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Ancient Containers
Black and White Train

History Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact.


Intent: Our vision in History is to engage students’ curiosity and develop their knowledge of history as a coherent, chronological narrative at local, national and international level. We want to enable students to grow in their understanding of complex ideas, learn to ask perceptive questions and make reasoned judgements. We aim to equip students with the skills required to engage critically with sources to gain a sophisticated understanding of how the past is represented. Working in a diverse community, we believe it is important for our curriculum to be truly diverse, with people of different races, classes and genders properly represented in our study of the past. Students gain a richer understanding of historical periods when learning about the diversity of past societies, and develop their critical thinking when considering why different groups of people are often not well represented. The Key Stage 3 curriculum has been designed to give students understanding of a wide range of historical periods. It is important that students have access to an extensive range of history in order to develop students’ understanding of the past and their cultural capital, bearing in mind that not all students will continue with History at GCSE. The curriculum is based on a broadly chronological framework, beginning with Anglo-Saxon history and finishing with 20th Century history. Within this structure, there are opportunities for students to undertake depth studies on particular periods, and more broad studies over large swathes of history so that students develop a good chronological understanding and can identify change and continuity over longer periods of time. At Key Stage 4, we build upon students’ learning at Key Stage 3, whilst also introducing new topics to engage students in learning about different periods. For example, our study of medicine through time from 1250 to the present day is underpinned by students’ understanding of change and continuity from their thematic studies at Key Stage 3. In studying Henry VIII and his Ministers, we draw upon students’ knowledge of Henry, his wives and the Reformation from their study of this topic in Year 8. At A Level we study the topics of the American Revolution, Elizabeth I and Russia and its rulers. Students also undertake independent research and write an essay on the topic of their choice within the overall study of the African American Civil Rights movement in the USA. Students further develop their skills from their GCSE study, such as the analysis of primary sources and historical interpretations.


Implementation: Our History lessons are structured around enquiry-based learning. Through carefully planned and sequenced lessons, pupils gain the knowledge and understanding required to answer worthwhile historical questions with clarity and insight. This enquiry-based learning makes lessons engaging and relevant to pupils, as well as enabling them to deepen the skills required to excel in History. As a small department, we work closely together to review and shape our curriculum in order to create schemes of work which are challenging, accessible and engaging. We regularly discuss what constitutes good practice in History teaching and seek to implement new ideas in our classroom teaching. We believe in the importance of students engaging with History beyond the classroom, so we run a range of trips which complement students’ learning at school. For example we take all of Year 7 to Rochester Castle and Cathedral in order to enrich their understanding of medieval conquests and religion, and we run a trip for Year 11 students to Berlin to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Weimar and Nazi Germany and the Cold War. We also run workshops and lectures within school to give students more opportunities to engage with History beyond their lessons.


Impact: Pupils and students gain a good understanding and overview of history through their study at GCSE. A good amount of students continue their study into GCSE and then at A Level. The History department has enjoyed strong results at both GCSE and A Level in recent years. History often contributes to students’ progress 8 scores, and we have had students gain Grade 9s in each year of the new GCSE thus far. At A Level our students achieve excellent results; students achieved 100% A*-C grades in 2019. Many of our A Level students go on to study History or closely related disciplines at University.




Keystage 3 



Year 7 

  • Vikings and Anglo-Saxons – what was Britain like before 1066?  

  • The Norman conquest – why did William win and how did he keep control? 

  • Medieval Kings – why did Kings struggle to rule England? 

  • Medieval life – what was life like for people in the Middle Ages? 

  • West African Kingdoms – what can we learn about Ancient Mali from Mansa Musa? 

  • The Renaissance – what was the most significant development of the Renaissance? 


Year 8 

  • Tudor England – what were the most important events of the Tudor period?  

  • The Stuarts – how was ‘the world turned upside down’ by the Civil War? 

  • Depth study of London – how has London changed over time? 

  • The Industrial Revolution – how did the industrial revolution transform Britain? 

  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade – how and why did the slave trade develop? 

  • Abolition – how successful were efforts to abolish slavery in the 19th Century? 


Year 9 

  • WWI – what was the experience of soldiers in WWI like? 

  • Suffrage movement – how did women get the vote by 1918? 

  • The Holocaust – how could the Holocaust have happened? 

  • WW2 – what were the major turning points of WW2? 

  • Migration in the 20th Century – how has Britain changed since 1900? 




Edexcel History GCSE 


Paper 1: Thematic study and Historic environment (30%) 

  • Part 1: An overview of how medicine in Britain has developed over time from c1250-2000.  

  • Part 2: A depth study into how medicine developed on the Western Front in WWI. 

  • Written exam – 1 hour 15 minutes 


Paper 2: British depth study and period study (40%) 

  • Part 1: Henry VIII and his ministers  

  • Part 2: Superpower relations and the Cold War 

  • Written exam – 1 hour 45 minutes 


Paper 3: Modern depth study (30%) 

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 

  • Assessment of source analysis and evaluation of historians’ interpretations 

  • Written exam – 1 hour 20 minutes 



OCR History A Level 


Paper 1: The Later Tudors 1547-1603 (25%) 

  • Mid-Tudor crises of Edward VI and Mary I – stability of the monarchy, religion and rebellions 

  • The reign of Elizabeth – government, religion, economic/social affairs and Elizabeth’s later years 

  • Written exam consisting of a source question and essay – 1 hour 30 minutes 


Paper 2: The American Revolution 1740-1796 (15%) 

  • The development of British hegemony in America 

  • Causes and events of the American Revolution 

  • The early Republic 

  • Written exam consisting of one short and one long essay – 1 hour 


Paper 3: Russia and its rulers 1855-1964 (40%) 

  • Thematic studies: War and revolution, changing nature of government, economy and society, empire and satellite states 

  • Depth studies: Alexander II, the Provisional Government, Khrushchev 

  • Written exam consisting of one interpretation question and one thematic essay – 2 hours 30 minutes 


Independent essay: The Civil Rights Movement in the USA (20%) 

  • 3000-4000 word essay on an aspect of the Civil Rights movement of the student’s choice 

  • Previous topics have included Malcolm X, Brown vs  Board, the impact of the Cold War and work of SNCC 

  • The essay must include analysis of primary sources and evaluation of historians’ interpretations 

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