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KS3 History

“To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child”. Cicero, Roman statesman and orator.

A high quality history education will help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

The National Curriculum for history aims to ensure that all students:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world;
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind;
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’;
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses;
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed;
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts: understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

The History department is passionate about fostering an environment of challenge, collaboration and enquiry in the classroom. We see the past as an opportunity to learn about the present and feel it is vital that our students recognise that history is about human interaction and developing an understanding of why people acted and continue to act in ways that lead to both conflict and enlightenment. From the Middle Ages through to the catastrophe of two World Wars in the 20th century, we aim to imbue students with the knowledge of their history, the development of modern Britain and an understanding of the complex world they currently live in.

External visits at KS3

In the future, the department would like to run a trip to Belgium and France to support work carried out in class about fighting on the Western Front in WWI. This would also link to one of the topics on the new GCSE course.

KS4 History

“To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child”. Cicero, Roman statesman and orator.

 History at KS4 encourages candidates to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. Students will be encouraged to:

  • actively engage in the process of historical enquiry to develop as effective and independent students and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds;
  • develop their knowledge and coherent understanding of selected periods, societies and aspects of history;
  • develop an awareness of how the past has been represented, interpreted and accorded significance for different reasons and purposes;
  • develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past and to investigate them critically using a range of sources in their historical context;
  • organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in creative and different ways and reach substantiated judgements;
  • recognise that their historical knowledge, understanding and skills help them understand the present and also provide them with a basis for their role as responsible citizens, as well as for the possible further study of history.


History at KS4 requires learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical periods, themes and topics studied, and their chronology through:

  • making connections and comparisons between different aspects of the periods, themes and topics studied;
  • describing, analysing and evaluating the causes and consequences of historical events and situations;
  • describing, analysing and evaluating changes and developments in the periods, themes and topics studied;
  • assessing the significance of individuals, events, developments and/or ideas in the history studied;

History at KS4 requires learners to:

  • understand, analyse and evaluate how the past has been interpreted and represented in different ways, using a range of appropriate media;
  • investigate specific historical questions, problems or issues, reviewing and reflecting on progress being made;
  • use a range of historical sources (such as written and visual sources, artefacts, film, ICT, paintings, photographs, music, oral accounts, and buildings and sites) critically in their context, deploying appropriate information and reaching reasoned conclusions.

The course will be assessed in the following ways:

Paper 1: Development study (Medicine Through Time) with the American West, 1840-1895

  • 2 hours
  • 81 marks
  • 40% of final grade

Unit 2: Source skills written paper: Developments in British Medicine 1200-1945

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 53 marks
  • 35% of final grade

Unit 3: Local Study Investigation: Controlled assessment

  • 50 marks
  • 25% of final grade