History Curriculum Intent

Our History curriculum aims to give students an understanding of the past and its role in shaping our lives today. Although History is a popular option, we want to ensure students have had the opportunity to learn, discuss and evaluate key moments in History whether they choose to continue studying History at GCSE or opt for a different path. 

We want students to see a broad representation of people, religions, ethnicities, and genders during their History career as well as having an understanding of the local areas place within it. 

Our curriculum vision is based around 5 main themes and the integration of historical skills to equip students for the future. We want students to understand how different people's histories are connected to each other as well as to the present. Students do this by exploring key events within five broad themes these are. 

  1. Power and Conflict
  2. Social Justice
  3. Science and Industry
  4. Societal identity, and links to local history
  5. Ideas, beliefs, and cultures

Historical skills are an essential part of a student's journey throughout history, both to make good historians as well as curious and analytical young people, therefore students have the opportunity develop the key historical skills throughout their history career. This includes assessing change and continuity as well as evaluating sources and interpretations to understand how and why the past has been interpreted the way it has. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and assessment of the past through opportunities to develop their extended writing.

School Trips

The department is always looking at opportunities to experience History outside of the classroom. Previous trips include the World War One Battlefields, HMS Victory and we hope to organise a WWI medicine workshop in school. 


  • Up to date, new textbooks to support KS3 to KS5
  • Computer Pod
  • The use of iPads to support teaching and learning

Useful Links

KS3 History

Years 7, 8, 9

Students complete a 1000 year study over the course of KS3, learning about British and World events from 1066 through to 2000. This 1000 year study covers a mix of conflicts, power, movement and social effects. Throughout Key Stage Three we investigate a number of key questions; these are included below. 

Year 7

  • How did invaders shape Britain before 1066?
  • What impact did William the conquerer have on England? 
  • What was Medieval Britain really like?
  • How did the Black Death affect society?
  • What was life like under Henry VIII?
  • What kind of Queen was Elizabeth? 
  • How did the French and English Revolutions impact society? 
  • We also look at two thematic studies. One focuses on change and the other the fight for freedom where we follow the struggle from slavery to the Civil Rights Movement and the USA today for African-Americans. 

Year 8

  • How did Britain change during the Industrial Revolution and what impact did this have?
  • Why did the British Empire collapse and what impact did this have?
  • What was World War One like and why should it be remembered?
  • How did women fight for the vote?
  • What happened in World War Two? 
  • What was the Holocaust? 
  • How did post-war Britain change?

Year 9

  • In preparation for starting their History GCSE students complete two thematic studies; the first is Crime and Punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to Modern day and then in the second half-term we will be exploring migration in Britain.  
  • Students will then begin their GCSE studies by studying the history of medicine from 1200-1990. 

What skills students develop

Students spend their time in Key Stage 3 developing the 6 historical skills of Causation, Interpretation, Diversity, Significance, Change over Time and the use of historical sources. They also learn to empathise with people in the past, to debate historical issues and to learn about how the world is like it is today. The literary nature of the subject also means their spelling, reading, writing and communication skills will improve too.

How students are assessed

Students complete a Tri-weekly every half-term, this helps to develop students knowledge and understanding. Key Stage Three students will also complete a Key Assessment once a term which will assess key historical skills they have been developing within their unit of work.  


Homework is set once a fortnight in year 7 and 8, across the half-term this homework takes the form of a homework booklet where students are able to select at least one of their homework’s each half-term whilst others are directed by their teacher.   

How parents can help

Parents can help by checking your child’s SMHW and making sure homework and independent study is up to date. Encouraging your child to visit museums, watch historical TV programmes or do some extra reading is also valuable.

KS4 History GCSE

Board and Exam Details

All students complete the Edexcel History GCSE syllabus.

Link to course specification

Course Outline

Studying history at GCSE encourages students to show an understanding of events in the past; being able to explain their causes, their impact and their importance. Students will gain a good insight into history spanning from medieval times through to the end of the twentieth century; as well as covering a mix of British, European and world history.  With the analytical, writing, debate and detective skills learned on this course, students will be prepared for a huge range of careers in law, politics, public sector, business, marketing, journalism, economics, teaching, academia, insurance, social research, archaeology and curation (museums, galleries, archives and libraries).

Themes covered include;

  • British thematic study- focusing on Medicine through Time- c1000-present. Included in this, a study of the British sector of the Western Front, focusing on injuries, treatment and trenches.
  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88
  • Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939

The ‘British Thematic study’ focuses on the change in Medicine Through Time, ranging from the use of medicine in medieval England, and attempts to treat the Black Death, right through to the modern era and the impact of the NHS. Students specifically look at injuries and treatment on the Western Front during World War One.

The ‘British Depth Study’ will focus on Early Elizabethan England, from the challenges Elizabeth faced as a new queen both at home and abroad to what it was like to live in Elizabethan England.

In the ‘Period Study’, Super power relations and the Cold War, students will learn about the rising tension and rivalry between the USA and the USSR post World War 2 and explore the ways in which they competed from the Space race to nuclear weapons and how close they came to war.

In addition to this, students will study ‘Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 focusing on the problems Germany faced after WW1 as well as how Hitler came to power along with examining Hitler’s control and dictatorship of Germany during the 1930s. People who study history are fearless explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more. Students will learn to look at how things have developed over time and connect the dots to understand how we got to where we are today.

What skills students develop

History students will develop their thinking skills: such as problem solving, empathy, source analysis, understanding causes/consequences of events and evaluating differing interpretations of the past. They also develop an understanding of chronology and gain an understanding of the events that have shaped our world. History is crucial in supporting good literacy skills of spelling and written communication.

How students are assessed


(1.25 hrs)

British Thematic Study

30% of the qualification


(1.75 hrs)

British Depth Study and Period Study

40% of the qualification


(1.2 hrs)

Modern Depth Study - Weimar and Nazi Germany

30% of the qualification


Students are given homework every week and are expected to spend around an hour completing it. This can take the form of further research, completing classwork notes, or students are set GCSE exam practise questions for homework, which are marked according to exam board marking criteria. Their work books or folders are also regularly checked.

How parents can help

Parents can help by ensuring that homework is completed and that their child is organised and bringing their file to each lesson. Any visits or TV programmes that have links to the GCSE course should be encouraged.

Extra-curricular Activities

History runs a comprehensive Extended Day timetable with targeted sessions. These run every night from Tuesday-Thursday. We also run a High Performers History club every fortnight which includes virtual sessions with the National Archives at Kew. 

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