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History is a thriving and successful subject at Thornton. We strive to make the subject come to life, whilst maintaining the academic rigour that makes History a challenging discipline. 

The department believes it is important that our students acquire valuable transferable skills, particularly the key ones of analytical thought, handling information and communication. 

We aim to instil an enthusiasm and passion of the past through the study of a variety of historical periods. We encourage our students to think how the past has shaped the world in which we live in today. Our teaching encourages pupils to develop the historical skills of research, analysis and evaluation, whilst also developing their role in society as responsible citizens, truly appreciative of their historic past.

We appreciate the importance of varied teaching and learning styles. We like to use role play, debate, research and self-supported study, student presentations and ICT work to further the development of our students.

History is compulsory in Years 7, 8 and 9 and we have a very large uptake on the GCSE course. 


The History department follows the AQA Modern World History Syllabus B course. It has proven to be a very successful and interesting syllabus, which our students thoroughly enjoy.  There are two written papers that are completed at the end of Year 11.

The students are also required to complete a controlled assessment on British people during the World Wars. This is a real opportunity for the girls to develop their historical skills and see history come to life through a variety of sources including diaries, letters, newspapers, cartoons, official government literature and archive film.

GCSE Course Structure

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

Written Paper – 1 hour 45 mins – 50% of marks

Section A:  America - 1920 - 1973

Section B: Conflict & Tension - 1894 - 1918


Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

Written Paper – 1 hour 45 mins – 50% of marks

Section A: Britain - Health & The People c.1000 to present day

Section B: Elizabethan England c.1568 - 1603


Controlled Assessment – 40 marks – 25%