Throughout the History department we am to deliver an inspiring curriculum that encourages students to investigate and analyse a variety of topics that span from Medieval England through to major events in the 20th Century. We have a focus that is integrated with Beauchamp’s High School’s whole school vision, encompassing family values and a want for students to push themselves to achieve their best and beyond. We aim to prepare students with an integral set of skills that we develop from Year 7 onwards and ensure students have a deepened understanding of a range of topics, such as analytical causation, that are useful across various other subjects and careers. Many students arrive at Beauchamps High School with an interest in a vast range of historical topics. Therefore, our curriculum has been created to build on their understanding of these topics and broaden their historical curiosity. The history curriculum endeavors to instill core British values such as tolerance and understanding through the teaching of a diverse range of subjects that promote debate and critical thinking to enhance pupils' understanding of the past and present. It is through this that we aim to inspire and encourage students to reach their full potential.
Key Stage 3
We have a three year Key Stage 3 (Year 7-9) during which pupils study a broad and engaging curriculum and are encouraged to actively participate in all lessons. In Year 7 we focus on British History with a study on continuity and change throughout, beginning with the Medieval Period and moving onwards with the Tudors and the Stuarts. Throughout these units we introduce topics and exam skills, such as analysing sources and forming judgements on different topic areas, that are key to becoming a successful historian, ensuring that students feel supported but also challenged. In Year 8 we focus on World History, beginning with Wold War One and continuing on to Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement and World War Two. These units are eagerly anticipated by students and we focus on the political, social and economic issues that are associated with these specific topics.
In Year 9 we have a blended year that begins with the history of Anti-Semitism which allows us to frame our Holocaust unit with key context. Where possible, this culminates in a survivor visit, enhancing the students understanding and allowing them to listen to a first-hand testimony. This leads us on to 20th Century History, giving students general understanding of modern history and various wars and events within this time period. We end Year 9 by looking at Medicine through time and introducing the demands of a GCSE unit, giving students ample opportunity to engage with the topic prior to Year 10.
In Key Stage 3, assessments are carried out regularly in the form of extended answers, which allows students to explore techniques and the depth needed for an essay-style question. We have a specific focus on analytical skills, using source and inference questions.
Year 10 and 11 – Key Stage 4
At Beauchamps High School we offer the Edexcel GCSE History (9-1), studying the following 4 units:
Medicine in Britain (c.1250-Present) and the British sector of the Western Front, 1914-1918 (Paper 1)
Henry VII and his Ministers (Paper 2)
Superpower Relations and the Cold War. 1941-1991 (Paper 2)
Weimar and Nazi Germany: 1918-1939 (Paper 3)
These units give students the opportunity to cover a broad time span of various events. We believe that this ensures students can identify with and enjoy learning about different aspects of History. From Key Stage 3 students develop written and analytical skills, that are then fine-tuned throughout our Key Stage 4 curriculum. History is a popular options subject and we believe this is because we deliver lessons that are active and engaging. Our GCSE culminates in three History exams, taken at the end of Year 11. We believe a History GCSE allows students to hone their written skills and analyse a wide variety of sources and events, which can support their studies in other subjects and prepare them successfully for further education.
Year 12 and 13 – Key Stage 5
We follow the OCR A Level History curriculum that is taught over two full years, culminating in three exams at the end of Year 13. Our A Level is focused on three taught units:
- Russia 1894-1941
-Civil Rights 1865-1992
-The Later Tudors 1547-1603
These units provide a specific and in depth study of each topic, mainly looking at political, social and economic issues that arise and are challenged across different societies in History.
Our fourth unit is an independent coursework unit that allows students to explore a historical topic of their choice with a question to focus students on an area of debate this topic. This is a fantastic opportunity to inspire and engage our students, whilst developing their research and analytical skills.
In the History department we continually strive to encourage enthusiasm and a passion for our subject both in and out of the classroom. In commemoration of the centenary have planned whole school World War One themed days to encourage remembrance and have created a variety of clubs for students to engage with our subject. These clubs include a Personal History Project for Higher Attaining students and a Key Stage 3 club centred around developing a passion for History outside the classroom. The History department often runs trips for various year groups and we have previously visited the Ypres Battlefields in Belgium, where the students are able to engage and understand World War One in more depth. We have also run trips to Berlin, which focus on our Weimar and Nazi Germany unit whilst also encompassing our Cold War unit. Student responses following our trip to Poland, with a trip to Auschwitz are reflective of how much our students truly gain from our history trips:
“This day has taught me to think before I speak to others, that maybe those words could hurt someone who is innocent. Much like the actions and words that hurt the millions of Jewish people in Europe.”
“Teachers have always told me that we learn about the holocaust to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. It hasn’t been until today that I have realised how important this really is. What I have seen today cannot happen again, it almost exterminated a whole group of innocent people because of one person’s ideals”.
Annually, we join with the Business Department to run a trip to New York which gives the students the opportunity to engage with a country’s history that is engrained throughout our curriculum. As a department we feel that these trips really give the students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of different periods in history.
The impact of our History curriculum has expanded in the past two years with the change in the GCSE and A-Level curriculums. We believe our subject is not only academically challenging but an opportunity for students to broaden their historical horizons and develop a deeper understanding of current affairs and societal values. Our linear curriculum provides students with a set of integral skills that are beneficial to a variety of career choices, such as law, business and archaeology. Skills such as being able to analyse material, evaluate and make an informed judgement and make comparisons are all beneficial in these area. We believe that our History department engrains key life skills for students that ensure they are shown the value of understanding different races, religions and other key areas through historical topics and discussions, benefitting them in today’s society. Therefore, we maximise students’ potential to ensure they engage with and develop a passion for our subject.