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History is an optional course for pupils who are more secure in their academic studies, those who have already started the course in their mainstream school or those who have a particular interest in history.

As directed in the specification, we aim to provide ‘a broad and diverse study of the history of Britain and the wider world whilst providing pupils with skills that will support study in other subjects such as English.

The specification sets out 5 aims:

  • Develop and extend pupils' knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods and societies in local, British, and wider world history; and of the wide diversity of human experience.
  • Engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers.
  • Develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context.
  • Develop an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them.
  • Organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and reach substantiated conclusions.



Pupils study for 3 exam papers:

Paper 1

Thematic study and historic environment. Currently. Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000-present and Whitechapel, c1870-c1900: crime, policing and the inner city.


Paper 2

Period study and British depth study. Currently, Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509-40 and The American West, 1836-1895.

Paper 3

Modern depth study. Currently, Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39.


Each paper provides a choice in study and pupils chose current set-up. However, given the changing nature of our cohorts, the original pupils involved in the choice are limited.

Generally, the course provides subject knowledge on the chosen topics and pupils are assessed on their ability to recall information (facts, names, dates, etc.).

For each topic, similar skills are being utilised, including those addressed in English, for example: comprehension of materials, extended writing (which includes quotations) and analysis of Sources.



Due to the amount of writing required for higher grades in History, strategies and structures on how to answer the exam questions are implemented throughout the course. Different learning styles are supported throughout the lessons in order to support pupils’ engagement and focus: for example, using worksheets, text books, PowerPoints, discussion and poster work including timelines. Current pupils have used the text books to answer comprehension questions. Pupils also extract and develop the skills they have developed through English to be able to form their extended writing in History.



Assessment of work is in accordance with the 9-1 grading scheme. Pupils are assessed on their recalling of key names, dates and facts, whilst being able to analyse and evaluate change and continuity across time periods. There is also a paper that provides sources and interpretations for pupils analyse and comment on utility.

In order to support preparation for the GCSE examinations, pupils undertake mock exam questions during lessons to build on the writing skills and strategies required for the GCSE examinations.

Unfortunately, due to the admissions process and our intake throughout Years 10 and 11, pupils often have a lot of ‘catching up’ to do. However, mock examinations will take place during the spring term of year 11 to assess gaps in knowledge and skills. 



All pupils complete a baseline upon entry to the academy which tests their ability to comment on a sources utility, having to draw very little previous historical knowledge. As it does not assess knowledge on the topics to be covered (as History has not always been previously taught to each pupil), therefore, each pupil work from the same starting point.

Intake at different points of the year has an impact on potential outcomes as there is a significant volume of subject knowledge to be acquired, requiring a high level of commitment from the pupils. This is something that we have to consider when making exam entries and is discussed with individuals who may choose to focus on intervention for other areas.

There is a need to continually evaluate the benefit of offering GCSE History to our pupils; however, the inclusion of KS3 Humanities in our curriculum allows more of a continuation of learning for our pupils.


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 Cross-curricular links

Vocabulary Events/People/Places Concepts Procedures

Extended writing: English, Finance.


Subject terminology.


Annotation of sources: English, Finance, Art & Design, Childcare

Key events and Historical figures across time linked to studies in English, impact on styles of art, etc. (people and events_ AIC- WW1 and WW2





Text Types



The rule of law

British Values

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the current Year 11s will sit assessments in the form of past exam questions to cover all of the assessment objectives required by the exam board. Evidence will not be submitted for the Crime and Punishment unit as lockdown has not allowed for teaching of content so Teacher Assessed Grades will only consider the other units.