'The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.'
History is the study of people and the world around us; human beings may have been born in different contexts and different eras, but they had the same hopes, dreams and fears as we do today. In our complex 21st century world, recognising the continuity with our past can help us to understand ourselves now and look towards our future. Conversely an understanding of the differences that exist between people and a willingness to see things from diverse perspectives means that the study of history contributes to the development of informed, tolerant and respectful young adults.
History develops critical thinking skills and encourages students to form and defend their own viewpoints, broadening their horizons in doing so. Not only are such skills and attributes sought by top universities and employers, they are also crucial for success in the world around us – for sifting information to distinguish between opinion and fact, allowing us to identify ‘fake news’ when we see it. We want our lessons to inspire students to become lifelong learners as well as equipping them with the skills to be successful in a wide range of careers, such as law, journalism and media – in fact, for anything that requires analytical and flexible thinkers.
To support an understanding of the continuity of human history we encourage students at the King’s School to look at the events of the past through 4 key themes which weave throughout the history curriculum. When considering Power and Control students will consider how and why rulers through time have exercised their power in the ways they did and how different groups from the Barons at Runnymeade to the Suffragettes in the early 20th Century have challenged this. War and Conflict will allow students to investigate the changing nature of warfare from the shield wall at the Battle of Hastings to Operation Rolling Thunder during the Vietnam War as well as considering the impact that these changes would have had on those involved. Life, Work and Religion will allow students to witness first hand the changing way of life and beliefs of people just like them. It will encourage them to drew comparisons between their own lives and those who lived here before them. Health and Medicine will allow students to trace the improvement in medical knowledge and understanding over the last 1000 years and individuals like Louis Pasteur and Mary Seacole that have been instrumental in enabling us to lead such long and happy lives today.
As students learn more about the worlds that existed in the past, they will regularly revisit the very important points (VIPs) from the topics to draw comparisons with previous time periods. In doing so students will be constantly revising and consolidating key knowledge and developing their ability to apply this knowledge.
History is rich in knowledge and the ability to utilise this effectively is at the heart of being a great historian. To support this knowledge development, students will have fortnightly knowledge tests and termly Key Piece assessments, in addition to two key exams per year. These will seek to develop two things; Firstly, the students’ ability to form and explain their opinions and secondly their selection and use of appropriate evidence to support their judgements. As the students progress throughout the curriculum they will also develop an understanding of key second order concepts such as, chronology, change and continuity, cause and consequence and source and interpretation analysis. They will also learn to assess the significance of events throughout the course of history.
Each department has carefully developed curriculum plans in line with our curriculum intent. The curriculum overview for each year group in this subject can be found below.