History

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KS3 History - Years 7-9

The History Department follows a chronological path from 1065 to 1919. These topics are tied thematically under the ideas of ‘Power, Conflict and Control’, ‘the Changing Face of the UK’ and ‘International Relations’ in the 20th century.

The synoptic nature of this structure allows the students to draw upon wider overviews to understand thematic change over a long period of time while also developing a sound understanding of chronology.

Please note that the requirement to study the Holocaust is not met. It was felt that the nature of the topic would make it difficult for Year 8s to study. Therefore, it is delivered as part of the Year 9 Enhancement Year.

In history at KS3 students are encouraged to develop a narrative overview of England, its place in the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world.  Our three year programme of study covers a broad range of topics in varying levels of depth and detail and, while we stick to a traditional chronological approach as described within the National Curriculum; we also deliberately ‘step outside’ of time periods to bring in other topics and to use an interleaving approach in developing understanding of  the broad sweep of history chronologically, whilst enabling students to see the key features of particular time periods.

We also place a high value on the core principles of the Schools History Project and aim to make history at Leventhorpe relevant, engaging and rigorous, based around enquiry to build knowledge, and embracing diversity.

Our curriculum is built around the second order concepts that are central to history as a discipline:
Cause and Consequence
Change and continuity
Diversity, similarity and difference
Evidence & source analysis
Significance
Interpretation

The learning that takes place in each aspect of the history curriculum is framed by an enquiry question which is geared to engage students in learning topic knowledge whilst also developing their knowledge and understanding of the second order concepts of history.  Our enquiry questions are framed using the language of the second order concepts and form the basis of assessment and the schemes of work which build towards answering each enquiry question.  It is common for more than one second order concept to be taught during an enquiry and our assessments aim to evaluate student’s understanding in the history domain.  Thus we place great value on substantive knowledge and also the second order elements of knowledge of the history domain. Throughout our studies students are encouraged to challenge established interpretations, to examine evidence and to engage in historical scholarship.

In terms of the acquisition of core knowledge, our curriculum pays specific attention to development of  knowledge and understanding of the substantive concepts that students need in order to continue their studies at KS4 and 5.  For students who finish their studies of history at the end of year 9, our intention is that they have knowledge of Britain and its changing place the wider world and to encourage students to see the connections between time periods and different societies  thereby enabling them to engage as citizens in the wider world.  An example of how we achieve this would be in how we deliberately cover a range of different types of protest across KS3 and this builds into studies of different revolutions in years 8 and 9.  Social, political, economic and cultural change underpins our KS3 curriculum and we are deliberately building in substantive concepts to enable students to explain these terms in relation to specific events but also across a broad time scale.  To maintain focus upon this students return periodically to a set of thematic questions:


How did people in the past live, work and play?
How were people in the past ruled?
What did people in the past believe?
What was England’s place in the world?
How did new technology affect people’s lives? (warfare & communication)?

Each enquiry lasts for approximately 4-6 lessons and our programme of study for Key Stage 3 is shaped around the following types of enquiry:
depth studies exploring specific people and events,
development studies covering themes across time,
snapshot studies – something with a very narrow content focus but broad in terms of time periods covered or geographical coverage.

Assessment across the Key Stages utilises a range of methods:
1 x formal assessment per term focussing upon 2nd order concepts and understanding of core knowledge;
Knowledge retrieval tests which take a variety of forms – where core knowledge from across key stages is tested;

Class participation and homework also provide formative assessment opportunities.

Castle Winners

KS4 and KS 5 History - Years 10-11 GCSE and Year 12-13 A'Level

Our KS3 curriculum forms the bedrock of the students studies at GCSE and A Level.  The content of our GCSE and A Level therefore can be seen to build upon the foundational knowledge, substantive concepts and second order concepts taught in the lower school.  Examples of this would be where at GCSE students will have some familiarity with the actions of Henry VIII and the reformation of the 1530s in England which is of relevance when they are studying both Health and the People and Elizabethan England.  Students will have learned about the reign of Mary I in advance of studying Elizabeth I in greater depth at GCSE and A Level and they will have an overview of the impact of the changes in society upon the monarchy and the development of parliament.  The intention here is that such concepts and fundamental stories from history are not alien to students as they pursue examination studies at KS4 and 5 and that they already have working schema in place upon which to build knew and deeper knowledge and understanding.

At KS4 and 5 we continue to place a high value on the core principles of the Schools History Project and aim to make history at Leventhorpe relevant, engaging and rigorous, based around enquiry to build knowledge, and embracing diversity.

In addition to a range of deep and broad knowledge, both the GCSE and the A Level Assessment Objectives focus upon the second order concepts that are central to history as a discipline:
Cause and Consequence
Change and continuity
Evidence & source analysis
Significance
Interpretation

Continuing to focus teaching upon these disciplinary elements of history naturally fosters the development of critical thinking and reasoning founded in knowledge for each student which is essential for achieving within each exam, but also essential functional skills for life outside of and beyond the classroom. 

We closely follow the specifications for each aspect of the GCSE and A Level and have chosen components that will provide foundational knowledge of politics, society, and the economy of state and society in order to prepare students for further study and also to be able to engage in their community, country and wider world as citizens.

At GCSE students study:
Paper 2 Section A. Thematic study: Britain 1000-2020 – Health and the People.
Paper 2 Section B. British depth study: Elizabethan England 1568-1603
Paper 1 Section B. Wider world depth study: WWI – the causes and the course of the Great War.
Paper 1 Section A. Period study: Germany 1890-1945 – Democracy and Dictatorship.

At A Level students study:
Component 1C The Tudors England 1485 – 1603
Component 2N Russia: Revolution and Dictatorship 1917 – 1953
Component 3 (Year 13 only) NEA: the fight of Black Americans for Civil Rights 1860 – 1960.
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Assessment across the Key Stages utilises a range of methods:
Formal assessment within Question Practice books focussing upon specific techniques for the variety of questions within each exam paper;
Knowledge retrieval tests which take a variety of forms – where core knowledge from across key stages is tested;
Class participation and homework also provide formative assessment opportunities.

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