Introduction to the Team:

There are three main History teachers.  Mr O’Connor, Miss Rowe and Mrs Kaur

Subject Aims/Intent:
  • We aim to reflect the values promoted by the school (Opportunity, Scholarship, Compassion, Aspiration) through a broad and balanced curriculum. 
  • The structure of our curriculum follows a clear and broad chronological framework that introduces students to abstract concepts such as migration, kingship, power, religion and society (amongst others).  This will allow students to recognise key features of each concept but also allow them to see that there are nuances depending on the time period and location of each one. 
  • We intend to open student minds to the links between societies, cultures, and countries across different time periods. We hope this will enrich students and further broaden their horizons and aspirations. This is underpinned by the History curriculum as it is sequenced using the chronological framework and includes the abstract concepts mentioned above.  As they are revisited they are also built upon to encourage rigorous knowledge. 
  • We also intend to show that History is a discipline and that historians go through a process to uncover the past. We hope that through using scholarship from the latest research in academia, we can improve both the knowledge and literacy skills of students by encouraging them to ‘’think like historians’’.  We hope that this will prepare any students who wish to engage with History in future studies. 
  • We intend to make History engaging by making it relevant to our students. This is through pedagogy that is based on a knowledge rich curriculum that is broad in its conception. This will include the teaching of topics that help explain the social, political, and religious make-up of the modern world, as well as focus on some key aspects of our local history.  
  • We also aim to emphasise the diversity of our local area and GB as a whole in order to show different groups within and across societies.  We intend to use a range of visual, written and audio evidence that is representative of all groups in our society to ensure that all voices are heard.  This will help students prepare for both future studies in History and to deal with the complexities of the modern world 
  • Our KS4 curriculum intends to build on the knowledge and skills that have been introduced and practised at KS3 to encourage strong student outcomes.  Again, we feels that it is relevant and engaging and offers a range of topics. 

At KS3, we teach a chronological framework that introduces ancient societies and cultures before moving to the make-up of England prior to 1066.  We then continue with the Norman Conquest in 1066 and ultimately end with the legacy of World War 2.  This framework allows students to place key British events and people in a clear narrative while allowing students to see links across the time frame. 

Within this framework, we address other key historical themes such as religion, politics, and social and economic change. 

At KS4 we teach the Edexcel specification.  This is because it is accessible in its framework and layout as an exam paper, it covers units that match the skills and expertise of the staff within the department and covers the key historical concepts that build on the work we have done at KS3. 

The topics we have chosen within the specification both broaden and deepen the knowledge students have acquired at KS3 and help contextualise historical events to better understand today’s world. 

The pedagogy within History focusses on key concepts such as causation, change over time, significance and interpretations of the past.  By teaching these explicitly, we hope to equip students with the ability to analyse text, photos and interpretations to form their own judgements and conclusions.  This is through enquiry based learning and the critical use of evidence and interpretations. 

To embed knowledge of historical events and the skills required to make informed decisions on the past, students are encouraged to analyse text and sources using literacy activities; produce timelines and living graphs so that students can see change over time; use dual coded learning techniques such as flow diagrams and mind mapping to encourage longer term memory recall, and quizzes to test understanding.  We also feel it is essential that students can discuss the past to develop their understanding, therefore we encourage lots of collaboration between students to reinforce their knowledge. 

Y7 – Initially we cover a what is history unit which introduces students to the skills of History.  We then cover a pre 1066 unit that introduces dome of the key themes of the curriculum: power, religion, society, migration. We then move to the Norman Conquest and we consider how the lives of ordinary British people have changed from 1066 to about 1700.  This includes the Norman conquest, lives for people in the Middle Ages, the political, social and religious changes that happened up until the Tudors.

Y8 – We continue chronologically with students learning about the social and political upheaval  in the 17th Century caused by the conflict between the monarchy and Parliament.  We consider key events of the 17th C to show that this was the birth of a modern Age and the start of British identity.  This continues with the rise and fall of the British Empire from the 18th to the 20th Centuries and the impact of colonisation on different groups of people in a global Empire.  Students also study the changing social conditions in Industrial cities and the impact this had on medicine and politics. 

Y9 – Students start the year by studying the impact of global conflicts in the 20th Century and the legacy that is still felt today by World War 1 and 2.  This includes looking at pivotal events such as the Atomic Bomb and the Holocaust and the lasting legacy of the Cold War.

We examine the changing nature of British society and look at case studies between the wars and the increasing impact of migration on British society.

We finish the year with sample units that introduce topics that will be taught in KS4.  This includes learning about the Medical changes of the last 800 years through both depth and overview studies and the establishment of American society

KS4 – Students study three main topic areas and follow the Edexcel exam board.  They start with Public Health in Britain from 1200 to the present day, which is followed by a depth study on the role of medicine in the trenches of WW1.  They then move onto Elizabethan England the American West and then finally Germany from 1919-1939.  Students then have time to complete intense revision units on each of the topics. Assessment:
Types and frequency of assessment

At KS3, students complete knowledge quizzes at the end of each term that aim to assess students ability to recall after completing some revision activities in class and at home. This is complimented by students completing a written piece of work that aims to encourage developed historical writing. This done every half term. 

At KS4, we use regular assessment using past papers. The aim is to complete a mini mock every half terms in order to make students exam ready and to again encourage revision at home  

Y7,8 and 9 – Homework encourages independent learning.  In Y7 students are given menu style home works which require students to choose assignments of differing challenge within a weekly deadline to encourage organisation as well as knowledge. 

In Y8, students are given a booklet with links to different websites and video clips.  They are then asked to complete comprehension questions and creative tasks to test their ability to apply their knowledge and improve their oracy skills by using resources that are more formal and academic.

At KS4, students are asked to produce weekly home works which support their learning in the classroom, but also to revise topics that have been done previously in order to improve their ability to recall information.  The aim is to build up and then to consolidate as much information as possible in order to prepare students for the rigour of the GCSE exams.

Ideas for this include: completing fact files on key individuals, creative diagrams/flowcharts/visual diagrams, booklets and timelines.