Philosophy and Vision

Why does history matter?

History is not just blindly accepting the world for what it says it is but always questioning it.
History helps to make better citizens:

  • Through looking at past events and interpretations of them, students are encouraged to think independently, critically and objectively about the world around them.
  • By engaging with a wide range of historical narratives, students are encouraged to appreciate their place in the broad sweep of humanity; recognising a common experience which goes beyond national and temporal boundaries. History broadens horizons and promotes cohesion.
  • By engaging with complex and emotive issues in the past, students are led to draw relevant and contemporary parallels which challenge them to maintain open minds and confront prejudice.

What outcomes should students have from History?

Students should be enabled to see the present in the context of the past. They should be encouraged to develop a respect for the people in the past and begin to understand them on their own terms.

Students should be engaged and find enjoyment in the study of History. Students should be inspired to continue their interest in history.

Students should have the ability to use information critically no matter the source. This is vital when interpreting the news media, reading books or even in conversation.

Students should be able to see both sides of a given situation and construct effective arguments for either side.

Students should be able to communicate effectively in a wide range of forms and situations. They should be able to present information, analyses and interpretations in a well-informed and balanced manner.

Students should be able to independently and effectively pursue areas of History which interest them.

Students should develop an appreciation of historical empathy and understand their own place within a larger human story which goes beyond the British Isles.

Curriculum overview

History develops the ability for students to think freely. Because history is such a broad subject with links to a range of social sciences, students have opportunities to pursue their own interests and ideas. They can test hypotheses, develop opinions, and be challenged on a wide range of topics. There is always something which will interest students in History because it involves the whole of human experience.
History provides a wide skill set. Students are equipped with a skill set which ranges from the art of writing to the science of source analysis and back again. These are highly valuable skills which do not become outdated. They help students to show that they are well-rounded and employable people.

Students should be exposed to a range of cultures and experiences beyond their own lives – this helps to promote understanding and tolerance.

KS4 Curriculum (Y10-11) – links to GCSE specifications

In History students follow the Pearson Edexcel Level GCSE (9–1). This consists of three externally examined papers:

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment – Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city.

Paper 2: British depth study and Period study – Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88 and The American West, c1835–c1895

Paper 3: Modern depth study- Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

KS3 Curriculum (Y7-9)

Key areas studied include:

  • Pre 1066
  • The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 inc local study and world studies
  • Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745
  • Ideas, political power, industry and empire 1745-1901
  • Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, including local study and world study and the Holocaust


Students are formally assessed throughout the academic year. Assessment is based on four key objectives:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied.
  • Explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second- order historical concepts.
  • Analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied.
  • Analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied.