Principal - Anouska Gardner
Principal - Anouska Gardner



Barlby High School, Selby York. Part of the Hope Sentamu Learning Trust.
Curriculum aim

Never before has the past seemed so relevant to the present, or its study so vital in understanding the world we live in. This course is designed to develop an understanding of how the actions of key individuals and events, in Britain and around the world, have influenced how we live today. It revolves around people, how they
used to live and how their actions affected the world.

This course allows students to develop their understanding
of historical concepts, such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and significance. It also enables students to develop their source skills, become critical thinkers and to investigate why there are different interpretations of the past.
It is designed to ignite their curiosity and promote their love of learning about the past.

A vital component of this in recent years has been the opportunity for students to visit ‘authentic’ historic sites in the UK and Europe. Since 2012 the school has offered a trip to Krakow for students of GCSE History, where they have been able to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and meet with survivors of the Holocaust. Past GCSE students also visited Berlin as part of their ‘Development of Germany’ course.

Key Stage 3 curriculum overview

Horrible Histories author and former teacher Terry Deary, once described schools as “pits of misery and ignorance…awful places” which “don’t teach anything worth knowing”. Our aim is to disprove this and to nurture students’ love of History through enthusiastic teaching, fascinating content and challenging activities.

Year 7 starts with a study of the core skills required by all good historians: chronology and using evidence before moving on to our core content:

  • How did the ‘Stormin Normans’ conquer Britain? A study of the Battle of Hastings and the legacy of the Normans on British life
  • What was life like in the ‘Measly Middle Ages’? An enquiry into life in medieval Britain, including religious beliefs, the Black Death & Peasants Revolt
  • Were the ‘terrible Tudors’ really that terrible? An investigation into religious changes during the Tudor period, including a local study on York
  • Why did the ‘Slimy Stuarts’ chop off their King’s head? A study of the causes and consequences of the English Civil War


Once in Year 8, students start to follow more detailed lines of enquiry and develop their understanding of British and non-British History:

  • What was so ‘great’ about the Great War?
  • Slums, slaves and serial killers: What was life like for the working classes in Victorian Britain?
  • Free at last? How much progress has been made by black Americans since the days of the Transatlantic Slave Trade?
GCSE History

Barlby’s GCSE History course has proven massively popular in recent years, with large number of students opting to study at KS4 (and beyond!).

History is one of the EBacc options at GCSE. Students will follow the EDUQAS specification. Our non-British depth study is ‘The USA: A Nation of Contrasts, 1910-1929’, a study of the ‘roaring twenties’ and all that went with it. This includes lessons on racial and religious intolerance, organised crime and corruption, economic boom and bust and popular entertainment. Our British depth study paper is ‘The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1603’ and looks at Elizabeth’s government, the problem of religion and the Spanish Armada amongst other things. For out thematic study we have chosen ‘Crime and Punishment, 500-2000’ where students analyse how the nature and cause of crime has changed through the ages as well as methods of detection and punishment. Our final exam is a ‘breadth’ study on ‘The Development of Germany, 1919-1991’ which focuses on the rise and fall of Nazism, the post war division of Germany and the rise and fall of communism.

History is an enjoyable and interesting subject, but it is also very useful. Students learn how to use evidence to find things out for themselves, compare information and reach their own judgements. They learn how to identify truth and recognise myth, propaganda and lies! History is highly regarded by universities and employers. It is a good qualification for many careers, such as the police, law, journalism and management.


Keep in touch
Subject Lead for History is Mr Sladen who can be contacted by email at