Our history curriculum firstly fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum for History at KS3, where we provide ‘a high-quality history education which will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We interpret this overall intent by attempting to explain the development of English and British society from the Medieval to Modern period. We integrate ancient history and history from outside of Europe to root and enrich our curriculum in accurate world history. We intend for our students to develop curiosity and intrigue into world history and politics, and work to equip our students with analytical skills to be able to explain, make judgements about and critique historical events.
Central to this overall vision are our substantive concepts that we build our curriculum around. Students will learn about a range of events and developments through our topic enquiries in each year group to build knowledge of these concepts. Students are introduced to, and build their knowledge of second order historical concepts, such as change and continuity, cause and effect, significance, and empathy, to process the knowledge the knowledge that they acquire within lessons and can confidently communicate the knowledge they have studied both verbally and in writing. Students build conceptual knowledge across their history education, alongside developing historical skills. Pupils are also expected to develop competence in a number of essential historical skills: describing, explaining, source inference, source analysis, interpretation analysis and essay writing.
Our curriculum is taught in a predominately chronological fashion. Between both terms and years, content taught in history is sequenced strategically to build on and feed into knowledge for the next term and year, and also supports our students taking History GCSE with a base of knowledge from which to enter into their GCSE. I have inserted a page for clarity on how knowledge is sequenced and supplements content in following terms and year levels, and prepares students for GCSE.
Knowledge and understanding, and Explanation and Analysis - Here we test students knowledge and understanding of topics covered in history. For ks3, this includes in the form of simple comprehension questions, questions to order events chronologically. This also includes space for students to demonstrate their skills of description, and of explaining historical events.
Sources: Analysis, evaluation and judgement - Here, dependent on year level, students practice and are assessed on source inference questions and analysis of source usefulness. Both involve looking at a written or visual source, and being able to analyse what can be learned from this source. Source usefulness questions also require students to demonstrate own knowledge as part of this analysis.
Interpretations: Analysis, evaluation and judgement - For this strand, students are assessed on their ability to identify arguments stated in interpretations of historical topics or events, and to use relevant own knowledge to evaluate why this author has come to this judgement.
Essay skills - For this strand, we are looking to see student’s ability to communicate clear, well-structured arguments in response to an essay question. Students will be assessed on the clarity and detail of explanation and argument. Student’s should come to a clear judgement in response to an essay question, and be able to present ideas using an agree/disagree format, with a conclusion.
In History, we also implement our curriculum through a range of teaching approaches and activities, which include:
In our history department we want to unpack the significant changes to modern Britain. We start from the influence of the Ancient period, the wars of the Medieval Period, the new knowledge and religious debates in the Renaissance period, the massive changes to work and society in the industrial period, and insight not only into the wars, but the cultural changes of the modern period, with focus on the local area of Deptford for both the industrial and modern time periods.
We address a range of second order historical concepts, and teach the students to analyse significance, change and continuity and historical interpretations related to the topic enquiry.
We build student’s vocab and oracy skills with texts to read and comprehension questions to help us understand lesson content. We also create mind maps, act out historical events, watch clips to bring history to life and other more creative styles of teaching to supplement student’s learning. We also teach exam skills in every lesson to prepare students for assessment and GCSEs in KS4, and to normalise the practice of engaging with and understanding the work of historians.
In KS4, we begin by introducing exam style questions in every single lesson to prepare students from Y10 L1 for their Y11 GCSES.
We develop oracy and ability in academic written work. We implement ‘stop and jot’ tasks which help students extract key information from written text. We use similar teaching and learning practices that we use in KS3, to help students engage with key content and skills, and push students to achieve academic rigour in their analytical and evaluative skills.
Students work is regularly marked and feedback given for improvement.