History – Curriculum Overview

Key Stage 3

Students will begin History in Year 7 with a local study. They will investigate how Exeter has changed through the ages from the Roman period up until the present day.

Students will also explore the theme of ‘Everyday Life’ in Britain from the Middle Ages until the present day. They will discover what life was like and they will also begin to understand why life has changed. Students will compare living and working conditions in a Medieval village and town and they will understand the power of the Medieval Church. They will also look at how the Black Death changed the lives of peasants in the Middle Ages.

They will explore life in England during the 16th Century and study Tudor and Stuart culture, including belief in witchcraft. They will also look at how the Reformation caused significant religious changes within Tudor England. Students will carry out an in depth study of the causes of the Industrial Revolution. In addition they will discover why life expectancy was so low in 19th century industrial cities and they will learn about the horrors of child labour during the Industrial Revolution.

Students will investigate features of life in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. Students will be able to make their own judgement on which decade in British history was the best to live. They will end their study of ‘Everyday life’ by investigating what life was like during the 1930s in the USA and in the USSR. This will enable them to compare life in a democracy with life in a dictatorship.

 

Students in Year 8 will continue to explore the theme of ‘Everyday Life’ in Britain from the Medieval period until the present day. They will discover what life was like and they will understand why life has changed.

Students will begin the year by carrying out an in depth study of the causes of the Industrial Revolution. Students will then discover why life expectancy was so low in 19th century industrial cities and they will learn about the horrors of child labour during the Industrial Revolution.

Students will investigate features of life in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. Students will be able to make their own judgement on which decade in British history was the best to live. They will end their study of ‘Everyday life’ by investigating what life was like during the 1930s in the USA and in the USSR. This will enable them to compare life in a democracy with life in a dictatorship.

Students will then move on to explore the theme of ‘Power, Protest and Democracy’ from the Middle Ages until the present day.

Students will begin their study of ‘Power, Protest and Democracy’ by exploring the power of Medieval Kings with a particular focus on King Henry II and Thomas Becket and King John and the Magna Carta. They will study the establishment of Parliament in Medieval times and they will compare King Edward I’s Model Parliament with the British parliamentary system today. The students will then examine how Queen Elizabeth I used portraits to maintain her power during Tudor times

GCSE

The three year GCSE History course begins in Year 9 with a thematic study. Students explore ‘Britain: Power and the People’ c.1170 to the present day. This exciting unit is taught in depth and students develop key historical skills and exam technique that is further consolidated in Year 10 and Year 11.

This thematic study investigates the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over a long period of time. By charting the journey from feudalism to democracy and equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responded to challenges to its authority.

Year 9

In Year 9, the thematic study is taught in four parts:

Part One: Challenging authority and feudalism

Students learn about the rule of King John, Magna Carta, the origins of Parliament and the Peasants’ Revolt in the Medieval period.

Part Two: Challenging royal authority

Students learn about significant events in the Tudor and Stuart periods such as the English Civil War and also key historical figures including Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.

Part Three: Reform and reformers

Students investigate radical protest groups in the 19th Century such as the Chartists. They gain an understanding of the struggle of working class people to gain the right to vote.

Part Four: Equality and rights

Students explore the rights of women, workers and minority groups in the 20th Century. 

Year 10

In Year 10 students will move on to look at Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (50% of the overall GCSE grade). This has two sections:

Section A: Period Study

Germany 1890-1945

This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half-century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism.

Section B: Wider World Depth Study

Conflict and tension, 1918-1939

This depth study focuses on the search for global order and peace after the First World War (The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations). Students also explore the origins and outbreak of the Second World War.

Year 11 

In Year 11 students focus on Paper 2: Shaping the Nation (50% of the overall GCSE grade). This has two sections

Section A: Thematic Study (Taught in Year 9 and revisited in Year 11)

Britain: Power and the People: c1170 to present day

Section B: British Depth Study and Historic Environment

Students study one of the following British depth studies: Norman England, Medieval England, Elizabethan England or Restoration England. Related to the chosen depth study, students are also examined on a specific historical site such as a castle or a stately home.