History is the ultimate multi-disciplinary subject. Should a historian wish to understand a particular topic, they will need a working knowledge of a whole array of other disciplines that can range from medicine, climatology, and physics to geology, history of art and literature, not to mention languages. Serious historians have to master a complex factual brief and then devise a convincing argument using rigorous empirical methods.

The transferable nature of these skills can explain why historians are to be found in leadership roles across the world. History teaches pupils that the story of humanity is chaotic and messy, it trains them to accept the unpredictability of events, equips them with a powerful sense of perspective and trains them to make judgements based on the available evidence. In short, history is an essential part of every child’s preparation for life.

Our aims at Wetherby Senior are to inspire a lifelong love of History in our pupils; to encourage all pupils to strive for excellence within the discipline; to deliver a curriculum that reflects both the evolution of the discipline and what we deem to be most relevant for our pupils.

teaching and learning

Year 7 begin with the Medieval era. This includes a few highlights from British medieval history such as the Norman Conquest and the Peasants’ revolt. In the Spring Term they investigate the early Islamic World, focusing on how Islam spread so far and so fast and the cultural flourishing under the early caliphates. By the summer they are investigating the history of migration to Britain, from the Beaker Folk, all the way up to the present day.

In Year 8 the boys Focus on the Early modern Era. This includes the English Civil War, the Mughal Empire, the formation of the UK, the emergence of the British Empire and ‘Plague, Fire & Witches’ which is a study in seventeenth century society.

In Year 9 boys begin by looking at the Atlantic Slave Trade and then the British Empire. In the Spring Term they study the two World Wars, focusing on how the conflicts emerged and how they were fought. In the Summer they study the Holocaust and Decolonisation.

The aim of Key Stage 3 is to equip the boys with both the skills they will need to tackle the GCSE and an essential sense of the importance of understanding the past.


We study the OCR Modern World (9-1) specification. This is an exciting and challenging new course that exposes the boys to a great range of topics whilst also honing their skills as historians.

The modules are:

  • International Relations 1919-2001
  • Germany 1925-55
  • Power, monarchy and democracy in Britain 1000-2014
  • Kennilworth Castle 1000-1750
  • The English Reformation 1520-1550
A Level:

We study the OCR History A Level. There is a very wide range of modules that can be studied, and what we study will change depending of pupil numbers and staffing. Currently the course consists of the following:

  • Britain 1930–1997 (Enquiry topic: Churchill 1930–1951)
  • Exploration, Encounters and Empire 1445–1570
  • Civil Rights in the USA 1865–1992
  • Coursework Essay (topic chosen by the candidates)


Outside the classroom Wetherby boys can look forward to a number of enriching visits to historical sites and museums. A visit to Kenilworth Castle is organised for the Summer Term and one to the Battlefields is run alternating Octobers.

The department also runs a number of clubs including the Senior History Society for boys in Years 11 to 13 and the History Club, which is open to all years.