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Welcome to our History Department

At Newman, we believe that history can unlock doors to the past and to the future. We strive to allow students to discover a love for history as well as the skills to apply their learning to current tasks and their futures. Our vision is to foster this enthusiasm to enable students to be the best they can possibly be.

We approach history in a diverse way and use a wide range of teaching styles to accommodate this. History can allow us to understand the way our world is today and how it has been shaped by people and events in the past. It helps us to ask questions properly and develop our own interpretations, based on evidence. It is also a foreign land filled with amazing stories. At Newman, we take students through over a thousand years of local, British and global history.

Miss E Lowrey
Head of History

Newman Catholic School, Carlisle

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Students will study:

  • Roman Life in the North of Britain (wonderful for a family outing to Hadrian’s Wall)
  • The Norman Conquest of 1066 (ask your children about the gory bits!)
  • Life in Medieval Britain including castles (interesting for a comparison to modern day Britain and third world countries and great for a family castle visit)
  • The Black Death (gruesome but an interesting take on medicine)
  • King Richard and King John (watch some Robin Hood at home!)
  • History Mysteries (real life detective stories)

Year 8

Students will study:

  • The Tudor Monarchs: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I
  • The Reign of Elizabeth I (portrait studies – interesting discussions about self-image)
  • Civil War and Oliver Cromwell (links to how modern democracy works)
  • Industrial Revolution (lots of fantastic sites nearby e.g. Beamish or Whitehaven)
  • Slave Trade (makes for thoughtful ethical debates over dinner)
  • Black Civil Rights (very topical with the news at the moment – perhaps discuss with your children)

Year 9

Students will study:

  •  The Suffragettes (watch Mary Poppins and get marching with placards)
  • World War One (linked to some extra-curricular family tree research)
  • 1920s America (listen to some jazz; watch some old movies)
  • World War Two (a chance to speak to older relatives about their experiences)
  • The Holocaust (a reflective unit studied as a cross-over between History and RE)
  • Post War Global project (a chance for students to research something that interests them and discover history in their own way)


This course should give students a broad range of knowledge through engaging topics and dynamic teaching. It aims to develop the students’ enquiry skills to understand cause and consequence; significance; and change and continuity. Source evaluation and knowledge recall are strengthened components of the exams so students will get a lot of practice with these.

At GCSE, we follow the new AQA specification with units on Health and the People; Conflict and Tension during World War One; Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany and Norman England. This will be assessed by two terminal exams at the end of year 11. There is no longer any coursework.

Find out more here.


With the recent specification changes, Sixth Form history students no longer sit modular exams. There are 3 units to the A-level: Tsarist and Communist Russia; the Wars of the Roses and the non-examined assessment (NEA).There will be a mid-point exam at the end of year 12 but this no longer contributes towards the full A-level. The entire course will be re-assessed at the end of year 13.

The Tsarist and Communist Russia focuses on the changing political context of Russia in the modern period. Focus will be on analysing historians’ interpretations of key events and allowing students to form their own justified interpretations. The Wars of the Roses unit allows students to look in depth at a period of history that they have not studied before. It allows us to immerse ourselves in a shorter time period. The focus is on evaluating the value of primary sources and developing interpretations of key issues.

The NEA may have been called coursework in the past. Students select a topic, covering a 100 year period, that they are interested in and spend time independently researching this. They then write a 4000 word essay to analyse a key issue. This is on par with first year university work and requires dedication and commitment to working independently.

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