Castle on Hill


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”.


Marcus Garvey


Subject Intent:


History is important for the promotion of equality, diversity, citizenship, social justice and the improvement of the cultural capital of our pupils. We use our curriculum to promote these values and make history relevant to all by reflecting the diverse heritage of our pupils. Our curriculum is fully inclusive, enabling all students to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points and barriers to learning. The study of history should allow pupils to make more sense of the current world and their place in it by developing critical thinking skills.      


We built the curriculum with the intent that students will: 

  • Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum. Pupils will form an understanding of the development of key themes and concepts such as power, society and warfare and how they have transformed over time. Pupils learn about the key features of different time periods and how Britain's place in the wider world has changed. Our curriculum spans from the Romans to the late 20th Century and includes a combination of British, European and global history.

  • Be literate and numerate. Through the use of graphs, charts and statistics, we improve numeracy skills. We develop literacy through extended writing and interpretation of historical sources and historian’s arguments. Pupils learn how to construct arguments, articulate their opinions and form substantiated judgements.

  • Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement by showing respect when dealing with sensitive issues such as genocide. We challenge pupils by expecting them to understand complex concepts and skills.

  • Develop culturally, morally, socially, mentally and physically by placing current local and global issues into context. Study different countries and societies to give them a greater understanding of the world. Explore moral issues such as slavery, empire, war and persecution to develop empathy and create well rounded individuals with a clear sense of morality.

  • Be prepared for life beyond the school by developing the skills pupils need to think critically and question interpretations. We teach pupils to understand how and why different opinions have been formed and to evaluate the reliability of evidence. These are skills that are valued in higher education and in a range of careers, and are especially important in today’s world of "fake news".


Subject Implementation:


  • History is taught chronologically to enable pupils to build on prior knowledge, identify links across time periods and construct a clear narrative of the past. By the end of KS3 all pupils will have a clear understanding of chronology and features of historical periods. The skills of forming judgements, analysing and evaluating sources and concepts such as change, significance, interpretation and causation are embedded throughout the course and taught from year 7 upwards. Pupils are prepared for KS4 by building on these foundations of knowledge and skills from KS3.

  • Knowledge is revisited and reinforced through re-examination of key themes such as power and conflict. In KS3, pupils produce extended answers from synoptic questions which requires them to refer back to previous learning and evaluate the development of these themes across time periods. We practice knowledge retrieval through low stakes quizzing and encouraging pupils to make links between topics.

  • Pupils are formally assessed every half term in order to track their progress and encourage independence. Pupils are assessed on their application of historical knowledge as well as their skills of evaluating sources and interpretations. On-going assessment occurs through teacher monitoring of classwork and discussions with pupils.

  • We foster a love of learning and inspire historical curiosity through enquiry based learning and framing topics through thought provoking questions, for example ‘Did one bullet cause the First World War?’. We have made the curriculum as relevant to our pupils as possible, reflecting our diverse pupil population by teaching topics such as the Islamic world in the Middle Ages and the contribution of colonial soldiers during the First World War.

  • To ensure that the curriculum is broad, balanced and ambitious, it has been designed with a mixture of global, European, British and local history from ancient civilizations up to the present day.  We cover different types of history such as social, political, military and a mixture of breadth and depth studies. We also ensure breadth and balance by investigating the stories of women and ethnic minorities. Furthermore, we look at a range of interpretations of historical events and figures and encourage the pupils to form their own opinions on these issues.

  • At KS4 pupils study both in-depth and breadth studies. They begin with the thematic topic Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain in order to consolidate and reinforce their learning of the key features and events from different time periods studied at KS3. We also have the scope to explore medicine from ancient civilizations such as the Romans and Egyptians, through to current medical issues (Covid 19 and vaccination). Pupils then progress to the in-depth studies of The Elizabethan Age, Germany in Transition 1919-1945 and The Development of the USA 1929-2000.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop independent learning in pupils. We use Microsoft TEAMs to set home-learning activities and to consolidate knowledge through the use of knowledge organisers, which are linked to the schemes of learning. Teachers routinely feedback on pupil progress.

  • Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and the learning is adapted to suit their needs.


Subject Enrichment: What opportunities do pupil have to develop their understanding of your subject outside the classroom?

  • Y7 visit to Smithills Hall to study life and religious change in Tudor England.

  • Y8 trip to Quarry Bank Mill to examine the working conditions in factories during the Industrial Revolution.

  • Y9 visit to Eyam in Derbyshire to support the study of methods of preventing the spread of the 1665 Great Plague.

  • Every GCSE pupil will have the opportunity to go on a residential, previous trips include Poland, London and Berlin.

Subject Impact:

  • Knowledge is sequenced chronologically during KS3 so pupils can understand how one event leads to another. Key concepts such as power and warfare are revisited in order to spot trends and track the extent of change.

  • The study of history allows us to question information and examine the integrity of its provenance and understand why people have formed certain points of view. Pupils will be able to apply these skills in everyday life.

  • Pupils will have a clear understanding of how issues in the world today have been shaped by the past.

  • Studying history allows pupils to reach their full academic potential through challenging concepts, topics and skills.

  •  Pupils have a sense of social justice and moral reasoning, are empathetic, politically aware and engaged.

History Curriculum Map

History Map.png

Knowledge and Skills


Year 7:


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The impact of the invasions of the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans

  • The features of society in medieval England and the Islamic World

  • The power struggle between the medieval monarchs the church, barons and people

  • Religious change under the Tudors

  • Key events in medieval and Early Modern England


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Making inferences from sources

  • Understanding chronology and how we structure time

  • Correct use of key words and historical terminology

  • Explaining why events have happened

  • Recognise that different interpretations have been formed

  • Explain why events are significant

  • Begin to form judgements on historical issues


Year 8:


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The features of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the abolition of slavery

  • How Britain gained an empire and the impact this had

  • The causes of the Industrial Revolution

  • Changes in working, Living conditions and public health brought about by the Industrial Revolution

  • Causes of the First World War

  • The features of trench warfare and why men wanted to fight in the war

  • The impact of the war on Russia, USA, Germany and Britain

  • The outbreak of the Second World War and the impact on the British people

  • Persecution in the 20th C including the Holocaust and Black people in America


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Correct use of key words and historical terminology

  • Beginning to explain the significance or cause of a historical issue

  • Explaining in detail why events have happened

  • Explaining what changes have taken place across time periods

  • Begin to analyse the content of sources

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding that different interpretations are created for different reasons

  • Forming judgements on historical issues and supporting them with evidence


Year 9


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Causes of illness and disease from 500 to the present day including diseases such the Black Death, great plague, cholera and typhoid and Spanish flu and AIDS

  • Attempts to prevent illness and disease over time including the influence and spread of inoculation since 1700

  • The development in attempts to treat and cure illness and disease such as the developments in surgery and antibiotics

  • Advances in medical knowledge from the ancient Greek doctors to the discoveries in DNA in the 20thc 

  • Changes in patient care and the development of nursing, hospitals and the NHS

  • Developments in public health in Britain from the Middle Ages to the present day

  • The events at Eyam and how this contributed to a wider understanding of changes in health and medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Explaining the significance or cause of a historical issue and reach a supported judgement, set within the historical context

  • Provide an analysis of the extent and nature of change

  • Beginning to evaluate the usefulness or reliability of a source and provide an analysis of the content and authorship

  • Evaluating and analysing the interpretation and reach a judgement with reference to authorship


Year 10


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:


  • The structure of Elizabethan government

  • Lifestyles of rich and poor and methods of dealing with poverty including the 1601 Poor Law

  • Popular entertainment enjoyed by the rich and the development of the theatre

  • The problem of religion and the Religious Settlement of 1559

  • The Catholic plots and the threat posed by Mary Queen of Scots

  • The causes of the Spanish Armada and the reasons why it failed

  • The Puritan threat and the measures taken to deal with them

  • The impact of the First World War on Germany and the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic

  • Recovery of Weimar and the impact of Stresemann

  • The impact of the Great Depression and the rise of the Nazis

  • Hitler’s consolidation of power

  • Nazi economic, social and racial policy

  • Methods of control such as propaganda and terror

  • Hitler’s foreign policy and the outbreak of the Second World War


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Analysing and evaluating the significance or cause of a historical issue while arriving at a judgement

  • Beginning to analyse the extent and nature of change while arriving at a judgement

  • Critically analyse and evaluate sources to reach a judgement, and place them in appropriate historical context

  • Critically analyse and evaluate interpretations to reach a substantiated judgement about why they differ and can demonstrate understanding of the wider historical debate


Year 11


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:


  • The impact of the Wall St. Crash and attempts to recover e.g. Roosevelt and the New Deal

  • The economic impact of the Second World War and post-war consumerism and suburbanization

  • The issue of Civil Rights 1941 – 1970; the contribution of black Americans in the Second World War, developments in education, transport, legislation

  • The impact of Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers

  • Political change 1960-2000; The domestic policies of Kennedy, Nixon and Watergate, Reagan, Bush Senior and Clinton

  • Social change 1950-2000; Changes in music, entertainment, media and literature, Changes in youth culture, Student protest, The changing role of women

  • Cold War rivalry; The Truman Doctrine and containment of Communism, Berlin Crisis 1948-49, Cuban Missile Crisis, US involvement in Vietnam

  • The search for world peace since 1970; Détente and attempts to limit arms, Changing relations with China (ping pong diplomacy)

  • The fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War

  • US involvement in the Middle East


Pupils will develop their skills in


  • Analysing and evaluating the significance or cause of a historical issue, while arriving at a well-supported judgement on the issue, set within the appropriate historical context

  • Analysing and evaluating the nature and extent of change, while arriving at a well-supported judgement on the issue, set within the appropriate historical context

  • Critically analyse and evaluate sources to reach reasoned, substantiated judgements, and place them in detailed, appropriate historical context

  • Critically analysing and evaluating different interpretations in order to reach a substantiated judgement. Explaining why interpretations differ and demonstrate detailed understanding of the wider historical debate

Contact Head of Department:

Mrs Jarratt -