The value of History is to study the past so that we might better understand the present day. The old saying is that “those who fail to learn the lessons from History are doomed to repeat it.” By learning from the mistakes of the past, History gives us the opportunity to do better in the future.
The Four Key Principles:
- Create passion and curiosity about the subject
The History curriculum is designed around the study of ‘powerful knowledge’ ranging from the study of Alfred the Great to areas of modern study such as the Cold War. These topics have been carefully selected by the History team, which they themselves are passionate about – passion is contagious, and students are unlikely to be excited, if the teachers themselves are not excited. A successful History classroom is one that consists of eager, enthusiastic learners who feel comfortable and confident to ask questions and seek guidance.
- Support our scholarship curriculum
Firstly, the history curriculum supports the development of scholarship by selecting interesting articles for the students ‘prep pack’. These articles will both prepare students for the lesson itself, while simultaneously promoting curiosity about the subject, which will create an environment in which students are eager to learn what comes next. These articles also promote independent work, developing skills such as analysis and the extraction of key information from a source of information. Secondly, the history curriculum promotes scholarship by promoting passion and curiosity which makes students eager learners. Many student may even research their lesson in greater detail in their own time, to both meet their curiosity and because they are interested to know more.
- Comply with the requirements of the national curriculum
The History curriculum complies with the National Curriculum by studying the development of Church, State and society in Britain during the years 1066-1509, and the years 1509-1745. Students are then introduced to the development of new ideas, changes in political power and the development of Industry and Empire in the years 1745-1901. Moreover, students then study challenges facing Britain and the modern world in the years 1901 to the present day. Students are also given the opportunity to study a piece of local history, mainly through the study of Purfleet’s role in the World Wars, and the arrival of the Windrush generation at Tilbury docks. Finally, students are also given the chance to study aspects of History before the years 1066, first by the study of Alfred the Great, and lastly through the study of the ancient practices of slavery, first in the Roman Empire, and later in the Kingdom of Benin.
- Prepare students for the next steps
Students are given three years of KS3 education, which will prepare them for their KS4 study, as well as potentially future study in KS5 and University. Secondary education is more important than just a 5-year GCSE course. Students must learn to be curious, passionate and scholarly if they are to succeed in later education and future careers. Firstly, students are not simply taught in order to ‘pass a test’ but because our History teachers are passionate about their subjects, and they want their students to share in that passion and be eager to learn. Their scholarly ability will also prepare students for their ‘next steps’ as the History curriculum promotes independent work through their ‘prep articles’, developing skills such as analysis of articles and the extraction of key information.
Content is sequenced within the subject to allow students the opportunity to understand developing themes over time such as succession, the fight for and consolidation of political power and the menace of prejudice and hatred; and to build historical skills such as examination of historical sources, inference and investigation. In the vast majority of areas, the History curriculum is taught in chronological order, except in areas where it is more beneficial to the students learning to teach it out of order. This includes the study of the Civil Rights Movement in year 8. The Civil Rights Movement covers over 200 years of History, and in order for students to understand the full impact of the movement, it cannot be told in a complete chronological order. Students will begin by studying the American Civil War in 1776, and then moving to the American Civil war almost 80 years later, and then to the Civil Rights movement itself in the 20th century. The history curriculum is a progression model, where each lesson and unit of study builds on the what the students have learned before.
Year to Year
Across the three years of KS3 study, students will learn about 1,000 years of English history. The first year will see the fall of the power of the Monarchy and the rise in the power of Parliament. This will culminate in the final unit of study: The Industrial Revolution, which will see Britain rise to become one of the most powerful nations in the World. This is necessary for students, as during year 8, Students will begin by focusing on the rise of the British Empire. The Empire was only made possible due to the fall in the power of hereditary rulers, and the establishment of industry which produced the war machine capable of conquering ¼ of the world. It is due to the rise of Empires, that global conflict emerges in the form of the Second World War, which will dominate the year 8 education, both by studying the war itself, and the aftermath of the war. Furthermore, it is due to the First World War, that the Second World war started, which students will study in year 9. To understand where Britain is today, you must first go back to its beginnings.
Unit to Unit
Every unit of study builds on their knowledge and understanding of the previous unit. The curriculum has been designed so that students can see a progression in British history since the days of Alfred the Great, to modern day History such as the Cold War. For example, Students would not be able to understand why the Second World War started, without first learning about the rise of Hitler in Germany. Students would not be able to understand why Hitler rose to power, without first studying the First World War. Finally, students would not understand why the First World War happened, unless they understood the rise in European Empires.
Content is also sequenced as far as possible by reference to other related curriculum subjects such as PSHE and Religious Education which share many of the same themes and ideas.
In so doing, it is expected that students will develop a love of and respect for the study of History and an ability to look critically at and make judgements on current events and attitudes.