History

  • Mr A Brown - Curriculum Leader - Humanities
  • Mrs V Carnell - Assistant Curriculum Leader- Humanities
  • Miss K Weiss - Teacher of History
  • Mr D Rooney - Teacher of History

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"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."

Robert A. Heinlein


Intent

The History department’s intention is to deliver a stimulating, broad, ambitious and balanced curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world. History is a subject that forms the bedrock of our understanding of the culture in which we live as well as the wider world around us. The content covered gives students the opportunity to explore issues at a local, national and international level from Iron Age Britain to the Medieval era and through to the Twentieth Century. This range offers the opportunity to explore different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events and think critically about the world in which they live. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to give students a broad understanding of the chronological development of British History, as well as being able to make links to other societies, cultures and world events.

Understanding key concepts within History, such as significance and causation and consequence, unlocks the door for students to be able to ask leading questions, analyse information and convey their views in a methodical and structured way. These skills are honed and developed progressively through the curriculum to create historians confident in communicating their views, both in writing and orally. Each topic is framed around a challenging historical question, which is linked to a key historical concept. Lessons mirror this, with key questions forming the basis for each lesson enquiry. This will ensure students access and apply high-level vocabulary with increasing rigour over their time in History classrooms and develop their literacy skills. To conclude, the History curriculum, immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world, with skills that can be applied in other subjects and in their future endeavours.

Design Rationale

The National Curriculum is the basis and foundation for the themes we cover at KS3. Throughout KS3 we build on core skills which are particular to History, but transferrable to the wider curriculum. Our History curriculum gives students the opportunity to study issues at a local, national and international level in Pre-Medieval, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern time periods. To help understand Britain’s influence on the wider world, students will look at the influence of different peoples and places across time, and assess the impact of events on individuals and communities.

Furthermore, students will be exposed to a high level of historical and conceptual vocabulary, learning to interpret a broad range of sources including visual primary sources and propaganda, and be exposed to different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events. Finally, students will develop an understanding of how to apply and write about historical concepts such as causation, continuity and change, significance, consequence, diversity - and challenge received wisdom about historical figures and issues. Students will also be encouraged to develop confidence in orating and debating historical issues and evaluate historical interpretations. The concepts and skills embedded at KS3 will offer a springboard into KS4, where we follow the AQA specification.

Delivery

History is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods. Lessons begin with retrieval practice to help improve long term retention. Moreover, our pedagogy is underpinned by enquiry-based studies set within a broader historical context. There is a focus on developing students’ analytical writing by focusing on description, explanation and evaluation, along with the regular use of live modelling and exemplar answers to demonstrate processes, standards and expectations. To reiterate, a range of strategies are employed to deepen knowledge so that it is committed to long term memory, helping to provide independence and resilience. Students will also be encouraged to interrogate current historical debates. Importantly, students have regular opportunities to improve and reflect on their work, whilst being told what they are doing well, and crucially, how they need to improve. Finally, students will develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts to foster enjoyment along with developing a rich and deep subject knowledge, and be able to interrogate current historical debates.

To conclude, as a department we will enrich our curriculum by establishing cross-curricular links, by providing on and off-site subject or topic-related experiences, providing it is safe to do so. In addition, as a department we will also encourage students to contribute to the life of the school and the community, including remembrance activities. Finally, students will build on their understanding of the importance of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance and respect, along with improving their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding through the study of History.

Impact

The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.

To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.

High Stake Testing

High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.

Mid Stake Testing

Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.

Low Stake Testing

To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.

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