Faculty Leader: Miss R Woffenden 

The history curriculum has been designed to provide students with a balance of historical knowledge and skills to support students to improve their understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in.  We want students to have a clear understanding of, and empathy for, the people of the past.  We intend for all students to develop their interpretation skills so that they can identify how and why sources of information are presented, to be able to identify bias, weigh evidence and reach independent judgements.  

It is our intention to teach historical skills through the delivery of the subject content, so that students understand that the job of a historian is to use the sources of information available to them to make informed representations of the past.  The content of the curriculum allows for students to study the second order concepts of cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance throughout all years of study.  


Key Stage 3

Students are taught through a chronological curriculum in Key Stage 3, which pans across three years, following the headings prescribed in the national curriculum. The topics provide students with a breadth of knowledge of social, economic and political history. Students are also taught how to analyse a range of historical interpretations and primary sources in order to inform their understanding of the past and to form their own judgements.

  • The Development of Church, State and Society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509: In Year 7 students begin by looking at British history before 1066. Students start with a study on migration to Britain from the Stone Age to the Vikings era and introduce students to key Historical skills and concepts. Students then learn about the Norman Conquest and its impact on Britain, highlighting key developments such as feudalism, the building of castles and the birth of towns and cities. Students also study key moments in Medieval History such as the Black Death and the impact this had globally as well as on Britain.  Students investigate how authority was challenged through events such as Magna Carta, Simon de Montfort’s Parliament and the Peasants’ Revolt. Students will also learn about how diverse Medieval life was by comparing life in Britain at this time to other civilisations such various African kingdoms and the Chinese Dynasties.
  • The Development of Church, State and Society in Britain 1509-1745:  Throughout Years 7 and 8 students will learn about the actions of the Tudors monarchs and the impact they had on Britain, the effect of the English Reformation and Elizabeth’s religious settlement to gain an understanding of the development of the Church at this time. Students will learn about the causes and importance of the English Civil War and Cromwell’s Britain and how this still effects our country’s ruling today. Students will study British expansion and look at the routes of empire in colonies in America and across the world.
  • Ideas, Political Power, Industry and Empire: Britain, 1745-1901:Students will learn about the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the social impact this had on families and children, with a specific focus on local history, as well as the economic benefits for Britain.  Students will complete a challenging and thought provoking study on the British Empire and the fight for independence.
  • Challenges for Britain, Europe and the Wider World 1901 to the Present Day:  Students will study how and why the British wanted an empire, the development and effects of Britain’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the abolition movement in both the UK and USA with links to the birth of the Civil Rights movement.  In Year 9 students begin by studying the causes of WWI and the dramatic effects this had.  Students will then study how consequences of WWI link to the rise of Hitler and how he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Students will then go onto study the Suffrage Movement and the demand for female equality. Students will learn about the outbreak of WWII and the key events on the British and German Homefront. Students will conduct a specialist unit on the Holocaust. Students will finish Year 9 by analysing how far the lives of African Americans changed during the Civil Rights Movement and compare experiences in the USA to the UK.



Key Stage 4 

At Key Stage 4 students can choose to study OCR History B.  The five units are as follows:  

  • Crime and Punishment Through Time (1250-Present):  This unit offers students a way to see the progress and development of the English criminal system.  It is a very interesting and broad unit of work which provides a great overview of current affairs and issues which allows students to compare discuss, debate and compare with the modern world.  The unit also provides copious opportunity for students to develop their historical skills  especially continuity and change. 
  • The Viking Expansion (750-1050):  This is a diverse unit that allows students to study a people who have often been misunderstood or wrongly interpreted.  This unit allows students to understand the international impact the Vikings had upon the world from the eighth to the eleventh century.  The Vikings have left an impact which is still recognisable today and many of the aspects within the study such as religious conflict, cultural change and trade are still very much relevant today.   
  • The Elizabethans (1580-1603):  This in-depth study into Elizabeth and the Elizabethans is a great way for students to understand and debunk some of the myths and rumours which surround the life of Elizabeth I.  Students get the chance to study how Elizabeth faced challenges from within her own country as well as abroad, how her privateers and explorers expanded Britain’s trade routes and how Elizabeth ruled successfully in a world of men.  This unit allows students to evaluate the impact Elizabeth’s rule has had on the modern world. 
  • Life in Nazi Germany (1933-1945): This study highlights some of the most important and controversial aspects of the 20th century which have greatly impacted our world today.  The study of Hitler’s Germany and the Third Reich gives students an understanding of how WWII broke out, the harrowing events of the Holocaust and the lasting impact of Nazi policies. 
  • History Around Us:  The opportunity to study a local historical environment, such as Skipton Castle, provides students with an extremely valuable and somewhat new approach to studying history.  The locality of the unit (and potentially a visit to the site) helps students to visualise the past and helps them connect to those people who lived and worked there. 


What can I do with a History qualification? 

History is a subject which is included in the English Baccalaureate.  This is the list of subjects which sixth form colleges and universities prefer a student to have studied at least to GCSE level.  History is a vitally important subject because it provides students with skills that are transferable, for example; how to analyse sources of information and evaluate them for truth and reliability; how to research and summarise key information and produce a coherent account. 

In terms of a future career, History is particularly relevant for a wide range of jobs including the law, journalism, the police, archaeology, teaching, communications, advertising, analysis, politics and many others.