Extra-Curricular Activities

  • First World War battlefields trip in Year 8
  • GCSE based trips

Key Stage 3

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 3?

At Key Stage 3 we aim to spark students’ interest in history; to create enthusiastic, inquisitive historians. We firmly believe that the study of history is not just about learning about the past, it is learning from the past. To truly understand the complex world these young people are growing up in, it is essential to understand history, and to learn about the people and events in the past that have shaped our world.

In year 7 we begin with a short skills unit to equip students with an understanding of some of the key concepts in history; continuity, change, significance, cause, consequence, similarity and difference as well as source handling skills and understanding interpretations of the past. These core concepts and skills thread throughout our Key Stage 3 curriculum and are revisited in every unit during years 7 and 8, underpinning the knowledge.

Year 7
In Year 7 we start with the Battle of Hastings and cover life in Medieval England, including the story of Henry II and Thomas Becket, King John and the Magna Carta, The Black Death and the Peasants Revolt. We move on to the Tudor and Stuart period, covering the Break with Rome and the Reformation, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I and life in Elizabethan England, the Gunpowder Plot, The English Civil War and the Great Plague. We complete year 7 with a study of the Industrial Revolution, including the growth of factories, life in industrial towns and cities and the growth of democracy.

Year 8
In year 8 we begin with a study of Black People’s of the Americas. We study the Slave Trade and the consequent Abolition of Slavery before moving on to life in America for Black people after emancipation and the Civil Right movement. We then study Conflict in the Twentieth Century, learning about both World Wars and the key events and experiences of those wars that shaped our world; such as the Battle of the Somme, life in the trenches, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the dropping of the atom bomb. At the end of year 8 we tackle the Holocaust and between studying World War I and II we also do a short unit on the campaign for women’s votes.

Why is it delivered in this way?

Key Stage 3 history is taught chronologically as it supports a greater understanding of the key concepts mentioned above. For example, it is difficult for students to fully comprehend the causes of the English Civil War if they have not first studied the Break with Rome, or have knowledge of the longer term power struggle between church and crown that occurred throughout the Medieval period. Similarly it is hard for students to recognise the significance of events if they do not fully comprehend the consequences and to teach in chronological order supports their understanding of this. However we also ensure that students are aware of the recurring themes that weave their way through this broad sweep of history too, such as conflict, power and democracy and social and technological change. This helps students to identify similarities and differences between time periods.

Key Stage 4
Course Title: AQA GCSE History 8145,  AQA-8145-SP-2016.PDF

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 4?

At Key Stage 4 we are aiming to instill a lifelong love of history and equip students with the knowledge and understanding to see them succeed at GCSE and beyond. The GCSE is underpinned by four core assessment objectives, which form the foundation of Key Stage 4 History.

AO1: Knowledge and understanding
AO2: Analysis and explanation of key concepts
AO3: Source analysis
AO4: Interpretations

We continue to build student’s competency in dealing with the key second order concepts that have been introduced to them at Key Stage 3; continuity, change, significance, cause, consequence, similarity and difference.

There are four units studied at Key Stage 4, two relating to British History and two relating to world history.

Britain; Health & the People
Elizabethan England 1568-1603
Conflict & Tension 1918-1939
Germany 1890-1945: Democracy & Dictatorship

Why is it delivered in this way?

These topics were selected to give our students a broad experience of history at Key Stage 4. We have chosen topics which we think will engage students but also be accessible. We begin in year 9 by teaching Britain: Health and the People as we feel that this is the most accessible of the four topics. We move on to Conflict & Tension 1918-1939, so that students experience a different era and aspect of history, with different themes and ideas. We then move on to Elizabethan England and finish with Germany 1890-1945, which we feel is the most challenging and therefore best suited to year 11 when students exam skills have improved.

Sixth Form

Course Title: AQA GCE A Level History, AQA-7041-7042-SP-2015-History.PDF

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 5?

At Key Stage 5 we are aiming to develop our students into independent historians who are able to tackle the rigours of studying A level History in a competent and confident manner. We aim to extend the skills embedded at Key Stages 3 & 4 and equip students with the ability to study History at a higher level. We are also aiming to show students the huge value that the study of history has in preparing students for a wide range of further education and career choices.

A level history is underpinned by four Assessment Objectives.

AO1: Demonstrate, organise and communicate knowledge and understanding to analyse and
evaluate the key features related to the periods studied, making substantiated
judgements and exploring concepts, as relevant, of cause, consequence, change,
continuity, similarity, difference and significance.

AO2: Analyse and evaluate appropriate source material, primary and/or contemporary to the
period, within its historical context.

AO3: Analyse and evaluate, in relation to the historical context, different ways in which aspects
of the past have been interpreted.

There are three separate components to the course;

1.Breadth Study: Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855–1964
2.Depth Study: The Making of Modern Britain 1951–2007
3.Historical Investigation: The Growth of Democracy in Britain 1800-1920. An independent study culminating in a 3000-3500 word essay. Worth 20% of A-level

Why is it delivered in this way?

These units were chosen within the rules set out by the exam board which state that students must study a period of at least 200 years across all three components. At John Colet we have taught Tsarist and Communist Russia for some years and it has always proved to be an extremely popular topic with A level students. The British history unit was chosen because we felt it presented an opportunity for students to study a very exciting and contemporary period in history, which covers a range of different themes.

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