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
We teach a chronological curriculum in Key Stage 3, panning across three years, following the headings prescribed in the national curriculum.
- The Development of Church, State and Society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509: In Year 7 we begin looking at Historical skills and the Vikings (which provides students with a platform for GCSE). We then go onto study the Norman conquest, feudalism, the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. These topics introduce students to the concepts of social, economic and political history.
- The Development of Church, State and Society in Britain 1509-1745: In Year 8 we teach the Tudors, English Reformation, the Elizabethan religious settlement, colonies in America, the Stuarts, the English Civil war and Cromwell. These topics lend themselves well to studies of interpretations and we use a variety of sources to inform student understanding.
- Ideas, Political Power, Industry and Empire: Britain, 1745-1901: In Year 8 we teach the Industrial Revolution and the social impact this had on families and children, as well as the economic benefits for Britain, this is then linked to empire. Students will also complete a Local History Study of Quarry Bank Mill.
- Challenges for Britain, Europe and the Wider World 1901 to the Present Day: We study the British Empire, the development of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, abolitionism and briefly the American Civil War to set up a study of the Civil Rights movement. In Year 9 we begin studying the causes of WWI followed by the Suffrage Movement to give a comparative view of the time. We then move onto the Rise of Hitler, WWII and the Holocaust which will also provide students with essential background knowledge for GCSE.
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.