History is an ongoing debate about the past. The History Department at Eltham College encourages all students to take a critical approach to both contemporary sources and historians’ interpretations, so that they can reach their own considered judgements on historical questions. All students study History in Years 7 -9 before it becomes an optional subject in Years 10 and 11. We offer a broad-based History curriculum in Years 7 to 9, to provide students with a secure understanding of the major transformations in English and European history, and to provide a strong foundation for GCSE study. We also endeavor to expose students to different types of history – political, cultural, military, social and economic.

History department aims:

  • To provide high quality history teaching that stimulates students’ passion for the study of the past
  • To provide students with a variety of engaging, challenging activities that develop their knowledge and understanding of different periods and regions.
  • To cultivate and develop students’ broader skills as scholars and ‘historians in training’. Students will learn how to construct convincing arguments on paper, how to take a critical approach to historical sources, how to analyse and evaluate historians’ competing interpretations of the past, and how to hone their independent research skills.


Year 7 to 9

In Year 7 to 9, students have three lessons a week of History and one piece of homework. The structure of the course is broadly chronological and comprises the following topics:.

Year 7Year 8
The Norman ConquestRichard III and the Princes in the Tower
Henry and BecketThe Tudor Monarchs and the Reformation
King John and the Magna CartaThe Spanish Armada
The Black DeathThe English Civil War
The Peasants Revolt

Students explore the past through analysing primary documents, reading the work of historians, and debating with their peers in lessons. Role play, creative writing, the use of e-resources, and independent research in the Library are all used to support students’ exploration of the past.

Year 9 

In Year 9, students have three lessons of History each week. In the first term, students explore the origins, key events, and aftermath of the First World War before turning to inter-War Germany. This content, taught from the Lent term, forms the start of the GSCE programme of study.


History becomes an optional subject from Year 10 onwards. History becomes an optional subject from Year 10 onwards. Students have four lessons of History each week, with two homework tasks. All students follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus, which is broken down into three exam papers covering a range of topics. In Year 10, students will build on their Year 9 study and continue to investigate Nazi Germany before moving to study the Cold War. In Year 11, students study Elizabethan England and a thematic module focused on warfare through time. All students are provided with the latest edition of the Edexcel-endorsed textbook for each exam paper.

Trips, activities and clubs

From year 10, students are invited to attend the Senior History Society to broaden their understanding of different historical themes, periods, and debates. In addition, the department currently offers two educational visits: Year 9 students visit Ypres and the Somme region as part of Field Week, and year 1- students take a trip to Berlin in the Summer Term to support their study of Germany and the Cold War.


  • Dr A Davies BA, MA, PhD (Head of History)
  • D Grinstead BA (Head of Chalmers)
  • Mr M Chesterton BA (Head of Moffat)
  • Mr J Martin MA BA (Deputy Head)