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Nottingham Academy



History is the story of how the present came to be. As David McCullough stated, "History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” It shows us how our world has developed and teaches us how to relate to the world around us. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

In our day and age, an awareness and understanding of the past can only help us to better understand and critically judge the choices made for us by our own leaders. Recent conflicts in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; the state of the NHS; the global recession: these are all issues best understood and appreciated through the knowledge of what has come before.

Knowledge of our past may also help us make better-informed judgements on our own, and our families’ futures. It is has been suggested that mankind will continue to stumble from one blundering mistake to another and therefore Churchill’s words offer nothing but “consolation to the terminally ill”. Only history can offer the opportunity of doing so with our eyes wide open… and the importance of that is beyond words.

At the Nottingham Academy, we aim to inspire a love of history alongside the ability to critically judge and evaluate the information our pupils receive in school, as well as in their everyday lives. We drive to cultivate every pupil’s natural curiosity of the world around us and to offer them a sense of perspective. Perhaps most importantly, though, we aim to instil within each pupil a strong sense of pride, identity and self-worth. History is the most valuable tool in teaching the adults of tomorrow who they are and where they come from. In turn, this will help them decide on the world they will want to live in as adults and how to achieve it.

Our ethos is a simple one, and one we share with the Academy as a whole. We believe in the basic principle of hard work in order to succeed. We believe in determination and perseverance. And we always try to lead by example.

The study of history, especially at GCSE and at A Level, can lead to a multitude of choices. It is an academic subject that is highly valued by universities and employers alike. Students of history have advanced analytical skills, are excellent problem-solvers and are able to put their ideas across eloquently and effectively. In an increasingly competitive world, such skills are highly-prized. In discussions with history graduates, either from our own university days, or with past pupils of our Academy, we have found that history has opened doors to professions such as law, marketing, business, teaching, advertising, television and radio, journalism, the army and many more. 

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it". George Santayana

Key Stage 3

Year 7:

  • Medieval Realms
  • Black People's of the Americas

Year 8:

  • Making of the UK
  • Native Americans
  • Jack the Ripper and Industrial Britain

Year 9:

  • 20th Century World (Including the two World Wars, the Cold War, Suffrage and Civil Rights)

Each unit is assessed through classwork and an end of unit assessment.

Key Stage 4

GCSE History (AQA)

Year 10:

  • Medicine and Health Through Time
  • Controlled Assessment - History Around Us - Galleries of Justice

Year 11:

  •  Life in Germany 1918-1945

GCSE History is assessed through two external examinations at the end of Year 11 and one Controlled Assessment completed at the start of Year 11.

Pupils are regularly assessed throughout the course and sit two mock examinations; one at the end of Year 10 and one in the December of Year 11.

Key Stage 5

History GCE A-Level

At A Level, part of your studies will focus on 20th Century American history. To begin with, you will study the struggle for Civil Rights, liberty and equality for Black Americans. You will assess the importance of individuals (such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King) and the US government in pushing for reform. Then, the focus shifts to South-East Asia as you will understand the reasons behind the USA’s involvement in the Korean War and the War in Vietnam, two conflicts that shaped the world we live in today. These two courses will form the basis of the first of your two A Level examinations. Furthermore, you will also study the changes in 19th century British Democracy, focusing on the struggle of the working classes and the suffragettes for the right to vote. Your second examination will be on this course.
Year 13
In Year 13 A Level history you will have the opportunity to study two areas of history. The first is an examined unit focusing on German history from its formation as a nation state in the nineteenth century, through to the chaos and destruction of the Third Reich. This will allow you to gain a greater and more sophisticated understanding of an area of history that many are familiar with from both Key Stage 3 and GCSE. The second is a coursework unit which is based on one hundred years of Russian history covering the Tsarist regime, the revolution of 1917 and life under Soviet control. This unit is not just an opportunity to study this fascinating and extremely relevant period of history; it is also a chance to analyse the whole concept of historical causation. Is history the product of great individuals or are events shaped by powerful and impersonal influences beyond one individual’s control?