Welcome to thethistoryroom!
We hope you will find ‘thehistoryroom’ a useful place to keep in touch with what is going on in History at The Mount School. Please ‘like’ us in some way, so that you get regular updates from us. We will be doing our best to keep the site up-to-date.  This page is specifically designed to help you support your daughter’s learning.

We hope girls will really enjoy History lessons. We hope they will often be hard and challenging and we expect girls to work hard and to be independent in their learning. We also hope to build a culture where girls are curious to learn more, collaborate in their learning and take a pride and a pleasure in doing the best they can. We will not ‘teach to the test’ all the time as we believe well-educated and confident learners are much better equipped for life.

Please help your daughter to  have the confidence to take the initiative in relation to her own education. We would like to hear from you about any comments you have about history related matters and your daughter’s progress. Please E-mail us via:

How can I help my daughter to get organised?

All course details for Year 11, College I and College II are provided via iTunesU. Year 10 have begun the new GCSE specifications and their course details are on OneNote. Your daughter has access to these via her iPad. It is very important that exam class students are up-to-date and organised. We work hard to help students develop their organisation and they are never too young to start. Please remind your daughter of the need for hard work and organisation. They really do make THE difference. There is always extension work available on the iTunesU / OneNote. This includes reading, websites and viewing. If girls miss a lesson they will be able to find lesson enquiry questions and resources here too.

Wednesday Choc Lunch is the formal 1:1 history help drop-in slot. Any girl with difficulty can drop by The History Room or come to the library corridor study for help. It is also possible to arrange other times to give 1:1 help. do encourage your daughter to ask for 1:1 help or reassurance if you think she needs it.

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 at The Mount School covers all girls in S7-S9. Girls study History for 3 periods a fortnight in S7 and S9 and for 2 periods a fortnight in S8. In S7 girls also have an Investigating York (IY) lesson. This course is run by the Department and you can find more information about it on the ‘Mount History’ page.   KS3 SoW – follow this link to the Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work. We will do our best to keep you informed about current topics and major prep deadlines.

Currently:  Year 7 are working on England in the Middle Ages.  Year 7 are also working on ‘What makes York a great pleace to live?’ in IY. Year 8 are learning about the British transatlantic slave trade.  Year 9 are learning about the era of World War Two and the Holocaust.    

Key Stage 4

Year 10 are the first year to be studying the new style GCSEss. We are studying AQA GCSE History (8145CB). Their thematic study is ‘Power and the People in Britain: 1170-present’. Their British depth study is Elizabethan England. Their wider world depth study is 1894-1918, and their period study is Russia 1894-1945. Link to specification

Year 11 are the final year to take the old GCSE course:
OCR History B (Modern World) – J418
Unit A011: Aspects of International Relations, 1919–2005, SECTION C: A New World?, and Germany 1918-1945 (2 hours – 45%)
Unit A022: British Depth Study 1939-1975 (1 hour 30 mins – 30%)
Unit A010: Historical Enquiry – The USA 1919-1941 (controlled assessment – 25%)
Link to the specification: Link to specification

We provide lots of revision materials and other support for GCSE on the iTunesU/OneNote platforms. Please encourage your daughter to take advantage of these, right from the start of Year 10.

Here is a free e-book that is designed to help students to adapt to GCSE study.  Please encourage your daughter to use it: Starting GCSEs – your guide to exam success

Our next tour of the Western Front battlefields will be in March 2018. This is a very important part of our course as one of the exam papers is the period of International Relations from 1894-1918. This year we will make a visit to Hardwick Hall – our specified site for the Historic Environment component of the Elizabethan British depth study.

Currently: Year 10 are studying their British depth topic on Elizabethan England. Year 11 are working on their Controlled Assessment this term.  We have finished all the content for the exams in the summer.   

Key Stage 5

We study the AQA History A Level course. Students take a primary source-based depth paper on the Wars of the Roses 1450-1499, and a historical interpretations breadth paper on Germany 1871-1991. They also write a Personal Enquiry set in the context of 100 years and evaluating primary source material and historian’s interpretations. Exam specification

Currently: College I are studying the Wars of the Roses and Germany 1871-1991.  They will start their Personal Enquiries in May. College II have completed their personal studies and are now working to complete the course content on both the Wars of the Roses and Germany 1871-1991.  They have weekly practice written work to do.  

Here is a free e-book that is designed to help students to adapt to GCSE study.  Please encourage your daughter to use it: Starting A Levels – your guide to exam success

Here is a link to some useful film clips about how to tackle essays, to reference work, write good paragraphs and other things that A level historians need to be able to do.  Please encourage your daughter to use them. Film clips to help A Level history students.

The department is an active member of the Historical Association. They have an excellent student zone to support A Level study. Your daughter has the username and password, please encourage her to use it.

Our next study tour to Berlin will be in November 2017.

Workload at A level

This has to be faced, A level History requires a lot of independent study and there is a direct link between success and consistent, hard graft.  What is required?  In an ordinary week girls need to be doing at least one hour of their own study for every hour in class. In that time they should read more widely, consolidate their notes, reflect on what has been learnt so far etc.  This does have implications for what girls are doing with your none school time. If they work all Saturday to earn money, they will be working all Sunday on school work in term-time.  Too many girls think they work hard, but they don’t. It has to be said that sometimes parents don’t realise what work is involved, hence this paragraph. If girls are dipping into Facebook, on their phones, or whatever in work time, it is not work. When girls have an essay to do, or are working on their personal enquiry, then they will need to do more private study.

You may like to read the other pages, which will give you more of a flavour of what we do and how you can help.   Here is more information relevant to your daughter’s study of History.

Some thoughts about the discipline of History in schools

The discipline of history in schools

Useful things for students on the Historical Association website
We have a subscription to the HA and that means that your daughter can use the student resources. There are all sorts of useful things: podcasts, revision help, ideas about careers using history and lots more. Girls need to ask for the log-in and password. Please encourage your daughter to use these resources.

Historians read!
Below there are PDF links to lists of suggested reading to help students get better at History. There are ideas for historical fiction, as well as non-fiction, and all of them are available in the school library. We subscribe to the journal History Today and the latest edition is always outside the library for anyone to read. Young historians should also get used to reading newspapers. Relevant articles are featured in The History Room. Daily papers are available in Central Hall. Please do encourage your daughter to read. Pat Ratcliffe, our librarian, will be only too happy to help girls. Reading in leisure time will really boost their knowledge and understanding and also their level of literacy and independence. We want to encourage girls to share what they have read and enjoyed, and also to enjoy historical film, drama and online material.

Reading history for fun year 7ii
Reading history for fun year 8ii
Reading history for fun year 10
Reading history for fun year 11

York ISSP – ideas about growth mindset
On the York ISSP website (, you will find all sorts of information about opportunities for able and interested students in York schools. Here, from the ISSP site, is something about the ideas of growth mindset that has been written for parents.
Growth mindset for blog


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