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KS3 History

KS3 Intent

Why do we teach this?


The History programme of study facilitates a better understanding and appreciation of the country and world in which we live. Gartree’s mission is to develop global citizens that have a profound awareness of the world around. We want them to make conscientious, informed contributions to the wider world in which we live based on respect, tolerance and mutual appreciation of diversity and cultural differences. The curriculum has been designed to develop students’ understanding of Britain’s place in the modern world, and how Britain became a diverse, democratic, and tolerant country.


History is a foundation subject within the school curriculum that enables students to develop a curiosity and fascination of the past, which will allow them to better understand their place in the present. Like all Humanities subjects, it acts as a bridging subject connecting both to the arts and sciences with many of the topics covered having significant cross-curricular links and enriches the cultural capital within students. The curriculum has been designed in a straightforward chronological sequence at Key Stage 3 so that it helps students to better understand and make connections between the past and present. Its focus is largely on British history, but throughout Key Stage 3 it recognises the links Britain has with the rest of the world and the important part this country has played in international events over the last thousand years.


Lessons have a strong focus on reading and writing along with emphasising key terminology. All students at Key Stage 3 receive a free Humanities literacy guide. As students progress at Key Stage 3, there is an expectation students should be able to write in more depth and with greater fluency and accuracy using more complicated, specialist technical language to reflect greater mastery of the subject.


Historians also need proficiency in a range of specific historical skills:


  • The knowledge and understanding of some of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied.

  • The ability to explain and analyse historical events using second-order historical concepts such as causation, 'change and continuity', and 'historical significance'.

  • The ability to analyse, evaluate and use historical sources and interpretations.


The curriculum is designed so that students will revisit and develop these skills a number of times during the three-year programme of study. These skills prepare students for their GCSE studies in a school where we expect the vast majority of our students to take a Humanities subject at Key Stage 4.  But more importantly, they help our students to become knowledgeable, articulate, and analytical citizens that can make meaningful contributions to their local communities and wider society.



KS3 Implementation

What do we teach? What does this look like?


In Key Stage 3 History, students learn about significant major events and the contributions of key individuals in shaping Britain’s past. The programme of study is delivered in chronological order from the medieval to the modern era. We explore political, social, and religious changes by focusing on key events in British and world history - such as the Norman conquest, the industrial revolution, and the events of the Second World War. Students receive two 50-minute lessons of History a week. The curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum using a chronological study approach of Britain’s past from the medieval to the present day, with an additional focus on pre-medieval political power, and a world issue (international relations in the 20th Century). This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all students.


Learning opportunities outside of the classroom are factored into the curriculum to enable students to experience history in action with a residential trip to Berlin in Year 9 and local opportunities provided at Bradgate Park, the Black Country Museum and a nearby medieval castle to bring history to life and make better sense of classroom learning. Students are encouraged to participate in the Humanities Explorer initiative to visit local historic, geographical, and cultural landmarks to attain a gold, silver, or bronze award. Students are also further supported to continue their learning through the Humanities Challenge booklet to conduct further research and independent study of the topics learnt about in lessons.


Key Stage 3 History curriculum

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KS3 Impact

What will this look like?


By the time students leave Gartree High School they will:


  • Have an excellent knowledge of key features and characteristics of the periods studied.

  • Have an excellent understanding of the chronology of British History.

  • Have an extensive base of historical vocabulary that can be used accurately.

  • Be fluent in the ability to analyse, evaluate and use historical sources and interpretations.

  • Have the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.

  • Be highly developed in historical skills using second-order historical concepts such as causation, 'change and continuity', and 'historical significance'.

  • Have an enthusiasm for the subject and a curiosity and interest in historical matters affecting the world today.

  • Have the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about the past.


The Humanities Department measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:


  • Assessing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills through modular tests and extended pieces of writing.

  • Termly data snap shots of student attainment are carried out.

  • Student discussions and verbal feedback about student learning.

  • Questioning of students in lessons to ascertain level of competence and grasp of the key concepts and ideas.

  • Interviewing the students about their learning and experience in lessons (Student Voice).

  • Exercise book scrutinies/inspections by the Head of Department to check the standard of classwork produced.

  • Learning walks and lesson observations are regularly taken by the Head of Department and senior leadership of the school to gauge the climate of learning and quality of teaching and learning.

  • Moderation staff meetings are held where student’s exercise books and assessments are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.

  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.

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