Subject Lead - Mr Tim Cloke, 01805 623531 Ext. 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers - Miss Lizzie Cox, Mr John Stanier and Mrs Beth Copp
Our curriculum aims to be broad, engaging and relevant. It can be summarised as follows:
“We are free, tolerant, democratic, safe and healthy. How did we get here?”
Through this intent, we aim to:
- Give pupils an understanding of how we became a free, tolerant, democratic, safe and healthy society.
- Develop the analytical and research skills to question accepted historical truths (like the one above).
- Provide the academic building blocks to be able to proceed to study history at a prestigious University.
Curriculum and Qualifications
At Key Stage 3 pupils will conduct two main types of assessments: knowledge quizzes and written answers that assess the application of knowledge using a variety of historical skills. These include supporting arguments, explaining causation (why things happened), analysing historical sources, analysing historical interpretations (opinions) and writing extended answers.
Knowledge quizzes typically comprise a ‘pre-test’ to assess pupils’ existing knowledge followed by a ‘post-test’ after the end of a topic to show how much has been learned.
Each year also has a Key Assessment Task booklet, which by the end of the year will contain all of the written key assessment tasks, improvements based upon teacher feedback and the scores for the knowledge tests.
The GCSE course follows the Edexcel specification for history and will be assessed through three examinations. The key skills assessed (AOs, or Assessment Objectives) are:
- AO1: Knowledge and understanding
- AO2: Analysis of second order concepts (e.g. explaining causation)
- AO3: Source analysis
- AO4: Analysis of interpretations
This has been subject to change in recent years due to the impact of the pandemic, but the full course, as taught to this year’s Year 10 and beyond, is assessed as follows:
Paper 1: Thematic Study and Historic Environment (1 hour 15 minutes)
Medicine Through Time c.1250-Present and Medicine on the Western Front in WWI (Note: In previous years pupils studied Warfare Through Time and London in the Second World War).
This topic studies the development of medicine and medical understanding from the middle ages (including surviving Ancient Greek and Roman ideas), through the disaster of the Black Death, into the renaissance, the modern era and into the 20th Century and beyond. This charts progress, regress, change and continuity in medicine at this time.
The source investigation focuses on the organisation, operation and effectiveness of medical care during the First World War on the Western Front for British forces, including the role of nurses, field hospitals and innovations in care for the wounded including X-Rays and blood transfusions.
Section A: historic environment:
This section is worth 10% of the total qualification. It is marked out of 16.
Both questions are compulsory.
Question 1: this focuses on describing features (AO1). Question 2 is a two-part question, targeting AO3. It uses two contemporary sources. One of them may be visual, but at least one will be written.
Question 2 (a): pupils assess the usefulness of both sources for a specified enquiry, making use of their knowledge of the historical context.
Question 2 (b): pupils suggest a follow-up enquiry relating to one of the source
Section B: thematic study:
This section is worth 20% of the total qualification.
It is marked out of 36. Of the 36 marks, up to 4 marks in Question 5/6 will be awarded for spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology (SPaG).
All questions target AO1/AO2. Questions 3 and 4 are compulsory. Pupils then select either Question 5 or Question 6.
Question 3: this focuses on similarity or difference over time. Questions will cross sections of the specification and will normally span at least a century (and may span much longer periods).
Question 4: this focuses on the process of change (e.g. why there was a rapid change/slow change/why change continued). Questions will normally span at least a century and may span much longer periods.
Questions 5/6: requires a judgement and may focus any of the following: the nature or extent of change (change/continuity); patterns of change (turning points, i.e. significance); the process of change (factors bringing it about, i.e. causation); or the impact of change (i.e. consequence). Questions will normally span at least two centuries and may span much longer periods.
Paper 2: Period study and British depth study (1 hour 45 minutes)
The American West c.1835-c.1895
This topic follows the complex and sometimes tragic story of how the United States expanded westwards, including the lifestyle and beliefs of the Plains Indians, the reasons for increased settlement of the west, key migrations such as the Mormons and the Gold Rush, conflict and lawlessness and the eventual destruction of the Plains Indians way of life.
The Exam: This section is worth 20% of the total qualification. It is marked out of 32.
All questions target AO1/AO2. Pupils answer three compulsory questions:
Question 1: this focuses on consequence.
Question 2: this focuses on analytical narrative, in which pupils write an account that not only describes what happened, but also involves analysis to find connections and make sense of events and their impact to explain why events unfolded in the way that they did. This is likely to involve a mix of second order concepts (i.e. causation, consequence, change).
Question 3: pupils select two from a choice of three parts. Each focuses on the importance of an event/person/development in terms of what difference they made in relation to situations and unfolding developments (i.e. their consequence and significance).
Anglo Saxon and Norman England c.1060-c.1087
This topic begins with a study of power and society in the final years of Anglo-Saxon England, through the invasions and battles of 1066, culminating in the decisive Battle of Hastings and subsequent conquest by the Normans. The study then moves on to the ways in Which William the Conqueror secured his rule and then governed England.
The Exam: This section is worth 20% of the total qualification. It is marked out of 32.
Pupils answer one question comprising three parts:
Q1 (a): this is compulsory and targets AO1. It focuses on describing features.
Q1 (b): this is compulsory and targets AO1/AO2. It focuses on causation.
Q1 (c): pupils have a choice of two questions: (i) or (ii). These target AO1/AO2 and require a judgement. They may focus on any of the following: similarity, difference, change, continuity, causation or consequence.
Paper 3: Modern depth study (1 hour 20 minutes)
USA Conflict at Home and Abroad 1954-1975 (Civil Rights and the War in Vietnam)
This topic looks at two aspects of American history within the same period. The topic looks at the origins of the Vietnam War, how South Vietnam was governed, why the USA became increasingly engaged in combat against the communist North and why the USA ultimately failed. Additionally, the culture of the time with levels of support and opposition to the war are studied.
The topic also covers the history of Civil Rights for black Americans, starting with the situation in the segregated Deep South and the struggles of black Americans and looking at the key movements, events and issues surrounding the progress made to achieve a measure of equality for black Americans, and the extent to which life improved. Famous figures such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and their role in famous events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott are studied. Less famous, but also important, campaigns such as the Freedom Summer and the move by some groups to a more militant approach are studied too.
This section is worth 10% of the total qualification.
It is marked out of 16 marks.
Pupils answer two compulsory questions:
Question 1: this targets AO3, and focuses on making inferences from a source.
Question 2: this targets AO1/AO2, and focuses on causation.
This section is worth 20% of the total qualification. It is marked out of 36 marks. Of the 36 marks, up to 4 marks in Question 3 (d) will be awarded for spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology (SPaG).
All question parts are compulsory.
Question 3 (a): this targets AO3 and uses two contemporary sources. One of them may be visual, but at least one will be written. Pupils assess the usefulness of both sources for a specified enquiry, making use of their knowledge of the historical context.
Question 3 (b): this targets AO4 and uses two later written interpretations. Pupils explain how the two interpretations differ.
Question 3 (c): this targets AO4 and uses the same interpretations as part (b). Pupils suggest why the two interpretations differ.
Question 3 (d): this targets AO4 and re-uses the interpretations. It requires pupils to evaluate one interpretation, making use of the other interpretation and their knowledge of the historical context.
Mr. Cloke’s YouTube channel with fully resourced lesson for many KS3 topics and complete course playlists for revision and remote learning for all of the KS4 GCSE topics.
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