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Key Stage 3 Curriculum

This programme of study has been established to provide explicit History lessons in the Key Stage 3 Curriculum to the end of year 9.  This is to support the GCSE and A-level history programme the school offers within the curriculum.  This programme of study is also in line with the history curriculum which has changed ready for the 2015/6 period.  This Key Stage 3 course will support student development by improving valuable skills applicable within history such as, chronological understanding, empathy skills, developmental enquiry and moral and cultural understanding.  This programme of study has been written with the intention of 2 lessons per week for years 7-8 and 4 lessons for students who opt to take History in year 9.


Key Stage 3 will build on the study of the chronological history of Britain from Key Stage 2, teaching of the periods specified in the programme should ensure that pupils understand and use historical concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts.  They should develop an awareness and understanding of the role and use of different types of sources, as well as their strengths, weaknesses and reliability. They should also examine cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social aspects and be given the opportunity to study local history. The teaching of the content should be approached as a combination of overview and in-depth studies.


Useful site :


History GCSE from 2016

Exam Board:  OCR 100% Exams (3 exams taken)

Thematic Study – The People’s Health, c.1250 to present - (worth 20% of GCSE)

This study requires learners to understand change and continuity across a long period of time.  This option begins in the Middle Ages and continues to the current day.  The main emphasis of this topic is towards public health through time.  This option is focused on factors of influence throughout the period: belief, attitude and values; wealth and poverty; urbanisation; government; technology.  The course covers enquiry based questions which looks at: how we lived; epidemics through time; how these were dealt with; and how medical knowledge has developed through time.  This will be full of disturbing stories of death so prepare yourself for gore, blood and of course stories of human waste. 

Exam focus: 

knowledge and understanding; explaining and analysing events and periods.


British Depth Study – The Norman Conquest, 1065-1087 - (worth 20% of GCSE)

This unit focuses on a short period of British history and looks at the changes made in this period.  The unit look at the severe pressures faced by the country due to the possibility of invasion and attack.  It also looks at how things changed and within the Norman Conquest it was a lot.  Students will look at the Battle of Hastings, 1066; Feudal System; use of castles to maintain power; The Domesday Book and other factors that helped keep William and the Normans in power.  The unit also demands students analyse sources relating to the period.

Focus of assessment – knowledge and understanding; understanding interpretations.


History Around Us – Local Study either Rochester Castle or Dover Castle - (worth 20% of GCSE)

Local history is of vital importance for the identity of individuals and allows them to understand how the past has impacted something close to them.  Kent has a very long and prestigious history within England and many of the leaders have used Kent as a base as it is the Key to the Kingdom of England with Dover being so close to France.  This unit demands students to assess the developments made at the site through time and analyse why these developments were needed.  Both Rochester and Dover Castle have been important through time from the Magna Carta at Rochester to Dover Castle being the main protecting point to England throughout the ages.

Focus of assessment – knowledge and understanding; using sources

Period Study – The Making of America, 1789-1900 - (worth 20% of GCSE)

This unit requires students to review how a country has changed over a period of time.  Students will first see how this new independent country changed in the early years.  How did the people live?  What were the key decisions made?  How did the USA expand?  How did the Civil War change the USA?  Students will develop knowledge of the early years of one of the most powerful countries in the world today and see not everything was plain sailing for this country.

Focus of assessment – knowledge and understanding; explaining and analysing events and periods


World Depth Study – Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945 - (worth 20% of GCSE)

This world study focuses on the historical situation in Germany.  The change in society and cultures is analysed through essay based questions and source analysis.  Nazi Germany made changes that impacted many around the world from the people they ruled to the millions they murdered in war and the holocaust.  Students will review: Hitler’s dictatorship; Nazi control and opposition; Germany in War and other areas.

Focus of assessment – knowledge and understanding; using sources; understanding interpretations.


Useful sites :

Link 1 - BBC GCSE Bitesize History 

Link 2 - OCR History 


Key Stage 5 Curriculum

We currently have year 13 studying History at A level. This programme is one they have been following for the last two years.

The exam board is AQA. The History A level is split into three components. There is the Making of Modern Britain and the Age of Crusades which are both exams. The final component is the Historical Enquiry.

The Making of Modern Britain

The Affluent Society, 1951–1964

  • Conservative governments and reasons for political dominance
  • Economic developments,
  • Social developments: rising living standards; the impact of affluence and consumerism; changing social attitudes and tensions; class and 'the Establishment'; the position of women; attitudes to immigration; racial violence; the emergence of the 'teenager' and youth culture
  • Foreign relations

The Sixties, 1964–1970

  • Wilson and the Labour governments
  • Liberal reforming legislation
  • Social and cultural change: the expansion of the mass media
  • Relations with and policies towards USA, particularly issue of Vietnam; response to world affairs and relations with Europe; decolonisation including 'withdrawal East of Suez' and Rhodesia.

The end of Post-War Consensus, 1970–1979

  • Heath’s government
  • Labour governments of Wilson and Callaghan
  • Society in the 1970s: progress of feminism
  • Britain's entry into and relations with Europe

The impact of Thatcherism, 1979–1987

  • The Thatcher governments
  • Thatcher's economic policies and their impact
  • Impact of Thatcherism on society
  • Foreign Affairs: the Falklands
  • Thatcher as an international figure

Towards a new Consensus, 1987–1997

  • Fall of Thatcher and her legacy
  • Realignment of the Labour Party under Kinnock, Smith and Blair, Social issues
  • Foreign affairs

The Era of New Labour, 1997–2007

  • The Labour governments
  • The Conservative Party

The Age of Crusades

The origins of conflict and the First Crusade, c1071–c1099

  • Christianity in western Europe c1071; the role of the Church in the late 11th century; the rising influence of the Papacy
  • Islam c1071: Muslim expansion and the rise of the Seljuk Turks
  • The Byzantine Empire c1071: the internal problems of the Byzantine Empire; the impact of defeat in the Battle of Manzikert
  • Urban II: the reasons for the calling of the First Crusade; responding to the call for help from the Byzantine Empire; the political and religious motives of the Papacy
  • The motives of the crusaders; Raymond of Toulouse and the Frankish knights; popular movements
  • The course and impact of the First Crusade and its impact on the Muslim Near East, the Byzantine Empire and the Latin West by 1099

The foundation of new states and the Second Crusade, c1099–1149

  • Establishing the states of Outremer: Kings Baldwin I, II and Queen Melisende; expansion and conquest; trade and pilgrimage
  • The foundation of the military orders: Templars and Hospitallers; their military, religious and economic roles
  • Relations of the Crusader states with the Byzantine Empire, the Latin West, the Muslim Near East and indigenous peoples
  • The Islamic response to the Crusader states: Islamic politics and the rise of ideas of jihad under Zengi
  • The preaching of the Second Crusade; its course and outcome
  • The impact of the Second Crusade on the Muslim Near East, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin West and Outremer by 1149

The Muslim Counter-Crusade and Crusader states, 1149–1187 (A-level only)

  • The context of Islamic power in the Near East from 1149; the rise of Nureddin in Syria and Egypt and the growth of jihad
  • Outremer from 1149: political developments, military strengths and weaknesses
  • Relations between Outremer and wider Christendom, the Latin West and the Byzantine Empire
  • Internal divisions within Outremer, including the reign of Baldwin IV and his successors
  • The rise of Saladin: religion, politics and military expansion; victory at Hattin
  • The crisis of Outremer: the consequences of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem

The Third and Fourth Crusades, 1187–1204 (A-level only)

  • Preaching and preparing for the Third Crusade: motives of Pope GregoryVIII; Henry II and Richard I of England; Philip II of France; Frederick Barbarossa
  • The course of the Third Crusade: leadership and internal rivalries of the Crusaders; the reasons for the military outcome
  • The impact of the Third Crusade; Saladin’s power and prestige in the Muslim Near East
  • The origins of the Fourth Crusade; the papacy of Innocent III; the weakness of the Byzantine Empire; the role of Venice
  • The course of the Fourth Crusade: military preparations; the diversion to Zara; the failure to make any impact on Muslim power
  • The legacy of the Crusades by 1204: the Muslim Near East, the Byzantine Empire and the Latin West
  • Bottom of Form

The Historical Investigation must:

  • be independently researched and written by the student
  • be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing of between 3000 and 3500 words in length
  • draw upon the student's investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this
  • place the issue to be investigated within a context of approximately 100 years
  • be an issue which does not duplicate the content of Components 1 and 2.