The purpose of our History curriculum is to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We want to inspire pupils’ curiosities to know more about the past and learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, assess arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Studying History will help students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
- Entitlement: All pupils will study a broad range of content from the past 1000 years, they will access a range of evidence and historical scholarship through their enquiries.
- Coherence: Our curriculum is chronologically sequenced with a focus on period, place, and people, which deliberately builds on and develops conceptual and disciplinary knowledge.
- Mastery: We want our pupils to be able to link new knowledge to previously taught content and understand the different ways they connect.
- Representation: All pupils will encounter a curriculum in which they can see themselves whilst offering a range of diverse experiences that provide an opportunity to broaden their knowledge through the curriculum.
- Education with Character: Through the curriculum, pupils are given many opportunities to debate historical controversy and to share and reflect on a range of topics. Within their school and local communities, there are moments for students to extend their learning beyond the classroom, such as remembrance and commemoration of significant events.
Our curriculum is chronologically sequenced, with Year 7 grounded in the medieval period before moving to the European Renaissance. This is developed in Year 8, exploring the Renaissance in England, before moving on to the Industrial period. Year 9 then zooms in on the 20th century, or the modern period. Advanced study at GCSE and A Level further develops students’ knowledge and skills from KS3. Within each period there are opportunities to explore a variety of places, locally, nationally, and globally, whilst hearing from a range of diverse voices that consider different experiences. Each unit includes an overarching enquiry question that will provide the core knowledge for our summative assessment. Each enquiry has a secondary concept at its core, such as cause and consequence; change and continuity; significance, similarity, and difference; and historical interpretation.
Our curriculum emphasises secure knowledge as the foundation before progressing to the application of the skill (e.g. evaluation). Lessons begin with ‘Do Now’ recaps which test new and prior knowledge and there are frequent pause points in lessons to recap and test the main concept or knowledge of a lesson.
Students undertake three common assessments in History each academic year, which are issued by United Learning (KS3) or Edexcel (KS4/5); the benefit of these assessments is that students can gain a better understanding of their performance as part of a larger cohort. In History we work to ensure that students are competent in basic skills, literacy, and numeracy by integrating numeracy and literacy tasks into our lessons. Literacy has also become more prevalent on the GCSE History exams, with marks awarded for accuracy of spelling, punctuation, and grammar so we ensure our pupils are prepared for this.
We strive to ensure that all students access further educational opportunities through History, offering opportunities to take part in whole school activities and external visits as much as possible. We aspire for all students to leave the academy with a sound knowledge and understanding of the history of Britain and the wider world and skills which will transfer into their chosen field of employment or study.
For students who wish to study in this area for GCSE and A Level, we aim to support students in fulfilling their potential, helping them to achieve the highest possible results, progress and attainment in both so that they are well equipped to pursue a future career in this area should they wish to do so. History is one of the Russell Group Universities' 'facilitating' subjects — so-called because choosing them at A Level allows a wide range of options for degree study. One of the most flexible of qualifications, History provides an excellent pathway to degrees such as History, Law, English, and Philosophy, and beyond that to a range of interesting careers.