Key Stage 3

Students in key stage 3 have two timetabled lessons of History per week. The history curriculum aims to inspire students to become well rounded and passionate historians who think critically about the world they inhabit. 

In their study of history, they will consider a range of perspectives and develop the ability to make balanced arguments and well sustained judgements. They will develop an understanding of how our history forms our sense of identity and place in the world, and through studying a range of periods and peoples will become more empathetic and open minded. 

Through a knowledge rich curriculum, students will gain an in-depth understanding of a range of events and issues throughout history and build their historical literacy and conceptual understanding. This will ensure students can positively encounter and understand the dynamics of the modern world. Throughout key stage 3 there are many opportunities to build a foundation of knowledge, embed that knowledge and prepare them for their continued study at GCSE.

History Curriculum Video

Key Stage 4

At key stage 4 students will have 3 timetabled lessons of History per week. Students choosing to take history will study 4 units, each comprising a range of topics. 

Medicine in Britain, c1250–present & The impact of Trench Warfare on surgical development between 1914-1918

They will study the process of change in medicine from medieval medicine all the way up to modern medical advances. Students will explore the patterns of change and the factors that encouraged or inhibited change, including the role of the Church, Science and attitudes in society. For each period of history we will examine the different ideas behind the causes of illness and the different approaches to prevent and treat these illnesses.

Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

Students study this short period in history to understand the complex social, political, and cultural changes that occurred in Germany between the two World Wars. Topics include: Hitler’s rise to power, Nazi policies of control using fear and propaganda, opposition to the Nazis, and the trails and triumphs of the Weimar Republic.

Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88

This will include: what challenges Elizabeth faced at home and abroad. How Elizabeth dealt with religious dissent and political unrest; Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots; The Spanish Armada; Britain’s role in the Age of Exploration; and relations between England and Spain over this period.

Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

This will include: how the end of the Second World War created tensions between the US and Soviet Union, the impact of US-Soviet relations on the development of the atomic bomb, the division of Berlin into zones and the Warsaw Pact. It will discuss the key Cold War Crises: the Berlin airlift, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Wall.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Students who take History as a GCSE are given the opportunity to take part in a residential trip to Berlin, Germany. Pupils have the opportunity to visit many sites of historical and cultural significance, in and around Berlin including; visit to Check Point Charlie, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenberg gate, a guided tour of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, entrance to the Museum of Terror, visit to the iconic TV tower at Alexanderplatz, bus tour of Berlin, visit to the DDR museum, and a walk of the Berlin Wall. These sites are of specific historical interest to students studying History GCSE as the syllabus includes an in-depth study of the Holocaust and the treatment of Jews, and other ethnic, cultural and political groups across Nazi-occupied Europe regarded as enemies of the Nazi state. It is also relevant to the Cold War module covered in Year 11.


At both KS3 and KS4 students are assessed every lesson through regular low stakes testing and retrieval practice.

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students will take a Cumulative Knowledge Test at three points within the school year, as well as two formal assessment points where students will be expected to write extended answers to GCSE style exam style questions. 

The GCSE exams that students will take at the end of Year 11 are as follows: 

Paper One: Thematic Study and historic environment – A written exam paper that is 1hr 15mins long and has 52 marks available based on the Medicine in Britain and Western Front elements of the course. It is worth 30% of the total GCSE.

Paper Two: Period study and British depth study – A written exam paper that is 1hr 45mins long and has 64 marks available based on the Early Elizabethan England and Cold War elements of the course. It is worth 40% of the total GCSE.

Paper Three: Modern depth study – A written exam paper that is 1hr 20mins long and has 52 marks available based on the Weimar and Nazi Germany elements of the course. It is worth 30% of the total GCSE.

Future Careers

Students who study History gain skills such as: literacy and communication; problem solving; analysis of historical sources and interpretations; effective researching; and the ability to construct well balanced arguments. Potential career options for those who students include law, journalism, business, politics, archaeology, curation and many more.