Purpose of study
A high-quality history education helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
The curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
· Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
· Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
· Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
· Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
· Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
· Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in relevant programme of study.
History - Key stage 3
Pupils extend and deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, so that it provides a well-informed context for wider learning. Pupils learn to identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time. They use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways. They pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response. They understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
In planning to ensure progression through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.
History - Key stage 4
OCR GCSE (1-9) History B
The OCR GCSE in History B course inspires pupils’ enthusiasm for history. They develop their understanding of the present by studying significant periods and themes from the past at a local, national and global level, engaging with a range of contemporary sources and later interpretations.
Pupils are taught about
1. British history, including a thematic element and a British depth study.
The thematic study focuses requires pupils to understand change and continuity within the people’s health from c. 1250 to the present. This period begins in the late middle ages and encourages students to think about the relationship between past and present by following the theme through to the present day.
The depth study focuses on The Norman Conquest (1065-1087) – a period in British history during which the country faced severe pressure due to invasion. The depth study encourages students to engage with the range of ways in which history is constructed and interpreted, and the interplay of political, military, religious, economic, social and cultural forces.
2. History around us
Pupils study the history of a selected local site. They discover how physical features and other sources inform an understanding of historical events both locally and in a wider historical context. Studying the history around them provides a valuable approach to studying history, and helps pupils find a connection with the lives of people from the past.
3. World history, including a Period study and a World depth study
The period study of The Making of America (1799-1900) offers pupils the opportunity to study the unfolding narrative of a wider world society during a particularly interesting period in its history. Pupils look at the relationships between different cultures at times of great upheaval, and consider the experiences and perspectives of different individuals and groups of people in the past.
The world depth study of Living under Nazi rule (1933-1945) enables pupils to develop an understanding of a traumatic short period in world history when different cultures or ideologies were in conflict. The richness of contemporary sources for this period encourages pupils to engage with the nature of evidence and the ways in which history is constructed.