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History & Politics

Contact: Head of History & Politics - Mr C Andrew 



Subject Overview:

During students’ time at Rivington, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that offers high quality history education. Students will gain a coherent knowledge and understanding both Britain’s vast history but also that 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. We also want students to become reflective to test moral objections to past events, and be able to see how societies adapted to challenges over time, and how this can be applied to modern day events. 


Subject Overview:

Politics is an integral part of our everyday lives. It is more than just the government and the laws being made. From the state of the roads, the cost of the buses, the laws passed and the way we interact with other countries around the world, politics affects all of our lives. Studying politics gives students a deeper understanding of our everyday lives, from the way that government runs, the decisions made and how to make a positive difference to our society. Politics gives students a chance to see what they as political citizens can do and understand what is happening in the news and in their society. A student of politics will also get the chance to debate the biggest and most current issues, from Brexit to tuition fees, as well as allowing students to keep up to date with the way our society is 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 applying 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 and also develop an understanding of how historiography develops over time for particular areas of study through the use of historical interpretations and different historians’ views. 

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. Through the study of the Elizabethan England topic, students will be able to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious change over time, as well as seeing how the reign of the first queen of England changed our society. The study of both Weimar and Nazi Germany and the Superpower Relations and the Cold War topic gives students a chance to look at how Europe was shaped by the changing circumstances of the modern world, and using Germany as a focus gives students the chance to see how one the biggest events of our modern world changed a country to become the modern European powerhouse they have become. 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 has 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, seeing a causal approach to history and understanding how events in history can lead to major ramifications in other areas. 

History Key Stage 5 Overview:

As students move into Key Stage 5 and continue their study of history, they will now take two of the earlier topics into much further depth. The two areas we chose to focus on are the Tudor period of England between 1485 and 1603 and the study of Weimar and Nazi Germany from 1918 to 1945. Students will now see the two areas of study in greater depth and apply the historical understanding they had earlier to these two major areas of developments in British and world history. Students will look at significant events through a political, social, economic and culture perspective and understand further how the role of individuals, as well as major groups, caused substantial change over time. They will build necessary skills they will need in further study, as well as those which can help them to ask important questions about the past in wider life, as well as being able to interrogate sources and interpretations of events, and the ability to produce well written and analytical approaches to different aspects of the past. 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. 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 way to run a country, 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.