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Park Hall Academy

Park Hall Academy

Water Orton Road, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham. B36 9HF

Telephone:0121 748 0400

Fax:0121 748 0414

Contact:Mr Cox


Key Stage 3 

  • All of the skills we develop throughout Key Stage 3 are those that you’ll need at GCSE and A Level.
  • These skills include use of specific detailed evidence, clear and full explanation and source analysis- make sure to bear them in mind!
  • Always ask yourself : What? When? Where? Why? How?
  • Often in lessons you will hear teachers talking about what you ‘should do’ and what you ‘could do’. Make sure to push yourself to achieve these things.
  • You should try and take more of a leading role when we do group work.
  • There will also always be an extension task that will be on the board or you can ask your teacher for if you finish the task you have been set. These are again designed to challenge you.
  • As well as this, a good bonus task to set yourself is to always try to include your own opinions about what we are studying and include links to other topics / our main concept.
  • We do a lot of independent work in History. This allows you the freedom to complete work in the most imaginative way possible and so that you can direct your own learning and pose questions for yourself. If you can think of a way you would like to complete a task to give yourself an extra challenge, why not suggest it to your teacher?
  • As well as all this, we will talk to you throughout Key Stage 3 about what it means to study History at GCSE, what skills it develops and what career paths it opens. Feel free to ask us anything you want to know.
  • Read around the topic.  Reading gives you knowledge and makes you think!
  • Find documentaries about the topic we are learning about or just areas you find interesting.

Key Stage 4 

  • The skills you need for success at GCSE include use of specific detailed evidence, clear and full explanation and source analysis. Throughout your course we make sure that you are clear on the criteria you need to meet in order to reach the A or A*grade.  Make sure you know what the criteria is and ask your teacher if you are not sure.
  • Exam Practice makes perfect. Practice questions are always available for you to make sure that you not only have the knowledge you need but that you know how to apply it too. We will also give you examples of A* work in lessons so that you can see what to aim for – learn from these and make sure you understand what it is you need to produce to achieve the highest grade.. There are writing frames available to help with this too.
  • We mark your exam practice with constructive feedback and also take into account marks for SPaG. These can make sure a big difference – make sure to bear them in mind!
  • As in Key Stage 3 – reading is vital.  There is a never ending supply of books and articles and reports about many areas of the past.  Read, read and read some more!
  • As well as all this, we will talk to you throughout your GCSE course about what it means to study History at A Level or even Degree level, what skills it develops and what career paths it opens. Feel free to ask us anything you want to know.

Key Stage 5 

As with your other subjects, your studies at A Level are preparing you for further education or the world of work. With this in mind, the way that you approach the course should be different.

  • The first crucial difference is the amount of independent work you need to do throughout your studies. It is vital that you take ownership of your own learning. This includes reading around the subject and doing extra work at home making sure you fully understand both the smaller topics we study and the larger concepts.
  • After each lesson, make sure you review what you learned that day before working on your independent (homework) tasks. 
  • Create revision notes as you go through the course is always going to help.
  • If you plan to carry on your studies into further education (whether in History or another subject), further reading is a very important skill. This could take a variety of forms:
    • Being on the lookout for links to your topics in the news is easy using social media and is a nice way to see the relevance and modern significance of the topics we study.
    • There are a number of Historical magazines that you can buy or borrow from libraries. Publications such as BBC History Magazine are good for seeing what being a Historian in 2014 entails and keeping you up to date with recent discoveries and theories.
    • Your History teachers can also recommend undergraduate level publications for you to stretch yourself and discover more about any topics that really capture your interest. 
    • Look at the reading list you are given and also look at the bibliographies in some of the main text books and borrow the books to use.
    • As well as this, on a Wednesday afternoon Birmingham University holds a range of lectures on different topics that are aimed to grasp your imagination and extend your understanding.

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