The stretching History curriculum offered at William Perkin will be one that equips the students with a core of historical knowledge which enables them to place themselves and their communities in wider context. It will also impart a number of central skills which are applicable in History and beyond: analysis, interpretation, enquiry and communication.
History is an exciting subject which students have often studied in miniature at primary school, sometimes through project work on topics like ‘The Tudors’ or ‘The Victorians’. However, in Year 7 students will be challenged to study History as an academic discipline in its own right and it will appeal to all students, irrespective of background or ability.
Students at KS3 will begin their study of History by looking at the core skills a historian needs to be equipped with to be successful in History. They will then commence a study of events dating from 1066 to Victorian Britain, encompassing topics such as the Battle of Hastings, Peasant’s Revolt, the English Civil War and the Transatlantic Slave trade. This is all taught using the key assessment objectives and skills needed to be successful further along in the school.
In the spring of Year 9 students begin their GCSE course. In the months preceding this students are taught GCSE skills in units on the First and Second World War, including a depth study of the Holocaust. The GCSE units taught at KS4 include the Cold War, Elizabethan England, Health and the People and a depth study of Russia in the first half of the twentieth century. A range has been chosen to appeal to all.
The students will do a piece of assessed homework each half term which will be given an effort grade as well as feedback on what could be improved. Each of the assessments will be marked using assessment grades 1—9.
Lesson Prep & Homework
It is expected that to develop as historians, students will do either a short lesson preparation task or a longer piece of homework in readiness for the following lesson. The lesson preparation and homework tasks have been carefully designed to develop students’ independence and enthusiasm for the subject as well as forming an essential part of their curriculum experience. These habits of independent learning will foster a desire to learn about History more widely and this will produce excellent future GCSE or A-level historians.
Lesson preparation and homework tasks vary but they could include:
- Preparing a list of 5 key dates on a topic
- Learning a list of spellings/definitions
- Completing a quiz in advance of the following lesson
- Writing a paragraph justifying a viewpoint
- Preparing for a debate
- Writing a newspaper article on a topic
- Watching a video clip and preparing notes on key questions for the following lesson.
There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with extended learning during the year. The Family History project (photos above) and Battle of Hastings re-enactments, all prepared outside class, allow students to delve deeply into the topics and many choose, for example, to visit museums and castles as part of their research. We are expanding our extra-curricular trips each year, currently Year 9 visit Ypres in Belgium to see the sites of First World War and Year 10 are visiting Berlin. In activities week, the History department offers visits to Warwick Castle, Hampton Court Palace and the Imperial War Museum.
Students will be pointed in the direction of the range of History books as well as the programmes on television that they might want to look out for. There are a number of excellent learning resources provided on the internet for students, the best websites for the students to refer to are: