History is a literacy-based subject and requires particular kinds of reading and writing skills that are critical to students being school, college, career and citizenship ready. History requires students to become creators of arguments, careful readers and good questioners as well as learning that place, time, audience and purpose matter to how authors deliver their message. Students will need to learn how to ask questions about what they are reading and History offers them the opportunities to learn how to identify ambiguities, weigh up evidence and construct a balanced argument.

Studying History requires reading from many genres of text – from Presidential proclamations to private letters and diaries to political cartoons. It includes ‘reading’ paintings, objects, and film as well as analysing primary sources for perspective and reliability and secondary sources for argument and supporting evidence.

At GCSE the exam board will award extra marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar and the mark scheme can be seen below:

History mark scheme



















The department staff would encourage students to read for pleasure and there are some fantastic historical fiction books on the market. We would particularly recommend the following for Key Stage Three:

Malorie Blackman , ‘ Noughts and Crosses’ series Noughts and crosses
H M Castor, ‘VIII’
Laurie Halse Anderson, ‘Chains’
Lois Lowry, ‘Number the Stars’
Libby Bray, ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’
Harper Lee,’ To Kill a Mockingbird’
John Boyne, ’The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’
Sally Nicholls, ‘All Fall Down’
John F Hanley, ‘Against the Tide’
Catherine Johnson, ’Sawbones’
Celia Rees, ‘Witch Child’ and ‘The Fool’s Girl’
Elizabeth Wein, ‘Code Name Verity’
Berlie Doherty, ‘Children of Winter’
Terry Deary, ‘Horrible Histories’ series
Various authors, ‘My Story’ series

Harper Lee

John Boyne

Celia Rees

Lois Lowry

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Horrible Histories











For students at Key Stage four and Key Stage five, the following offer a starting point:

Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Go Set a Watchman’
Kathryn Stockett, ‘The Help’
Deborah Wiles, ‘Revolution’
C J Sansome, The ‘Shardlake’ Series
Hilary Mantel (A Level), ‘Wolf Hall’, ‘Bring Up the Bodies’, ‘The Mirror and the Light’
Alison Weir,’ The Lady Elizabeth’
Jennifer A Nielsen, ‘A Night Divided’
S E Hinton, ‘The Outsiders’
Ellen Emerson White, The ’Echo Company’ series
Arthur Miller (A Level), ‘Death of a Salesman’
Sharon M Draper, ‘Stella by Starlight’
Richard Wright, ’Native Son’
F Scott Fitzgerald, ‘The Great Gatsby’
Vietnam Weir Wiles HallThe Help