Throughout the History department we teach 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 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 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. It is through this that we aim to inspire and encourage students to reach their full potential.
We have a three year KS3 (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 and developments throughout the ages, beginning with the Medieval Period and moving onwards with the Tudors and the Stuarts. Throughout these units we introduce topics and exam skills that are key to becoming a successful historian, ensuring that student’s feel supported but also challenged.
In Year 8 we focus on World History, beginning with Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement and continuing on to World War One and 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 give our students a taste of the GCSE curriculum with our study of: “Weimar and Nazi Germany: 1918-1939,” Students are able to experience the demands of a GCSE course and this ensures our students are fully informed when making their GCSE choices. We finish our KS3 curriculum with an in depth study of the Holocaust. Where possible, this culminates in a survivor visit, enhancing the students understanding and allowing them to listen to a first-hand testimony.
In KS3, assessments are carried out regularly in the form of GCSE style questions, ensuring that students are fully prepared with the necessary skills by the time they reach KS4. We have a specific focus on analytical skills, using source and inference questions.
Year 10 and 11 – KS4
At Beauchamps High School we offer the Edexcel GCSE History (9-1) course, studying the following 4 units:
Weimar and Nazi Germany: 1918-1939 (Paper 3)
Henry VII and his Ministers (Paper 2)
Medicine in Britain (c.1250-Present) and the British sector of the Western Front, 1914-1918 (Paper 1)
Superpower Relations and the Cold War. 1941-1991 (Paper 2)
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 KS3 students develop written and analytical skills, these are then fine-tuned throughout our KS4 curriculum. We have 5 GCSE classes in our current Year 11 cohort and deliver lessons that are active and engaging. Our GCSE culminates in 3 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 – KS5
We follow the OCR A Level History curriculum which is taught over two full years, culminating in 3 exams at the end of Year 13. Our A Level is focused on 3 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. We currently have three A Level classes across both year groups.
In the History department we continually strive to encourage enthusiasm and a passion for our subject both in and out of the classroom. In the past we 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. 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 focuses on out Weimar and Nazi Germany unit whilst also encompassing our Cold War unit. Student responses towards our trip to Poland, with a focus on 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. 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 find an inspiring outcome and a passion for our subject.