Key Stage 3

Key concepts: pupils start looking at what History is, how they can learn through the study of sources and start to consider different interpretations of events in order to form their own judgements.

Key processes: All Key Stage 3 classes are taught in mixed ability groups. Many different methods of teaching are used, including group work, pair work, individual study, presentations, projects, role-plays, debates, peer assessment, source analysis and extended writing skills.

Year 7: Pupils start the Autumn term with a focus on the skills required to study History: questioning, chronology, sources, inferences and forming judgements. Pupils move onto the study of Medieval history, looking in depth into the Battle of Hastings; the different methods used to control and terrorise England; the changes in society and power through the Magna Carta; study different interpretations of Robin Hood and Joan of Arc through a variety of sources and life in the Middle Ages. They consider the role religion has to play in history with a focus on the Crusades and pilgrimages. Pupils also study the Ottoman and Mali empires and use their learning from the entire year to create their own empires in a group project. Pupils also consider the changes in British society from 1945 to 1975, including the changes in education, social attitudes and behaviours. Pupils end the year studying England at war with Scotland in which they look at events surrounding England and Scotland’s rivalry. Pupils are taught the skills required for success throughout Year 7, with assessments focusing on key features, source inferences and essay questions.

Year 8:
Year 8 pupils begin the year with the Tudors, studying the different monarchs; the social, political and religious changes in Tudor England with a focus on Henry VIII and the changes in religion. Pupils are assessed on their understanding of different judgements on Mary I forming a judgement on whether or not she deserved the nickname ‘Bloody’ Mary. Pupils consider the role of Queen Elizabeth I, considering the many aspects of her reign including her marriage prospects; threats from Spain and Scotland; the different interpretations of her and the social problems during her years on the throne. Pupils are assessed on how successful Elizabeth was as a queen. The Spring term starts with the study of the Stuarts where pupils consider the Gunpowder Plot; the trial and execution of Charles I; the witch hunting phenomenon and the Great fire of London. The study of Jack the Ripper ends the Spring Term. Pupils also study Slavery with pupils learning empathy, before moving onto the civil rights movement of the 1950s, 60s and 70s; a new addition to the Year 8 curriculum, with pupils considering the different roles and ideas of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and other prominent civil rights campaigners. Pupils end the year by studying WWI, with the concept of ‘causation’ playing an important role in the topic. The study of WWI fits well with Remembrance Day each year, with pupils considering why men would sign up to die; what the trenches were like to live in; whether ‘Lions were led by donkeys’ with a focus on the Battle of the Somme and finally making a judgement on why WWI is called the ‘Great’ war. Pupils are taught the skills required for success throughout Year 8, with assessments focusing on causes/consequences, source analysis, ‘explain why’ and essay questions.

Year 9:
The year begins with the study of the interwar years, leading on from Year 8 study of WWI. Pupils focus on the Treaty of Versailles; who is Adolf Hitler; whether appeasement was a mistake and the road to WWII, as well as the study of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. The study of WWII considers moral and ethical dilemmas of the use of the atomic bomb and the Holocaust as well as considering different interpretations of events in WWII and the overall success for the Allies. The Spring term continues with the Rwandan genocide, with pupils developing their understanding of causation and judgement. Year 9 pupils are also taught a small study of UK politics, giving pupils an understanding of our current political climate, different political ideologies and beliefs within the UK and helps pupils understand the reasons for and consequences of political changes. The summer term includes the study of the Middle East, considering the claim to Palestine, role of the UN, Suez Crisis and attempts at peace-making throughout the years. Pupils also study modern terrorism, considering the causes, types and actions of terrorist groups in the 20th and 21st centuries. Pupils are taught the skills required for success and confidence at GCSE throughout Year 9.

Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time:
Pupils are not set in History but are taught in their House classes. KS3 pupils have 3 hours over the fortnight.

Assessment:
Pupils undertake an assessment every half term, through marked pieces, with three being more formalised assessments. Each assessment is based on GCSE questions, which are taught throughout the year in lessons and for homework. These take a variety of forms, including source analysis, extended writing, projects and Home Assessment tasks.

Marking criteria:
Work is marked at least twice a half term, through marked pieces and homework. The History department use a variety of marking examples, including marking codes and use of mark schemes. Pupils are regularly expected to respond to with their own comments on their work, showing an example of improvements based on the feedback they are given. Pupils are always given comments on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focused on continually improving and progressing in History. Assessments are currently marked in line with the school criteria which are available for all pupils in the front of their KS3 exercise books.

Homework:
Pupils are set homework regularly and when suitable at KS3. We set marked work within class time and sometimes as homework, allowing pupils to spend more time on their marked work. In addition, projects are used as extension activities for pupils’ learning on a topic, such as Year 7 pupils creating their own Empire.

Extra-curricular opportunities:
Pupils are given opportunities to attend trips in UK and abroad in connection with the curriculum.

Key Stage 4

Key concepts: Pupils develop their understanding and skill of analysing sources, writing extended answers, completing GCSE exam questions.

Key processes: Pupils are taught using a variety of methods, including group work, pair work, individual study, presentations, projects, role-plays, debates, peer assessment, source analysis and extended writing skills.

GCSE Year 10 and 11 pupils currently study:
We study GCSE Edexcel 9-1 units International Relations: 1943-1991: The Cold War and Crime and Punishment, 1000-present with the Local Study of Whitechapel in Year 10. In Year 11 pupils study USA Conflict at Home and Abroad, 1945-1975 and Anglo-Saxon and Normans, c1060-1088.

Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time:
Pupils are not set in History but are taught in Option block classes. Pupils have six hours of History each fortnight.

Assessment:
Pupils complete regular assessments in class, for homework and under timed conditions. At the end of each key topic, exams are given to represent the real GCSE exam. Pupils are graded according to GCSE 9-1 criteria, often focusing on key skills and areas for development through the use of marking codes.

Marking criteria:
Pupils are each given an assessment book, in which all of their marked work is marked regularly. All work is graded according to the school policy and any exam essays marked according to the GCSE mark scheme. Pupils are provided with feedback on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focussed on continually improving and progressing in History.

Homework:

Assessed exam questions and essays are set regularly and marking is carried out regularly. KS3 pupils will receive a minimum of four marked pieces a half term, including a Key Topic exam piece.

Extra-curricular opportunities:
Pupils are given opportunities to attend trips in UK and abroad in connection with the curriculum. A group of KS5 History prefects support the learning of KS3 and KS4 pupils through challenge and give support in lesson time. KS5 History prefects also work with pupils on a fortnightly basis.

Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)

Topics covered:

Unit 1 Breadth Study – The British Empire 1857 – 1967

Breadth study with interpretations

Unit 2 Depth Study – Revolution and Dictatorship:

Russia 1917-1953

Unit 3 – Historical Investigation

Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time:
Students have 10 hours of History in Years 12 and 13. These are divided between two teachers, teaching a different unit each.

Assessment:
Students are assessed at the end of Years 12 and 13 in exams on the topics taught. There is regular formative and summative assessment in the form of essay questions and mock exams.

Marking criteria:
Work is marked on a very regular basis, with homework and classwork being graded according to A level criteria. Students are always given comments on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focussed on continually improving and progressing in History. Students are also expected to track their progress throughout their studies, considering areas for improvement.

Homework:
Students are set essays regularly at ALevel History. They are expected to focus on areas of improvements given by their teacher for each essay/exam.

Extra-Curricular:
We have had great success with national debating societies, with past students attending US Embassy debates in America. We also take students on a Washington and New York City trip bi-annually, visiting the Supreme Court, national monuments, memorials and places of social and political importance.

Key Stage 5  Government and Politics:

Topics covered:

Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time:
Students have 10 hours of Government and Politics in Years 12 and 13. These are divided between two teachers in Year 12, teaching a different unit each and one teacher in Year 13.

Assessment:
Students are assessed at the end of Years 12 and 13 in exams on the topics taught. There is regular formative and summative assessment in the form of essay questions and mock exams.

Marking criteria:
Work is marked on a very regular basis, with homework and classwork being graded according to A Level criteria. Students are always given comments on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focussed on continually improving and progressing in Government and Politics.

Homework:
Students are set regular essays and exam preparation tasks in ALevel Government and Politics. They are expected to focus on areas of improvements given by their teacher(s) each week.

Extra-Curricular:
We have had great success with national debating societies, with past students attending US Embassy debates in America and other prestigious events. History and Government and Politics students are encouraged to attend lectures and museum visits. Students are also encouraged to attend the bi-annual Washington and New York City trip, visiting the Supreme Court, national monuments, memorials and places of social and political importance.