St Ursula’s School

History Curriculum Intent

History is a window to the world.  The History curriculum at St Ursula’s is designed by subject experts to provide a comprehensive and rigorous intellectual journey building students’ cultural capital and their curiosity about the world.  It builds an awareness of the world beyond the students’ frame of reference, providing an understanding new viewpoints and cultural contexts.  We believe that an examination of other cultures and timeframes helps children to fully understand our own country’s history and the present by setting it in context.

Through the topics studied students will be given key opportunities to build their understanding and skills.  These include:

  • Understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use these to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understanding the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discerning how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • To formulate historical perspectives by placing their knowledge into different contexts in order to understand the connections between local, regional, national and international history.

Our aim is to encourage student interest in History by teaching a wide ranging curriculum with many opportunities for students to both develop and express opinions.   The curriculum provides students of differing ability, need and talent access to an appropriately broad and rich body of knowledge and skills.  Our History curriculum is designed to be appropriately ambitious for all our students, from the highest attaining to those who require special consideration, whether that be SEND or a disadvantaged context.

As subject experts we recognise the contribution that History makes to developing students’ literacy.  We promote disciplinary literacy so that students can read and speak as a History expert would.  Schemes of learning set out tier 3 subject vocabulary which is developed through students’ reading of academic text.

Key Stage 4

In KS4 students deepen their knowledge and hone their historical skills. We encourage our students to become active Historians with the skills needed to take the subject at “A” level and beyond.  At GCSE students develop their independence and ownership of their learning to build upon the knowledge, skills and expertise acquired at KS3. They focus on 20th century threats to democracy including the failure of the League of Nations and the rise of dictatorship in Europe, with an in-depth analysis of Germany between 1890-1945.  They also discover the roots and development of Political reform over time in the UK and take a Medieval case study on the Normans invasion and subjugation of England between 1066-1100.

Links to curriculum maps:

Year 10

Year 11

Field Trips and Enrichment

The department reinforces learning through day and residential trips.  As a department, we believe that history is a hands on subject; we love teaching in class but we help our students make progress by offering a variety of activities that makes them get out and really engage with the past.  Being based in London we have a rich variety of experiences available to us.  At Key Stage 3 we use a range of museums to support learning for example The Army Museum and The Imperial War Museum.  We also take students further afield, to Dover Castle.  In addition to the trips we run a weekly History club and a number of competitions throughout the academic year.  Our aim is to produce independent, inquisitive historians who go on to develop a lifelong love of the subject.

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public

AQA GCSE History