History

As pupils do the above they develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view—skills that are prized in adult life.

“To those who pose the question, ‘What is the use of history?‘ the crispest and most enlightening reply is to suggest that they try and imagine what everyday life would be like in a society in which no one knew any history. Imagination boggles, because it is only through knowledge of history that a society can have knowledge of itself. As a man without memory and self-knowledge is a man adrift, so a society without memory (or more correctly, without recollection) and self-knowledge would be a society adrift.” Arthur Marwick, The Nature of History

“The past is intelligible to us only in the light of the present; and we can fully understand the present only in the light of the past. To enable man to understand the society of the past, and to increase his mastery over the society of the present, is the dual function of history.” E H Carr, What is History


History at Key Stage 3

In KS3 we aim to give students an overview of the second millennium of world history with a clear sense of period, whilst also providing a solid foundation for those students who wish to continue the subject and develop their knowledge and understanding to GCSE level and beyond. Our belief is that our curriculum is rich in knowledge, broad in scope and focused not just on Britain but also on developments in the wider world which impact on our modern society and allow us to see things from diverse perspectives. The curriculum needs to prepare students for life by training them to form and defend their own viewpoints and broaden their intellectual horizons. The subject teaches skills such as sifting through information to distinguish between fact and opinion and to identify ‘fake news’ and propaganda, to critically question how and where knowledge is gained and to recognise that history is constructed through examination of evidence and is not just received wisdom.

Key disciplinary skills and concepts at KS3:

Chronological understanding – understanding time and different ways of life in the past including key periods (for example the Renaissance and the Enlightenment) and turning points (including the Reformation and the Civil War)

Communication – effective writing and talking about the past with specific vocabulary

Diversity and empathy – understanding how people may have felt and why they acted in the way that they did.

Change and Continuity – how and why change takes place but also how some things stay the same.

Significance – understanding the impact and importance of certain key individuals and events.

Cause and consequence – understanding why things happen.

Sources and interpretation – understanding how historians use evidence to form opinions on what happened in the past.

Independent enquiry – researching and presenting information to peers.

 Term 1Term 2Term 3
Year 7Understanding the Middle Ages, from 1066 to the reign of Edward I, including the Crusades.Medieval society and life for ordinary people. The Black Death. Thematic study on Water through time.Renaissance and Voyages of Discovery through to the Tudors, with focus on the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth. The Civil War.
Year 8Sugar, Slavery and Empire. The impact of the Industrial Revolution. Peterloo and the beginnings of political change.Victorian attitudes. British rule of India. The impact of the First World War.The rise of the dictators in Europe. The Second World War and the Holocaust. The Cold War.

GCSE Curriculum: Years 9-11

 Term 1Term 2Term 3
Year 9Weimar and Nazi Germany.Migration peoples and Empire.Start GCSE – Conflict in the Modern World – causes and events of World War One.
Year 10Conflict in the Modern World (continued).America 1920 -1970
Inequality and Opportunity.
America 1920 -1970 and start Health and Medicine through time.
Year 11Health and Medicine through Time.Elizabethan Era.Revision and Examinations.

A Level Curriculum

Unit 1 - Breadth StudyUnit 2 – Depth StudyUnit 3 (NEA)
The Quest for Political Stability: Germany, 1871–1991.
Empire to Democracy, 1871–1929;
The impact of Nazism, war and division 1929–1991.
Wars and Welfare: Britain in Transition, 1906–1957 – Society in crisis, 1906–1929 and the emergence of the affluent society, 1929–1957. Tudors 1485-1603. This unit is the coursework element which is completed under teacher supervision and marked internally. It requires the student to carry out independent research and develop a convincing and well-argued judgement.

The enriched curriculum

There are a number of extra-curricular opportunities from Year 7 through to the Sixth Form where History students can deepen their understanding and pursue their interest in the subject. In Year 7 all students are encouraged to attend the day long visit to Fountains Abbey in the autumn term to learn about both monastic life and the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. In Year 10, as part of the GCSE unit on conflict in the Modern World, the department runs a four day trip to the First World War battlefields of France and Belgium. In Year 12, up to 4 students are chosen to take part in the government-funded ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project and Year 12 historians also have the opportunity to take part in a four-day visit to Berlin which complements their study of Germany in Unit 1. We host visiting speakers on a number of topics and members of the department are often called upon to deliver whole school assemblies on themes such as Remembrance and Holocaust Memorial Day.