HISTORY: STATEMENT OF INTENT
History allows us to understand our past, which in turn allows us to understand our present. If we want to know how and why our world is the way it is today, we have to look to history for answers. People often quote George Santanya “Those that do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it” but if we study the successes and failures of the past, we may be able to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future. Studying history can provide us with insight into our cultures of origin as well as cultures with which we might be less familiar, thereby increasing cross-cultural awareness and building a more inclusive society.
History enables students to make tangible and effective connections across a range of other subjects. History encourages an appreciation of how the world works and of the interconnections between scale, community, cultural diversity, interdependence and sustainability.
The History National Curriculum states that History matters as ‘A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.’ As a History team we strongly believe that is our duty to the young people we teach to provide them with the opportunities to develop this knowledge and these skills. The history curriculum at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 has been planned with both the National Curriculum, GCSE, A level and Degree specifications and skills in mind. We feel it is important that our students achieve academically in order to widen their life choices and improve their life opportunities. More importantly the curriculum is also designed to engage and inspire our young people - we wish to give our students an overview of the world and society they live and how this has evolved over time. This is our number one priority.
Opportunities are given throughout Key Stage 3 to provide the cultural capital and background context for students to be successful Key Stage 4. This is particularly beneficial to students who have limited cultural opportunities to some of their more advantaged peers.
With this in mind, Key Stage 3 lessons offer students a broad and balanced curriculum that spans a thousand years of British, European and World history that inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The curriculum is designed to equip students with knowledge to 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. Topics are taught in a chronological order but rather than as a ‘pub quiz of kings and queens’, topics are carefully selected to provide a frame work in which students can study the development of themes, ideas and society.
Furthermore, the topics included on the Key Stage 3 curriculum are intended to link together each year, e.g WW1, WW2 and the Holocaust. Each topic has planned and structured lessons integrated so that students have a better understanding of impact. It is important in history that we do not see events and time periods as stand-alone, and the design and choice of topics at Key Stage 3 enables our students to understand the impact of events and further develop the second order historical skills such as cause and consequence.
Homework is set to engage and enhance the learning in the classroom at all levels.