History students at Cockburn John Charles Academy will develop their knowledge and interest in History through studying both British, European and Worldwide history. Students will also develop skills such as the ability to analyse and evaluate events, people, causes, consequences, change and continuity along with developing their written communication and ability to evaluate different types of historical evidence and sources. History is studied using a range of source materials; written sources, visual documents and artefacts to help all students to access the topics and allows students to engage with course content on an individual basis. There will also be educational visits to allow students the chance to experience History first hand.

The national curriculum for History aims to ensure that all students:

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Key Stage 3
Students will be assessed on their ability to complete a variety of skills based questions founded in their contextual knowledge based on the following topics in year 7 and year 8.

Year 7

What will my child learn about in History this year?

Historical Skills
Students will study skills and concepts that historians need to be successful at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 (GCSE). This will be accessed through studying ‘the Tollund Man’. This introduces students to using historical evidence effectively to reach a hypothesis. Students will also study chronology and evidence.

The Middle Ages 1066-1485
Students will study the key events of the medieval period and look at how Britain was conquered and changed from 1066 onwards along with looking at the everyday lives of people in this period. They will study the role of religion in everyday life along with events such as the Battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings, the murder of Thomas Becket, the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. Students will also look at how people lived, their diets, homes, hobbies, medicines, jobs, education and how criminals were dealt with.

The Tudors 1485-1603
Students will focus on the different Tudor Monarchs from the first Tudor King Henry VII to Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch. They will study their reign and problems they faced along with changes they made to England’s religion and the consequences of this. They will study famous events such as Henry VIII marriages, the Spanish Armada and the threat to Elizabeth from Mary Queen of Scots. Alongside this, students will also study the everyday lives of people living in Tudor England by looking at the role of religion, their homes, social status, education, entertainment and crimes.

The Stuarts 1603-1714

The study of the monarchy in England will continue during this topic where students will look at the reigns of James I, Charles I, Charles II and James II. They will also study the key events during the Stuart Period such as the Gunpowder Plot, the Civil War, the Great Plague, the Fire of London and the Glorious Revolution. There will also be the chance to study the belief in witchcraft during this era alongside the role of Oliver Cromwell both within England and Ireland and the Reformation.

Year 8

What will my child learn about in History this year?

The Industrial Revolution 1750-1900
Students will focus on the importance of the growing British population. They will assess various factors that changed the country that we live in between 1750 and 1900. For example, politics, culture and changing job roles. Students will discover how the move from agriculture to cities changed the lives of millions and will consider the positive and negative consequences of this. They will study the role of children working in industry along with the living conditions in cities like Leeds and Sheffield. There will also be the opportunity to look at the infamous case of Jack the Ripper with students investigating his murders and who he could have been.

The British Empire and Slavery 1750-1865

Student will begin year 8 by looking at the origins of the British Empire. They will examine the reasons for having an Empire, the various countries Britain controlled and their subsequent treatment along with a study of Ireland and the Potato Famine. Students will then look at the development of the Slave Trade from its origins in the 1500s through to the reasons for it, Britain’s role in it and its end in the USA and Britain by 1865. Students will study the treatment of slaves once captured, the Middle Passage, the sale of slaves, their lives on the plantations, slave rebellions and their eventual emancipation.


From Slavery to Civil Rights 1865-1968

Students will continue to build on their study of African American people by looking at the USA from 1865-1968 where they will study the life for African American people once the Slave Trade was abolished. They will look at the impact of the Jim Crow Laws, the role of African Americans in both WW1 and WW2 along with the fight for equality in the USA. They will study the role played by influential figures such as Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King along with the issues of segregation within education, entertainment, restaurants and transport. They will also examine the impact of the murder of Emmet Till, the Civil Rights Act and also the events in Selma to show how much equality had been achieved by 1968.

Britain in the 20th Century including a study of World War One 1914-18
Students will begin this topic by looking at the fight for women’s rights and the vote through the work of the Suffragettes and the Suffragists. They will examine their campaigns for equal suffrage along with the role of Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison and assess their success. Students will study the sinking of the Titanic by looking at the journey of the ship along with the passengers and their different lives and the reasons why it sunk. Students will also look at what the story of Titanic shows about the class system, immigration and the role of women in the 1900s. Following this, students will then commence their work based on WW1. They will look at the causes of the Great War along with the reasons for joining up, battles, weapons, the trenches, Britain at home during the War, poetry and representations of war, the conshies and also the reasons for the allied victory and the idea of remembrance.

Germany 1918-1939

Students will look at Germany after her defeat in WW1 with the creation of the Weimar Republic and the problems it faced form the Treaty of Versailles to hyperinflation. Students will then look at the collapse of the Republic and then the rise of the Nazi Party including Hitler’s appointment as chancellor of Germany. Students will investigate life within Germany under the Nazis looking at how they controlled German people along with the treatment of women, children and minorities such as the Jewish people.

World War Two 1939-1945
Students will study the causes of World War Two, the evacuation from Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and life in Britain during World War Two. They will examine the evacuation of children and the idea of rationing as well as the eventual victory.

The Holocaust
Students will study the origins of Anti-Semitism, why the Nazis hated the Jews and how they slowly increased their persecution of the Jews ending in the horror of “the Final Solution” in Death camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka.

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in History?
Students will follow Edexcel GCSE History Specification. They will study 4 topics and have 3 final examinations. The GCSE begins in year 9 and students will be examined in June of year 11.

Year 9: Medicine and Treatment from 1250-Present including a study of the British sector of the trenches in WW1

Students will study 4 topics: Medieval Medicine (1250-1500), Renaissance Medicine (1500-1700), Industrial Medicine (1700-1900) and also Modern medicine (1900-Present), within these, they will study:

  • The causes, treatment and prevention of disease
  • The role of key doctors and scientists
  • The role of factors that have helped and hindered medical discoveries
  • The extent to which medicine has changed and /or continued

They will also then study the medical treatment for soldiers during WW1 focussing on the British Sector on the Western Front. Students will study:

  • The different battles and how they affected the treatment of the wounded
  • The trench system and how it affected the wounded
  • The different weapons affecting soldiers’ injuries
  • The evacuation and transport of the wounded
  • The role of new inventions to treat wounded soldiers such as plastic surgery

Year 10: Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588.
This module focuses on:

  • The Religious settlement and early problems for Elizabeth.
  • Threats to her reign from both Catholics and Puritans along with revolts and the 3 plots against her including the issue and conflict with Spain in the Netherlands resulting in the Armada
  • Expanding exploration and the role of Francis Drake, the voyages to the New World and then Virginia along with how this affected relations with Spain
  • Education, entertainment and poverty in Elizabethan England

Year 10: The American West 1835-1890.
This module focuses upon:

  • The lives of the Plains Indians- their religious beliefs, homes, use of the buffalo, ideas about warfare and medicine, the role of horses and their attitude to land.
  • The movement West to California and Oregon in the 1840s and the impact this had on the Plains Indians- the reasons for migration, the preparations and journey undertaken by settlers such as the Donners and the Mormons, the Gold Rush of 1848, the problems of law and order and the changes in government policy towards the Plains Indians resulting in the First Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.
  • The movement on to the Great Plains in the 1860s-80s- the homesteaders and their problems and solutions, the development of the cattle industry, the life of a cowboy, the problems for worsening law and order, Government laws, the end of the US Civil war and the building of the railroad along with the conflict between ranchers and homesteaders and the Johnson County War.
  • The destruction of the Plains Indians and their traditional way of life- the US government’s policies, the idea of reservations, the extermination of the buffalo, the increased settlement on the Plains due to the Exodusters and the Oklahoma Land Rush, the Indian Wars (Little Crow, Sand Creek Massacre, Red Cloud, battle of the Little Bighorn) and then the final events with the Ghost Dance and the massacre at Wounded Knee along with the ending of the Plains Indians’ way of life and closing of the Frontier by 1895.

Year 11: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39
This module focuses upon:

  • The Weimar Republic 1918-29 including its creation and problems it faced following the loss of WW1 and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Hyperinflation, the occupation of the Ruhr and the Spartacist Uprising, the Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch will also be studied along with the role of Gustav Stresemann in improving Germany from 1923-29.
  • Hitler’s rise to power 1919-33 including the creation of the DAP, the role of Hitler and the SA, the Munich Putsch and its failure along with the Lean Years and then the reorganisation of the NSDAP, the impact of the Wall Street Crash and Hitler becoming chancellor by 1933.
  • Nazi control and dictatorship 1933-39 including how Hitler established a dictatorship, the role of the police state, the Church and how he dealt with opposition along with the role of propaganda and control over culture.
  • Life in Nazi Germany 1933-39 including the treatment of the young, women and education along with policies towards the workers and then also the treatment of minorities such as the Jews, disabled people and gypsies.

Students will practise
How to answer each type of exam question for each of the three exam papers to be sat at the end of year 11. These will skills will include;

  • Source evaluation – its usefulness and limitations to an Historian investigating the time period.
  • Cause and consequence of key events.
  • Explanation and analysis of key events.
  • Evaluation and explanation of the importance of key events.
  • Evaluate interpretations [different views] of events.


How can I support my child’s learning at home?

  • Encouraging your child to read widely and regularly around each topic is one of the best ways that you can support your child’s learning at home.
  • Checking spelling, punctuation and grammar of each piece of homework to be submitted before the deadline.
  • Discussing/suggesting ideas and assisting with the creation of projects. Where possible buying/bringing home resources to make the projects.
  • Where possible visits to local museums and historical sites is an excellent way to make History relevant and interactive.
  • Furthermore watching and discussing documentaries and films based around each topic make each topic engaging.
  • Help your child with revision by testing them and helping them organise their time. Help them create a timetable to manage their different subjects. Also, help them create resources such flash cards, mind maps, revision notes.

How will my child be assessed in History? (KS3)
Students will be given regular feedback in their books and complete a formal assessment based on GCSE style questions throughout units of work. Throughout each topic students will also practise assessment style questions and self/peer assess these for improvement.

What type of homework will be set? (KS3)
Students will be set a variety of tasks, ranging from individual homework tasks. Students are encouraged to use their creativity combined with serious historical research to produce enjoyable yet informative tasks that extend learning beyond the classroom. Students must complete homework by the deadlines set; staff will support all students with this as homework clubs run weekly and staff are more than happy to assist when students ask for extra help.

How will my child be assessed in History? (KS4)
Students will be given regular feedback in their books and on their assessments. All years will also have mock papers.  Lessons have assessment tasks integrated, this allows students to regularly engage with the demands of the course. Questions can be self/peer assessed within class, this allows the students to get instant feedback for improvement. There will also be regular essay/exam style questions set for homework which will be marked by the teacher.

All students will have to sit 3 exam papers at the end of year 11. Each paper will focus upon one (or two) modules and will test different historical skills. This is Edexcel Specification. There is no coursework option.

  • Paper 1: Medicine and Treatment from 1250-Present: 30%
  • Paper 2: The American West and Early Elizabethan England: 40%
  • Paper 3: Germany 1918-1939: 30%

Further details of this course can be found at: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/history-2016.html

What can my child move onto with History?
Achieving a pass (currently level 5) or better enables students of History to go on to further education courses at “A” and Degree level at college and university. Employers are particularly keen on students who study GCSE History as they value the qualification for its analytical and communication skills. History is viewed as a highly valuable academic subject with strong transferrable skills into careers such as the Armed Forces, the police, education, accountancy, medicine, law and business.