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 end the year studying England at war with Scotland in which they look at events surrounding England and Scotland’s rivalry.

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. 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 the British Empire and an enquiry into Victorian Britain with a focus on Jack the Ripper ends the Spring Term. Pupils also study Slavery with pupils learning empathy through their own creation of a slave diary 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.

Year 9:
Pupils begin the Autumn term with the study of 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. The interwar years focuses 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 one off project into the assassination of JFK, which gives pupils a taster into the skills required for success at GCSE. The year ends with pupils studying the Middle East; a new addition to the curriculum and including key concepts taught in History.

Setting arrangements and amount of curriculum time:
Pupils are not set in History but are taught in their House classes at KS3. Year 7 pupils have 3 hours over the fortnight, Year 8 and Year 9 have 4 hours.

Assessment:
Pupils undertake an assessment every half term, with three being more formalised assessments. These take a variety of forms, including source analysis, extended writing, projects and Home Assessment tasks.

Marking criteria:
Work is marked on a fortnightly rota, with private study and classwork being graded according to the school policy. We use marksheets in History, which pupils are expected to respond to with their own comments on their work. Pupils are always given comments on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focused on continually improving and progressing in History. In addition, pupils are expected to improve a piece of work each month, using the advice from teachers marking. This is called the Purple Pen Policy. Assessments are currently marked in line with the school criteria which are available for all pupils in the front of their KS3 exercise books.

Private study:
Pupils are set termly book reviews in each year at KS3, which require them to read and analyse a History book of their choice. In addition, projects are used as extension activities for pupils’ learning on a topic.

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:
International Relations: 1943-1991, Germany: 1918-1939, The Transformation of British Society 1951-79 and Vietnam for their Controlled Assessment unit.

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

Assessment:
Pupils complete regular assessments, with end of topic exams for every section of each unit. Pupils are graded according to GCSE criteria.

Marking criteria:
Work is marked on a fortnightly rota, with private study and classwork being graded according to the school policy and any exam essays marked according to the GCSE mark scheme. Pupils are always given comments on how they can further improve their work, ensuring they are focussed on continually improving and progressing in History.

Private study:
Pupils are set termly book reviews, with the books to be focussed on one of the Units studied at GCSE. In addition, pupils complete exam questions on a weekly basis for private study.

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 weekly basis, with private study 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.

Private Study:
Students are set an essay a week in KS 5 History. They are expected to focus on areas of improvements given by their teacher each week.

Extra-Curricular:
We have had great success with national debating societies, with past students attending US Embassy debates in America.

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, 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 fortnightly rota, with private study and classwork being graded according to ALevel 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.

Private study:
Students are set an essay a week in KS 5 Government and Politics. They are expected to focus on areas of improvements given by their teacher 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.