History & Languages Faculty

Why Study History?

History fires students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps pupils develop their own identities through an understanding of History at personal, local, national and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past.

History prepares pupils for the future, equipping them with the knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. It encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps pupils become confident and questioning individuals.

History teaches pupils valuable life skills and they will be able to ask and answer valuable questions, evaluate evidence, identify and analyse different interpretations of the past, summarise, prioritise and communicate ideas, and learn to substantiate any arguments and judgements they have. All of these skills are not only recognised but valued by employers.

What do we study in History at Foxford School?

All students receive two lessons per week in History in Key Stage 3. We have an exciting fast-paced curriculum that builds students’ knowledge, confidence, skills and chronological understanding in History.

Curriculum – Key Stage 3

Year 7

Our Year 7’s study a number of different eras from local to world History whilst covering the essential skills and knowledge to progress onto Year 8. We particularly focus on ancient and medieval history between the 8th Century BCE and the year 1500. Students are introduced to the world of historical scholarship through the interpretations of historians such as David Osologa, Mary Beard, Marc Morris, Ian Mortimer, Helen Castor and Peter Frankopan.

What skills will I learn in Year 7 History?

During Year 7, students would be expected to develop their Historical skills, including the concepts of chronology, significance, empathy, cause, effect and consequence and the relative usefulness/reliability of sources. Students will also use and develop generic skills such as source analysis and evaluation skills, communication and presentation skills and collaborative work and team building skills.

What does the curriculum cover in Year 7 History?

Autumn TermThe development of British diversity
A look at life in ancient Rome; government, army, empire, slavery and the impact on Britain with a local study on Boudicca.
The significance of the Norman Conquest for Britain
Spring TermLife in Medieval England and the development of democracy.
Summer TermThe Silk Road.
The changing power of the church, 1000-1600.

Year 8

During Year 8, our History students are able to fully concentrate on developing their historical knowledge and skills even further to make great progress in their learning. We particularly focus on developments in the Tudor and Industrial eras between 1500-1900. We explore the development of Britain as a diverse nation during the Tudor Age using historical scholarship such as ‘The Black Tudors’ by historian Miranda Kaufman and ‘Black and British’ by David Osologa. Students also debate history’s big questions including ‘Who should own the Benin Bronzes?’ ‘Were the English right to execute their king in 1649?’ ‘Was it right to try to ban child labour in Britain in 1833?’ and ‘To what extent can Britain take credit for bringing an end to the slave trade in the 19th century?’.

What does the curriculum cover in Year 8 History?

Autumn TermWho were the Black Tudors?
The Gunpowder Plot
The impact of the English Civil War
Spring TermChild labour and the Industrial Revolution
The British Empire focusing on African nations, India and Australia in the development of the Empire.
Summer TermThe development and abolition of slavery
Native Americans
Medicine through time

Year 9

During this year, students further develop their Historical Skills whilst concentrating on the major events of the late Nineteenth Century and the Twentieth Century and the significance of a century of global conflicts. Students explore the world of the Trenches in the First World War and question the tactics used by British command as well as question how the Holocaust came to happen and how such travesties can be avoided in future.  Students also develop their awareness and understanding of diversity in society through studies into the campaign for female suffrage and the developments and successes of the civil rights campaigns both in Britain and America after World War Two. We use a range of historical scholarship including Hallie Rubenhold, Margaret MacMillan, Fern Riddell, and Max Hastings.

Students are also given the opportunity to develop their independent learning skills by participating in the History Department Independent Learning Project during the Autumn and Early Spring Term where they choose a historical topic or person of interest to them, develop a question and research and produce an extended response to that question. This is supported by their classroom teacher and is excellent preparation for GCSE, college applications, university and employment as well as an opportunity to further develop their passion and enjoyment for the subject.

What does the curriculum cover in Year 9 History?

Autumn TermThe problems in Victorian Society revealed by the victims of Jack the Ripper
The development of the campaign for Votes for Women between 1890-1918
Spring TermThe causes of World War One The First World War – recruitment, conditions, and tactics – case study on Haig and the Somme.
The significance of World War One and the Russian Revolution.
Summer TermThe damage done by the dictators of the 20th Century; the Coventry Blitz and the Holocaust
The African American and British Civil Rights Movements of the 20th Centuries.

Curriculum – Key Stage 4

Edexcel GCSE 9-1 History

This History Course examines some of the most important and fascinating events, people, politics and issues of the last thousand years. The GCSE course provides a broad overview of key events from a range of time periods and it opens the fields of social, economic, political, military and cultural history to students. The course develops students’ analysis, evaluation and research skills, all of which are invaluable to future colleges, universities and employers. Pupils at GCSE level will be supported with a fully comprehensive revision programme.

Why study History at GCSE level?

History at GCSE Level offers students a number of educational and career opportunities as it combines well with Arts, Science and Social Sciences.

History teaches us valuable life skills and by the end of the course you will be able to evaluate, analyse, communicate, present, organise, prioritise and summarise. All of these skills are not only recognised but valued by employers.

History provides an excellent foundation for journalism, law and business and more than any other subject it is thought provoking, rewarding, relevant and FUN!

What do we study in Year 10?

  • Crime and punishment 1000-present. A look at how crime and punishment has changed over time with a case study on Whitechapel and Jack the Ripper.
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939. An investigation into the impact of World War One on Germany and the introduction of a new democratic government. We then investigate the rise of the Nazis, the destruction of German democracy by 1934 and what life was like for different groups of people during Nazi Germany.

What do we study in Year 11?

  • Elizabethan England 1558-88. Evaluating key events in the time period to develop key themes and problems.
  • The Cold War and Superpower Relations 1945-91. Understanding the key causes of tension and developments throughout the time period and why the Cold War came to an end by 1991.

Curriculum – Key Stage 5

Edexcel AS/A2 History

At AS/A2 level our students follow the Edexcel Syllabus. Students study:

  • Germany and West Germany 1918-1989
  • The Rise and Fall of Fascism in Italy 1911-1946
  • Poverty, Public Health and the State in Britain, c1780–1939
  • There is, in addition a coursework unit on historical interpretations of Germany and the Holocaust at A2

Further information on the exam syllabus can be found at: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/history-2015.coursematerials.html

Why study History at A Level?

History at Advanced Level offers students a number of educational and career opportunities. Students who study A level History have access to a wide range of career and higher education opportunities. By the end of your course, you will have learned how to evaluate and analyse information, how to weigh up evidence and different perspectives and how to communicate complex ideas efficiently.

History is for students who have a genuine curiosity about different periods of history including some familiar topics, and some new stories you will discover for the first time. It suits students who enjoy a good debate, and want to develop academic reading, writing and speaking skills.

These skills are recognised and valued by employers, universities and colleges. History combines well with Maths and Science subjects to create an attractive portfolio of qualifications, enabling a student to move on to a university science-based course. Combined with English it would provide a good basis for an arts or languages-based degree.

History A level provides an excellent foundation for a number of popular careers including journalism, law and business. History at Advanced Level is thought provoking, rewarding and relevant.


At Foxford, Spanish is taught at KS3 and KS4.

Life is better with a language! Learning Spanish enhances students’ lives through accessing other cultures, music, food, film and books. Grasping a language gives students more confidence to travel and explore the world around them, and opens up a variety of job opportunities. Language learners are able to communicate in practical situations and develop new ways of thinking. Gaining a qualification in Spanish can open the door to learning further languages, with the possibility of studying and working in other countries.

Foxford follows the national curriculum for languages, which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learned
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

Topics within our Key Stage 3 curriculum include:

  • Describing yourself and others
  • Communicating your likes and dislikes
  • Describing where you live
  • Describing school life
  • Communicating about healthy lifestyles
  • Describing holidays

Key Stage 4:

At Key Stage 4, we deliver the AQA GCSE syllabus. Topics include:

  • Self and family
  • School
  • Holidays
  • Environment and social issues
  • Town
  • Technology
  • Health

Key Staff

Faculty Lead: Ms S Gibbs

Curriculum Lead for Spanish: Mrs A Salvia

Teaching Staff

Teacher of History: Mr J Carter

Teacher of History: Mr J Durbin

Teacher of History: Mr M Tyler

Teacher of Spanish: Mrs J Kertesz-Gruber

Teacher of Spanish: Ms D Salman Parra