebrated throughout the wider school community, for example through special assemblies, visiting speakers or external visits to sites of historical importance, such as the First World War battlefields in Ypres

The Department

Curriculum Leader: Miss R Cardani

Teachers: Mr J Mitchell, Miss T Miles, Miss L Kemp


What will be studied?

Year 7

  • Medieval realms
  • The Tudors

Year 8

  • The Stuarts
  • Industrial Revolution
  • The British Empire and Slavery

Year 9

  • Political change in 19th century
  • Warfare through time
  • GCSE unit: Medicine on the Western Front

What support is needed?

  • Encouraging reading (both fiction and nonfiction, historical or otherwise)
  • Watching relevant TV documentaries and historical film
  • History themed days out e.g. museums and heritage sites
  • Discussion of History in the news e.g. discovery of Richard III!

How will they be assessed?

  • Ongoing informal teacher assessment
  • Formal end of unit assessments
  • End of year examination


Exam Board: Edexcel

Specification No: 1Hl0

What will be studied?

The course is comprised of four exciting units and covers a range of both World History and British topics; both in overview and depth. Students are asked to consider the big questions of the 20th century: through units on Weimar and Nazi Germany and the Cold War period. For our British depth study we will be looking at the Anglo-Saxons and Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and our breadth study will focus on the development of modern medicine from Greek times to the creation of the modern NHS.

How is the course assessed?

There is no controlled assessment: all student knowledge and understanding will be assessed through examination.  The 4 examined modules will be tested in the May/June of Year 11 in three examinations, lasting between 1hour 15 and 1 hour 45 minutes.  Internal tests and mock exams will be carried out in order to monitor students’ progress and provide feedback on their attainment and exam technique.

What texts are recommended?

We use Hodder for Edexel textbooks in lessons and all students are given access to an e-book version to refer to outside of the classroom.  Further reading is provided in lessons, where appropriate, and subject teachers can recommend texts to individual students who would like to investigate a particular topic in more depth.

What websites are recommended?

BBC Bitesize
Edexel website for specimen/past papers

What equipment is needed?

Their exercise book and personal stationery every lesson.

A Level

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 7042

What will be studied?

The whole course covers World History from medieval to modern and follows the AQA specification.  Over the two year course, students will undertake a breadth study, focusing on Tsarist and Communist Russia between the years 1855 to 1964 (40%) and an investigation into the Wars of the Roses 1450-1499 (40%).  In Year 13, they will carry out the non-examined unit (coursework), which focuses on Civil Rights in America from 1865-2013 (20%).

How is the course assessed?

This is a linear course, with all exams and coursework in Year 13.  Both papers (Russia and the Wars of the Roses) require students to compose extended essays focusing on significant historical developments, whilst the former focuses on analysing different historical interpretations and the latter on evaluating contemporary evidence.

What texts are recommended?

Students will be given a copy of the AQA course textbooks and a selection of books from the further reading list (provided to all students) is below:


Orlando Figes – ‘A People’s Tragedy’
Orlando Figes – ‘Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991’
Simon Sebag Montefiore – ‘The Court of the Red Tsar’

Civil Rights:

Adam Fairclough – ‘Better Day Coming’, Blacks and Equality, 1890-2000’

Wars of the Roses

D Cook, Lancastrians and Yorkists: The Wars of the Roses, Longman, 1984
D Grummitt, A Short History of the Wars of the Roses, I. B. Tauris, 2012
C Pendrill, The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII: England 1459-c.1513, Heinemann, 2004
C Ross, The Wars of the Roses, Thames and Hudson, 1986

What equipment is needed?

Their folder, relevant textbook and personal stationery every lesson.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



(To request a paper copy, please contact our Administration Department)

01727 853134