History Curriculum

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Due to the current situation, departmental curriculum plans are not currently available.

Here is the Cowley COVID resuming plan as an interim guide.

Curriculum aim

The History Department is committed to providing a curriculum that is broad, balanced and challenging, with the chief aims being to promote engagement and interest in the past and develop curious and inquisitive minds.  The curriculum aims to develop a love and appreciation of history and the historical events that have shaped our world. It aims to develop and extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding of key events, periods and societies in local, British and wider world history; and of the wide diversity of human experience. Cowley historians are equipped for the world they live in through a history curriculum that has a focus on British Values and Britain’s place in the modern world. They have values of respect, tolerance and empathy for others.  They have a sense of identity through the study of local history and an appreciation of local and British culture.   We are committed to learning from our past to build a better future. We aim to develop confident learners and young adults that are prepared to lead, have the ability to make informed decisions, the ability to communicate effectively, the ability to reflect and adapt and independent and critical thinkers. They learn from success and failure in equal measure and are determined and resilient individuals that never give up.  The Cowleian Values Programme is embedded throughout the History Curriculum, with every learner being given the opportunity to strive for personal excellence.

Curriculum structure

Key Stage 3

The History curriculum is ambitious and challenges all students. Key Stage 3 adheres to the National curriculum and the development of British Values over time. All students will have an understanding of history’s place in current British and world affairs. They will value democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and cultural diversity, participation in community life and contribution to cultural and economic resources. The curriculum is broad and balanced, helping to broaden the minds and experiences of students and the cultural capital of all learners.

Teaching and learning is committed to a student centred approach. The teaching and learning is designed to build on key stage two. The development of knowledge recall and sills provide progressive ‘stepping stones’ for the mastery of recall and skills that lead to the critical independence of thought demanded at GCSE and A level. Essential historical skills of analysis and evaluation and application of knowledge are embedded throughout the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

The department has sequenced topics at Key Stage 3 that encourages students to constantly recall prior learning and then build on it.  The department also strives to deliver the curriculum through a wide variety of appropriate teaching activities that cater for the needs of all students and encourages a love of learning and a passion for History.

Throughout all key stages, the history curriculum plays a significant role in the development of literacy. Students are rigorously developing their writing skills through constant opportunities for extended writing. The study of historical sources and texts develops reading skills and students make inferences and judgements through exposure to a wide range of historical resources. In addition there are opportunities to develop numeracy through analysing numerical historical data such as census returns.

Students in Year 9 are given the opportunity to study History in greater depth; in effect, they are choosing to specialise in History.  They are given the opportunity to study the National Curriculum in greater depth, building on their knowledge and skills.

Key Stage 4

History at Key Stage 4 follows the Edexcel Course.  Skills embedded at Key Stage 3 are now built on and developed at greater depth, with students also strengthening their ability to recall prior learning and skills.  Year 11 students are also given an extracurricular student support session programme, providing vital opportunities for intervention.  LASER sessions are also offered, enabling staff to work with small numbers of students within the department, offering a bespoke intervention programme.  The department strives to enrich and extend the learning experiences of all of our learners, ensuring the most positive individual outcomes.

Key Stage 5

History at Key Stage 5 follows the OCR course.  It is an ambitious and creative curriculum, allowing students to further develop their skills and to recall prior learning.  As part of the course students must complete a 3000-4000 word historical investigation on a topic of their choice.  Students are carefully guided through their choices and are given one to one support, with department members acting as mentors, and utilising their own specialisms.  Bespoke intervention sessions are also offered for students identified by the department as being in need of extra support.  Above all, the History department supports our students in becoming independent, lifelong learners, with a desire to fulfil their potential and maximise opportunities presented to them.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Extra curricular opportunities are widely available for Cowley historians. There is a History Film Club, with sometimes diverse movies being shown, followed by discussions afterwards.  We also offer History trips, including a Year 7 trip to the International Maritime and slavery Museum in Liverpool and a Year 8 trip to Beeston Castle.  At Key Stage 4, we take our students to a workshop led by the School History Scene Theatre Productions, which offers a wonderfully performed play, interspersed with a workshop on exam questions, focussing on techniques and knowledge; this is always a well received trip. The department also runs a range of educational visits with a focus on key events during the year such as Holocaust Memorial Day and Remembrance community events.

Subject Expertise
The History department comprises four full time specialist teachers each with their own expertise and interests.  All are incredibly enthusiastic about History and keep up to date with current events. The Head of Department has links with the local High Schools, allowing for shared good practice and moderation to be embedded.

All staff within the department have attended courses on the Key Stage 3 curriculum, GCSE courses and the delivery of A Level courses and have used these to develop Schemes of Work and Assessments, and ensure that the History curriculum offers opportunities for all students, of all abilities.

Staff also regularly participate on Historical forums to share ideas with colleagues in other schools, and make excellent use of GCSE POD and Pixl.

The History curriculum plays a key role in developing skills for the world of work.  Key skills of listening, presenting, team work and literacy are embedded throughout the curriculum.  Many of our students take their History studies further, studying History at A Level and even at University.  Careers that can be pursed with a History qualification include Journalism and Broadcasting, Law, Archaeology, Education and Heritage.  Employers value the research, analytical, teamwork and communication skills that History students develop throughout their courses at all levels, and these skills are embraced and nurtured at Cowley from Year 7 onwards.