History and Politics


History image  & quote - v2

History Curriculum Intent Statement

To understand the world in which we live all students need to gain an understanding of the past. Students will only fully understand the complexity of modern life by studying the key events of the past. By studying history we should enable students to ask perceptive questions about changes in society, the reasons for conflict and the consequences of decisions. Students should be encouraged to think critically and come to judgements based on evidence.


. To have an understanding of chronology. To understand the development of the UK and to see how the UK has been influenced by and shaped the wider world.

. To find out about major events and developments by looking at the experience of individuals. To see history as a study of individual lives and not just a study of global events. By looking at the experience of soldiers in the Great War through looking at the life of Harry Patch and by looking at the Holocaust by talking about Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines and her rescue by Sir Nicholas Winton in the Kindertransport gives a real understanding of momentous events.

. To gain an understanding of concepts such as “Empire”, “Parliament” and “Democracy”

.To understand key concepts such as continuity and change, similarity, difference and consequence.

.To understand the process of analysing information and evidence. To understand the reasons for different historical interpretations.

. To develop a love for this subject. History is all about an understanding of how people lived their lives. Students should find this subject endlessly fascinating as it is all about people.

. Much of the work we do in the History department fits in perfectly with our Rights Respecting School Agenda. Article 14 on freedom of religious thought fits in with our work on the Holocaust and life in Nazi Germany. Article 38 on protection and freedom from War fits in with our work on both the First and Second World Wars. Our links with Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines allows us to talk about Article 22 with its special help and protection for refugees. Work on dictatorship and democracy also allows us to discuss the freedom to express opinions and to have opportunities to peacefully protest.

History & Politics Staff

History & Politics Staff Teaching Team

In Year 7 all students follow the Humanities course. We run a DLD trip to Chepstow Castle.


In Year 8 we study British History.

The main themes are: What did people believe? Elizabethan England, Why did the English Kill their King? Plague, Fire and Medicine, Children of the Revolution. We have another DLD on the English Civil War. We bring a group of actors from Torrington to talk about weapons, clothing and food of the era.

Civil War Day

When we study the Industrial Revolution we look at the consequences, both good and bad, of the great changes during that era.

In Year 9 our topics are: Empire and Slavery, The Great War, The Rise of Evil, The Holocaust, Turning Points of the Second World War, The Impact of the Second World War on the people of Britain and the “Swinging Sixties”

We run a trip to France and Belgium in the summer of Year 9 to visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres. We are able to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate and the Harry Patch memorial.


Harry Patch, the “Last Tommie” of the First World War, is very special to us at Clyst Vale. We hold a “Harry Patch Day” each September 22nd to keep his memory alive and to raise money for Exmouth Lifeboat Station.

We then look at the Second World War and study the holocaust. As part of our holocaust memorial day we have been fortunate to have Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines visit us. She was one of the 669 children rescued from Prague by Sir Nicholas Winton. She was 9 years old when she left Prague and was told by her Mother to look after her little sister, Eva, then aged just 3. Lady Milena’s story is so poignant. Her grandfather, cousins and most of her extended family were killed in the holocaust. She was saved by a good man who decided that he could not stand by and do nothing in the face of such evil.



From September 2016 we will study the new Edexcel syllabus.

We will have three exams at the end of Year 11. The topics will be:

Unit 1.  Option 11: Medicine in Britain, c12.50-present and the British sector of the Western Front 1914-1918; injuries, treatment and the trenches. (Written exam 1 hour and 15 minutes) The special unit on Medicine on the Western Front fits in very well with our trip to France and Belgium


Unit 2. Period study and British depth study. Option 25: The American West, 1835-1895 and Tudor depth option. (We will study Option B4, Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588. (Written exam 1 hour and 45 minutes)


Unit 3.  Modern depth study. Option 31: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939. (Written exam 1 hour and 20 minutes)



We study the AQA syllabus.

Our two exam units are:

Unit 1C The Tudors;  England 1485-1603. (Written exam of 2 hours 30 minutes. One source analysis question then a choice of two essay questions from three.)

Liz1 H 8

Unit 2Q  The American Dream; Reality and Illusion 1945-1980. (Written exam 2 hours and 30 minutes. One source analysis question and then choice of two essays from three.) This topic includes a study of topics in the USA such as Civil Rights and movements for social change. It also involves a study of the USA during the Cold War.


The coursework element gives our students a free choice of topics. The students have to complete a 3,500 word project covering 100 years of change and continuity of any country. Students have to use primary and secondary sources to produce a well argued essay.

For the Tudors section of the course we plan to run a trip to Hampton Court Palace. The Washington DC trip is held in the October or February half term for Year 13 students. In the past we have been able to visit the White House, the US Supreme Court, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill.

Government and Politics

Politics image & quote

At A level we study the AQA syllabus.

Year 12 UK Government and Politics

Year 13 The Government and Politics of the USA.

For this course no prior knowledge is expected. What is needed is an interest in what is going on in the world. We talk about politics, people and participation and consider how decisions, which affect us all, are made.

We held a General Election Hustings at Clyst Vale just before the 2015 General Election. All five candidates for the East Devon Constituency spoke to the Post 16 students and answered questions put to them.

We have had trips to the House of Commons, House of Lords, the UK Supreme Court and the Foreign Office in London. On the Washington DC trip in October half term we have been able to visit the White House, Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the US Supreme Court. Although this trip gives a great insight into the political system of the USA it is not a compulsory part of the course.