We want to extend our students’ understanding of the world and its diversity, to develop a healthy awareness of our cultural and historical heritage and help them understand their roots as individuals and as members of larger social groups, whatever their ethnic and cultural background.
By so doing, it is hoped that through the teaching of history we can make a significant contribution to students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We want them to be able to grasp where they sit in terms of the events of the past and present, how they can make a contribution to shaping the future and the importance of encouraging co-operation and mutual respect for each other regardless of their race, gender, age or class.
Unit 1: the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain, 1066-1509
Unit 2: the impact through time of the migration of people to, from and within the British Isles
Unit 3: the development of Church, state and society in Britain, 1509-1745
Students are taught to understand how developments from the Middle Ages to the 17th Century helped shape the economy, society, culture and political structure of modern Britain.
In the Autumn term, students are introduced to historians’ methods of study of the past. We do this by examining the issues of primary and secondary sources of evidence, bias and reliability, historical facts and opinions and basic research skills.
We begin our study of aspects and themes of the past by investigating the impact through time of the migration of people to, from and within the British Isles, from ancient times to the 20th Century.
We then study the key political developments of the Middle Ages: the Norman Conquest, the feudal system, the Domesday Book, Magna Carta and the origins of Parliament. We then cover the development and strategic importance of castles.
In the Spring term we cover the medieval church, ‘doom’ paintings and beliefs about heaven and hell. Students also find out about medieval strip farming and village life, medieval medicine and the Black Death.
In the Summer term we teach the Tudors and Stuarts, social groups and daily life, religious beliefs, poverty and crime, The Reformation, the dissolution of the monasteries, the Church of England under Queen Elizabeth 1 and Charles I and the English Civil War.
Unit 4: the French Revolution
Students learn about significant events and individuals in one of the most important turning points of recent centuries, an event which changed the face of politics and society well beyond the borders of France itself.
Unit 5: the development of ideas, political power industry and empire in Britain, 1745-1901
Students learn about the key developments in this crucially significant century period in the development of the modern world. These include:
• the growth and development of the British Empire, including the loss of America;
• the origins and effects of the Industrial Revolution and the vast impact of the coming of the factory system on the economy, society and individuals;
• the revolution in transport
• the urbanisation of communities;
• slavery and the slave trade;
• demands for political reform and the extension of the franchise.
Unit 6: the Twentieth Century World (Part 1)
In Summer Term we begin our study of the recent past on a global scale by investigating the causes of the First World War, as well as the nature of modern warfare in the trenches and the significant battles of the war as well as the reasons for Allied victory.
Unit 6: the Twentieth Century World (Part 2)
We resume our study of global developments and changes in the UK by considering the contribution of the women’s suffrage movement of the early twentieth century to the development of women’s rights.
We then go on to examine the nature of the competing political systems of democracy and dictatorship, of Communism and Fascism focusing on the rise of dictators in the USSR and Germany between the world wars. We make an in-depth study of Germany under the Nazi dictatorship in the 1930s. We then go on to study the causes of the Second World War and some of the key events and effects of that war, including the Holocaust and the development and use of the atom bomb.
GCSE History: Conflict and tension, 1918-1939.
In the second half of Year 9, all students follow the first unit in the AQA GCSE History course. This will enable us to spend more time developing the knowledge and understanding of students who opt to go on to study History at this level. This unit involves understanding the significant impact of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 on Germany as well as considering the successes and failures of the League of Nations between the wars, as well as an in-depth study of Hitler’s foreign policy and the causes of the Second World War.
As year 7 come to us without National Curriculum history levels, baseline assessments are made for all year 7 students during the first half-term. This information allows staff to set aspirational, realistic targets.
Progress is monitored by regular, rigorous assessments (including written tests, ICT competencies and classroom presentations) and targets are modified as and when appropriate. Student peer/self assessment is regularly used to develop a better awareness of how improvements can be made.
Holocaust Memorial Day, a regular feature of the school year for all year 9 students, features a session focusing on the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis. In recent years, we have organised field trips to places of historic interest which are relevant to the topics we are studying in the curriculum. We have also had a visitor in school to re-enact the role of a World War One soldier for the benefit of year 9 students.
The curriculum we offer is designed to provide appropriate challenge for all students, including the more able. Differentiated, targeted questioning and extension activities are always available in lessons, for homework enquiries and on the VLE and are designed to stretch children of all abilities including the more and most able.
Textbooks specifically designed to challenge and extend the more able are used for extension and research. The more able are also provided with regular opportunities to develop their leadership skills during group work activities and by means of such strategies as ‘Dragons Den’ (year 8).
Geography and history share a common homework policy which is based on the principle behind it that all home learning should make a crucial contribution to the overall learning and development of our students.
All our homework assignments are set regularly and are appropriate to the abilities and needs of the students. We try to ensure that the tasks (all of which are available on Show My Homework) are interesting and challenging, promptly marked and returned with positive, encouraging and constructive comments and advice, (written or verbal) clearly identifying specific steps or targets for improvement accurately assessed and appropriately rewarded with merits, commendations and headteacher’s excellence awards.
Extension materials are available for students for many homework tasks; on all occasions, it would be appropriate for students to do additional independent research or reading on topics, with direction provided by the teacher if necessary. Various tasks are available on Show My Homework; these tasks can be attempted by any student, whether or not formally set as homework. Students are encouraged to visit the history course page for up to date information on homework.
A range of strategies is employed during lessons to support students with special needs. This includes the use of learning support assistants within the lesson. Staff liaise in advance with learning support assistants so that steps can be put in place to make the curriculum accessible to those who require additional support.
Our experienced learning support assistants will help and guide and can give advice to students within the lesson and can offer further help away from the classroom if this is necessary, for example with homework.
Differentiated materials and tasks are provided for students, when appropriate, and peer support is used in various pair and group work activities.
This is developed in the classroom through a variety of methods (particularly group work) where students can assume a number of different roles where they can develop their leadership, organisational and teamwork skills.
Student leadership in learning/teaching can also be fostered through presentations within groups and on a whole-class basis. It also takes place through common learning activities, whether it is a brain storming activity or a decision-maker question. Peer assessment and subsequent verbal and written feedback are also used to develop students’ ability to read situations well and accurately and take a lead in feeding back to each other.