Mission Statement: We believe that History is a craft which students might master, through diligent practice, with the support of a mentor. As such, students take on the status of ‘Apprentice Historians’ attempting to ‘master’ this craft of history.

A high-quality history education will help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching will equip students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and challenges of their time.


Key Stage 3

What will students learn?

The purpose of our curriculum is to allow students to see how history is the rich tapestry of different stories woven together. To achieve this, the curriculum at Key Stage 3 follows a logical order which enables students to have a firm understanding of chronology. This chronology is underpinned by six key themes (Conflict, Empire, Ideas and Beliefs, Movement & Settlement, Ordinary Life and Power) which are revisited across the three years. By doing so, students slowly develop an understanding of the ‘big picture’ as they refer to previous learning to make clear comparisons of both change and continuity.  The units incorporate a balance of overview and depth studies that, where possible, are punctuated with engaging personal stories and are driven by four key questions: How were people ruled in the past? How did people in the past live? What did people in the past believe? How do we know about the past?  These questions are not, necessarily, referred to explicitly but allow students to:

  • Have a good knowledge of the past and see where events / individuals fit into the ‘big picture.’
  • Identify (and understand) the nature of change by considering how and why change occurs and see the extent of and pace of change.
  • Understand British values such as diversity and tolerance.
  • Understand that the study of history is based on interpretations that have been constructed by people based on their own beliefs, views and values.
  • Analyse contemporary source material and realise that sources that are unreliable are still useful for telling us about attitudes / beliefs at the time.
  • Assess the significance of events, thinking about their short-term and long-term significance.
  • Have an appreciation of different aspects of history by including units on social, economic, cultural, religious, political and military history.
  • Develop empathy and understanding of different people’s experiences of the past.
  • Develop the language of a historian by being exposed to key words repeatedly and by using sophisticated language to articulate thoughts and ideas, such as causation connectives.

For more information, please see the Key Stage 3 curriculum map below and the curriculum overview document at the bottom of this webpage.

Key Stage 3 History map 

How will students be taught?

Units designed at Key Stage 3 allow for enquiry-led history teaching, as each topic is devised around an overarching question. This enables high-quality teaching by incorporating both content-led and process-led teaching. Content-led teaching is vital for subject knowledge recall, whilst process-led teaching allows students time to make sense of the learning, by looking for patterns/links through activities such as living graphs. History lends itself to developing students’ literacy and this is central to our schemes of learning, with an emphasis on key words and building the skills needed to produce complex responses. Devising the curriculum around six key themes enables students to draw on previous knowledge gained and allows for revision to be interwoven throughout Key Stage 3. Homework plays an integral part to the learning process at Key Stage 3 and is based on Northgate’s 5Rs. The setting of quality and effective homework ensures that students make progress, as it embeds core knowledge by referring to previous units, as well as focusing on what is currently being studied. 


How will students be assessed?

The expectation at Key Stage 3 is that there are at least three main assessment points throughout the year. Assessments will incorporate knowledge tests, extended responses based on differing second-order concepts and source/interpretation questions. The purpose of the summative assessment is to give stakeholders a snapshot of where students are in their learning. More importantly, however, is the on-going formative assessment which takes place within the classroom. Regular low-stake knowledge checks, key word tests, peer assessment and self-assessment will allow the student to understand where the gaps in their knowledge and skills are and enable them to respond to this feedback.


Key Stage 4

What will students learn and how will this be assessed?

The units are outlined below. 


 Understanding the Modern World

Germany , 1890 - 1945:
Democracy and Dictatorship

Conflict and Tension, 1918 - 1939 


 Shaping the Nation

Britain: Health and the People:
C100th to present day

Elizabethan England: c1568 - 1603

 All units are assessed by two exams in Year 11.


How will students be taught?

Students will be taught in a variety of ways, including group work, discussion, use of ICT and Internet research.

Students will develop a range of skills including:

  • How to write developed explanations
  • How to research and present information independently
  • How to summarise and cross refer a range of information
  • Effective use of ICT and Internet research


Examination board & course type

AQA – GCSE History (8145)


What can studying this subject lead to?

History links well to both careers and further study as it also develops self-confidence and the ability to deal with information, as well as building literacy skills.

History GCSE counts towards the English Baccalaureate.


Revision Advice

A subject specific guide featuring key content, recommended resources and the specifications we cover in that particular subject can be downloaded below:



Teacher to contact for further information

Miss Z Quinton

History Curriculum Overview