History at KS3

The aims of our key stage three history curriculum is to develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the history of Britain and the wider world. Students will understand and use abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry.’ Throughout each key stage, our lessons build students’ understandings of key historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Students will be able to understand how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims and use information critically, no matter the source or interpretation. Our students will be able to use their skills to make connections, draw contrasts and analyse trends. The nature of our subject is enquiry based and each module builds towards students forming judgements and answering a key enquiry question. Students will be able to frame historically-valid questions and explain their own substantiated judgements on historical study. The study of history will improve students’ literacy as lesson activities include creating structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses of events. Our curriculum at KS3 promotes the academy values, especially the core values of Respect, Compassion, Aspiration and Equality. Through the study of British History, students will have a greater understanding of the country they live in and the way it has changed over time. Our curriculum is inclusive and diverse in its study of world history, allowing students to develop an appreciation of historical empathy and understand their own place within a larger human story which goes beyond the British Isles.

Year 7


  • Develop chronological awareness of British history and its relationship with the wider world.
  • Develop skills of causation and consequence, change and continuity, evaluation, empathy and source and interpretation use.
  • Develop the behaviours of organisation, self-reflection, debate, team work and independence.

Key topics:

  • How did William conqueror and control England?
  • How far was religion the most important thing in the lives of medieval people?
  • What was the most significant challenge people in Medieval England faced?
  • Was Elizabeth I the most effective Tudor monarch?
  • What challenges did the Crown face in the Early Modern period?

Year 8


  • Understand the place of local history in a broader national context and British history in an international context.
  • To develop students’ interest and understanding in world history.
  • To understand and question different interpretations of British and world history.
  • To develop a greater understanding of history from below looking at the changing lives of ordinary people.
  • Develop the skills of evaluation, similarity and difference, empathy, diversity, change and continuity, typicality, significance and source and interpretation use.
  • Develop the behaviours of teamwork, independence, resilience, self-reflection, debate, tolerance and respect.

Key topics:

  • How tough was life in Birmingham in the Industrial period?
  • Why was Jack the Ripper not caught?
  • How well did Britain rule the world?
  • How did the lives of slaves change?
  • Why was the First World War so significant?

Year 9


  • Understand the significance of key turning points in twentieth century international history.
  • To think critically and objectively about the moral and ethical questions that historical study can raise.
  • To understand and question key historical interpretations of international events.
  • Develop the skills of similarity and difference, change and continuity, significance, cause and consequence, typicality, empathy, tolerance and source and interpretation use.
  • Develop the behaviours of tolerance, organisation, self-reflection, team work, independence, resilience, respect and debate.

Key topics:

  • Did the lives of the German people improve under Nazi Rule?
  • How has the Second World War been interpreted?
  • Why should we learn about the Holocaust?
  • What is the most significant challenge the world has faced post 1945?
GCSE in History

Why study this subject?

History is a traditional academic subject that is well respected by higher education institutions and employers.  It is an important subject to study for careers in Law and politics and the transferable skills developed through the study of History can be applied to any modern day career. History broadens your understanding of the past and the world that we live in today. It allows you to look at the most dramatic and troubled periods in human History and to gain a perspective about why an event happened and its consequences. A GCSE in History is also perfect preparation for A-Levels because it prepares you for the higher level of analysis, thought and argument required to be successful academically.

What will I learn?

During this course you will study the following units:

  • The People’s Health, c.1250-present: public health problems that people in Britain faced and how national and local governments responded.
  • Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945: how Hitler ran his dictatorship of Germany and how this impacted on the lives of ordinary people in Germany and occupied Europe.
  • The Making of America, 1789-1900: the expansion of America, the Plains Indians, American Civil War, big business and mass migration.
  • The Elizabethans, 1580-1603: Elizabethan government, religion, life and foreign relations.
  • History Around Us: A site study of Kenilworth Castle.

How will I be assessed?

Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your progress and attainment. You will always know what grade you are working at and how to improve your performance and progress. The course involves three external examinations:

  • Component 1: 1 hour 45 minutes (40%)
  • Component 2: 1 hour (20%)
  • Component 3: 1 hour 45 minutes (40%)

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

At the end of the course you will get a GCSE in History at a grade that reflects your work ethic and commitment.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

Qualifications in History lead to a wide range of career opportunities often relating to the highly desirable skills acquired by studying history for example solicitors and barristers, public services, politicians, managers, etc.

Post-16 Progression

A-Level History is a challenging yet exciting post-16 option open to those who achieve good grades in GCSE History and English. History provides a strong academic background for those students going on to do degrees in subjects such as Law, English, Journalism, Social Sciences, Humanities, Politics, Media, Psychology and many more.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

You can speak to any member of the History department for more information on the course or look at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-history-b-schools-history-project-j411-from-2016/



King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Tel: 0121 472 1147.

King Edward VI MAT

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