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History Overview

Natalie Kesterton Head of History

Natalie Kesterton
Head of History

Head of Department

Please email Natalie Kesterton if you need to make an enquiry about history.

Curriculum Time

In Key Stage 3 all students receive three hours each fortnight of history. Currently at the end of Year 9 students can choose to opt for history as one of their GCSE options. History is a popular options subject; there are currently over 140 students in Key Stage 4 who have opted for GCSE history.


At Key Stage 3 students receive one homework each fortnight. At Key Stage 4 students receive three pieces of homework each fortnight. Homework is an integral part of the history curriculum and provides student with the opportunity to consolidate their learning, develop their skills and understanding and to investigate areas of personal interest.

Class Groupings

In Key Stage 3 students are grouped according to their English sets. GCSE classes are mixed ability, with appropriate planning and resourcing to meet the needs of all students who opt for History GCSE.

GCSE Specification

GCSE students follow the OCR SHP B (9-1) History Specification. They will study: 1.The People’s Health 1250-2000, 2.The Elizabethans 1580-1603, 3. Helmsley Castle Site Study, 4.The Making of America 1789-1900 and 5.Living Under the Nazis 1933-1945. All units are of equal weighting, with three examinations in the Summer of Year 11; Units 1&2 (40%), Unit 3 (20%), Units 4&5 (40%). Students study these units across three years with some interleaving and blocking of topics.

Rooming and Resources

The classrooms in history provide a bright, vibrant and engaging learning environment, with key historical language and course information displayed throughout.

Departmental Ethos

Through engaging, imaginative and challenging lessons students are encouraged to develop their factual understanding of historic events, read sources of evidence with a critical eye and to appreciate and understand that there are two sides to every argument. We are passionate about history and aim to instill in our students a love of the past.

As Winston Churchill said, to study history is to ‘follow in the footsteps of great leaders.’

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

At Key Stage 4, GCSE students can choose to visit Berlin during Venture Courses in the summer of Year 10 as part of the Nazi Germany unit of study.

Students and parents can follow us on Twitter @Ryedale_Hist

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