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Rivington & Blackrod High School


History & Politics


Head of History & Politics - Mr C Andrew 



Subject Overview

During a student’s time at Rivington we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that offers a high quality History education. Students will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding not only of Britain’s vast history but also of the wider world. We want to inspire students to be curious about history, questioning historical evidence and gaining a greater understanding of the meaning of historical events and individuals to different cultures and societies. Through their study of history, students will develop a greater understanding of how life has changed, and the major developments that have led to the modern day society.


Subject Overview

Politics is inseparable from everyday life, it goes beyond government and the laws being made in Parliament. Politics fundamentally affects Britain in areas such as foreign policy, healthcare, education and our transport system. Studying Politics gives students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how Britain is governed and how, as citizens, we can make a positive difference to our society. At its core, Politics is a subject of debate and students will get the chance to engage with and debate the most significant issues facing Britain and the wider world. Understanding issues such as the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine will allow students to keep up to date and study how the world is constantly changing and evolving. 

Click here to view the Curriculum Overview  

History Key Stage 3 Overview

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum offers a broad look at local, national and international history with students being able to develop a chronological sense of how life has changed and developed.

Students will also experience a range of depth studies to allow them to apply their wider contextual knowledge to a given event or period and see how this event shaped our modern world. For example, students will apply the context of the world during World War Two to the study of the Holocaust.

Students will learn to identify the significance of particular events, and draw contrasts between time periods. Students will be presented with historical sources and interpretations to allow them to measure the utility of sources for a given area of study.

Students will develop an understanding of how historiography evolves over time for particular areas of study through the use of historical interpretations, allowing students to engage directly with the work of historians as well as original sources.

The History national curriculum can be found by clicking on the link here.

History Key Stage 4 Overview

At Key Stage 4 students will narrow their focus onto four main areas of study that give them a deeper understanding of the modern-day world, as well as the origins of many of the key developments that have shaped Britain and Europe today.

We study the Edexcel GCSE. The full specification can be found by clicking the link here. Through the study of the Elizabethan England topic, students will be able to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious and social change during this brief but turbulent period. The study of both Weimar and Nazi Germany and the Superpower Relations and the Cold War topic gives students a chance to examine how Europe was shaped by the changing circumstances of the modern world. The final topic, Medicine Through Time, gives students the opportunity to develop a broader overview of how the changes in our lifestyle and society in Britain have led to adaptations in our approach to health and treatment, but also how major advances in medical science have shaped the world we live in.

Through these studies we aim to build on key skills that students have experienced at Key Stage 3 around source analysis, the study and use of interpretations and the ability to understand the meaning behind key events. Students will become independent learners, with a further focus on becoming critical and reflective thinkers. As we move through the GCSE, students are encouraged to ask questions about the past and investigate how major events link together in a broader way to give them a more complete picture.

History Key Stage 5 Overview

As students move into Key Stage 5 and continue their study of History, they will study two of the earlier topics in much greater depth. We study the AQA A-Level in History. The specification for this can be found by clicking the link here.

The two areas we chose to focus on are the Tudor period of England between 1485 and 1603 (Option 1C) and the study of Weimar and Nazi Germany from 1918 to 1945 (Option 2O). Students will look at significant events through a political, social, economic and cultural lens and understand further how the role of individuals, as well as major groups, caused substantial change over time. They will build the necessary skills for further study, and become adept at asking important questions about the past, as well as being able to interrogate sources and interpretations of events. Crucial to History at any stage is the ability to produce well written and analytical evaluations of events and sources.

The Non-Examined Assessment, focusing on key areas of British history, will allow students to use historical perspectives with confidence and prepare them with the necessary analytical, source and interpretation skills needed if they choose to continue to higher education at university. 

Politics Key Stage 5 Overview

At A-Level, we study AQA Government and Politics. The specification for this can be found by clicking the link here.

Government and Politics is only offered at A-Level, but many of the skills and details follow on from their studies of History, English and PSHCE at Key Stage 3 and 4. The course focuses on three key areas: UK politics; US politics and Political Ideas.

Both the US and UK politics topics allow students to understand fully how the system works, the origins of the Constitutions and the ways that political actors interact. Through the USA course, students will also get the opportunity to debate and compare the two systems to look at which offers a better alternative, and which is more representative for the people.

The final section, Political Ideas, focuses on the main political theories of Socialism, Conservatism, Liberalism and Feminism. This allows students to look at political theorists and the origins of these political ideas. They will also get chance to decide how far they agree with these political theories and debate whether they are applicable in today’s society and how different governments take on board these political ideas.