Curriculum Overview - History

Curriculum Intent 

The aim of the history department is to open appreciation of the wonders of the past to all students, irrespective of social background or ability, so that they can better understand the context of their local community, nation, and church.  Topics are chosen to reflect gospel values of tolerance and cooperation between communities and nations, and to build students into more reflective, engaged citizens. Substantive and disciplinary knowledge is chosen to achieve these aims. Students in all key stages are taught how to create- and justify- effective arguments, and to look at source material critically.  

Curriculum Implementation:  

The History curriculum is taught within a chronological framework, through a mixture of breadth and depth studies. To meet the aims of the department, where possible, local case studies are used to illuminate bigger issues in the past. For example, as part of Year 7’s study of the significance of the Normans, they will look at the impact of Norman castles and religious change in the North. As part of Y8’s study of the impact of industrialisation, Gateshead is used as a case study of change.  As we are a Catholic school, topics are chosen to help students understand the impact of the past on the Catholic, and other faith communities. Year 7 consider the impact of the Tudors on Catholicism, and Year 9 consider the impact of anti-Semitism on the global and local Jewish communities. 

Key Stage 3: 

Mirroring the work of academic historians, the History Department uses an enquiry-based approach to curriculum planning. “Big” questions about the past are posed and then students and staff explore these with reference to mini case studies and enquiry questions, which, when put together, create a coherent answer to the initial enquiry question. This approach allows staff to hone the nuances of the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of classes. 

Module  Y7: Power Y8: Progress  Y9: Impact
1  How did the Normans control England?  Did the period 1750-1900 improve the lives of the people?  What was the impact of patriotism on the 20th century? 
2  How did the Tudors expand their power?  Did the British empire bring progress to the world?  What was the impact of anti-Semitism? 
3  Did the Stuarts lose control?  Was there a revolution in peoples’ rights 1800-1920?  What was the impact of ideologies on America in the 1920s and 30s? 


Throughout the KS3 curriculum, students are taught the PEEL paragraph model of building effective arguments and are introduced to regular opportunities for extended writing. Scaffold and support, stretch and challenge are offered to all to facilitate access to the curriculum. 


Students follow the AQA GCSE History specification. This builds on the extended writing and source analysis kills of assessing typicality developed at KS3.   

10  11 
Equality and Opportunity: USA 1920-1973 

Conflict and Tension: Europe 1894-1918 

Health and the People 1000AD to the Present 

Norman England 1066-1100 


A’ Level 

The department offers two A’ level courses – AQA History, and AQA Politics, both of which help students to achieve the departmental aims of understanding more deeply their own faith and national community, to understand the impact of intolerance, and to build them into adults ready to take their place as active and engaged citizens. Students have regular access to high level, up-to date analysis on current issues in both subjects. They are prepared for university life by taking part in seminars and debates. 

12: History


13 History



·       Part One: consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty: England, 1485–1547


·       Part one: the Weimar Republic, 1918–1933


·       Part Two: England: turmoil and triumph, 1547–1603

AQA 20:

·       Part two: Nazi Germany, 1933–1945


As aspect of  the industrial revolution or an agreed individual study


12 Politics 13 Politics
·       Government and politics of the UK


·       Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics


·       Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Feminism

The department has an excellent track record of supporting students into Oxford, Cambridge, and other Russell group universities.  

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