Subject Leader:


Aims: ear 7:

History helps students to ask and answer questions about the present by engaging with the past. It fires their curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them by the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps them develop their own identity through an understanding of the history of their communities at personal, local, national and international levels. History prepares students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a society that is democratic, encourages mutual understanding and respect for ethnic and cultural diversity. History also helps them to become confident and questioning individuals.


History is studied by all students at Sydenham in years 7 and 8. Year 7 topics include the Sinking of the Titanic, the Battle of Hastings, Religion in the Medieval Era, the reign of King John and the first Elizabethan era.

Year 8 topics include the British Empire in India, Plantation Life for Slaves, Changes during the Industrial Revolution and the Causes of the First World War. In year 8 we organize a residential visit to the World War One battlefields of Ypres in Belgium and the Somme in France.

As a popular option at GCSE, we currently follow two courses as the old one is phased out and the new one is brought in. Year 9 and 10 students follow the Edexcel GCSE History 9-1 course focusing on Medicine through Time, Early Elizabethan England, Weimar and Nazi Germany as well as Superpower Relations/the Cold War. In Year 10, we organise a residential trip to Berlin to deepen students’ understanding of Nazi Germany and the Cold War.

Year 11 students follow the Edexcel History A course about the Modern World. This focuses on 20th-century history including Germany 1918-39, Superpower Relations 1943-90, Britain 1951-79 and America 1945-70.  Those with a real passion can study at A-level, where they look in depth at Democracies in change: Britain and the USA in the 20th century.


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