history curriculum

Welcome to the History Department

Aims and Values

History at KS3 aims to build on the experience of students at KS2 and begins with a unit on What’s it all about? to introduce students to the range of skills and concepts they will encounter during their studies. They also investigate British history from the Stone Age to 1066 in overview. Teaching activities planned will take account of the programmes of study from the National Curriculum, as well as the key elements. The range of units investigated each year are taught around a series of enquiry questions and aim to provide students with a broad over view of the periods studied and the opportunity to study topics in depth. The emphasis is on linking areas of study and revisiting themes and concepts to encourage progression in historical thinking, concepts and skills.

The course comprises of 4 units of study with 3 exams at the end of Year 11. The units chosen provides students with the opportunity to study content from a range of time periods, developing their understanding of broader themes (a 1,000 years of Crime and Punishment in Britain and Era of the Cold War), alongside depth studies (Weimar and Nazi Germany and Early Elizabethan England). Exam questions test students understanding of factual detail, chronology, cause and consequence, change and continuity and source evaluation. Throughout their 2 years of study students develop their communication, literacy and IT skills.

The main aim of the course is to develop students’ historical skills through the study of 3 significant periods of History. In addition there is a piece of coursework based on a students’ particular area of interest in which they will critically assess the interpretations of Historians. Throughout their studies students will supported and encouraged to develop independent learning skills and to engage with current historical debates.


Resources and Facilities

Currently we have 2 dedicated classrooms which all have projectors and audio capabilities. We also have 30 laptops to share between the department.

Resources for all key stages can be located on our Learning Web which is available in and out of the Academy premises. It is very well organised to allow students to find the exact resource they need quickly and efficiently.

We run a gifted and talented club each week with a variety of projects based on the interests and wishes of our students.

KS3 Structure
YEAR 7: 1066-1605
  • Why did Harold lose the crown in 1066?
  • How did castles change in the Middle Ages?
  • Why was Lincoln a centre for pilgrimage in the Middle Ages?
  • Could Medieval kings always do what they wanted?
  • Which was more historically significant: Black Death or the Peasants’ Revolt?
  • Was Guy Fawkes framed?
YEAR 8: 1605-1900
  • Why did Parliament win the English Civil War?
  • Plague & Fire: how far did London change in the seventeenth century?
  • Why was the Slave trade abolished?
  • How Great was the British Empire?
  • How was Britain transformed in the 19th Century?
YEAR 9: 1900-2018
  • Why was there a world war in 1914?
  • What was the impact of trench warfare on soldiers in the First World War?
  • Why did Hitler become Chancellor of Germany in 1933?
  • Why is it important to remember the Holocaust?
  • What were the key events of the Cold War?
  • How has immigration changed Britain in the Twentieth Century?
  • Students have 4 assessments each year in test conditions. These are linked to enquiry questions and test student understanding of source skills and key concepts (causation, change & continuity, chronology)
  • To develop independence and allow students to research and explore a topic in greater depth students complete an extended homework project in each year eg a piece of work on a specific castle to produce a model or power-point in Y7, a trench diary in Y9.

The Department has an active and well attended history Club which meets at lunchtimes every week. The students have undertaken a number of projects and have produced displays of their work. They participated in preparations for the Academy commemoration of the Armistice Centenary.

KS4 Stucture

Students will study the nature and changing definitions of criminal activity alongside changes in law enforcement and punishment.
Topics include: punishment in the Middle Ages, smuggling and poaching in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, the Witchcraft Acts, the Gunpowder Plot, Dick Turpin, the development of police forces and the CID, transportation and the development of the prison system, conscientious objectors, the abolition of the death penalty and the use of science and technology in modern crime detection and prevention.
This Paper includes a Depth Study unit on the Whitechapel (Jack the Ripper) murders with a focus on crime, policing and the inner city 1880-1900.


This study includes three key units:

  • How did the Cold War in Europe develop? Topics include the origins of the Cold War and the development of the Iron Curtain, The Berlin blockade and airlift, the nuclear arms race and the Hungarian Revolution 1956.
  • Three Cold War crisis – Berlin and the building of the Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia.
  • Why did the Cold War end? Topics include the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, president Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ defence initiative, the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union.



Topics include: Elizabethan society, the problem of the poor, exploration and voyages of discovery, Plots against Elizabeth and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, religious divisions, the Catholic threat and the Spanish Armada.
Key topics include the impact of the Treaty of Versailles, the Golden Years of the Weimar Republic Hitler and the growth of the Nazi Party, the growth of the Nazi Dictatorship 1933-9 and life for women, children and minorities in Nazi Germany.

Assessed by:

PAPER 1 30% EXAM 1 hour 15 mins
PAPER 2 40% EXAM 1 hour 45 mins
PAPER 3 30% EXAM 1 hour 15 mins

KS5 Structure

The course consists of 4 units; 3 examined units 80% and coursework 20%

2 units are studied in Y12 with students completing the AS Level exam, the Paper 3 unit and coursework are begun in the summer term of Year 12 and continued into Y13.

All coursework units are assessed internally and externally moderated.


The two units of study are linked by the theme of Democracies in change: Britain and the USA in the twentieth century
In the twentieth century, liberal democracies came under increasing challenge from both within and without. Studying two different countries allows students to develop a greater understanding of the challenges experienced by Britain and the USA, and of the contrasts and similarities in the responses.

This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918–79. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1918–79. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: what impact Thatcher’s governments had on Britain, 1979–97.
UNIT 2: The USA, 1920–55: boom, bust and recovery
This option comprises a study in depth of economic and social change in the USA from the post-war boom of the 1920s, through depression, recovery and war, to the transformation of many aspects of US society in the years immediately after 1945. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of economic change and its long-term effects, the growing demands by black Americans for social equality, and the cultural changes driven by individuals and by technological change.


UNIT 3: A2 Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors 1485-1603
Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the nature of rebellion and disorder under the Tudors and the way the various challenges were met, the nature of change in government over the period and the changing relationship between the Crown and key sections of society. The option enables students to explore the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has seen.
UNIT 4: Coursework unit
The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment. The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view of their subject matter and also be expected to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians. In recent years tudents have chosen topics such as the Russian Revolution, the American Civil War, changing attitudes in Second World War Britain, the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism in post-war USA.


The range of skills and content of the A-Level course will form a strong foundation for students wanting to study History at a higher level. History A-level is seen as a sound basis for those wanting to follow a wide range of careers including Law, Education and business.

Students have access to a Sixth Form study area within the department comprising of 4 desktop computers and a library of resources

Students are provided with a menu of additional support and enrichment materials for each module (eg magazine articles, revision materials, web-sites and video clips to watch)


Students currently take the AS exam (Paper 1:60% and 2:30%) in May of their Year 12 study

Paper 1 Britain Trasformed 2 hour 15 mins exam (30% of A-Level, 60% of AS)

Paper 2 USA c1920-55: Boom, bust and recovery, 1 hour 30 mins exam (20% 0f A-Level, 40% of AS)

Paper 3 Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors 1485-1603, 2 hours 15 mins exam (30% of A-Level)

Coursework, 3-4,000 word essay. (20% of A-Level)


The key course requirement is that you have a keen interest in History. At least a Grade 6 in History is the preferred academic requirement.

Learning at Home

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Career Pathways

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