History Curriculum: Statement of Intent

The History curriculum at Christ the King Catholic High School provides students with a combination of key disciplinary and substantive knowledge to enable learners to be open to the wider world around them and develop students into empathetic young people. History provides students with skills that are desirable both in and out of the workplace. It is highly regarded for such careers as law, journalism, civil service, archaeology and media. A great emphasis is placed on students being able to write about their ideas, develop logical arguments and independently research from a range of evidence. In an age of information overload, the ability to recognise and evaluate bias is a real skill and one which is uniquely developed in the History curriculum at Christ the King Catholic High School.

The curriculum is designed to reflect the diversity of our student body; from exploring belief systems of indigenous peoples to the causes of 21st century conflict and tension, students benefit from a broad and balanced approach to History which encourages understanding of all individuals and cultures. The pursuit of History at Christ the King broadens our students’ understandings of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change over time and its links to modern society, as well as unravelling the diversity within society and the relationships between different groups. History allows students to interlink the challenges of the present with those of the past and in doing so immerse themselves within the culture of the time. In order to encourage students and develop their confidence in History a number of rewards are used which include merits, postcards and termly certificates.

The powerful knowledge imparted through the History curriculum ensures students have the opportunity to become more confident, creative, resilient and critical thinkers. Through the critical evaluation of contemporary sources and historian’s interpretations, students are given powerful knowledge. Students develop the confidence to undertake self-directed learning and pose their own questions and formulate their own opinions, which is a key focus of the curriculum. The ability to evaluate a source’s purpose, limitation or context is a theme which is repeated in both key stages and a major thread throughout the History curriculum. At Key Stage 3 students study History for 3 lessons per week for half of each term, and at Key Stage 4, 3 lessons every week.

Students studying History are equipped with second-order concepts including; change and continuity, cause and consequence, significance, similarity and differences. With these skills students will be able to analyse, explain and understand the past, whilst also developing transferable skills helping them to become well rounded individuals and improve employability. Through the development of the language of the past, students become effective communicators of the present. Students study a wide range of historical periods from medieval to modern day, and study the past from a variety of standpoints to make connections and comparisons over time. Throughout both key stages, spaced recall and retrieval practice increases student’s confidence. At Key Stage 4, students develop a greater depth of knowledge and skill, building on the skills and foundation knowledge of Key Stage 3. This has proved successful over recent years with students in 2018 attaining some of the highest results in Lancashire, with boys’ results at Christ the King being ranked in first place of all Lancashire schools.

Out-of-class activities, most notably homework, is a mixture of recall to provide students with spaced retrieval practice, and project based work which is designed to extend students’ cultural capital through self-driven research of British and wider world History. This enables a deeper understanding of the past and to enable students to understand the process of change.

To further develop knowledge, History at Christ the King offers a range of experiences outside the classroom environment. Past experiences have included a Key Stage 3 visit to see the Crown Jewels and evaluate the personalities and limitations of different British monarchs. A visit to the Western Front in France in October 2019 enabled participating students to experience the trenches of World War I first hand, handle contemporary artefacts and reflect upon the landscape of war. Above all else, the emphasis at Christ the King is empowering students to learn from the mistakes of the past in order to make them reflective citizens of the future.

History students will gain skills highly valued by employers and universities, such as analytical and critical reasoning, oral and written communication and research skills that can lead into a whole range of subjects for further study. History students may go on to study; law, classics, politics, economics, the public sector, business management and finance religious studies, international relations and many more, as well as further study of History at A-level and degree level where students can specialise in more specific historical periods. Passionate Historians may continue to work in an area more directly related to the subject, such as; archaeologist, teacher, research historian, and politics.