Subject Leader – History
The History Way
Our subject has a ‘Subject Way’ at the heart of it. Our Subject Way is designed to help students become young subject specialists. The Subject Way has two main purposes:
Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.
It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world, brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.
“How we got to now” is the overriding aim of the History secondary curriculum at WPT. Through a shared understanding and knowledge of our past history, we aim to give our students the ability to understand who they are and their place in the world. We aim to inspire a love of learning and the ability to ask questions. Our History curriculum allows our students to ask and develop perceptive questions to help them understand the past and the present. In an ever-changing world, History allows our students to look to past examples, learn from them and ensure that as citizens we do not make the same mistakes that those before us may have done. The History curriculum aims to give pupils a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips pupils to ask enquiring 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.
INTENTION 1 – The removal of barriers to learning
Literacy & Vocabulary
Reading is a central theme to our curriculum and students are exposed to reading narratives of the past and source material for historical context. Different techniques are used with our students to enable them to engage with the texts such as reciprocal reading, close reading along with their historical knowledge to help them make sense of the material placed in front of them. Students are signposted to different texts, novels and sources to help them understand the areas being studied throughout their learning journey. Literacy misconceptions are picked up through our Literacy Policy and corrected. Students extend their understanding through tier three vocabulary acquisition. Marking and feedback extend students literacy further with BRAG marking and feedback tasks. Literacy errors are signposted too to improve SPaG.
Students work chronologically to create a sense of the order to events and dates are referenced to and used to help give structure to the knowledge being taught.
The ability to discuss, ask questions, debate and sensitively challenge subject content is a central theme of our subject. Our students are encouraged to discuss their work and ideas with each other to help them develop a firmer understanding of the knowledge and themes being taught. Students are expected to share their thoughts and ideas with their peers and in whole group discussions. At times, targeted questioning is used to ensure students have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts.
INTENTION 2 – Developing skills for learning
The study of History allows our students to develop strong skills for learning that can be used and employed in different subject areas. The subject builds on Can Do Statements that allow our students to present their ideas and thoughts through a variety of skill based strands. The statements give our students the ability to explain and analyse cause and consequence and consider the significance and importance of events, people and periods. These are, again, skills that can be transferred into other subject areas and into the world of work. The critical use of evidence and the ability to question the provenance of evidence that may have been created are crucial skills in a world where information is at the touch of a button, and often we need to question the validity of the evidence placed in front of us.
INTENTION 3 – Fostering personal attributes
In History our curriculum intent embodies those of our schools. Making History relevant to students today and allowing them to see their place in the world and how we have got to now
helps develop well rounded individuals. Our shared histories help us to make decisions that shape our future. An appreciation of the local, regional, national and international context allows us to see events from a different perspective and understand different views. Our curriculum demands independence, resilience and responsibility and enables students to see how the History Way fits into the School Ways. We aspire for all our students to become citizens
who demonstrate empathy, tolerance, understanding, aspiration and respect so they are prepared to be active participants in the local community and beyond, and able to play their
full part in the world.
INTENTION 4 – Enriching student experiences and broadening their horizons
For our study of History to have real meaning we endeavour to give students an experience of the subject that goes beyond the classroom. Where possible students are offered opportunities to enrich their learning through first hand experiences, whether this be a visit, an experience or the ability to hear a first-hand witness testimony to allow them to see that History is real, is all around us and has a direct impact on how we live our lives today. Allowing our students to see that History is a subject which opens up doors to many career opportunities is also an integral part of our students’ preparation for life beyond WPT.
Key Stage 3
On entry students are set according to baseline assessments and their KS2 data. KS3 history is delivered via timetabled 80 minute lessons; one per week for Y7 and Y8 and 3 per fortnight for Y9.
Our KS3 curriculum is created using guidance from the National Curriculum and from September 2022 will be common across the Trust. We focus on core Can Do statements wrapped around 5 skill strands:
- Cause and Consequence
- Importance & significance
- Use of evidence
- Change & continuity
These skills provide a solid foundation for the KS4 examined course.
Key Stage 4
Students in Year 10 and 11 can opt for history as part of the EBBAC. Currently most schools complete the new Edexcel (Pearson) GCSE History course, with one completing the AQA History GCSE course. The courses involve a unit that focuses on one aspect of history through time, a depth study from one period of time (including a historical environment component), a modern study and a British study. The exam boards vary slightly with Edexcel having 4 papers and AQA having 2.
Both courses require students to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the units they have completed. All papers will be sat at the end of Year 11.
- Anglo-Saxons & Vikings
- The Norman Conquests
- The Middle Ages
- The Tudors
- The Stuarts & the Civil War
In Year 10 we start with a study of Anglo Saxon and Norman England from Paper 2, looking at society and life in Anglo Saxon England, the succession crisis of 1066, the battle for the throne that culminated in William of Normandy taking the throne, and the Normanisation of England. Students are able to make direct links between changes made to England from 1066 onwards and the world they now see around them- local History elements such as the construction of Conisbrough Castle, local Church styles and the establishment of a centralised government and legal system.
The second unit of study in Year 10 will be The American West, c1835-95. This study focuses on the life of the Native American Indians and the impact that the white settlers in America had on their lifestyle, ultimately eradicating it in a clash of cultures.
Students are assessed regularly through knowledge recall tests to help students to retain the knowledge that they will need in the final year 11 exams. Students will also be assessed through skills based tasks and end of unit tests to check that the key skills are being embedded. There will also be mock examinations in Year 10
From September 2023, starting with Year 10, the exam board will change to Edexcel and students will study Elizabethan England and the Cold War. For Year 11, students will study Weimar and Nazi Germany and finally Crime and Punishment, c.1000-Present. Students in Year 11 for 2023-24 only will follow the schools previous specification as stated above.
Our Subjects at KS4