History Curriculum Statement
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana
The History department’s aim is to ensure that all students leave Haven High with the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, and come to their own judgements. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to develop their understanding of the world we live in as well as their rights and responsibilities as modern citizens. When thinking about our Key Stage 3 curriculum we wanted students to not only begin to gain the skills needed at GCSE level but to also ensure that if they did not choose to pursue history into Key Stage 4 that they would finish their history studies with a broad overview of different historical events that are relevant to their modern lives, with examples such as protest and their rights to freedom of speech, as well as local history to develop their understanding of the area in which they live.
Our overall intent is to ensure students leave Haven High with the tools and fundamental knowledge to be responsible global citizens. As a subject, we want to ensure students gain an understanding of how human behaviour has shaped the world we live in and what rights and responsibilities they have in order to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated and that moral values are upheld.
The history curriculum is a mixture between knowledge and transferable skills. We want students to build up their ability to ask weigh evidence and come to their own judgements on different topics.
Our KS3 curriculum is based on three broad concepts: Historical Skills, Historical Knowledge and Historical Understanding. These are largely based on the ongoing criteria of Assessment Objectives at KS4.
We study history at a local, national and global level in line with the national curriculum. In year 7, students start with basic historical skills that are part of a broader ‘Humanities’ curriculum based around themes.
Year 8 has been re-designed for 2019-20 academic year. We have made the decision to move away from the ‘traditional’ year 8 topics associated with a chronological study of the 21st century and take on a more broad approach that encompasses the thematic nature of the GCSE specification whilst covering topics that are relatable in the 21st century. The topics we have chosen to cover are a local history study looking at Boston and Lincolnshire with a focus on migration, the history of terrorism and how it impacts us in the modern day, protest and change and how different groups and people have achieved change through different methods of protest, the changing nature of warfare over time, the Holocaust (which is a compulsory unit), as well as a project which students will undertake in the last term. These topics are designed to develop students understanding of how the modern world has developed as well as teaching them the skills needed to achieve at GCSE level.
For the last two years students at Haven High have followed the AQA history specification. This is a single tier entry and the option to take history is open to everyone. Subject choices have changed for the current cohort which is a decision that was made by the previous Head of Humanities. Numbers of students taking history GCSE at Haven High have declined in the last 2 years.
Year 9 is a transition year for students to begin to introduce them to GCSE skills and content. In year 9 students will study two of their four units which covers paper 2 in the exam. These are Health and the People and Elizabethan England. We have chosen to teach these units first as students need only consider the usefulness of one source and argue how convincing one interpretation is. These skills progress in paper 1 which is taught in year 10. As part of the Elizabethan England study students must undertake a site study which changes every year. Where possible we aim to ensure students can visit this site. As part of the Health and the People unit we are looking at running an annual trip to the Science Museum and Operating Theatre Museum in London.
Year 10 students study the remaining two units which are America 1920-1973 and Conflict and Tension through the inter-war years. In these papers the source and interpretation skills are more complex and so time is built into the Scheme of Work to ensure students are given numerous opportunities to practice these skills as well as seeing good examples.
Our final year of study focusses on revising the four units through a thematic approach and focussing on exam skills and question types for the different papers.
In all years, students are assessed continually throughout the year. KS3 will have a formal assessment in line with the academy assessment procedures. This is around three times a year. There will be low stakes testing in the form of homework tests on a weekly basis based on Knowledge Organisers.
At KS4, regular exam question practise will take place in lesson, this will be both formal and low stakes with model answers being shared. Like KS3, students will have weekly homework tests based on Knowledge Organisers. They will sit full GCSE papers in line with the Academy’s assessment policy.
Cross-curricular links and careers
History has some cross-curricular links with English and Social Studies as well as Science in some cases. A number of elements of our GCSE Health and the People specification are studied within Biology. Some of the extended answer writing styles needed at GCSE are similar to those used in English and Social Studies. Within KS3 there is some cross-curricular knowledge being taught in English with regards to historical context of books they are studying, and with Social Studies they also spend some time looking at the Holocaust and Terrorism, although more from a religious perspective.
High level history students are highly employable. Throughout the two key stages, we make reference to a number of different types of employment:
- Museum curator
- Heritage Manager
- Historic Buildings Inspector
- Conservation Officer
I really like this subject because it is very interesting and it’s nice to learn about the past. I like to learn about how how the world looked like back then.