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The King's School

The King's School Founded 1545

Achievement for All


Mrs S Osbond
Head of History
The history department at The King’s School aims to offer students the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the world we live in. By understanding the past students are able to create links to the contemporary world. It encourages independent thinking and informed argument.

The Key Stage 3 course covers almost 1000 years of British History from the Norman Conquest to the Present Day. Whilst concentrating on key aspects of national history, the international and local context is also explored.

In history, our students will develop their critical thinking skills, developing key arguments and interpreting evidence. As well as developing their written skills, students will have the opportunity to think creatively and independently through presentations, group work and creative projects, which examine different historical events.

The department is successful in providing an environment where students feel confident in explaining their judgements, working independently, researching key events and historical figures as well as working well in groups. 

The King’s School History Curriculum Intent:

  • To promote an inquisitive mind and love of learning. We intend to make our lessons inclusive for students of all abilities and backgrounds so that all students can achieve. This is through a range of activities to encourage students’ creativity.
  • To teach a clear sequence of events to help students to understand cause and consequence and build on prior knowledge to evaluate different historical events.
  • In history, we teach a narrative to give students a clear understanding of past events and help them build their historical knowledge with the teachers as the experts.
  • To develop respect and resilience by creating a safe learning environment where students are challenged with debates and contentious issues to develop their awareness of different viewpoints and allow them to form opinions and arguments for and against.
  • Through their history lessons, students should understand the world we live in and promote the fundamental British values to develop respectful and tolerant minds. e.g. politics, democracy, culture, society, economy, human rights.
  • To challenge the provenance of different historical sources and evaluate interpretations.
  • To develop student’s literacy skills.
  • We aim to develop these skills through KS3-KS5, with each year building on prior knowledge and skills.
  • History should provide students with these transferable skills to take forward into a variety of careers including: journalism, law, business, archaeology, teaching, marketing.

KS 3

KS3 covers a wide range of history from 1066 to the Present Day.

In Year 7 we study:

  • The Norman Conquest: How did the Normans conquer England? How did William the Conqueror keep control? How important was the medieval church?
  • Medieval England: What was it like to live in Medieval England? Why was Thomas Becket murdered? How did the Black Death affect England? Why did the Peasants’ Revolt?
  • Henry VIII and the break with Rome: What was Henry VIII like? Why did Henry break from Rome? What were the consequences of the Break with Rome?
  • Elizabeth I: What was Elizabeth like as queen? What problems did Elizabeth face and how did she deal with them?

Year 7 Curriculum Map

In Year 8 we study:

  • Challenges to Royal Power: Why did the Gunpowder plot happen? What was the English Civil War and how did affect England? What was life like under Oliver Cromwell? Why were people scared of witches?
  • The growth of industrial power: Why did the population grow after 1750? Why did Britain become industrial? What was life like in Industrial England? How did crime change in the Industrial revolution?
  • The Slave Trade and the British Empire: How did Britain gain an empire? What did Britain gain from her Empire? Why did Slavery develop? What were the key features of the Slave Trade? How did people campaign to abolish slavery?

Year 8 Curriculum Map

In Year 9 we study:

  • World War 1: Why did WW1 break out? What was it like to live in the trenches? Why is the Battle of the Somme so famous?
  • World War 2 and the rise of dictators: Why did World War 2 break out? What were the key battles? How did Hitler rise to power? What was it like to live in Nazi Germany?
  • The Cold War: What was the Cold War? Why did nuclear weapons develop after WWII? What was the Berlin Crisis? What was the Cuban Missile Crisis? Did man really land on the moon?
  • The Post War world: How did Black Americans campaign for equal rights in the US? Which decade was the best to grow up in?

Year 9 Curriculum Map

KS 4

GCSE History is designed to help you achieve a broad understanding of History. It will develop and extend your knowledge and understanding of key events, periods and societies in local, British and wider world history. It will allow you to develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, interpreting information and considering a range of viewpoints to reach a sustained judgement.

What content is covered? [Exam Board: Edexcel]

The content consists of three papers:

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment: Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000-present and Whitechapel c1870-c1900: crime, policing and the inner city

This unit will allow students to explore how crime and punishment has changed through time.

It includes people, events and developments and reveal wider changes in society over the centuries and allow comparisons to be made between different periods of history for example; The Norman conquests, witchcraft, the English Civil War, the development of industrial cities and the police force.

The historic environment focused on Whitechapel during the time of Jack the Ripper

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study:  Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91 and Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509-40

In this paper, students will explore the ideological battle between the USA (The West) and the USSR (The East) that followed the end of the Second World War including key events such as the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The British depth study explores Tudor society and government; key characters in Henry’s government (such as Wolsey and Cromwell) and key events such as the break with Rome and Reformation.

Paper 3: Modern Depth study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39

The modern depth study explores the new Germany created at the end of World War One, the problems with the Weimar Germany, the coming to power of Hitler and the Nazis and life in Nazi Germany for different groups including; Jews, young people and women.

How will I be assessed?

The course is 100% exam based

  • Paper 1: 30% of the qualification          1hr 15 minutes
  • Paper 2: 40% of the qualification          1hr 45 minutes
  • Paper 3: 30% of the qualification          1hr 20 minutes

Year 10 Curriculum Map

Year 11 Curriculum Map

KS 5

History is a highly respected academic subject. It offers students the chance to study controversial personalities as well as the opportunity to look at recent and current global issues. It encourages independent and creative thinking as well as developing the skill of working with historical evidence.

What can this course lead to?

History is an excellent foundation to a range of degree courses and sits well with subjects such as English, RE, Politics and Law. It is useful for students considering careers such as Journalism, Law or Teaching.

Unit 1: The Making of a Superpower USA 1865 – 1975

This topic examines the development of America as a superpower into the twentieth century. It includes how the government developed and changed in this period as well as the extent of America’s influence on the world and the role of key individuals.

Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes (40% of grade)

Unit 2: Wars and Welfare - Britain in Transition 1906-1957

This topic examines the development of Britain including the impact of the World Wars on politics, the economy and society as well as the development of the Welfare state post WW2.

Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes (40% of grade)

Historical Investigation: The Tudor State

3000-3500 word investigation (20% of grade)