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What will students be studying in History this year?

In Year 7 students will begin to develop the skills they will use throughout Key Stage 3 – skills in handling evidence, interpretation and causation.  Students will also be introduced to chronology in history as well as developing their skills in debating and writing arguments.  The Year 7 history course starts with a study of ‘Worldviews’ through a study of the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Baghdad and Medieval Mali.  Incorporated into these studies are a focus on historical skills such as evaluating evidence, looking at historical interpretations and developing extended writing skills needed throughout KS3,4 and 5.

In the late autumn term, the content of the course follows the development of Norman Britain from 1066 and students study key events of the medieval period such as the murder of Thomas Beckett, the Magna Carta, the impact of the Black Death and the Peasants' Revolt. 

In the Spring Term, students focus on the role of religion and the Church in the Middle Ages which is necessary to understand the European Reformation and Henry VIII’s ‘break with Rome’.  Students in Year 7 have two History lessons a week which allows us to build a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding. 

Students in Year 8 will begin by looking at Elizabethan England before moving on to the Stuart age, the Gunpowder Plot, the English Civil War, the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution. Students' understanding of this period will be focused on power, privilege and politics so in summer term, the focus will be on the everyday lives of people who built Victorian Britain and contributed to the ‘Age of Empire’. Students will gain a greater insight into the living and working conditions of mill and factory workers during the Industrial Revolution which will give them a different perspective from their studies thus far.

In Year 9 students should be proficient in the skills they have developed since Year 7 – skills in handling evidence, interpretation and causation.  Students in Year 9 will follow a course of modern world history, beginning with the Age of Empire and ending with a study of how society changed after the Second World War.  Students will study the causes of World War One and an in-depth look into what it was like to fight on the Western Front.  Students will look at the interpretations of Field Marshall Haig and whether he deserves his nickname ‘the Butcher of the Somme’.  Students will look at the rise of dictators after WW1, life in Nazi Germany and The Holocaust.

What are the major assessments this year?           

Students will complete a variety of assessments in each term.  Some will be knowledge based using Seneca and some will test the development of historical skill such as evaluating sources and assessing interpretations. Assessments are reviewed yearly and are subject to change with most taking place during lesson time; we have found this to be beneficial for students in terms of teacher support.   

What will the current performance grade be based on and what do the levels mean?

Current performance is based on the assessed work a student completes throughout the year and the end of year examination. Her oral contributions in class will also inform staff about her level of engagement with the subject. 

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

She should talk to her teacher first as it could be a simple matter of misunderstanding a task or a topic. She should try and be specific about what she finds particularly challenging, and the support offered may differ depending on the nature of the challenge. She may be paired with a 6th form subject student leader in History who can offer longer term support or with a student in the year above who will have recent experience of the course.

How can I support my daughter?

The best way to support your daughter is by talking to her about what she is studying in History and about how she is getting on. Students should be encouraged to complete homework in a quiet area of the home without the distractions of siblings, television or mobile phones/iPad.  

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

Students who regularly review their class notes are more likely to consolidate their historical knowledge and gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the past.  All the PowerPoints used in class will be available on Teams for students to access outside school.

What is the departmental homework policy?

Students may be asked to complete unfinished classwork at home; all the lessons are available for students on SharePoint.  All assessed work is completed in lessons so homework will be revision and preparation.  

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or the Head of History, Mrs Smith, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress in History.

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