Learning Together For The Future


Contact: Mr P. Atkinson

Course Aims

In Years 7, 8 & 9 students pursue a course in History broadly in line with the new National Curriculum. During KS3 we lay the foundations students require to do well in the future through our emphasis on the knowledge-based curriculum as well as assessments that prepare them for their work in GCSE and beyond. Our approach, using the history of the British Isles as a spine, allows students to contextualise what they learn in the wider world as well as develop their own unique perspective of their identity in relation to Britain in the modern day.

History challenges students to push further and higher in all that they do, encouraging independent work and application of skills they might know that they had to create and curate their knowledge base.

Course Content

In Year 7, students begin by studying an aspect of British history that consolidates and extends pupil’s chronological knowledge from before 1066: Viking society as traders and raiders, their expansion as a power and their control of England in terms of laws and language – through the lens of their migration to and within the British Isles. Then students cover the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain: the events of 1066, including the Battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings as well as the Witan and the role of Harold II in his own destruction; the Conquest of England and Wales, including the building of castles, new churches and the imposition of the Feudal System leading to the risings of Hereward the Wake and the harrying of the North; the power of medieval monarchs, including the struggles between Church and Crown in Thomas Beckett’s murder; the Crusades, including their cause and course through the example of Richard the Lionheart; the development of the Magna Carta in 1215 and it’s subsequent adoption by later Kings of England; society, economy and culture, including religion in daily life, trade and towns, farming, and the role of women in society; the Black Death with its social and political impact; the Peasants’ Revolt; the Hundred Years War; and the development of the Tudor monarchy. They then move on to tackle the development of Church, state and society in Britain, 1509-1745: Reformation in Europe leading to Henry VIII’s break with Rome; the English Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Henry VIII to Mary I); Elizabeth I and her conflict with Catholics (including the Spanish Armada, Mary Queen of Scots and the potential of Irish rebellions); the causes and events of the Civil War throughout Britain; the Interregnum and the opportunity to tackle the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. We complete the year with a chance to observe the life, society and eventual demise of Plains Indians in the USA from the 1600s through to the 1900s.

In Year 8, students begin with ideas, political power, industry and empire, 1745-1901: Britain’s transatlantic slave trade, including how it began, developed, funded the industrial revolution and the eventual effects on racism and Civil War in the USA; Britain as the first industrial nation, including living conditions, child labour, mining, the development and impact of the railways, the development of urbanisation and culminating in a mini-scheme on the mystery of Jack the Ripper to show the impact of these events on everyday life in sharper relief and detail. This final mini-scheme allows students to assess the role of extending the franchise and social reform, which can also be done through a mini-scheme on revolutionary Britain, party politics, extension of the franchise and social reform. During this, students study local history in the form of Cromford’s development as part of the wider industrialisation of the Derwent Valley. After that, students begin studying Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the Present Day: the First World War and the Peace Settlement in terms of grand politics; the Peace Deal and how it came to be; the effects on the Home Front and the impact of Total War on British society; the role of the Somme in the development of British culture and the importance of Remembrance in British culture; the stirrings of demand for the Welfare State and its importance in the Post-War political settlement in the UK.

In Year 9, students studying a significant issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments: the assassination of JFK, being a chance to analyse the effects of Prohibition in the 1920s in the power of the Mafia, the effects of the Cold War (including Britain’s role in events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis) through the USSR conspiracy theory and the changing nature of world power through the end of this scheme. This events serves as introduction to twentieth century history for students emerging from the study of the First World War at the end of Year 8. Students then continue their study of challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world, 1901 to the present day: the Holocaust, its origins, course and effects; the Second World War, its origins and course - including the role of the USSR and the USA in the victory compared to the events of the Blitzkrieg in the West and the Battle of Britain, the role of Churchill; the Cold War, with examples of world conflicts, to analyse the social and technological change in post-war British society toward the 1980s; Thatcher and Thatcherism, the reasons for Thatcher’s electoral victories in 1979, 1983 and 1987, the Falklands Conflict, the deregulation of stock markets and the Yuppies, social changes in the response of the NHS to the AIDS crisis, and Thatcher’s downfall in relation to Europe and the Poll Tax riots.

Extra Curricular Activities

National competitions; History club; Games club.

Grade Assessment Detail
9 Students start with a judgement that runs through their work, with each section reflecting this judgement and conclusion mirroring the introduction. Facts, figures, names and dates are deployed to support arguments and weigh ideas by comparing and evaluating them throughout. Students will support and challenge source material within its context and afterward. They will explicitly refer to utility and evaluate material through discrimination. There may still be areas that are irrelevant but the overall impression is convincing.
8 Students will use specific and detailed knowldge in a clear structure to reach a well-supported judgement. A debate will be created that compares ideas an views with facts, statistics and evaluation. Students may make mistakes but their argument will be well developed with analysis and evaluation throughout. Students will analyse source material in the light of the interpretation it represents and will weigh it in therms of utility and reliability to answer specific questions. Students will routinely exercise discrimination in their choice of quotes though they may not always be entirely convincing.
7 Students’ essays and answers will analyse the information provided, using facts effectively to support arguments and challenge points of view. Students will compare ideas and reach an evaluative conclusion. Students analyse and evaluate source material in its context, using the provenance, to assess utility and reliability but only explain when it helps answer the question. Students may still make mistakes but it is clear they are using the sources carefully and with discrimination.
6 Students will make very few factual errors and organise answers into a proper essay. Students will analyse more than one side of a debate and there will evaluation of ideas in places. Students use sources as evidence rather than as information all the time, comparing and contrasting them with each other and with prior knowledge. Students can link interpretations to what is being studied and explain them fully with some analysis on how to use them.
5 Most of the names, dates and statistics will be accurate and relevant to support a clear argument in paragraphs. Students will cover more than one side of a question, analysing for most of their answer and evaluating in conclusions. Students will routinely evaluate sources for utility by using their provenance before using their content to support answers. When looking at reliability, students may not be entirely relevant. Students will be able to explain why people have different views and how they are created, you can use these views to assess other ideas and questions.
4 Students use paragraphs well and logically with accurate and relevant names, dates and statistics. Students will have an overall argument, and a judgement, that is linked to the question, potentially covering two sides. Students will analyse. Students will evaluate source material using provenance – looking at utility for the most part, quoting them to answer questions. Students will be able to explain why different views exist and will understand how, but may not be able to properly support this yet.
3 Students use paragraphs to make a point and use specific names and dates and facts with some mistakes. Students make mostly valid and correct judgements based on the question that are explained. Students will focus on what sources say to answer a question but will try to use their provenance to work out if they are reliable or useful. Students will try to explain how and why different people have different views of History and will be valid but without analysis.
2 Students use full sentences and paragraphs with names and dates, making some mistakes but not many. Students make valid judgements and reach a conclusion and try to explain themselves. Students will quote from and explain what sources say to answer a question. Students can name and identify different views by different people but can’t explain them yet.
1 Students use full sentences and will use names and dates, though you’ll make mistakes. Students make valid suggestions without detail but link to what is asked, ‘telling the story’. Students may state whether sources are reliable but will still just use them for information. Students understand different groups of people see History in different ways but not how or why.

If you have any questions or queries relating to the History curriculum please email for more information.