Knowledge and Skills in History 

Our History curriculum is focused on key content and skills required for students to thrive in their studies and beyond.  A focus on the skills required to access the chosen content enables students to formulate their own ideas and opinions and transmit these in a structured and ordered fashion with substantiated and developed lines of enquiry and debate.  Students are challenged to think beyond the stimuli of the schemes of work to challenge and debate events and interpretations within the focus of study. This is underpinned by thoughtfully planned and developed lessons which offer an engaging and challenging   approach to significant areas of historical study throughout the curriculum. Exposing students to key skills allows those who go on to study history further the ability to develop broader context and understanding. 

Primarily the key skill is to understand ‘WHY’ we teach particular events – significance (G.R.E.A.T) 

  1. Understand the development of Britain through a narrative and chronology of significant events 
  2. Understand historical concepts such as significance, cause and consequence, continuity and change and be able to analyse these in historical context. 
  3. Understand how a wide variety of evidence is used to construct interpretations of history.  (Sources and interpretations)Understand and utilise key historical terms in analysis of historical context. 

Curriculum features 

A collaborative approach underpins our curriculum, where staff are given the flexibility to organise the module content as they see fit for their groups, with a ‘Suggested Approach’ and shared resources available as a starting point. 

KS3 

A newly planned curriculum with new assessments which allow for a broader set of skills to be tested throughout year 7 and 8 has been developed, offering accessibility and challenge for all students.  Certain topics lend themselves well to particular skills, but generally a balanced approach of ‘drip feeding’ relevant skills into these topics allows for reinforced development and knowledge acquisition.  Most of these are formed around the I.D.E.A. model (Identify, describe, explain, analyse). This model allows for students of all abilities to develop whilst having a clear understanding of how to improve. To build on these skills further we have incorporated IDEA/GREAT/NOP for KS3 modules allowing for the embedding of key skills required to successfully engage with history at KS3 and beyond. 

KS3 has a chronological focus from the Norman conquest and the Medieval world, significant events through the Tudor period and onto The enslavement and transportation of African people under the British Empire.  This develops into a study of Industrialisation in Britain and the impact on protest and reform through the Industrial Revolution.  Key events of the Early Twentieth Century are then addressed though liberal reforms, WWI, The ‘Irish question’ and the Suffragette movement. Finally addressing the events of WWII and the Holocaust are studied at the end of KS3. 

Key skills are revisited, enhanced and checked throughout the two years, developing and deepening the understanding historical study.  The content of the course has been developed to incorporate and support the whole school ideals of diversity, good citizenship and respect.  With only 72 hours of History at KS3 we hope that the content and skills covered will foster a further engagement with the topics leading to studying history at GCSE and beyond. 

KS4 

The GCSE history course commences in year nine and students start immediately with the vast content of the course.  Entwined and embedded in the schemes of work is the regular testing of exam technique linked to the acquisition of core content.  This builds on many of the key historical skills developed at KS3. Developing the various writing skills needed to ‘succeed’ at History GCSE requires students to develop resilience and perseverance required to produce sustained and substantiated pieces of writing.  Allowing students to develop the differing skills required to approach explain, narrative, cause and consequence and interpretation questions, incorporating various sources and historiography is practiced and revisited for each of the four topics studied at GCSE.  Students are given the ‘scaffolding’ necessary to develop and build confidence in these areas whilst regular ‘mock exams’ allow for assessment of the cohort.  Students are provided with assessment booklets which allow them to refer back to previous assessments and targets encouraging self-awareness and development. Included in the course are regular ‘revision lessons’ which develop students ability to develop resources and techniques which best allow them to maximise and retain the vast amounts of course content.  This is supplemented with revision materials and targeted ‘revision’ scheme of work. 

KS5 

At KS5 students are encouraged to develop inquisitive and challenging ideas around the topics studied.  They are expected to further develop the historical skills they have already acquired whilst harnessing the questioning of interpretations of history.  This is achieved through all three topics studied, with the coursework element allowing for independent inquiry and research. Students are encouraged to further challenge interpretations of history and assess validity of source material.  This is all supported by wider reading and an extensive bibliography for the course.