‘Our lives today have been shaped by History.’ This makes History relevant to us, and the society we live in. To understand the affairs of the current day it is important to study the past, as everything that is happening around us is connected to it. History is a rewarding and challenging subject that is both informative and engaging. Students learn how to use evidence, compare information and develop their own arguments and ideas. History is highly regarded by universities and employers. It is a good qualification for many careers, not just the obvious ones, due to the transferable skills that students learn.
This course is designed to develop an understanding of how the actions of key individuals and events, in Britain and around the world, have influenced how we live today. It revolves around people, how they used to live and how their actions affected the world. This course allows students to develop their understanding of historical concepts, such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and significance. It also enables students to develop their source skills, become critical thinkers and to investigate why there are different interpretations of the past. It is designed to ignite their curiosity and promote their love of learning about the past.
Year 7 begins with an understanding of ‘What is History?’ and an introduction to historical skills. Students continue to develop these skills within a chronological study of British and world history, from the Roman times to the English Civil War. Year 8 continues to develop students’ chronological understanding from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. Throughout the two years, students learn about key events, such as the Norman Conquest, the signing of the Magna Carta, the First and Second World Wars, and the Holocaust. The lives of ordinary people are also studied along with key individuals, including Thomas Becket, Henry VIII, William Wilberforce and Winston Churchill.
Students will also develop their historical skills throughout KS3 by learning how to evaluate interpretations, interpret sources, apply evidence, judge reliability and reach sustained and well-balanced judgments.
Assessment: Students will be assessed throughout KS3, every 6 to 8 lessons. Some assessments take place at the end of a topic and are designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding. Other assessments take place within a topic and are designed to test key historical skills. Both types of assessment will help to prepare students who are interested in studying History at GCSE. Students will be given a test score or historical skill level, which means their progress can be tracked over time. They will also receive feedback about whether their work is ‘developing’, ‘securing’ or ‘exceeding’ their target grade.
|Historical Skill Level||Explanation|
|Evaluate||HS15||Complex evaluation of events and the relationship between them in depth and detail, leading to a sophisticated judgement. Complex evaluation of the relationship between two interpretations, using precise knowledge, and reach a sophisticated judgement on how convincing/useful they are.|
|Evaluate||HS14||Evaluate events and the relationship between them, leading to a judgement. Use knowledge to evaluate the relationship between two interpretations, judgement on how convincing/useful they are.|
|Evaluate||HS13||Begin to evaluate events and the relationship between them, leading to a judgement. Begin to use knowledge to evaluate the relationship between two interpretations and reach a judgement on how convincing/useful they are.|
|Analyse||HS12||Analyse and explain links in depth and detail. Weigh factors and reach a developed judgement. Analyse long and short term consequences/significance. Compare two interpretations, analyse the provenance, use some knowledge to explain how convincing they are.|
|Analyse||HS11||Analyse and explain links. Weigh factors and reach a judgement. Analyse long and short term consequences/significance. Compare two interpretations and analyse the provenance.|
|Analyse||HS10||Begin to analyse and explain links. Begin to weigh factors and reach a judgement. Analyse long and short term consequences/significance. Compare two interpretations, begin to analyse the provenance.|
|Explain||HS9||Explain in depth and detail, begin to link. Compare interpretations and use supporting evidence (quotes). Make and explain your own judgement. Begin to explain long and short term significance.|
|Explain||HS8||Explain in some detail, using historical key words. Begin to compare interpretations and use supporting evidence (quotes). Make and explain your own judgement.|
|Explain||HS7||Begin to explain, using historical key words. Use supporting evidence (quotes) from the source/interpretation.|
|Describe||HS6||Describe in depth and detail, using historical key words. Support the description with evidence (quotes) from the source/interpretation.|
|Describe||HS5||Describe in some detail, using historical key words.|
|Describe||HS4||Begin to describe.|
|Identity||HS3||Identify a range of causes, consequences, changes or continuities. Identify some details from a source or interpretation.|
|Identity||HS2||Identify one cause, consequence, change or continuity.
Identify a detail from a source or interpretation.
|Identity||HS1||Identify a feature of an event and different periods of time.|
History is one of the EBacc options at GCSE. Students will follow the AQA specification, which includes two exams at the end of Year 11. Paper 1 focuses on ‘Understanding the Modern World’ and includes a study of Germany 1890-1945 and conflict and tension 1918-1939. Paper 2, ‘Shaping the Nation’, focuses on British history. This involves a study of medicine and health from 1000 to the present day and Elizabethan England 1568-1603.
Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (2 hours, 50%):
Paper 2: Shaping the Nation (2 hours, 50%):
This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism.
Students study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They analyse the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.
Assessment: Students will answer six questions on Germany in Section A of Paper 1 (Understanding the Modern World). There are 40 marks available on this section, worth 25% of the overall GCSE. The exam questions will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Germany during this period. Students will be asked to use their knowledge to show understanding of causes, consequences and change. Students will also have to evaluate interpretations.
This wider world depth study focuses on international conflict between the First and Second World Wars.
Students learn about the complex interests of different individuals and states, including the Great Powers. It involves concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. You will learn about the causes of the Second World War and why it proved difficult to resolve these issues. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
Students study international conflict in depth, but over a short period of time. This allows students to gain an understanding of the complexities of the historical situation and the interplay of different aspects within it. This deepens students’ understanding of the modern world.
Assessment: Students will answer four questions on ‘Conflict and Tension, 1918-1939’ in Section B of Paper 1 (Understanding the Modern World). There are 44 marks available on this section, including four SPaG marks, worth 25% of the overall GCSE. The exam questions will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of this period in history. Students will be asked to use their knowledge to show understanding of the causes and consequences of conflict, and to create structured analytical narrative accounts of key events. Students will also have to analyse and evaluate a range of sources.
Britain: Health and the People, c1000 to the present day
This thematic study allows students to develop an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that had an impact on medicine in Britain from c1000 to the present day.
Students develop an understanding of change and continuity, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the changes. There will also be a focus on the cause and consequence of developments in medicine. Students study the importance of factors in the development of medicine: war, superstition and religion, chance, government, communication, science and technology and the role of individuals. Students learn how these factors worked together to bring about developments at a particular time in history and their impact on society.
Assessment: Students will answer four questions on ‘Britain: Health and the People’ in Section A of Paper 2 (Shaping the Nation). There are 44 marks available on this section, including four SPaG marks, worth 25% of the overall GCSE. The exam questions will allow students to analyse similarity, difference, change, continuity and the significance of key features of medicine through time. There will also be one source question.
Elizabethan England 1568-1603
This British depth study is focused on the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. It focuses on the major economic, religious, political, social and cultural events in these years. This involves Elizabeth’s court and parliament, the difficulties of being a female ruler, responses to poverty, trouble at home and abroad, and life in the ‘Golden Age’. This allow students to gain an understanding of the complexities of society at this time.
This section of the GCSE also involves a study of the historic environment, focusing on one particular site in its historical context. Students study the relationship between the site and the events/developments of the Elizabethan period.
Assessment: Students will answer four questions on Elizabethan England in Section B of Paper 2 (Shaping the Nation). There are 40 marks available on this section, worth 25% of the overall GCSE. The exam questions will allow students to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of causes, consequences and change during this period in history. Students will also have to evaluate an interpretation.
Homework is set routinely on a weekly basis for both KS3 and KS4 students. Here are some useful History websites to aid homework tasks and for students to undertake independent learning.
History of the Monarchy (English, Scottish and UK – 400AD – present):
James I and the Stuarts:
The Gunpowder Plot:
The Civil War:
First World War:
Democracy and Dictatorship:
Second World War:
20th Century America:
It was great to have a 1/5 of year 7 after school last night got football and badminton in Pe! Students were fantastic and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to next Monday👍 remember clubs are on each night please do attend and get involved 😁 pic.twitter.com/B8Yd…
A massive thank you to Natalie and Fran @Tesco Clifton Moor for their incredibly generous donation to @ValeYorkAcademy Community Food Bank. This is a huge help. If any of our families are struggling at this difficult time, please contact email@example.com to arrange a hamper pic.twitter.com/aAbW…
Tonight’s PE clubs are for year 8/9 bubbles - football and netball. Please remember these start at 3.05 and finish at 4pm. Looking forward to getting back to seeing these pupils in Pe clubs 👍 pic.twitter.com/q2FM…
Fantastic to see that Joe Holland in Year 7 and his brother Harry have won a Community Pride Award for their charity work. Congratulations boys...fully deserved! 👍 @ValeYorkAcademy pic.twitter.com/8QX0…
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