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 their forms in Years 7 to 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 Years 7 and 8, students have 2 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 ConquestThe Tutor Monarchs and the Reformation
Henry and BecketThe Spanish Armada
King John and the Magna CartaThe causes, course and consequences of the English Civil War
The Crusades
The Black Death

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 a number of important aspects of the British Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, engaging with recent scholarship on imperialism’s impact and influence. This leads into an in-depth study of the origins, key events, and aftermath of the First World War, during the Michaelmas and Lent terms. This lays the groundwork for the beginning of the IGCSE course, the first part of which is taught in the Summer term.


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 Cambridge IGCSE syllabus (found here: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-history-9-1-0977/), which is assessed via two examination papers and a piece of coursework. Following on from the Summer term of Year 9, the ‘core’ content for Papers 1 and 2 (focused on international relations, 1919-1989) is taught over the course of Year 10, before students move on to the ‘depth study’ component (focused on Weimar and Nazi Germany) and their coursework assignment in Year 11. All students are provided with the latest edition of the Cambridge-endorsed textbook (both as an e-textbook, and a paper copy) and a number of additional bespoke resources prepared by their teachers.

Trips, activities and clubs

From Year 10, students are invited to attend the additional talks and lectures organised by the Department, in order 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 battlefield region as part of Field Week, and Year 10 students take a trip to Berlin in the Summer Term to support their study of the Germany and the Cold War.


  • Dr T Davies BA, MA, PhD (Head of History)
  • Mr M Chesterton BA (Head of Teacher Training)
  • Mr D Grinstead BA
  • Mr J Martin MA BA (Deputy Head)