In the turbulent times we live in, never has it been more important to have studied and learned lessons from the past.  Haile Selassie once said, “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who should have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”  To make sense of the challenges that face us in the 21st Century we have to understand the journey taken by our forbearers and be ready to assess their actions we if have any hope of avoiding the same mistakes in the future.  The study of History is not just for future politicians and leaders, it is for everyone who wants to understand the world objectively and be able to navigate their way through this era of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternate facts’ without being blindsided by misinformation.

Studying History builds a number of vital intellectual and personal qualities. History is, therefore, an excellent subject to study at university level. It also combines well with such subjects as Politics, Psychology, Geography, Economics, English, Art and Music. Individuals with History degrees work in a number of different career areas. 

This subject will enable pupils to:

  • Critically evaluate articles and viewpoints.
  • Write convincing arguments supported with well-selected evidence
  • Read and assess historians arguments
  • Formulate and express original opinions
  • Assimilate and organise information.

Junior curriculum

In the Junior years, pupils will have the opportunity to undertake a voyage of discovery, learning about the development of England from 1066 to the Second World War. The major topics include; the Crusades, the Black Death and the Peasant’s Revolt, The Tudors, Gunpowder Plot and the Civil War and World Wars. The department is committed to enthusing pupils about history through a wide variety of teaching methods incorporating ICT, film, project work and debate in the syllabus. Pupils will be taught to analyse source material, evaluate conflicting points of view as well as the traditional skills associated with essay writing.

Third Form

In the Third Form, pupils begin work on the IGCSE content and are taught the examination technique that is required at this level. At the end of the programme of study pupils will have acquired not only a bank of historical knowledge but a wide range of skills which have application across the curriculum. Most of all we hope that they will have enjoyed studying history and look forward to finding out more.

IGCSE History

Board: Cambridge International (CIE)

This syllabus offers the opportunity to study world history throughout the twentieth century. Pupils will explore history from a diversity of perspectives, including social, economic, cultural and political. Pupils will be encouraged to raise questions and to develop and deploy historical skills, knowledge and understanding in order to provide historical explanations in a written essay format.


Examinations: 73% of total grade. Two 2 hours papers

Coursework:  27% of total grade. 2,000 word essay on an aspect of the First World War, such as General Haig’s reputation or why the triple alliance lost the First World War.

A Level

Board: AQA

The past is worth studying for its own sake. We can have no true sense of our own identity without an awareness of where we came from. However, those who study History A Level also learn to develop valuable, transferable intellectual skills.

The course is comprised of two units, one indepth and one breadth, that will be examined and one piece of coursework on Tudor Rebellions. The coursework will comprise 20% of the overall grade. Both of the examined units will be taken at the end of the second year of study. The units combine political, social and cultural history enabling students to take an overview of critical developments and foster a strong sense of historical change and continuity over time.


Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855—1963
2 hours 30 minutes written examination. 40% of A Level grade
The Making of Modern Britain 1953-2007
2 hours 30 minutes written examination. 40% of A Level grade
3500 word essay on an aspect of the Tudors. 20% of A Level grade


Departmental Staff

Mrs Amanda Sunde holds a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Sheffield, specialising in Modern History.  Mrs Sunde has many years of experience across all of the syllabi and has been a GCSE examiner and is currently an associate examiner of A Level history.

Mr Richard Plowden holds a MA in History and Politics from the University of Newcastle. His postgraduate research was on the nineteenth century British Empire and this continues to be an active interest.  Mr Plowden is a very experienced teacher of all of the syllabi.

Mr Bob Carr holds a BA (Hons) from Durham University and takes a particular interest in the Great War 1914-18.  Mr Carr has an active interest in politics and he is also the Head of Juniors.  Mr Carr has been a member of the department for over a decade and has a wealth of experience across all the levels.

Mr Jeremy Farrell holds a MA in History from the University of Cambridge.  Mr Farrell is the Senior Deputy Head and leads the A Level Tudor coursework. He also teaches the Junior Curriculum.  

Mrs Amanda Sunde
Head of Department

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200

Email: enquiries@svs.org.uk

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